Getting the basics right (hygiene, having your life together, etc.) is necessary but insufficient.
Don’t fixate on one woman until you have well-established mutual interest.
“Friend-zoning” is real; the best you can hope for when this happens is (1) a friend (if its genuine!) and maybe (2) a positive recommendation.
Focus on where the relationship is NOW and what sort of interactions are fitting to the context. Put where you want things to go in the back of your mind—like a compass, not a map.
Get good at reading body language. Not in the weird, creepy sense of “if her left foot is pointing towards you, that means…”, but in the more basic sense of noticing bids for closer connection vs. being pushed away.
Practice, practice, practice! If you can’t find a girlfriend, go on dates. If you can’t find dates, hang out with friends. If you don’t have friends, join meetups, dance classes, and the like. Attractiveness = social skill: it can be LEARNED.
Learn how to dance.
Everything is self-reinforcing feedback loops. If your prospects feel hopeless, and nothing you do seems to make any difference, reassure yourself with the knowledge that once you pass a critical threshold where the feedback loop flips from negative to positive, everything changes.
Know what you want before things get serious. Being lonely feels like the worst thing in the world when you’re in the thick of it, but bad relationships are worse. For traits like “attractiveness,” know how much is enough. For grey areas and yellow flags, you may need to experience being wrong a few times.
Don’t take advice from people who aren’t actually trying to help you.