So maybe you are, secretly, desperate for a relationship. Here are 6 ways to avoid looking like it.
1. Don’t Make Jokes About Your Single Status
This is a defense mechanism that’s so, so easy to fall into: if you feel uncomfortable about being single, you make frequent self-deprecating references to this fact.
“Another Friday night that ends in bed…..with my cat.”
“Super stoked about my C3PO Halloween costume. On an unrelated note, I’m going to die alone.”
These jokes are classic insecurity flags: I’m going to make the joke about being single before anyone else does, and that way I’m in control of it. And sure, you’re making your friends laugh with you, but you’re also broadcasting, constantly, not only your single status, but your hyper awareness of it.
2. Watch How Much You Drink
We’ve seen time and time again that most people wouldn’t dream of dating without the help of alcohol. A little liquid courage to help you loosen up, and maybe gives you the confidence to approach someone you otherwise wouldn’t. But while one or two drinks are okay (even necessary), drinking excessively in order to get over social inhibitions is another mask for insecurity — and an obvious one.
The worst worst worst person to be is the super drunk one sloppily and insistently hitting on everyone. Much better to drink less and be yourself, residual insecurities and all.
3. Learn How To Walk Away
You’re at a party, and you’ve been talking to someone for about half an hour. Truthfully, you could go on talking to this person all night — in fact, you’re starting to think you could happily talk to this person for the rest of your life.
This is when you walk away.
Go refresh your drink, go say hi to someone else you know, go to the bathroom, anything. This is the same theory as The Three Hour Rule: you want to leave at the top, you want to leave them wanting more.
After a while, you’ll circle back around and you two can pick up where you left off. But it’s important that they see that the whole party doesn’t hinge on whether or not you two talk: you have other people to say hi to and you’re confident enough to not grab onto them the whole night as a lifejacket. You’re confident that you can go refresh your drink and talk to someone else without losing your chance with them: in other words, you’re not desperate.
4. Tone Down Your I-Stalking
Here’s the unspoken rule about internet stalking: it’s perfectly acceptable, as long as you manage to keep it fairly discreet. So if you friend a crush on Facebook and look through all of their 600 photographs, that’s, well, probably not the best use of your time, but not the end of the world because they’ll never know.
If you, however, meet someone and then within 24 hours have friended them on Facebook, followed them on Twitter and Tumblr, and added them on LinkedIn and Goodreads, it becomes pretty clear that you’ve spent a good hour or so cheerfully plugging their name into Google.
Do you message them the second they sign onto Facebook or GChat? Do you reply to all their tweets, and “heart” all their tumblr entries? Do you make it infinitely clear that you are reading every character they type on a computer? If so, Cool. Your. Jets. Remember to try and seem like you have a life (even if you don’t).
5. Don’t Text More Than Twice In A Row
Here’s a rule: if you texted someone, and he or she didn’t respond, you can text one more time, and then you have to stop.
Sometimes people don’t see texts til late, or are busy, or don’t have any particular response to a text and will therefore ignore it. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not going to text you back the next time, so it’s fine to try again later or the next day. But if they still don’t respond, definitely don’t bombard them with more texts.
If you do this? He or she will block your number.
6. Don’t Constantly Complain About Being Single
Duh, being single can be tough, and everyone has days where they just need to bitch about it over beers with a best friend. That’s fine, that’s normal.
But if you find yourself constantly whining about your dating life to anybody –friends, co-workers, family members, random acquaintances you haven’t seen in a while — you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Sure, you want empathy. Sure, you’re frustrated. But what you’re doing is dwelling, and as New Age-y as this might sound, you certainly aren’t putting out an inviting energy into the world.
There are, ultimately, worse fates in the world than being single for a while (or even a long while.) Focus less on complaining, and more on other aspects of your life — it will make you happier. And the happier, more relaxed and more confident you are, the more attractive, too.