By Matthew Sakey
It may seem like every guy except you has a committed, caring relationship with a woman who loves, trusts and respects him. With this kind of attitude, it's easy to see why single guys occasionally wonder why they're still single, howling the question at an uncaring sky. The question is "Why am I single?" but really what guys want to know is if they're merely unlucky or if there's something wrong with them. Take this quiz to find out:
1. When you go out dancing, you usually:
o Bust your funk with confidence (Score = 1)
o Show off at least reasonably accurate moves (Score = 2)
o Gyrate your hips while waving clenched fists in the air (Score = 3)
o Lurk at the bar and feel self-conscious (Score = 4)
o "Dance?" I do not "dance." I would twist my ankle. (Score = 5)
2. When considering why your last few relationships ended, you are generally:
o Honest and rational about the reasons, good or bad (Score = 1)
o Somewhat bitter, but Rome wasn't built in a day (Score = 2)
o Capable of at least some self-deception when assigning blame (Score = 3)
o Announce to the world that you were the innocent victim each and every time (Score = 4)
o Put on a Nine Inch Nails CD and curse all women (Score = 5)
3. The last five movies you saw were:
o Cold Mountain, Love Actually, You've Got Mail, Ghost and Under the Tuscan Sun (Score = 1)
o Elf, Paycheck, The Last Samurai, Master and Commander and Mona Lisa Smile (Score = 2)
o School of Rock, Stuck on You, The Cat in the Hat and Teacher's Pet (Score = 3)
o Star Wars, Scary Movie, American Wedding, Bad Santa and Torque (Score = 4)
o Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Rings (Score = 5)
4. When asking a woman out on a date, you usually:
o Smile and say, "would you like to go out with me? Say ... Friday?" (Score = 1)
o Smile nervously and say, "would, uh, you know, if you want to, go out?" (Score = 2)
o Take at least a week to muster up the courage (Score = 3)
o Take a week to muster up the courage then take three sedatives before asking (Score = 4)
o Hand her a note with the request, then run away as she reads it (Score = 5)
5. When it comes to personal hygiene, you:
o Brush, shave, shower, sculpt, buff and dust (Score = 1)
o Do miss the occasional shower, but always brush your teeth (Score = 2)
o Have been known to wear the same socks five days in a row (Score = 3)
o Haven't cleaned your bathroom in more than a month (Score = 4)
o Haven't cleaned yourself in more than a month (Score = 5)
Now total up your score and consult this chart to determine who's at fault - you or fate:
0-5: If you're single, it's neither for lack of trying nor any glaring flaws. Lady Luck just doesn't seem to like you - or, more likely, you haven't been single for long and probably won't be.
6-10: You're a pretty normal guy. Being single is a short-term situation for you, and the current run of bad luck probably won't hold. Keep it up, and be sure that your lonely nights don't allow you to slip to the next rung.
11-15: You have a few off-putting quirks. It's nothing that a little self-improvement can't fix, but your luck could stand to be better as well. Patience and tenacity will get you through in time.
16-20: You might want to consider dance lessons, anger management, broadening your cinematic horizons, building some self confidence and cleaning your filthy bathroom. Lots of men out there fall into this category, but you can't just blame bad luck for your unhitched status.
21-25: It's you. Lady Luck (being a lady, after all), took one look at you and threw her hands up in despair. You have a simple binary choice: Either work to conceal your shortcomings from potential mates, or resign yourself to bachelorhood. It's possible that you could be saved, and maybe claw your way up into the 11-15 range or even better, but it's going to require a lot of work.
It's your second date with a lovely lady, and things are going well. You're dying to plant a big smoocheroo on her luscious lips, but you're not sure whether or not to go for it. There's that awkward few seconds where you have to decide: Does she want your lips brushing against yours as much as you do?
Women rarely carry flashing neon signs that say, "Kiss me, you fool!" Therefore, it's a good idea to brush up on the body language basics that will tell you whether she'd prefer a friendly hug or an intimate lip-lock. Ask yourself these seven questions:
1. Is she making excuses to touch you?
If she's touched your arm, put her hand on your leg, playfully swatted you or rubbed your shoulders, that's a great signal that she's aching for some smooching action. If she's touched your face (brushed your hair back, put her hand on your cheek), you can be twice as confident.
2. Do her eyes say it all?
Some women won't get touchy-feely, but nearly all women use eye contact as a way to let men know they're ready for a kiss. When you look at her, does she gaze back or look away? If she's shy, she may not hold your eye-lock for long, but she'll keep "testing." If your eyes interlock and she smiles or says nothing for a moment, you're on the right track. If she looks away and starts jabbering again, it's probably best to back off. "If she looks down at her shoes, I'd say save the kiss for someone who'll want it," says Leslie.
3. Does her posture invite you closer?
If you're sitting next to each other, which way are her legs tilting? Towards yours or away from yours? Where are her hands? Folded tightly in her lap or apart, open to the possibility of you holding them? The more "open" her posture, the better your odds. If her legs are close to yours, and her hands aren't locked up tight, she may be sending you the sign that she's ready to get closer. And watch her feet, too - if she's letting her heel dangle out of her shoe, she's flirting.
4. Is she getting fresh?
Here's a test: Go off to the bathroom. When you come back, is there a mint in her mouth? Great sign that she's preparing for a rendezvous with your smacker.
5. Is she wetting her lips?
That's a subconscious way of preparing for a kiss. She probably won't even realize she's doing it - so you have to watch carefully. Biting her lips or running her finger across them is another nice giveaway.
6. Is she displaying open body language?
Crossed arms and legs signal disinterest, and if she leans back when you lean forward, you may want to put that pucker away for now. If she keeps her shoulders square to you and her feet pointed in your direction, those are both good signs.
7. How's her spacing?
Experts say that if she's within 18 inches of you, she's in your intimate space (and vice versa). This zone is reserved for close friends and family, so if you're able to break that barrier and not have her step back, it's a sign that she's comfortable with you.
Watch for these nonverbal clues, and your lips may never be lonely again!