Q: There is a girl who I like very much indeed. I have told her how I feel but she says she is not interested, which I accept.

I would be happy just being friends, but I think she feels uncomfortable knowing how I feel about her. She very rarely wants to go anywhere with me, unless it’s in a group. When I go to the pub where she works, she’ll talk to me, but only if there is no one else she knows to talk to.

I don’t know if I am behaving in the wrong manner, because if she is talking to anyone else I will tend to ignore her, because I don’t want to invade her privacy. I’m quite shy you see, so that is another reason why I wont talk to her, if she is with anyone else. What should I do?

A: What you should do about her is believe that she means it when she says she isn’t interested. (Sorry… but the “no means now” thing applies here.)

What you should do about you is more complicated:

1) Find someone else who interests you, of course. (Maybe not in a bar. The strikeout rate for those relationships is incredibly high.) The success rate for those who meet in the Internet, for instance, is probably much higher.

2) Be ready to face terrible odds! On average, we meet and consider probably 20 different partners before we find one that lasts. If you get rejected, it’s not a match. Move on. (And be sure to do your own rejecting if necessary. Being stuck with someone you don’t really like enough is one of the worst outcomes.)

3) Forget any romantic thoughts like “there’s only one person in the world for each person.” You can love many people, many people can love you.

4) About your shyness: If it’s severe, consult a psychiatrist. The current theory on shyness, I think(!), is that there is a medical/physical basis for it.

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