When you’re single, you develop an innate, sharply-defined sense of when NOT to text someone back — you might not always follow this guideline (particularly when blood alcohol content is involved), but you’re in a constant state of HYPER-awareness about who texted whom last, who’s turn it is to text next, how long to wait before texting, what time of the night to text, when to ignore someone for a full month, etc. All the basics.
Once you’ve been dating someone for awhile, you’ll find yourself sending four straight texts to the person in succession without a hint of self-awareness, and all of them are somehow about picking up olive oil at the store.
Should you suddenly find yourself single again, you’re gonna come off like an overanxious thirsty creep no matter what, even though in reality you’re just, like, being mature enough to not pretend you aren’t holding your phone literally at all times, including on the toilet, like everyone is.
When you’re single, not only are you fully aware of every party going on, but you also have a mapped-out, detailed route to hit all the necessary parties in a given weekend evening while also optimizing your arrival-hours at each place in a way that maximizes your chances of running into the person you’re most interested in sleeping with.
When you’re in a relationship, you couldn’t care less about which single friends are attending which parties at which times; you can just go to any parties any time, leave any time, or use each other “not feeling well” as an excuse to all the crappy stuff guilt-free.
SINGLE = OMG she used a winky face. AND an exclamation point. Is that flirting? It’s flirting, right? Has to be. YES! This is now ultra-sexual. BUT WAIT — SHIT! If she were actually flirting, she’d be playing it cool, right? And that definitely means no winky face. MAYBE like, sunglasses-dude face or some food emogee, but a straight-up wink? WAY too on the nose. Dammit. I was so on board with this person too. Guess I have no choice but to not respond for seven days then type “k”. Lower case. You break my heart like this, you don’t even DESERVE caps.
RELATIONSHIP = Oh cool this text has information in it.
When you’re single, you are CONSTANTLY aware of the newest cool things to like, or at least to say you like, as well as extremely aware of the correct retro things to be into, and are ready at all times to make a kick-ass playlist full of cool music that shows off your taste and personality while also exposing your romantic interest to your unique mix of cutting-edge music and semi-obscure but awesome older music that will simultaneously enthrall and impress them.
When you’re in a relationship, your cool playlist-making ability stagnates, and all you can make are playlists with the songs you ACTUALLY listen to on them. Which is great, obviously, but HOLY SHIT you do not need a prospective romantic interest being exposed to that too early and blowing the whole thing.
There’s nothing more jarring and instantly-backwards when you leave a relationship than going back to having to pretend you’re not overly interested in someone that you are overly interested in.
After months or years of being able to say sentences that mean what you want them to mean and acting how you naturally feel like you should act, you suddenly have to re-learn how to NOT do those things so you don’t come off as an overeager, easily-attainable loser who actually, y’know, is honest about things.
Plus you’ll convince yourself, “who cares, I’m mature, I can just be honest about liking someone at this point, I don’t have to play stupid dating games like it’s friggin’ Middle School again.” But then you’ll totally fail, and come crawling right back to Playing-Games Town. Sorry! Being direct just isn’t how the world works.
Horny single people are automatic EXPERTS at overlooking extremely obvious red flags in prospective mates; this trend is mostly biological, dating back to when our mammal ancestors had to convince themselves they misheard the semi-racist thing that some attractive mammal said at the watering hole, only to definitively remember it later that night after being rejected by that mammal and being like “who cares, that mammal was dumb and racist anyway.”
When you’re in a relationship, you instantly notice the suckiness of attractive sucky people just as quickly as unattractive people. Which is to say, very quickly.
Ah, the perfect plan — buy TWO tickets to that cool thing you want to go to, then smoothly ask that person who you know will be interested if they want to go with you. And if they’re busy, ask that other person. And if they’re busy, then just like, get your stupid close friend.
When you’re in a relationship, “having an extra ticket” to something usually means you screwed up or your dumbass friend backed out of something, possibly because you called them ‘stupid’ in the previous paragraph. There’s nothing cool or remotely suave about it.
Whether it’s a hard-drinking weekend night or just a hard “doing nothing and realizing it’s 4 amagain somehow,” being single conditions you to stay up hours later than anyone ever really needs to like a CHAMP.
When you’re in a relationship and realize there’s another person there to call you on your bullshit when you claim you’re “always tired” then try to stream another episode of a mediocre show at 2:30 am, you end up shaming yourself into going to sleep. But the second that relationship ends, hoo boy — effortless 5 am nights, here we come!
“Ok, first time having sex with this person — better make the correct sex noises so they know I’m enjoying the sex, but not go too far so they think I’m some perverted fiend, or that they’re doing TOO well and they don’t have to try harder. I think I can hit that balance. This is fun! Should I say ‘this is fun’ out loud? Probably!”
10 Skills You’ll Completely Lose When You’re In A Relationship