1. This has completely changed the way I'm looking at this interaction now.
There's a definitive difference between talking to a woman and talking to a single lady. Earlier, he either assumed you weren't single or the thought hadn't even entered his head. But now you've activated the primal part of his brain that sees you as a potential mate and he can't shut it off.
2. Oh, shit. I have to go into "talking to single woman" mode now.
This is some Jekyll and Hyde-level transformation. If you've never read that book, it's a Nutty Professor-style transformation. The second guys decide to hit on a woman, they transform into some terrible faux-suave monstrosity or a fumbling idiot. Sometimes both.
3. Did she mention she's single because she wants me to hit on her?
Now he's going to spend the next five minutes trying to figure out if her singlehood was brought up organically or if it was a thinly veiled hint. It's something that will haunt him for years unless he gets to the bottom of it now.
4. So ... there's a chance she'll sleep with me.
Like, a marginally higher chance than when I assumed she wasn't single. It's probably still in the single-digits, but still, that's something.
5. Don't ask her, "How is it possible someone like you is single?" Don't, don't do it. Please, don't do it.
This is an awful and trite line, but it will still tumble awkwardly out of his mouth. And at that point, he's just got to own it and pretend it was cool, even though he's trying not to cringe so hard that it looks like a spasm.
6. Wait ... is she recently single? How recent?
Because no one wants to be the rebound.
7. How does she define "single"?
Some people still consider themselves "single" even if they're "sort of seeing someone," and no one wants to put themselves in the middle of a love triangle, unless you secretly enjoy Brontë novels.
8. What if I misheard her? What if she said she's "bilingual"?
That would be embarrassing, but the whole "bilingual" thing is pretty hot. Maybe she's both? PLEASE BE BOTH.
9. If I'm going to ask her out, I should probably wait a while so I don't look desperate.
I don't want to ask her out immediately after she says she's single, but I don't want to wait too long, either. Is three minutes enough, you think?
10. I just realized I haven't heard a single thing she's said since she mentioned she was single.
I spent too much time having 10 specific and organized thoughts about this and I pretty much zoned out and I've probably blown it, anyway.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.