Being single is pretty awesome. You can eat dinner anytime you want, adopt a pet without having to worry about a partner’s allergies, or move halfway across the world at a moment’s notice. Everyone could benefit from experiencing independence. But once you’ve settled into life as a bachelor (or as a bachelorette), it can be pretty difficult to transition back into dating. Without anyone to keep us accountable, we can take our independence to an extreme by letting ourselves go, becoming selfish, or simply forgetting what it’s like to share one’s life with another person.
1. You don’t own any umbrellas big enough for two
People in relationships tend to own at least one gigantic umbrella. After all, what’s more romantic that sharing an umbrella with someone in the pouring rain? But if you’ve been single for a few years, all of your favourite brollies are no bigger than a pencil case when folded up, and no wider than a steel platter when opened. Your go-to umbrella barely shield you, let alone you and another person.
2. Your laptop has its own spot on the bed
You and your computer are practically married. It’s the last thing you look at before falling asleep, and the first thing you look at when you wake up. In fact, you can always depend on your constantly-overheated machine to keep the mattress warm at night.
3. You no longer have a type – you just love everyone
It’s been so long since you were involved with a guy, that you start imaging a future with anyone who pays special attention to you. It doesn’t matter if he’s older than you, younger than you, tall, short, skinny, fat, rich, or poor – you’re game as long as he pays you a compliment and asks for your number. While you justify your feelings as opportunistic, your friends insist that such behaviour only makes you look desperate.
4. You always get pushed to the front during bridal bouquet tosses
You’ve become that token single friend that everyone wants to see settle down. No matter how much you try timing your trips to the loo to coincide with the bridal bouquet toss, your friends always manage to ferret you out and drag you forward. You put on a good face for the bride’s sake, but secretly you hope that this time will be the last.
5. When you eat alone, the waiters are visibly sorry for you
Unlike plenty of other single people, you have no trouble eating alone in a restaurant. But at the same time, the wait staff constantly serve you free food, make conversation with you, or even sit you near other singles of the opposite sex, perhaps in hope that you’ll fall in love and have someone to eat with in the future. As much as this wounds your pride, you’re not one to complain about special treatment – but to avoid this in the future, consider holding yourself more confidently when asking for a table for one.
6. You have a roster of online dating accounts
Not only have you created accounts on the mainstream sites, but you’ve created them on the more obscure ones with extremely niche audiences – “for the experience,” you assure yourself, while browsing through the list of singles obsessed with gaming and My Little Pony.
7. You know how to change your own tires
You also know how to screw in a light bulb, fix a toilet, repair a door hinge, jump-start a car battery, and kill flying cockroaches without anyone’s help. Don’t get us wrong – these are all great skills to have, and a hallmark of successful singlehood. Just don’t forget to let the other person help you out a bit once you’re in a relationship.
8. You stalk your former male schoolmates on Facebook because, “what if.”
Since meeting new guys is basically impossible, and none of the dudes in your circle of friends would make suitable partners, you’ve taken to looking up your old secondary school classmates on Facebook. Not to shortlist any potential marriage candidates, just out of curiousity! (Cough). You never know who lost weight, who struck it big, or who you could hit it off with…
9. You actually listen to your mother’s dating advice
Instead of going for bad boys, you’re on the lookout for nerds with a stable job and a nice family. In fact, you’re considering giving her colleague’s sister-in-law’s cousin’s in-law a chance.
10. Your exes are starting to look like pretty good catches
Explaining your life to someone from the ground up is so tiring, you’ve started to wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to commit to a person whom you already share a history with. You start asking yourself if you broke up certain relationships too quickly, and if they deserve another chance. Compared to the guys that you meet on blind dates, at work, or in bars, the ones in your past look pretty good.
More than likely, you’re glossing over the past when faced with the despair of traversing the great wilderness of single guys. When fantasizing about an ex, just keep in mind that it’s easier to start something new and to do it right than to fix something that’s irrevocably broken.
11. You’re no longer used to sharing
While being single doesn’t guarantee that it’ll make you more selfish, the independence certainly makes it easier. You balk at sharing a popcorn or splitting a dessert with friends. You’re not accustomed to giving people gifts. You will walk out of a gathering if your friends decide to watch a movie that you don’t want to watch. You’re so used to doing stuff on your own, that it doesn’t occur to you to accommodate other people.
12. You push away the people who try to get close to you
Hurrah! Victory! You’ve finally gotten a date! And he liked you so much during the first couple of dates, that he’s asked you out again. But the closer you get, the more you start to feel stifled. Every text message strikes fear into your heart. What if he’s a cheat? What if he’s just using you? Why would anyone pursue you this far? So before things can get serious, you nip the relationship in the bud, telling yourself that it was moving way too fast and that he probably wasn’t right for you. Which brings us to our next point…
13. You’re defensive
You’ve been single for so long, you question anyone who shows an interest in you. Why would this guy (or girl) pay attention to you when others have ignored you for so long? Regardless of whether you were hurt in the past, or whether you’re just not used to flirtation, you can’t accept that someone might actually like you for you, and so you shoot down anyone who “dares” come close.
14. You have forgotten how to cook
Not only have you neglected the kitchen, but you’ve made it a habit to drink coffee five times a day, eat cereal for dinner, and skip fruits and veggies for two weeks at a time. Also, you’ve taken to ordering McDonald’s breakfast delivery every Saturday so that you’ll be motivated to roll out of bed. Forget getting into a relationship, maybe you should move back in with your parents.
15. Watching Korean dramas on a Friday night counts as “having plans”
Looking for love? We’ve all found ourselves pining over hot dudes while browsing through the #oppa tag on Tumblr, but if you’ll never meet someone if you plan your weekends around drama marathons. Lee Seung Gi and Shinhwa can wait, but life won’t, so save the DVDs for a rainy day and get out there!