'The Modern Girl's Guide to Sticky Situations,' by Jane Buckingham

Studies show that meeting guys has less to do with sharing interests than with simply being thrown into proximity with them. Although it's known that similar backgrounds draw people together, being in close proximity does influence the development of our friendships and partnerships.

Adopt the "just say yes" approach. No, I'm not telling you that you should take all comers, but you should accept all social invitations that come your way. Your friend's office happy hour? Yes. Your college's alumni event in your city? Yes. Your coworker's holiday party? Yes. Even if these events don't yield a treasure trove of single men, they will help you become more comfortable meeting new people, as well as lead to more invitations. Even a girls' night out could result in a promising fix-up. If the social events aren't happening, then create them yourself. Throw parties and invite a few wild cards -- people you don't know well and would like to know better. Or have each invitee bring his or her own wild card. As the hostess, you have a built-in excuse to talk to everyone there.

Expand your extracurricular activities. Go to museum lectures, join an intramural sports league (kickball, anyone?), or stop by a local bookstore for a reading. A rock show is pretty much a guaranteed man buffet. Practice starting conversations with strangers -- ask him if he's seen the next band, or if he's read the novelist's first book of short stories. Still too much pressure? Ease in with someone you aren't too interested in attracting. Soon you'll be confident enough to approach any hottie.

Resist MySpace and Facebook no longer -- not only will they reunite you with old acquaintances, they're an easy, informal way to get in touch with someone you meet on one of your new outings. Basically, you're advertising to an everexpanding group of people that you are single and awesome. Possible side effects? Making new friends and connections.

You're nearing forty (or thirty but thinking about forty) and you want to get married and have a baby, and not necessarily in that order . . . no one's calling you desperate, but you hear a certain clock ticking and you feel S-T-U-C-K.

Okay, first of all, chances are that the reason you're single is that you're self-aware, discriminating, and probably have had a lot on your plate.

One of the great things about the post-feminist era is that we women have had the right to choose any path we want. We can have great jobs, great travel, pursue our passions . . . but we want to find equally great men to help raise that equally fabulous family. And they aren't always easy to find in those forty-five minutes we have between work and yoga. Choices are wonderful but often overwhelming, and quite often we're not sure whether we're making the right ones. Mr. Sort-of- Wonderful may seem lovely, but we wonder whether there's someone better down the line.

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