I am trying, and failing, to be sympathetic to the author, at least through the first portion of the piece. It feels like there is an elephant in the room named “Be a decent human being."
The underlying thesis, that men are not wanted, is a spurious byproduct of our current societal cultural gender environment - men must pursue, women exist to be pursued - which dehumanizes both by assigning prescriptive roles, with deviation from them as being a failure to be appropriately and acceptably masculine/feminine.
I actively put myself in a position to be wanted, because… you know what, it’s pretty goddamned awesome, both to feel that positive reaction, and to intentionally support and encourage women to express these sentiments in a safe way (I am, as the HhGttG says, “mostly harmless" - I will flirt up a storm and live in a world where “ongoing yes is the only thing that means yes without prior negotiation").
Nobody likes rejection. Putting the onus of pursuit exclusively on men is unfair to everyone, but it’s understandable that women might not want to be percieved as having wants, or expressing them, because the current social climate, as well as historical precedent, has conditioned everyone to treat any expression of interest on the woman’s part as consent for overreaching and improper response on the part of the guy.
The right response is to smile and say “Thank you," and that is *it,* Anything further is done at the level of comfort expressed by the less-privileged participant in the conversation, not assumed to be carte blanche on the part of the guy.