There is a certain luxurious freedom that comes with being single; you are free to do whatever you like, come and go as please, and you answer to no one. But indulging in that independence for too long can change a man, and usually not for the better.
Bad bachelor habits can quickly become second nature and you can lose your motivation or, even worse, your edge. Like a job applicant with gaps in his resume, your periods of "liberty" raise big red flags with potential partners. Being single for too long is a downward spiral that can leave a guy sad, lonely and celibate.
We’ve all seen dudes start to slide down this slippery slope, and it ain’t pretty — because of this we've already looked the Top 10 Signs You've Been Single Too Long. And it's a little disheartening that we have to revisit the topic, but it seems we need to once again look at the top 10 clear signs that might mean you’ve been single a little too long — heed the warning.
If some of them hit close to home, it’s probably time to reevaluate. Unless, of course, a future filled with long, lonely nights eating pork rinds while watching scrambled porn with your obese cat sounds good.
10. You assume you repulse all women
When a girl walks by and smiles, most guys take it as an ego-boosting compliment. However, being single for a prolonged period can start to wear on your confidence. Before you know it you start assuming these flirtatious glances are really smirks at your expense, probably aimed at your frumpy hair or bad outfit.
Confidence is one of the most important things a girl looks for in a guy. Losing confidence often happens when you are out of the game for too long, and attracting anyone (let alone someone you are actually interested in) will be difficult.
9. You develop bad eating habits
It takes a lot of effort to cook for one, and falling into the age-old trap of eating like a bachelor is easy. It’s also really unhealthy and kind of gross. If your cupboards are filled with food that can be cooked in less than five minutes, you’ve probably been on your own for too long.
It doesn’t take much to set you on the right path. Head to the grocery store for a big order and shop for the basics like rice and pasta, pick up a spice rack and invest in cookbooks that specialize in simple meals for one. It might be easier to just pop a dinner into the microwave, but when it comes time to cook for a potential girlfriend Hungry-Man Classic Fried Chicken Dinner isn’t going to cut it. Practice the art of cooking and your dry spell will end faster than you can boil up some Kraft Minute Rice.
8. You gush about your feelings to women
What’s another sure sign that you’ve been single for too long? You answer your female acquaintances’ small talk questions like, "How are you doing?" with long, emotional diatribes on your lonely single life. Even that cute barista making your morning coffee can be overwhelmed with deep, personal insights as you desperately search for some female compassion.
You shouldn’t bottle up all those sentiments, just learn to pick and choose who hears them and when you let them out. See a shrink or call your mom, but just make sure you don’t try to woo a girl with your emotional ramblings.
7. Your dating standards plummet
It would seem that going without action for too long lets certain chemicals build up in a man’s brain. Because much like beer, the concentration can build up and soon enough the dumpy girl down at the video store or the 40-year-old cougar at your local watering hole starts to look pretty damn good.It’s important to be conscious of this transformation. Failing to do so can result in being stuck in a relationship with the kind of girl who would normally make you shudder. Worse yet, you’re then blacklisted as the guy who once dated the bucktoothed, moustachioed, hobbit girl. Keep your chin and your standards up, and the right girl will come along.
6. You get a cat
It’s perfectly reasonable for anyone forced to go without companionship for a long stretch of time to seek friendship in a pet. But before you go running off to the pet store in search of camaraderie, there is one immutable fact you need to consider: Girls think that guys who own cats are weird.
Instead, consider getting a dog. They’re cute, loyal and seldom nag you to get your feet off the table or put out the garbage. Better yet, Fido acts like a veritable chick magnet and will help bust you out of your rut quicker than you can say, "Fetch."
5. You surf mail-order bride sites "out of curiosity"
Envisioning a lonely, solitary future can drive some men to take very desperate measures like ordering a bride off the internet rather than facing the prospect of cooking and cleaning for themselves forever.
Stay in a slump long enough and you might justify having a little look around on one of these sites. "How bad could it be?" you might say. "She’ll be grateful for all I’ve done for her, she won’t know anyone here so she won’t leave me, and if she is even half as good-looking as this picture, I’m set!" This kind of rationale will inevitably leave you trapped in a dead-end relationship, heartbroken, that much poorer, and quite possibly the laughing stock of your community.
4. You look at female friends as potential girlfriends
Complete strangers are ignoring your advances, speed dating takes too long, your computer is too slow for internet dating; so what’s left? Your friends, of course. They like you enough to hang out once in a while, so is it such a stretch to take it to the next level?
In most cases, the answer is yes. The girlfriend boat sailed away long ago and she probably looks at you more like a brother than a potential bed buddy. Not only that, but chances are you haven’t been on your best behavior around her in the past, so all that farting, sexist humor and whoring around you’ve done in her presence gives you quite a bit of baggage to start off with. It’s understandable that you would start to consider these girls as potential girlfriends, but you are probably much better off keeping them as girl friends.
3. You play too many video games
Hey, getting your fill of video games while you are single is a good idea. When you do eventually hook up with a girl there’s a good chance your gaming days are over. However, putting in endless hours of Wii antics a night is bad for your body, your brain and your chances of ever getting laid again.It isn’t just video games that single guys will overdose on: It’s easy for bachelors to fall into the boozing, sports-watching, golfing-any-time-you-want lifestyle that drives girls crazy. It’s hard to break these hedonistic ways, but these are the sacrifices you’ll have to make if you don’t want to end up sad and alone.
2. You consider your mother's dating advice
It is hard-coded in a mother’s DNA to try and help their single sons find a date. Unfortunately, that usually involves her best friend’s hairdresser’s cousin who ends up being a hefty, hairy spinster with buzzing ovaries. So, relenting to mommy’s matchmaking prowess is definitely a step backward.
That isn’t to say you should completely ignore this rich source of potential girlfriends. Instead, give your mom a list of attributes you look for in a girl and let her use that to judge her extended network of ladies accordingly. This way, your mother still gets to meddle in your love life without wasting your time or the time of her cousin’s therapist’s 300-pound, bowlegged sister.
1. You Google old flames
Thanks to the internet, a quick little snapshot of just about anyone’s life can be found simply by Googling their name. So if you find yourself up late at night typing an ex-girlfriend's name into the search box, wondering what she's been up to and hoping maybe, just maybe, you guys could work out your decade-old differences, you should stop immediately and take a long, cold shower.
More recently, networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have taken cyber-stalking to a whole new level. These personal-page sites offer a glimpse into your exes’ social life complete with pictures, diaries and more. It’s OK to look (morbid fascination is only human), but don’t attempt to contact her unless you don’t mind being tagged a shameless, creepy stalker.