Why You’re Single

Because you’re desperate
That stench of demanding neediness couched in cloying self-pity with top notes of dire urgency? It’s not exactly love’s fragrant musk. In fact, it’s nauseating. Do yourself a favor and quit wanting it so bad. How about working on that hot bod to give yourself something worth strutting around about? If you can’t summon the nerve for a pickup game in the park, try funneling some of your desperation into one of the sports teams organized by Chelsea Piers (chelseapiers.com). The spring hockey season starts on February 20, and registration for soccer begins late this month (varying registration fees apply). Or what about getting a confidence boost by sinking some of that unrequited-love energy into your career? Try networking in your field with Event Me (eventme.com), a newsletter service alerting you to industry happenings. Specific sites like Mediabistro.com (catering to the media world) and the Alliance for Justice (for lawyers and accountants, afj.org) do frequent e-mail blasts. Or just work on your résumé. (Don’t give in to the urge to express your unique take on things with funky stationary. Trust us.) Finally, turn yourself over to a dating coach who can talk you through the courtship minefield and tailor a strategy to fit your needs-from first-date jitters to dealing with rejection. Hyperactive dating guru David Wygant, who has been featured on MTV and E!, can be contacted through his site (davidwygant.com); just don’t e-mail him 50 times a day.-Lauren Harris

Because you’re afraid of commitment
“Commitmentphobia is more often seen in men than women,” says Barbara Bartlik, M.D., a psychiatrist and sex therapist at the Weill Cornell Medical Center. “Men hate planning ahead.” Yet a recent study showed that 51 percent of women in America live without a spouse, with many happily expressing “independence” as the reason. Given the stats, it sounds like we all want to be alone. But there is a compromise between cutting yourself off from the world and escaping the ball-and-chain. Casual daters should make plans “one day at a time” with built-in curfews; knowing that there’s an end in sight combats the trapped-animal mentality. Weeknight music shows are generally a safe bet-Tonic (107 Norfolk St between Delancey and Rivington Sts, 212-358-7501) and Cake Shop (152 Ludlow St between Rivington and Stanton Sts, 212-253-0036) host sets that begin at 8pm and end before midnight-and most museums (including the Guggenheim and MoMA) close by 8pm at the latest, giving you plenty of time to kick game at your date and still make it home or meet your friends for a nightcap. But if you chronically balk at romantic intimacy, maybe it’s time to examine what it is that you’re actually afraid of. “One telltale sign that a person has a problem with making a commitment is if they have a history of serial monogamous relationships that are intense and brief-a six-month relationship that’s very close and ends rather abruptly,” says Dr. Bartlik. “Look at the history of relationships-is there a pattern there that looks scary?” Wait, who said anything about a relationship?-Grace Taylor

Because you love the sound of your voice
Are you one of those people who, like, totally has this great story that involves a dream you had, and this crazy guy who did this crazy thing, and then your mom called and it was, like, wow? That story sucks. Also, you talk too much. Learn to listen. Consider a class at Columbia University, which has a career center offering interviewing techniques (check out the schedule at www.cce.columbia.edu). The inexpensive, brief workshops teach you the basics in 30 minutes-and by basics, we mean “how to be quiet and learn to respond like a normal human being.” Once you’ve mastered the art of conversation, try the exact opposite. Meet people at a Quiet Party (visit quietparty.com for upcoming events), where normal bar interaction is reduced entirely to pen, paper and hand signals. Finally, let go of all your pent-up energy and put it to positive use. The Buffysing-along returns to New York (IFC Center, 323 Sixth Ave at 3rd St) February 16—18, allowing closet Sunnydale freaks the opportunity to go all Rocky Horror on the famous musical episode (although the season-four “Silent Episode” may be more apropos).-Kirk Miller

Because you’re too shy
If you fall into this category, chances are you’re reading this knowing full well you’re not going to do anything, no matter what we say. A cooking class? Too many people. A lecture series? Too many people. Going online? You’ve poked around but you think, That’s for losers. So what to do when you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin? Reinvent yourself outside your ‘hood by checking out a new bar. Grab a nonjudgmental friend and head to the unassuming Broadway Station (3009 Broadway between 31st and 32nd Sts, Astoria, Queens; 718-545-5869). On weeknights, the vibe is somewhere between not-dead and not-happening, with a pool table and rock jukebox. (Hint: Talk to people whom you’re not attracted to-without the sexual tension, there will be no tension.) Or head to Jackson Heights, where Latino gay bar Lucho’s (38-19 69th St at Roosevelt Ave, 718-424-9181) and lesbian party Chueca (69-04 Woodside Ave at 69th St, 718-424-1171) will make you feel like you’re in Argentina. And no one in Argentina has to know you’re shy. If all of this sounds too-many-peopley, suck it up and go online. If sites like MySpace and Match.com overwhelm you, log on to Friendster. It’s passé, but a solid, bare-bones way to show people the gorgeous, brilliant you-without actually showing them.-Laura Dannen

Because you’re too controlling
If you’ve ever broken up with someone because they wouldn’t let you hold the remote (or pick a restaurant, or choose their clothes), then you may be a tad domineering. Let go of it all at The Jonathan Ames Show at Mo Pitkin’s (34 Ave A between 2nd and 3rd Sts; 212-777-5660, mopitkins.com) and you’ll likely find yourself onstage taking part in nude wrestling, live spankings and random interviews. And you can embrace spontaneity at the free improv sessions at the Magnet Mixer (Magnet Theater, 254 W 29th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-244-8824), where the theater’s grads mix it up with the audience. If the stage isn’t your scene, you can learn to be a team player at zogsports.org, where registration is now open for coed spring sports leagues, from touch football to dodgeball. Although he stresses that it’s not a dating site, CEO and founder Robert Herzog brags that Zogsports has brought together 24 engaged couples. All of them probably team captains.-Alison Rohrs

Because you’re cheap
Nothing says “dump me now” quite like whipping out a calculator and itemizing the check on a dinner date. Learn to pick up the tab graciously at affordable Thai eatery Klong (7 St. Marks Pl between Second and Third Aves; 212-505-9955, klongnyc.com). Start with green curry puffs ($4) brimming with tangy chicken and potatoes, then order the zesty tamarind chili—coated chunks of tofu with a tiny $8 price tag. Or you could splurge $30 and take Makor’s Achieve Financial Freedom Now class (35 W 67th St between Central Park West and Columbus Ave; 212-415-5500, 92y.org. Mar 5 7—9pm); not only might you find a fellow budget-obsessed single, but CPA and business coach Bernie Siegel will help you strengthen your financial security and hopefully demonstrate that once the rent is paid, it’s okay to set aside a little dough for the good life. -Alia Akkam

Because you just got dumped and have pledged never to love again
Cheer up, sad eyes. What you’re going through is hell, we know, but it won’t last forever. Go somewhere that’s low-pressure and social-neither an intense hookup scene nor a place packed with happy, gooey couples. What you need is some good dorky fun. Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St between Frost and Richardson Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-3770) hosts live trivia on Wednesdays, as well as Scrabble and bingo nights. Session 73 (1359 First Ave. at 73rd St., 212-517-4445), meanwhile, is an Upper East Side bar with live jazz and half-drunk twentysomethings dancing in a circle-it’s cheesy but distracting fun. And Crocodile Lounge (325 E 14th St between First and Second Aves, 212-477-7747) offers an array of activity nights, has two Skee-ball lanes and even serves a free pizza with every drink. Perfect for you, since if you get drunk too quickly and so much as think of texting your ex, we’re going to have to yell at you. -Alison Rosen

Because you have too many roommates
College students understand getting “sexiled” (locked out because your roommate’s gettin’ some). In the real world, roommates aren’t so amenable, so you might want some alternative options to keep a date going. Fork out $55 for the prix fixe at Egyptian eatery Casa La Femme North (1076 First Ave between 58th and 59ths Sts, 212-505-0005) and you can reserve a near-private pillowed tent to indulge in exotic finger foods with your honey (nudge, nudge). If you need total privacy, you can usually snag a room at The Marrakech Hostel (2688 Broadway at 103rd St, 866-546-8353) for $89 per night-reserve in advance for Valentine’s Day week. And if all else fails, just pick up some earplugs ($2—$8 at Duane Reade) and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s for your roommate on the way home. -Alison Rohrs

Because you’re allergic to everything
Join the Park Slope Food Coop (782 Union St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-622-0560, foodcoop.com).With more than 12,000 members, you’ll encounter people of every sexual persuasion, race, age and dietary restriction. This place is a hotbed of hottie diversity, and what’s more, you’ll find nothing but organic whole foods for sale, 20 to 40 percent cheaper than at other supermarkets. The catch? You’ll have to put in a few hours of work each month, but just think of every shift as a chance to meet the next love of your life. Or loosen up with a loved one at Oasis Day Spa (1 Park Ave at 33rd St; 212-254-7722, oasisdayspanyc.com) by getting the candlelit “Side-by-Side Massage” ($210 for 60 minutes; $270 for 90 minutes). It’s hypoallergenic and deliciously steamy. You can also do the “Couples Instructional Add-On,” in which the therapist teaches you how to massage each other so you can stroke the stress out at home. And don’t forget that some factors keeping us from intimate relationships are a matter of biochemistry, but others are tied to deeper emotional issues, and that even allergies can sometimes be overcome. If you’ve popped pills and endured injections to no avail, why not try cognitive therapy at The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy (136 E 57th St at Lexington Ave; 212-308-2440, cognitivetherapynyc.com)? It’s fairly short-term and results-oriented. Expect homework assignments in these sessions, and be prepared to solve problems rather than complain about them. At the very least, you’ll learn to manage your allergies so they won’t impede your romantic endeavors. -Carmela Ciuraru

Because you’re overweight
If navigating the dance floor of a chubby-chasers’ party is your idea of a nightmare, you’ll find dreamy-and generously proportioned-performers at Le Scandal every Saturday (The Cutting Room, 19 W 24th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave; 212-388-2988). Besides the arty burlesque action, there’s an excellent chance that the audience (men and women alike) will be into your voluptuousness. And fleshy bodies are positively appreciated at Spring Studio’s life drawing classes (64 Spring St at Lafayette St, 212-226-7240; $14, beginners and walk-ins welcome). Experienced teachers lead group classes through the study of the human form using models of all shapes, ages and genders-the only materials you need are charcoal and a pad. If the thought of all that effort just leaves you hungry, there’s always a Single Gourmet of New York dining club event (singlegourmetny.com). It’s not a dating service per se, but its well-attended events just might whet your appetite for a fellow foodie.-Juliet Kenny

Because you’re obsessed with your pet
When it comes to going out, dog people have it easy: Head to canine-friendly Tom & Jerry’s, a.k.a. 288 Bar (288 Elizabeth St between Bleecker and Houston Sts, 212-260-5045) or a Leashes and Lovers event (there’s a “pooch party” Tuesday 13 at Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery at Spring St; for ticket info, go to leashesandlovers.com). But what’s a cat person to do-besides getting rid of their beloved TinyFace in a misguided attempt to remove the stink of cat pee? You’d be surprised how swinging Petco (860 Broadway at Union Sq North, 212-358-0692) can be, near the adoption windows. Or use Datemypet.com to hook your animal up for play dates with other local pets. Before any night out, just be sure to (1) never wear black-it shows too much fur; (2) stop talking about your animal while secretly talking about yourself (“Noodle really hates men”); (3) let your date take precedence in bed over the animal; (4) refrain from exchanging sloppy tongue kisses with the cat in front of someone with whom you might also swap saliva. In fact, stop doing this period. -Grace Taylor

Because you only speak in catchphrases
Listen goober, there’s a reason women never join in when you and your friends get together to spend a whole evening quoting The Big Lebowski. Or Austin Powers. Or The Simpsons. Or Monty Python. Or… you get the idea. A little of that goes a long way, and it’s very easy to cross over from Clevertown to Dorkville. At the very least, how about refueling the reference tank? To bone up on something a little more fresh (Heh. Bone up. That’s what she said!),head to MoMA (11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves), which screens old-school classics such as My Dinner with Andre and Shaft (both Thursday 8; see schedule at moma.org). Or go pan-geek and sample from the nerd buffet that’s the New York Comic Con (nycomiccon.com) at the Javitz Center February 23 through February 25. It’s the one place where those catchphrases might actually get you laid.-Alison Rosen

Because you have bad breath
If the object of your affections runs away when you lean in for a smooch, either they don’t like you or they don’t like your breath. For a quick test, lick the back of your hand, wait a moment, then smell. If you detect a whiff of rotting meat loaf, then get to a dentist for a checkup, and get a good cleaning. Halitosis specialists like Dr. Daniel Lippiner (212-683-6505) can provide chemical treatments to tackle trouble-causing mouth bacteria, or you can chomp on Breath Rx Sugar-Free Breath Mints. If you’re constipated, then trust us, you’re exhaling shitty-smelling fumes (your best friends won’t tell you, but we will!), or if your stench is the result of the curry bender you went on last week, try chewing fresh parsley. Still worried about face-to-face interaction? Head to the Pink Elephant Club (527 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, 212-463-0000). The Chelsea nightspot pumps pheromones and fragrances (citrus, cotton candy) into the air, so you can move in close on the dance floor. If you do get lucky, you’ll smell each other’s morning breath-and everybody’s got that.-Alison Rohrs

Because you’re a straight woman who only goes out with her gay friends
A gal would be crazy not to surround herself with fabulous-looking guys who are quick to tell her she looks marvelous, but if that complimentary eye candy is cramping your style, consider some pansexual socializing. Silver-hued 205 Club (205 Chrystie St at Stanton St, 212-477-6688) has disco balls, a cabaret license and hordes of anything-goes hotties. Or you could try the more low-key Marion’s Continental (354 Bowery at 4th St, 212-475-7621); the arty East Villagers who hang at the bar appreciate a mighty getup every bit as much as the Sunday fashion-brunch crowd does. And DL21C (Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century, dl21c.org) hosts supersocial events that attract politically aware, and very cute, men-who are respectful and ultra-PC when they hit on you. They’ll also happily attend pro-gay-marriage rallies with you and your posse.-Katharine Rust

Because you’re a gay man who only goes out with his straight friends
If you can’t bear to be apart from your breeder buddies, take them to Dirty Down, Friday nights at Lit (93 Second Ave between 5th and 6th Sts, 212-777-7987). You can all enjoy the thumping beats and everyone can find someone to chat up. Gay guys who really want to make up for lost time should sign up for Qwik Dates at the LGBT Community Center (208 W 13th St between Seventh and Greenwich Aves; 212-620-7310, gaycenter.org). At the popular monthly speed-dating events, you get one-on-one face time with three different cuties before mingling in a casual group atmosphere.-Dan Avery

Because you can’t get over your ex
Moving on can be tough, sure, but this is getting ridiculous. When your brain is fixated on past love, you have to take extra steps to reset it. Arthur Aron, a professor at Stony Brook University, has found that physical exertion unlocks the same brain chemicals responsible for attraction. In experiments, subjects who jog in place when they meet someone are more likely to fall for them. So pull out your Nikes and join the New York Road Runners (nyrr.org, $40 for one-year membership). Members can join in weekly group runs, divided by ability level. Just don’t psychoanalyze why everyone looks so good after five miles. You could also try mingling with fellow broken souls. Expect to find plenty at Pink Pony West, an open-mike poetry night on Fridays at Cornelia Street Café (29 Cornelia St between Bleecker and W 4th Sts, 212-989-9319). Our advice: Don’t read any of your own postbreakup screeds; listen and commiserate. Either you’ll light a new romantic spark, or become so disgusted that you finally get over your self-loathing. There’s always the surest-fire solution: Go find the easiest, most shallow no-strings-attached hookup and bask in the affirmation that your mojo is still strong-it so happens that this errand is why God put Hoboken on this earth. Take the PATH over any evening, walk past the bars on Washington Street, and you’ll have eye contact with an attractive, half-sauced target within four blocks. If you’re struggling, hit two-for-one martini Tuesdays at Madison Bar & Grill (1316 Washington St between 14th and 15th Sts, Hoboken; 201-386-0300). -Dustin Goot

Because your voice could cut glass
Don’t take a vow of silence just yet. Instead, head to Burp Castle (41 E 7th St at Second Ave, 212-982-4576), a monastery-themed ale house in the East Village where whispering is encouraged and Gregorian chants provide a soothing aural backdrop for patrons imbibing one of the 12 beers on tap. The gentle shushing of its bartenders ensures you won’t assault the eardrums of comely neighbors. A permanent solution to your vocal shortcomings, however, will require a greater time commitment. In “Developing Your Speaking Voice,” an eight-week course offered by NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies (scps.nyu.edu) that starts March 8, a speech expert will analyze your cords and offer feedback about pitch, volume, resonance and other qualities. If all else fails, light up at one of the city’s cig-friendly hookah bars and pray that you’ll begin to sound more like Lauren Bacall than Fran Drescher.-Erin Clements

Because you have no style
“In a lot of cases, these people try to wear things that are way too out-there,” says NYC celebrity stylist Dalia Anderson. Anderson, who has dressed Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and Missy Elliott, among other trendsetting hip-hop artists, recommends replacing your bondage pants with basics culled from department stores and clean-cut style emporiums such as The Gap, Banana Republic or Zara, “where you won’t go stupid crazy and find things that are all over the place.” According to Anderson, ladies should think sleek-a turtleneck, a velvet blazer, well-tailored bootcut or straight-leg black pants-for an outfit that won’t land you on the universe’s sartorial-don’ts list. Dudes should cop their look from a prep school uniform: a crisp shirt, a paisley or textured tie in a subtle hue, a sweater vest and dark-rinse jeans. Or screw all that, grab a ratty T and head to dive bar-karaoke joint Iggy’s (1452 Second Ave between 75th and 76th Sts, 212-327-3043), a pick-up spot that’s the anti-Project Runway.-Helen Yun

Because you’re a gal who can’t stop dating musicians
Hooking up with a bass player seemed so glamorous, until you found pictures of him on MySpace doing blow with skanks in a hotel room. Time to exit the backstage area. When you next hit up an indie-rock show at Bowery Ballroom (6 Delancey St between Bowery and Chrystie St, 212-533-2111), head for the basement lounge. You’re bound to chat with a publicist, label exec or investment banker whose iTunes library resembles your own. Better yet, go for a DJ type. Vinyl geeks gather monthly at DJ Shakey’s Record Fair at APT (419 W 13th St between Ninth Ave and Washington St, 212-414-4245). Check djshakey.com/recordfair for dates and details. Ready to admit there might be more to life than rocking out? Hit MoMA (11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 212-708-9400) on a free-admission Friday night. You might meet someone a tad more sophisticated than that man-whoring death-metal drummer you ditched last month.-Cristina Black

Because you only like people who don’t like you
Clearly you’re into pain, so embrace your masochistic side and get flogged up at Paddles S&M Club (250 W 26th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves, 212-366-9339). The first Saturday of every month is “Over-the-Knee Night,” which has more spankings than you can shake a whipping stick at. Want the battle without the bruises? Then get (or give) a good verbal beating at the open-mike poetry slam on Tuesday nights at the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston Sts, 212-614-0505). But maybe what you really need is to lose the haters and be around people who are guaranteed to like you. And you won’t find a more accepting group than the people who attend Cuddle Parties (various locations in NYC, cuddleparty.com), twice-monthly events where pajama-clad adults get together and spoon each other’s brains out. It’s a way to connect with others without it becoming sexualized. So no dry humping, unfortunately.-Laura Leu

Because you’re in love with yourself
You have a winning personality and a symmetrical face and you smell delicious-what’s not to love? You loving yourself, that’s what. Turn your self-adoration down a notch and people will flock to your greatness. Force-feed yourself a slice of humble pie by participating in Mortified Live (various locations in NYC, getmortified.com), a reading series wherein brave folks share their most embarrassing artifacts written during their teen years (journals, notes, stories, etc.). The laughing-with-you-not-at-you audience will find your adolescent angst charming, and someone might just end up liking you as more than just a friend. Or, since you have so much love inside you, try projecting some of it onto other creatures. The ASPCA (aspca.org) is always looking for volunteers to provide foster care for their animals. By taking in a short-term pet, you’ll learn to love something furry other than your awesome sideburns-and be able to take advantage of your animal’s ability to attract potential mates. If you don’t want shit on your floor but still long to help those who are less fortunate, go to The Tyrone Project Fund-Raiser on Monday 12 (BED, 530 W 27th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves; 646-256-7067). The event will help raise money to cure Parkinson’s disease, while putting your overbearing self-love into context. Tickets are $150 in advance (or $250 at the door), but you’ll be treated to cocktails, food, music and a silent auction. Go ahead and bid on the mirror. We know you want to.-Laura Leu

Because you’re secretly gay
There’s nothing like a serious case of closetedness to shut the door on your love life. And the only way to pry it open is to start being honest with yourself. But instead of doing it alone, get yourself some therapy-either in the form of private sessions with an LGBT-issues-trained psychotherapist (get a referral from Identity House, 39 W 14th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves; 212-243-8181, identityhouse.org), or through support-group meetings (use the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan-gaycenter.org-as a citywide resource; or try Queens Pride House in Jackson Heights-queenspridehouse.tripod.com). Better yet, do both. While you’re at it, lighten the mood a bit by sampling LGBT culture in safe environs. Check out a gay-themed reading held in neutral territory, like a mainstream bookstore or pub (T Cooper reads in Chelsea’s Barnes & Noble on February 16, while Cris Beam hits KGB Bar on Tuesday 13), or hit one of the Thursday Cinema Classics screenings at Clearview’s Chelsea (260 W 23rd St between Seventh and Eighth Aves; 212-777-FILM #597. 7pm), where drag queen Hedda Lettuce introduces a campy gem each week (Thursday 8 is Peyton Place). That way you can start to learn the lingo, all while sitting safely in the dark and focusing on the screen-though you never know whom you’ll meet when the lights go up. Finally, go mix it up at DJ Danny Krivit’s, welcoming deep house party the 718 Sessions (dannykrivit.net). It’s a pansexual event that goes far beyond labels.-Beth Greenfield

Because you work till all hours
Hey, workaholic hot stuff, stick around till the end of the article and let’s exchange numbers, because this is our problem, too. You could ask a cutie to pass the salt at Florent (69 Gansevoort St between Greenwich and Washington Sts, 212-989-5779), French Roast (two locations in the city, frenchroastny.com) or Coffee Shop (29 Union Sq West at 16th St, 212-243-7969), which are all restaurants that cater to night owls. Of course, nighttime isn’t the only righttime. Should your schedule leave your mid-mornings free, hit round-the-clock Chelsea restaurant-bar Cafeteria (119 Seventh Ave at 17th St, 212-414-1717) for a lively mixed crowd. Or, if you’d rather do your flirting far away from food (it’s the fear of having something stuck in your teeth, isn’t it? We have that too. We are so meant to be together!), how about a little late-night shopping? The midtown Apple Store (767 Fifth Ave at 59th St, 212-336-1440) is open 24 hours. So is Homefront Hardware (202 E 29th St between Second and Third Aves, 212-545-1447), and small talk over power tools is like foreplay for some handy types. And finally, nothing says “do me” like an honestly earned sweat ‘stache (do you get those upper-lip sweat beads too? This is uncanny!), and hitting a 24-hour gym (check nysc.com for locations) is a time-tested way to do something good for your body while also doing something good for your body.-Alison Rosen

Because you’re a guy who’s too nice
There’s nothing wrong with being the guy every gal wants to take home to Mom, but it’s a problem if no gal wants to take you back to her own place. Invest in roughing up your edges a bit. Build character the hard way by slugging it out Fight Club—style with boxing classes. Trainers at the sweaty Church Street Boxing Gym (25 Park Pl between Church St and Broadway; 212-571-1333, nyboxinggym.com) are or used to be professional pugilists, so they can certainly make a man out of you. To toughen up your insides, learn to be assertive with a self-improvement seminar like the 92nd Street Y’s “Power of the Positive No,” taking place March 7 (Lexington Ave at 92nd St; 212-415-5500, 92y.org). The $25 tutorial, led by Getting to Yes coauthor William Ury, will help you temper your nice-guy tendencies. Now you’re ready to take on the world-or at least the frat-tastic microcosm of UES boozing and mating. Stand out in the crowd of perpetually youthful beer-pong aficionados at The Big Easy (1768 Second Ave between 92nd and 93rd Sts; 212-348-0879, bigeasynyc.com), where the approaches of a polite young man will be a welcome reprieve for the non-game-playing girl. Plus, Bud Light drafts cost only a buck on ladies night (Thursdays).-Matt Schneiderman

Because you party too much
If the only 12 steps you take are between bars, save some face before it ends up in a puddle of nasty. To counter the firewater, fill your belly at Rudy’s Bar and Grill (627 Ninth Ave between 44th and 45th Sts, 212-974-9169), which serves up gratis wieners, or grab free pizza at Capone’s (221 North 9th St betrween Driggs and Roebling, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-4044) or Alligator Lounge (600 Metropolitan Ave near Lorimer St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-4440). The next morning, splurge on the $215 Hangover Herbie skin treatment at one of three Bliss Spalocations (blissworld.com). When the night sweats return, try Marshall Stack (66 Rivington St at Allen St, 212-228-4667), a beer-and-wine-only spot that draws the Lower East Side’s pretty people, and where conversation isn’t a foreign concept. PSA alert: If times are getting a little too Lohan, Alcoholics Anonymous’s website (alcoholics-anonymous.org) has a simple quiz that’ll let you know if you need help (and the AA meetings on the Upper East have long been considered a meat market).-Joey Arak

Because you don’t drink
If you don’t throw back-because you can’t or don’t want to-chances are you’ve learned how to have fun sober. It’s hanging out with drunks that can be a drag. Stack the deck in your favor: Forgo the droolers at Brother Jimmy’s for DTUT (1626 Second Ave between 84th and 85th Sts, 212-327-1327), a velvet-couched, brick-walled Upper East Side café that serves beer but feels like a coffee lounge/art gallery. Or grab preparty eats at the anime-come-to-life Avenue A Sushi (103 Ave A at 7th St, 212-982-8109), which has the ambience of a trance club, even if you skip the sake (the tables are close together, too, for easy flirting). Finally, go to upcoming.org/metro/us/ny/nyc/, look for the TeetotalersClub and you’ll find liquor-free, singles-heavy events around Manhattan, including Mos Def at BAM and the performance-art-a-palooza Vagina Festival. Just be sure to bring enough Diet Coke for two.-Michael Freidson

Because you’re ugly
Okay, so you lost the genetic lottery. Take cues from the legions of New Yorkers who have made an art out of compensating for their physical shortcomings by creating a distracting armor of well-honed style. Begin by accessorizing like crazy; the well-edited racks of belts, bags and shrieking vintage prints at Beacon’s Closet (the larger, Williamsburg outpost, at 88 North 11th St between Berry St and Wythe Ave) supply everything you’ll need to play up the jolie laide angle. Then, hone your wicked sense of humor at the Peoples Improv Theater (154 W 29th between Sixth and Seventh Aves, 212-563-7488), which offers workshops and classes for the aspiring comic-if laughter works for Colin Quinn, it can work for you. And if all else fails, take your date to Camaje Bistro (85 MacDougal St between Bleecker and Houston Sts, 212-673-8184), where diners literally eat in the dark-they’re blindfolded. -Grace Taylor

Because you’re too pretty

Potential suitors wither in your pulchritudinous glow. Why not mingle with those who can’t see you? The monthly Liberation Lounge event at Jivamukti Yoga School (841 Broadway between 12th and 13th Sts, 212-353-0214) is a booze-free “holistic rave” featuring blindfolded dancing. If you’d rather be drinking, try The Creek Bar (downstairs at Eight Mile Creek, 240 Mulberry St between Prince and Spring Sts; 212-431-4635), where a crowd of brassy Australians are either too drunk or too cocky to let your gorgeous mug intimidate them. Or just shut up. We wish we had your problem.-Kate Lowenstein

Because you blog about everything
“I don’t necessarily think having a blog is a dating hindrance, especially if you’re dating people who are plugged into the online world,” says sex writer and blogger Rachel Kramer Bussel (lustylady.blogspot.com). “But for people who don’t spend every waking moment online, it can be a bit strange for them.” If that’s the case, where do you turn? You go where the blog groupies are: The What You See Is What You Get Talent Show (wysiwygtalentshow.org) is a monthly blogger reading series that provides an opportunity for blog fans to come out of the woodwork and gush. If that’s too intense, try a hangout that offers free Wi-Fi and human interaction. At Lotus Lounge (35 Clinton St at Stanton St, 212-253-1144), a bar that doubles as a laid-back café while the sun shines, you’re sure to bump into a like-minded blogger or 12. And when debating whether or not to air someone’s dirty laundry, Bussel has some advice: “When I’m really into someone, I’m not as interested in blogging every sexual encounter. I save that for e-mails to my friends.”-Joey Arak

Because you have a kid
If you’re a single single parent, sitter woes and a child-unfriendly social scene are likely cramping your style, so try the Sunday brunch scene at Willy Bee’s Family Lounge (302 Metropolitan Ave between Driggs Ave and Roebling St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-3499, willybees.com). The best kid bands in the city play at this Williamsburg spot, which somehow manages to be kid-friendly yet cool. There are always plenty of hotties bobbing their heads to the music-which is actually pretty damn good. Or you could spend a Saturday afternoon sipping a glass of shiraz at Tazza (311 Henry St at Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn Heights; 718-243-0487), a relaxed, kid-friendly enoteca whose communal tables afford a rare opportunity for lone mums and dads to strike up conversation. And of course, there’s always the playground. You immediately do away with the when-do-I-tell-them-I’ve-got-a-child moment, and chances are your kid’s likely to befriend another while playing Don’t-Touch-The-Ground at any one of the city’s fabulous play spots-Tompkins Square Park in the East Village and Morningside Park in, well, Morningside Heights, are particularly single-icious.-Katharine Rust

Because you’re a short and skinny guy
Men, here’s the cold, hard truth: A chick doesn’t like feeling bigger than the guy she’s sleeping with-it makes her feel ungirly. Now, lots of women actually like short guys (we’re not always accommodating your need for legroom; the sex can be fun); it’s the short-skinny combo that doesn’t appeal. So put some meat on your bones by hitting The Arte Capoeira Center (1 E 28th St between Fifth and Madison Aves, second floor; 212-431-0811, artecapoeira.com). You’ll not only build mass practicing this Brazilian martial art, but you’ll meet a close-knit group of people-many of them quite fetching young ladies. For leaner muscle, join the folks at Sonic Yoga (754 Ninth Ave at 51st St; 212-397-6344, sonicyoga.com), where you can take an introductory class before joining the beginners’ sessions, which are filled with a mix of similarly slim yogis.-Elizabeth Barr

Because you look like the Gotti kids
Some chicks actually dig that gold-chain-and-mousse style, but most of those chicks are either from Jersey or 14 years old (or both). It’s okay. Be you. But clean up a little, for civilization’s sake. Get your nails done at Broadway Spa (7 W 25th St between Broadway and Sixth Ave, 212-229-0636), which sees a constant stream of both sexes. And splash on a tad (tad!) of Driven cologne by Derek Jeter (available at avon.com) -it’s manly without being overbearing. And instead of that chain, consider a gold watch, like Kenneth Cole’s $150 You’re Golden model (597 Broadway between Houston and Prince Sts, 212-965-0283). Remember all that when heading to Stereo (512 W 29th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, 212-244-1965), a club with a faux ghetto-chic vibe worthy of the thickest dookie rope. Go light on the mousse and you’re in.-Joey Arak

Because you’re addicted to sex
It’s not for nothing that the brain’s sexual response centers are located in the same region of the brain where gut-based reactions such as fear and euphoria are processed. Happily, there are plenty of ways to stimulate the area without getting naked-like, say, jumping head first out of a plane. Skydive the Ranch (skydivetheranch.com), located 70 miles north of the city in Gardiner, New York, can supply the heady adrenaline rush and a decent outlet for your reckless impulses. Rock climbing is another great way to work up a sweat; try the tricked-out ExtraVertical Climbing Center at the Harmony Atrium (61 W 62nd St at Broadway, 212-586-5718). And just because you did it on the roof of your building-in daylight, yeah, we know-doesn’t mean you’re addicted to going at it, per se. There’s a crucial difference between sex preoccupation and sex addiction: The latter can wreak havoc on all aspects of your life. The Sex Addicts Anonymous website (saa-recovery.org) offers a 12-question quiz to help determine whether or not you’re at risk, and includes links to meeting locations worldwide (including one at the St. Francis Center, 139 W 31st St between Sixth and Seventh Aves).-Grace Taylor

Because you hate yourself
You can’t stand yourself, and frankly, we don’t blame you. But let’s face it, that whole self-loathing thing is usually a turnoff when it comes to trying to attract the opposite sex-unless, that is, you find someone who harshes on him- or herself even more than you do. (But really, how likely is that?) Luckily, there’s an entire self-affirmation industry devoted to helping you with your problem. In fact, there’s a major world religion that could very helpful: “From the Buddhist point of view, self-hatred is very dangerous,” writes the Dalai Lama, “[but] by reflecting upon the potentials that lie within oneself as a human being, one will be able to increase one’s sense of worth and confidence.” Interested? There are any number of temples and Buddhist practices in New York (academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/core9/phalsall/studpages/minto/main.htm is a useful place to start). If that’s too out-there, and self-help lit isn’t helping, perhaps you already know what the problem is: You’re depressed. And you’ve probably been told that before. And you probably didn’t listen, or felt too sad to do anything about it. And you probably won’t do anything now. But if one day you’re surfing the Web and want to visit the New York Psychotherapy Group (nypsychotherapy.com) to find a therapist who can help, we won’t hate you for it.-Howard Halle

Because you’re too close to your parents
Calling Mom every four hours or heading home to the ‘burbs every Friday? It’s time to cut the family ties, albeit gently. If you crave the structure and moral strength that family provides, try religion. No, not in a Scientologist kind of way-places like the Unitarian church All Souls (1157 Lexington Ave at 80th St, 212-535-5530) offer a “noncreedal” style of worship and numerous social activities. And, if you meet your significant other at church, your parents will be thrilled!

A steady group of like-minded people drinking can also feel familial. Numerous imbibing groups abound, but we’re partial to Drinking Liberally (drinkingliberally.org, chapters in all boroughs except Staten Island), a hops-heavy, left-leaning social circle. By that fourth vodka gimlet, you’ll be planning a weekend getaway with that guy/girl mumbling about Obama’s chances. Members of any group, however, will be annoyed by the phone calls to dad. Reconfigure your parental relationship into an online forum: Turn those calls into a daily e-mail to Mom, or set up a Flickr account. Your future spouse will thank you.-Kirk Miller

Because you’re too picky
You need to accept that perfection doesn’t exist, and that you’re refining your dating pool into nonexistence. But don’t take our word for it. How about an experiment? For one week, try to meet as many people as you can. Focus on the positive, stay sober and keep the snap judgments in check. Trawl the bars on the Lower East Side. Start at Good World Bar & Grill, a converted Chinese barbershop that attracts locals and nubile nubies alike (3 Orchard St at Canal St; 212-925-9975, goodworldbar.com). Finish up (eventually) at Tuts (196 Orchard St between Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-961-7507, tutsny.com), an Egyptian-styled space catering to those who enjoy sweet cocktails, hookahs and belly dancers. Now that you have a week’s worth of nonjudgmental encounters under your belt, you’re free to seek regular interactions with folks with more in common than just proximity. Meetup.com is a Craigslistesque site that lists upcoming gatherings for groups with interests of varying degrees of specificity. You’re likely to find someone who exemplifies at least one of your “deal-breaker” qualities, be it language (“must speak Italian”), ethnicity (“must be Guyanese”) or dog preference (“must love Shetland sheepdogs”). Should all this socializing still fail to yield a promising date for V-Day, do for yourself what your exasperated friends obviously haven’t-by learning the how-to’s of successful fix-ups. Relationship experts Susan Shapiro and Gregory Gilderman will guide you through the process at Makor (35 W 67th St between Central Park West and Columbus Ave; 212-415-5500, 92y.org) with the seminar “How to Set Up Your Friends” on Wednesday 14 ($15, in advance $12). If nothing else, you’ll be surrounded by future matchmakers.-Matt Schneiderman

Because you’re too judgmental
You finally convinced that hottie in your building to go out with you, and every time some subject-a movie, restaurant or book, even the weather-comes up at dinner, what do you do? You open your big mouth and offer an opinion that’s…negatory. Consider a little shoe-on-the-other-foot therapy. Think that best-selling, critically acclaimed author everyone’s talking about is crap? Try taking a class at the New York Writers Workshop (newyorkwritersworkshop.com), where we’re sure your instructor and fellow students will disabuse you of any notion that you’ve written the great American novel. And if you have a propensity for picking apart your partner’s appearance, post your picture on hotornot.com or douchebagalert.com and see how you get rated. If those suggestions are too “shallow, horrifying and low-brow,” at least consider your word choice. Excuse our banality, but criticizing constructively may actually get you laid.-Howard Halle

Because you’re a homebody
Sure you can cruise chatrooms and socialize on MySpace, but if you want to actually meet your honey, you’re going to have to leave the crib sometime. Serious couch potatoes could sign up for a language course at ABC Language Exchange (135 W 29th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves, suite 1204; 212-563-7580). You’ll have to get out at least once a week over the next 4 to 12 weeks; and the focus on conversational skills is a perfect opportunity to strike up a dialogue with your classmates. Struggling to find a reason to leave the house since the release of Nintendo Wii? Show off your thumb skills and interact with comely gamers at Digital Play: Reloaded at the Museum of the Moving Image (35 Ave at 36 St, Astoria, Queens; 718 784-4520. $10). The hands-on exhibition of classic arcade games and home-based consoles from the last 30 years will let you make the most of multiplayer options and might turn a virtual flirtation into real live geek love.-Juliey Kenny

Because you’re so damn angry
We get that your parents didn’t understand you and work totally sucks and that guy just took your seat on the subway and the deli gave you tuna salad when you very clearly said chicken. All of that blows (especially if the tuna salad is fancy and has nuts in it. You hate nuts!) But the way you’re getting bent out of shape about it is highly unattractive. Clearly you need an outlet for your rage-one that won’t bruise or push back. Join the ranks of your fellow steamed cityfolk and start a blog! Write about all those things that get your panties in a bunch. And then when you’re good and bloggy, reap the rewards of your cleverly phrased ire by heading to a blogger’s reading (see “Because you blog about everything”). Or, if you’re looking for something a little more physical, channel your agitation and turn it into competition by joining one of NYC’s myriad social sports groups (nycssc.com). The ridiculousness alone of getting screaming mad over a game of flip cup, dodgeball or broomball, to name a few, might be just the silly reminder you need that life isn’t as horrible as you’re making it. Now do the honorable thing and clean the tuna off the ceiling.-Alison Rosen

And that’s why you’re single!
Whenever anyone you know exemplifies any of the categories above, take a sharp pencil, point it at them and say, “And that’s why you’re single!” It’s catchy and works for anything.