We do it to ourselves—we agonize about being single, and when we get a shot at a new relationship, we screw it up. Here are 10 things every guy on the prowl should avoid at all costs so he can start enjoying being single.
Spending time alone
We all need some time alone, but don’t let your lack of a relationship keep you indoors and attached to that shiny new Playstation 4. Your friends are the best support group a guy could ask for, and even kicking it with coworkers during happy hour can keep you busy in a good way. Expanding and maintaining your social circle is also the surest way to get the hook up from a friend who thinks you should meet someone.
And for that matter, spending lots of dough on a girl you’ve just met. Dating has come a long way since “going steady,” especially with the advent of online dating that lets people play the field more easily than ever. If your relationship falls into the modern categories of “seeing each other,” “more than friends, or “sort-of dating,” keep things simple until you two are clearly more serious.
Worrying over texts/Facebook messages/etc.
That girl you just met is taking her time getting back to your tweet—”What’s up?” didn’t come off too strong, did it? Stop timing her response times and get on with your life, because the scenario you’ve created in your head often has nothing to do with how much she likes you. And if she is playing games, you shouldn’t be sticking around anyway.
Going to bars or clubs to pick up
The nightlife scene can be tempting—you might even get lucky—and going out with the boys can take your mind off things. But spending the whole time worrying about how you’re going to get that girl to go home with you? That kind of pressure’s not. If you don’t get any play, you’ll just be drunk and miserable, not to mention it’s not going to help your single status anytime soon.
This one’s in quotes because, unless you were in fact a huge jerk in your last relationship, chances are there’s nothing wrong with you—that your last relationship just didn’t work doesn’t reflect on who you are as a person. Don’t pressure yourself to change your friends, interests, or actions in the name of fixing something that’s not really broken. Oh, and forget about trying to become a pick up artist.
Thinking about your ex-girlfriend
You have to let go of the past to get on with your future, which, granted, is far more easily said than done. To a point, poring over your past relationship can make you realize a thing or two about what you want and need. However, your friends (and that cute girl you just met) don’t want to hear it, so try to make a clean break mentally.
Looking for a new girlfriend
This one’s important, especially if you feel tempted to jump into another relationship just for the sake of having one. Take your time to play the field, make new friends and just do you. It always happens when you least expect it, so you might as well stop trying to make it happen.
What other people think
Your mom’s crestfallen you broke up, your friends are dogging you to date and your grandmother’s still waiting on those grandkids, but don’t allow what other people think pressure you into entering a relationship. As with most things in life, focus on making yourself happy first and take your time.
Going after taken women
No matter what, this always ends with regret: if you get caught, you get a fat eye (or worse); if she leaves the other guy for you, there’s no telling she won’t do it again. Going after another guy’s girlfriend can also make you lose respect for yourself, as well as take a cynical view on women and relationships.
Hanging with your friend Jack Daniels
One of the easiest ways to waste time and money is by drowning your single sorrows with alcohol—or worse. It’s not productive, it affects your health and outside of fun nights out, things can get downright sad. Avoid getting in a rut with this stuff at all costs. A good rule is never do it alone.