If the answer is no, you have nothing to lose by asking if another day, place, time, or event would suit them. Listen to the response carefully. Often people really are tied up working late, taking care of a sick parent, getting out of a relationship, studying, or being distracted and would be willing to consider an invitation in the future, just not now.
If you're feeling brave, you can say, "If not now, how soon?" If you're feeling a bit vulnerable, you can say, "Let me give you my number, and you can give me a call when you're ready." The middle ground is to say, "Why don't I give you a holler in a week or two and see how you're doing?" If your potential date says fine, then do it. If he or she says "I'll call you," don't hold your breath. Who needs to turn blue?
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