Imagine a world where all the singletons had an "S" etched onto their foreheads and all the unavailable people had a "T" (for taken) on theirs.
Wouldn't that make the world a happier place? Well, it would surely become uncomplicated, especially for all the woman-hungry men venturing out to find an equally eager woman.
Yes, the pickup world would be an easier place in which to survive; but let's face it, part of the challenge (and fun) is knowing who to target and discovering whether they'll take the bait.
You'll still have to brush up on your pickup techniques, charm and smooth moves, but in the large pool of fish that is the female world, I'll help you determine if she's ready for the taking or swimming with some bigger sharks. It's then up to you to throw her the line and reel her in.
Available or Not?
Unfortunately, we don't live in a world where our dating availability is conveniently marked on our foreheads. (If you've been single all your life, this should make you breathe a huge sigh of relief.) Figuring out whether or not she's single takes more detective work, and it may not be determined in just one sitting.
Remember that there is no one giveaway to whether or not she's single — you'll need to look for several hints to determine the truth.
Affirmative: She's Single
She's full of eye contact
There's a difference between a single woman and a serial flirt (the serial flirt may have a boyfriend, but she teases every man that comes within range). Unless she's a chronic people-watcher, if her eye contact is darting all over the room as if looking for potential mates, you may be able to checkmate her.
Women who are already attached usually don't bother looking around the club (unless they're looking for someone they know in particular), as they go to bars with no intention of meeting men and don't need to check out the merchandise.
She's making eye contact with you and smiling
Eye contact is usually one of the first signs of interest, and if she's making intense eye contact with you from across the bar, then chances are she wants you to head on over and give her a try.
She's talking to every guy in the bar
If you see her talking to many guys from a distance, it may mean that she's open to conversation, therefore, it's your cue to go up to her and find out all about her ways.
She looks at other couples with sadness
If you're observing her from afar and you notice her looking at other couples, she could be longing for the days when she was once also attached. That's where you come in.
Her body language says it all
If you're familiar with the dating game, then you surely know that body language can say a lot about a person, and if she has a boyfriend, then chances are she won't be twirling her hair and touching other men ever so casually. If you muster up enough courage to approach her, try to observe what her body language is saying:
-- Arms crossed, standing back: "Get away or I'll kick my heel in your face."
-- Touches your arm or leg subtly, or her own arm (she wants you to touch her): "Let's keep talking."
She's a chatterbox
If you start talking to a woman you work with, for example, and in one conversation she tells you that she has a dog named Max, does a lot of cooking, goes to the gym every week, and takes art lessons, chances are she doesn't have a man to come home to. The two tip-offs? She has a lot of time on her hands and does a lot to keep herself busy. And she's very open and friendly when it comes to you.
More From AskMen.com:
More Signals She's Single
It's more difficult to know whether a woman is single in only one meeting; it can take several encounters to figure it out on your own. With these tips, you'll eventually be able to put two and two together.
Out with the girls... again
Unavailable women do go out and have fun with their girlfriends, but they have to make some time for the men in their lives. If you see the same girl out with her friends more than once at the same bar, within a short period of time, chances are she's flying solo.
She dances with other men
If the two of you frequent the same club and she's often seen dancing with different men (but you know she came with the same group of female friends she always comes with), it's likely that she's dancing to her own tune, unless her and her boyfriend have a very "open" relationship.
Single women who are actively looking for a man are more likely to branch away from their friends and remain open to romantic possibilities. When you catch her on her own or back with her group of female friends, make your move.
She's overly friendly
Don't get us wrong, but attached women tend to be less friendly with other men; they give off a more standoffish attitude when approached. Whether you're at a bar or at the gym, and you notice that a woman is very sweet and friendly with most men she encounters, it's possible that she's single. Her attitude can be an indication of her status.
Spot a Single Woman With Stealth
You don't need to run through this list mentally to establish whether or not she's single; you can always find out for yourself by approaching her and asking for her number; she may say she already has a boyfriend, and whether or not that's true is a tossup — but it's always worth a try.
If she says she's already taken, ask her how her boyfriend could bear to let her go out when all the guys must be after her — you can always see if she's telling the truth by her reaction to this one.
This becomes more complicated when dealing with a female colleague or someone you see often, since you don't want to come right out and ask if she's romantically involved or not. In this case, you can use the aforementioned hints as clues to her status.
So if the signs point to her being single, then gather up all your courage, head her way and work your magic. And if she rejects you, just assume she's already taken — you have bigger fish to fry.