A few years ago when I scoured Facebook and actually cared what my friends were posting, I saw a status update from a girl that I had been (unsuccessfully) trying to date since I was in high school. Her post talked about love and relationships, and ended with something like, "I'm hopeless," which was totally a cry for attention, but whatever. But I decided to bite the bullet, despite my previous attempts at flirting with her, and tried one more time. I wrote back, "Well, you can call me 'hope' then." I added a winky-face for effect. For some reason (I know, that line looked pretty foolish even as I typed it out just now), it worked. After a few more flirty comments, I got her number, and dated her for about a year after that. She frequently brought up how much she liked that comment months later.

Now, this happened online, and didn't take place in person at a bar or elsewhere IRL. I'm not even sure if I would have said it at the time if it was in person. But so much of dating is timing, and taking a chance when you see it. Not all men are blessed with the instincts to navigate the world of dating (and sex) as successfully as Don Draper, and God knows I wasn't. But learning how to woo the apple of your eye is a practice of trial and error, and there's no handbook out there that will detail guaranteed ways to help you get that girl. And I know, many of you wish there was. That's why "pick-up artists" get paid so much—they make their money by tapping into our natural insecurities, offering a miracle solution to get women. It's not unlike those magic diet pills that promise you can lose 10 lbs in a week without any exercise.

What it comes down to—much like you'll find with lots of things in life—is having the courage to initiate that first move, and triumphing over whatever that little voice in your head that's holding you back. You can do it. Men having been doing it for millennia. So if you haven't worked up the nerve to approach that woman in the bar, in your class, or where ever you're at, it isn't too late. Just take a look at the fellas who did just that. 

Reddit user u/Verrado asked "What is the best way you've seen a guy hit on a girl?" yesterday, and it got more than 12,000 responses in r/AskReddit. Some of the posts are funny, charming, unexpected, and if anything, downright inspirational. Some happened by chance, when the guy (and in one case, a girl), made the most of the moment, and made sure they weren't kicking themselves later for not saying anything. 

Big things have small beginnings, but they have to have a beginning if they're going to happen at all. So, take a deep breath, man up, and be daring. These guys did it, and you can do it, too. 

(If you can follow Draper's guide, I hand it to ya.)