1. Do not develop hard-and-fast rules about the ways youíre willing to go about your search. Some women, for instance, have a policy against being fixed up. But you need to be flexible and willing to experiment with a variety of strategies, particularly if you find yourself in a drought. My theory has always been that a winning prospect only comes around every six to seven blind dates, so you may have to chitchat with five chumps in order to get there. You also need to be flexible about the places you go to meet guys. If you head to the same bars all the time, youíre going to see the same old guys or the same type. There are always interesting new ways to meet men, and you need to keep your ear to the ground to hear whatís hot at a given moment. It keeps changing. One minute networking cocktail parties are all the rage, and the next something else is. I heard lately, for instance, that day spas are starting to offer times when singles can mingle.

2. Be unashamedly proactive and methodical. Cold-hearted calculation doesnít seem like a very magical approach to meeting the love of your life, but there will be plenty of time for magic once youíre dating. Tell yourself that you will do at least two specific things every week to facilitate your quest. And when opportunities present themselves, make things happen rather than just allowing them to unfold. For instance, if you see a hotty and there doesnít seem to be an easy way to meet him, accidentally bump into him, for Godís sake.

3. If you are going to a party, bar or event, donít travel in huge wolf packs of women. Itís hard to break into a group that size, plus itís easy for a guy to think that the moment he turns around after talking to you, all the other chicks are going to laugh hysterically about a comment he made or even the pants heís wearing. Two is an OK number (you and a friend), but three is even better because one friend has a pal to talk to if you start chatting someone up.

4. Avoid being too glam. When youíre all dolled up, you may feel like a man magnet, but guys are often put off by too much product. Lots of makeup and tons of designer labels scream high-maintenance, and guys donít like that. One other tip: Consider wearing something that could be a conversation-starter, like a t-shirt with something funny written on it or a faux-fur vest that a guy may ask to touch.

5. Have a drink in your hand. We once had a girl write a piece about her experience being a wing woman someone hired by shy guys to chat up women in bars and then introduce them. She provided a great tip: Donít stand around empty-handed. If youíre holding a drink, a guy wonít feel he has to immediately buy one for you. But then later, if things are going well, ordering you a refill gives him something positive to do.

6. Do not be too coy. Guys, as we know, like the chase. But if you seem too elusive, guys wonít approach. These days, men shy away from the slightest chance of rejection. So whatís a coy move that works? Make eye contact with an object of desire, hold for three seconds, and then look away. Repeat. If heís interested, youíve given him a pretty clear signal that itís safe to head your way. Once youíre talking to a guy, you donít want to be all over him. But let him know in a more subtle manner that youíre interested for instance, by laying your hand on his arm when you make a point.

7. When there is an adorable guy suddenly in your path, donít be so worried about saying the perfect thing that you end up saying nothing at all. As long as you seem friendly, youíll be OK, so just get something out. Asking for help is a surefire conversation-starter. If youíre in an electronics store, try ďExcuse me, could you tell me the difference between LCD and plasma screen TVs?Ē Humor can work, too. If youíre standing by an elevator, you could slyly say, ďI hear that pressing the button 20 or 30 times actually does make it come faster.Ē Another good trick: playfully polling a guy. An example: ďIím taking a survey for the bar. Did you have to drive more than five miles to get here?Ē You could also come up with a question about yourself, like: ďDo you think I should get blue contact lenses?Ē

8. Be positive. A few years ago I arranged for a single friend of mine to sit next to a hot guy at a charity dinner. Through the night, I watched them from my table and I had every reason to believe things were going well. But later the guy told me that my friend had offered up an endless stream of negative riffs. She hated the subway, her boss, teacup dogs, e.t.c. She thought that confessing things she didnít like was a way of bonding with him, but guys are turned off by negativity.

9. Really hear what he has to say. When youíre nervous, itís easy to become overly self-conscious. You might ask a guy youíve just met plenty of questions, but be so worried about what to say next that you donít pay close attention to his answers. Hereís a trick to help you focus: Wait a few beats after he says something and think about what heís said. Then allow your next comment or question to really play off what heís told you.