1. Your mother/friends become actively involved in your epic quest out of singledom.
They become so engrossed in your love life that they are one small step away from creating an eHarmony account for you. They say they just want you to be happy. In actual fact, they just want to live vicariously through you so as to avoid facing their own monotonous, monogamous relationship with James the investment banker or Terry the finance major. You receive regular phone calls that go something like this:
Mom: I have huge news for you: I found the man of your dreams.
You: Really?! Who is he?
Mom: He’s my local baker.
You: So what’s he like? What’s he into? Give me more information.
Mom: I don’t know. He’s… single? You’re 34 now, you can’t be picky.
2. The crushing sorrow in your friends’ eyes when they look at you.
Once upon a time, you were one of them—hot, together, and taken. But now the pity they’re projecting is tangible. To them, you’re lost. When your name is mentioned at brunches, a sad, disheartened sigh escapes from each of them. Your friends throw sickening clichés your way like “there are plenty of fish in the sea” and “follow your dreams”in an attempt to encourage you. I’ll just let you know that in my dreams I lick Channing Tatum’s chest professionally. In another one of my dreams I have a self-replicating bowl of nachos. Probably more likely to happen than contact with Channing’s chest. In more of my dreams, Legolas and I do this thing where…OK, I’ll stop. I’m turning into that person that tells you about their dreams. NOTHING is worse than the single person who ALSO tells you about their dreams.
3. Your bond with TV becomes stronger than any human relationship that has ever existed.
You become humiliatingly excited when a new episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is released. You laugh along with your friends Joey, Chandler, Ross, Monica, Rachel and Phoebe. You weep more at the end of the 30 Rock finale than you did in your own breakup. You probably have an Excel spreadsheet or iCal alerts of when to download new episodes of your 11 favorite shows currently on air. You only now realize how sad it is that you have 11 favorite shows that are currently on air.
You have used the hashtag #TeamBrandi before. When you start to tweet reality TV stars, it might be time to get a grip—although it only “might” be. Finally, you have thought on more than one occasion, that if they released more Modern Family episodes a week, you probably wouldn’t need affection or third base ever again.
4. You flinch at human touch.
5. The only stains on your bed sheets are food stains.
Your promiscuous friend Millie can tell her whole fortnightly sexual history from the marks in her bed. However, like rings on a tree, your bed reveals the historical narrative of the different meals you’ve enjoyed over the past fourteen days, probably while watching TV. While Millie can boast and point out the marks left by Gary, Matt, James, and Gary again, the only wet patch on your bed sheets is from where you spilled Pad Thai last Thursday night, and then again the next morning.
6. During a lonely night in (every night of the week these days), you order two pizzas for one.
This isn’t the first time it has happened. It’s a regular occurrence. You never let the delivery guy inside, JUST IN CASE HE SEES YOU’RE ALONE. The girl at the other end of the phone line at the local pizza place knows it’s you from your phone number. You know their number by heart. You order two pizzas because you’re lazy. But also because you know you probably won’t leave the house tomorrow as to avoid non-single people, so it’s best to plan ahead in terms of meals. Undoubtedly, you find a stray pizza crust or pepperoni deep in the folds of your bed days later, a tomato sauce stain smeared in its wake.