So why does the alcohol-soaked pick-up scene still exist? Aside from the obvious reasons (tequila, vodka, rum), there's a surprising one as well: inexperience. Men are new to this 21st-century version of the boy-meets-girl game. In 1970, the median age for marriage was 23 for men and 21 for women. Today it's 28 and 26. "It used to be that people felt they'd somehow missed out if they didn't have a spouse by the time they graduated college," says David Popenoe, Ph.D., founder and codirector of the National Marriage Project and a professor emeritus of sociology at Rutgers University. "Today, people feel they need to establish themselves economically first." The postponement of "I do" means most men will be single in their 20s, a trend that populates the bar scene and empties the church aisles.
For the cost of a Yankees ticket (or less), you and your friends can each grab a multigame package featuring up to 13 MLB minor-league affiliates. Rooting for team sports can boost testosterone levels—yours as well as hers. And T is the libido hormone, so if your team wins, you both win. Try this: Split the cost of an extra package with your friends, and then take turns inviting someone new. It'll expand your weak ties, and the presence of friends creates a "celebrity effect" that can be as desirable as attractiveness or wealth.
If you are also at Happy Hour with a group of your bros, and you spot a group of ladies near you with a similar amount of people, grab your/ their server, and buy them a round of whatever they’ve been ordering. It’s classy and it’s opening the conversation in a non-creepy way. If they’re interested, then they will probably come by and say thank you or maybe buy your round of shots if they’re cool chicks.
But it's not just the friend famine that's starving our sex lives. Socially inbred crews are detrimental, too. "In a tightly knit group, you know the same people," says Parks. "Your friends can't introduce you to women you don't already know." That's why access to a new resource, whether it's an unadvertised job opening, a lead on a house listing, or an introduction to a woman you might click with, is more likely to come through casual friends than close ones. It's what social-network theorists call "the strength of weak ties," and the greater the number of unique casual connections you have, the better positioned you are to benefit. These types of people are essentially network bridges, says Parks. They connect you to women you might not otherwise have met through your close friends. The secret isn't blind dates and setups; it's party invites and casual introductions.
Know when to end the conversation. Going on for too long can make you seem desperate or even scheming. When this woman is someone you'd really like to see again, say something like, "You know, I would love to hear more but I have to get back to work now. Tell me all about it over salsa dancing on Tuesday." Always leave the conversation to be continued. Do not exhaust the conversation as things can turn awkward and she may lose interest.