Some more female perspective
as far as i know, whe are complicated
we don't want you to be pushy, and we do not want to make all the moves... and i understand that for you to find the middle road is quite a challenge, especially if not knowing each other for years...
So, 1: trust your gut feeling. 2: keep it light (as you are obviously doing) 3: I personally would love the openness of: "i want to ask you out for dinner with a small or long conversations, but i'm not sure you are ready for it yet." In that way, you make the move, and she can decide the speed! Which is the perfect middle road between pushy, and letting her make the move.
Any other ladies who appreciate that?