How to Spot the Single Young Professional

As we get older, our options seem to dwindle in the dating pool as the number of young professional singles decreases. YPs tend to mingle in bars, charity events and at the gym or tennis club while they strive to live the ultimate 360-degree life, with the single young professional seemingly always on the lookout, no matter the context. But – can you spot the singles? Or the young professionals singles, for that matter? Detecting someone’s relationship status may be quite easy in the social media world, but not so much in real life. Here are some telltale signs. 

The Obvious
The first and most obvious thing to do is look for a wedding ring. Typically, certain breeds of men (ahem, finance guys) have a habit of keeping their left hands in their pockets while they “mingle” at bars, so this can be more of a challenge than one would assume. There may, of course, be evidence of a recently removed ring, like tan lines, redness or an indentation. Some women may wear a ring on her ring finger regardless of her marital status, though usually not as she approaches her late twenties and thirties…unless she indeed intends to give off a message that warns men to “stay away” as one of our YP girlfriends does on airplanes to avoid potential advances by anyone sitting next to her. It is much more difficult to pick out the unmarried woman or man who has a significant other at home.

Young professionals tend to look better when they are single. The single YP has more time to spend on him or herself in everything from shopping to hitting up the gym in attempt to look his or her personal best because they never know when they are going to run into Mr. or Mrs. Right (or Right Now). As a result, the singles tend to look a little more put together than those that have a significant other waiting at home, and some may even look like they are trying too hard – aka the woman in heels, full makeup and a revealing dress for an occasion that does not call for it. Although an unfortunate reality, a beer belly or overgrown roots may be the sign of a long-term relationship.

Their Conversation With Company
A person’s level of engagement with their company reveals a lot about his or her relationship status. People in relationships tend to have better conversations at bars and coffee shops because they remain present and in the moment with the person(s) they are with. He or she is likely at the restaurant, bar or social club to catch up with the other person and are therefore legitimately engrossed in what the other is saying. 

Single young professional guys and ladies females (especially once his or her close-knit group of university friends begin to pair off) tend to make new friends with other single YPs with similar intentions so that they have a partner in crime or wingman or woman to “hunt” with. They not even be chatting with one another at all and are more concerned with the people around them. You don’t have to be too astute to gauge whether a group of guys and girls are talking about potential conquests as you interpret their reaction when an attractive person walks by. This, of course, may also mean nothing for those with the mentality that it “doesn’t hurt to look.” 

Eye Contact
A YP single in a bar, restaurant, or coffee shop, or even on the street, may be actively and constantly taking in their surroundings. Unless the YP is a chronic people-watcher, they are likely single if his or her eye contact darts all over the room. He or she will likely survey the room and glance toward the door when someone new enters. They are easier to make eye contact with. After making eye contact, a single person may smile and make it clear that they are approachable or that they are flattered by your attention. If a fellow YP actively initiates the eye contact, they are most likely single. Young professionals who are already attached have no need to look around the club, unless they’re looking for someone they know in particular, as they don’t go out with the intention of meeting potential mates and don’t need to check out the options. If you catch the eye of a taken person he or she may quickly glance away or turn their attention to their phones.

Interaction with others
At a bar, the singles are usually found talking to (or attempting to talk to) members of the opposite sex and are typically around the bar as opposed to sitting at tables or tucked away in corners. Single YP girlfriends will often check out the talent by “taking a lap” throughout a crowded bar. In addition, single and social YPs may join a table with others whom they have just met. Furthermore, in a recent conversation with single YP friends, it was unanimously agreed that everyone tends to party a little harder when they are single. This means later nights (the attached YPs usually leave long before last call) and relaxed inhibitions while out for the evening.

Wait…there’s an app for that
Although probably designed more for the high school set, The Breakup Notifier app on Facebook automatically alerts users when their person of interest changes his or her relationship status. There are also an increasing number of geo-locational dating apps that help young singles meet; a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular. The Skout iPhone app allows users to meet and flirt with others who are using the same app by identifying singles in the vicinity and acting as a GPS dating system. Those frisky YPs looking for a one-night-stand can check out the app LocalSin

There you have it, hope it helps!