Signs of Single


One Friday night a few years ago I was in Shoppers Drug Mart stocking up on essentials. In my cart there was shaving gel and razors, shampoo and conditioner, nail polish and the latest issue of Cosmo. I was standing at the check-out, unloading my stuff onto the belt when the woman in front of me turned to look at me. She eyed my purchases derisively then looked at me with scorn on her face. “Well,” she said “I can tell you’re single”.

As many times as I’ve told that story, I’ve never really come to understand it. For starters, what the hell would possess someone to make a comment like that? Second – and more importantly – what about my purchases screamed single? It would have been one thing if I’d had condoms and lube in my cart, but shampoo and razors are just basic hygiene aren’t they? Even women in relationships wash their hair and shave their legs right?

Ultimately I think that chick was a bit off her rocker, but still I like the idea of being able to tell by looking at someone whether they’re single. 

When I was younger my friends and I could tell a man was single if he was wearing white socks with black shoes – no self-respecting woman would let her man leave the house like that. These days a man’s proper grooming is not an indication of anything; these hot boys stay on their beautification shit. 

I used to assume women were single when I saw them in packs, being loud, and/or dressed like whores. I figured a woman with a man has no reason to draw attention to herself in these ways. I realize now though that even wifeys can act like harlots every now and again.

So is it possible to tell whether someone is single just by looking at them? Does being in a relationship cause us to change our body language, the way that we dress, or the way we carry ourselves? Could the reason that men never approach me some women be that I’m they’re accidentally giving off “taken” vibes? What do you guys think are telltale signs of singleness – or takenness? Speak on it in the comments. 

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 24

  1. Nick@Nite says:

    I just hear that it’s a vibe… so many people contribute so many things to “vibe..” instinctively, a taken woman exudes a different “something” that makes all the men she’s ever known come out the woodwork (and some new men too)..

    If i knew offhand what it was, I would practice the art daily..

    you can’t gauge anything by what a woman is wearing nowadays.. Friday, I was downtown and saw a woman in some panties/shorts.. TOTALLY giving herself a yeast infection in the daytime!! You’d think that no man would allow his chick out the house in that, but there he was, holding her hand.. claiming her funky a**..

    nothing is for certain anymore…

    1. SOUTEHRN POISE says:

      ROTFLMAO @>>>> “TOTALLY giving herself a yeast infection in the daytime!! You’d think that no man would allow his chick out the house in that, but there he was, holding her hand.. claiming her funky a**..”


  2. keisha brown says:

    hmm..this is interesting.

    there has to be something that is put out there. i STAY pulling dudes when im happy and in a relationship. but single? i’ve showered in bug repellent. (ok..maybe drastic comparison). maybe i walk taller cuz i’m getting some on a regular basis and dudes can tell when a woman has just got some good swirling of cocoa. maybe as a single chick, i look like im constantly in i-need-a-man mode, searching and seeking harder than the CIA for Osama.

    an extreme example: a woman abuser/victim. a man like that is adept at finding the woman he can control emotionally and physically. that woman tends to be drawn to the exact man they shouldn’t be with. you can only hide who you are for so long.

    i was out with my sis, and a dude ask her if she was married. she said no. he asked her why she was wearing a ring on her wedding finger. it wasn’t, but from the next table, it seemed so. that has stuck with her ever since and now wears the ring on the complete opposite hand.

  3. I Always Thought Telling If Someone Was Single Or Not Just By Observing Them, Being Predicated On A Cross Between Looking Lonely And/Or Bitter & Acting Like They Were Overdue For Some Proper richard..

  4. Hold on…first of all…was this woman butt ugly?! Something tells me she was. And secondly, was she emitting an odour?!?! Seriously?!?!

    I’m guilty in the fact that when I’m “taken”, I tend to “let go” just a li’l bit (i.e. track pants, kicks, my Yankee fitted) but even these said items can look damn sexy, especially with some lipgloss!!

    I don’t like being “comfortable”. Being so can lead to trouble (straying) and it’s just so….BORING!!! Which would explain why I choose to dress like I’m “single”.

    I agree with Nick@Nite….it’s an “aura” some women emit. I’d like to think that my “single” vibe is a helluva lot stronger than my “taken” vibe. But again, it goes back to being comfortable. Some women don’t know how to look single even when they’re taken!! And I think that’s actually pretty sad!

    I always get, “You must be in love. You’re always so happy”. Thats usually followed up with my, “Yep. I’m happy I’m single ‘cuz I don’t wanna look run down like you!” response.

    That cashier woman was obviously hating. She said it with a sneer right? Yep. That’s ‘cuz she’s probably “comfortable”. Yuck.



    Great post!


    1. max says:

      She wasn’t butt ugly, but she was busted-looking. Messy hair, sloppy clothes, little brat boy tugging on her sweatshirt hem. No makeup except for turquoise eyeliner….can you imagine? TURQUOISE EYELINER?!? And you’re looking at me with scorn on your face??

  5. Cheekie says:

    It’s a fascinating idea that getting hygienic products automatically reads “single.” Is it because folks assume people get lax when they aren’t? Which, I guess that happens, but I’d imagine it won’t keep folks “not single” for long. I mean, not saying dress to the nines everyday as if you were single and ready to mingle, but eliminating basic care? WDDDA?

    As far as aspects other than dress/beauty products, I’d have to echo the thoughts above and say simply looking happy and cheeful can bring out “taken” vibes. Which is funny, because don’t we more likely attract a young fellow’s proposition if we’re smiling? I remember one particular time I was in a good mood and this guy asked, “Wow, he got you smiling this morning, huh?” Actually, I was glad THIS particular lame assumed I was taken… 😉

  6. Single signs? I dunno. I don’t think I’ve been giving off these signs. Maybe I’ll outright say I’m single. But as far as who I think are the single ones: from twitter, the single ones are usually the ones telling others why they’re single #noshots

    It’s rare when it’s those in a relationship being negative nancies. They’re usually too busy with their SO’s to waste time on such ridiculous topics.

    I don’t give #whyyouresingle shullbit (thank you again Nick). I don’t know why people are single.

    That’s my comment. My name is @RealTalkSuki2 and I approve this message.

  7. Sam Sharpe says:

    “Even women in relationships wash their hair and shave their legs right?”

    I have a whole squadron of (un?)happily attached male friends who beg to differ.

    1. max says:

      This is so backwards to me. I mean, I’m the perfect woman and all that so I never slack on my grooming, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get lax when you’re single and theoretically no one is going to see your gorilla legs? Why would you do it in a relationship when sex is always imminent? That doesn’t make sense to me.

      1. Marie says:

        Yep ! I agree. lol at ”gorilla legs”, never heard of that before.
        My co worker has gorilla legs and she is in a relationship. I asked her why she doesn’t take care of herself, she said her man told her he doesn’t care. My question is :why did he keep telling me that I smelled good and had nice legs…
        When I am in a relationship, that was centuries ago, my grooming is better then ever. Got to be ready for anything, anytime, anywhere…

      2. emti says:

        Because they feel sex is guaranteed and they don’t have to work for it anymore. Or because they are so tired from all the effort domesticity takes that they couldn’t care less if they have sex *gasp*

        1. max says:

          In the immortal words of Heathcliff Huxtable, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. No wonder you get D’s in everything!

          Let me find out any of my readers think some dumb shit like that….I would block their asses so fast….

          1. emti says:

            The women who think like that obviously don’t read your blog

        2. Kasara says:

          Never would have thunk I would find this so inisdpensblae.

  8. Tisha says:

    I’ve been told that I look like I’m in a relationship so guys won’t approach me..I’ve been single for 2 years lol so who knows? I have noticed that men almost have like a sixth sense for when another man is about to “step on their territory”

  9. LaLaBakir says:

    Interesting post Maxie. I’m not sure about single signs though. I mean, how can you really tell? I know bishes who are married and you’d think they was fresh out of prison by the way they act.

    That lady was high. She had on turquoise eye liner for Pete’s sake.

  10. Sukez says:

    Max, I’ll always have my legs, single or taken. So don’t block me. Sexiness doesn’t stop once I’m taken. Lol

  11. Talia says:

    it’s all in the eyes. single guys scan. they look us up and down. some preferring to take their time; guessing whether we are wearing boy shorts or bikinis. if we return the scan, they think of it as a friend request and proceed to look us up on facebook. committed men do not need to scan. instead, they glance. maybe even offer a polite wink. and then refocus on their bottle of shampoo.

  12. streetztalk says:

    I nthink when Men are in a relationship, the female spider sense picks up in it, and awakens a special kill switch which forces you to go after them…lol

  13. SOUTEHRN POISE says:

    Yeah, strange lady.

    Great post.

    Not sure of the telltale signs of singledom. But clearly there must be. When I’m in a relationship, men flock to me like paparazzi.. But now that I’m single I couldn’t pay to get a flash from a pervert…. Don’t know what it is…
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  14. Starita34 says:

    Great post Max.
    Turquoise Eyes was high, don’t worry about her. The voices speak and she acts, it’s really out of her control. How else do you explain the fancy eyeliner with the chic snot covered sweatshirt?

    Perhaps what she meant was “you MUST be single, cause if you had a man, he wouldn’t let your chexy @$$ leave the house on your own! Rowr!” That’s how I always twist these asinine things that people say to me re: my not being married or having children…I call it “Let’s turn that nosy, none of your business statement into a positive so I don’t have to tell you about yourself and scar your children’s lives for eternity by ethering their mama in a Walgreens you miserable line stepper” or just “whoo saw” for short…

    Last week I went home, for real one of the first things a woman at church did was check my ring finger while saying “Let’s see that ring finger!!” Only to find it disappointingly empty, my bad for letting you down Church Lady I haven’t seen in a decade! Luckily she somewhat redeemed herself when she said exasperated, “What’s WRONG with the men out here today?” Cause the Lord doesn’t like it when you give your elder a proper beat down in His house, on His day…He can be sorta a princess that way…

  15. quiche says:

    I think the fact it was a Friday nite had something to do with it

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