Listen to your gut instinct. A single rejection doesn't mean there is something wrong with you as a person (she may like you but not know how to express it!). However, if you experience repeated rejections, you may want to address your grooming, your mannerisms with women, or even your whole approach. It could be that you're doing something wrong and that's always easy to fix.
"I had two shift partners, one of whom ended up being my future wife. At the time, she had a boyfriend and I had a girlfriend, so while I thought she was cute, there was never any weird flirty tension. We shared one four-hour shift a week for about two years. Without really intending to, we became good friends because of the experiences we shared assisting clients and talking about our lives outside the hotline in between calls. Around the time she left the hotline, we both coincidentally went through breakups. We went from commiserating about our hotline work to commiserating about being single. Then one night she came over, we hooked up, and about a year and a half later we were married. I think what worked about meeting that way was that things developed really organically, because neither of us were there to meet people. We bonded over the work we were doing and the stuff we discovered we had in common over the years."
What Real Men Say: "Salsa dancing is part of my culture," says Javier, 26. "So when my sister's friend opened a dance studio in our neighborhood I came for the grand opening and complimentary salsa class -- and had so much fun that I ended up buying a class package. As one of the only men in the class, I had my pick of partners which was nice, and made a lot of friends during my time there. Around my fifth or sixth class we all planned on meeting up at a salsa club after class to try out what we had learned, and I saw my current girlfriend Ramona there with her group of friends -- one of which knew one of the class members I was out with. She introduced us, and we danced together until 2 a.m. when the club closed down. We've been together ever since."
You are on the hunt and don't let anything get in the way! If you are still struggling with approaching women in public (and you are definitely not alone) there are a few books that made a huge difference in our success with older women. You could take a blanket along and lounge around while Fido does his thing, or you can actively seek the attention of an older woman by asking her a question or two about her own pet.
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.
Daily places where conversations might be possible with women include the laundromat, waiting at a bus stop, shopping (including saying hi to the shop assistant you fancy so much), working out at the gym, walking your dog, clearing up your front yard as she passes by, the library, the video store (you already know her taste in movies), large outdoor events and pursuing recreational/sporting activities.