TV

7 Things I Learned About Dating From MTV’s ‘Singled Out’

Almost 20 years later, the show’s insights hold up. Let's take a trip back to memory lane and visit '90s Jenny McCarthy, Chris Hardwick and Carmen Electra.

When “Singled Out” first aired in 1995, I was younger than its target demographic — too young to date, yet old enough to stay up late and watch the show. I imagined that I’d start dating, go off to college and one day tell co-host Chris Hardwick to make all the guys in tighty whities leave the building. Well, “Singled Out” is a thing of the past, but you don’t have to be a contestant to learn timeless dating lessons from it.

1. There’s An Adequate Amount Of Fish In The Sea


“Singled Out” always started with a controlled dating pool: 50 contestants and one picker, a ratio that’s just right. It’s hard to be a horny fish in a pond that’s too small or too big. Try to meet people beyond your immediate circle of friends — but not everybody on Tinder.

Related: ‘Singled Out’ Cast & Friends: Where Are They Now?

2. Make Exceptions To Your Rules


It wasn’t until the show’s third season when they introduced the Golden Ticket, which saved one contestant from being eliminated in the Categories round. We all weed out dating prospects based on our own personal categories (age, height, pubic hair policy), but people can surprise you. Be open to that, without handing out tickets to every a-hole who walks by.

3. You Don’t Have To Be Perfect


Contestants’ looks ranged from super hot to “it will be weird if they win.” It didn’t stop them from getting out there. There will always be better-looking people, and getting caught up in comparisons kills the focus you need to build a connection. Besides, connecting is how average people become more attractive to each other over time.

Related: Chris Hardwick Talks ‘Singled Out,’ Standup Comedy And Nerd Rage

4. Fight The Good Fight


The second elimination round, Keep ‘Em Or Dump ‘Em, frequently posed questions about how to handle hypothetical conflicts. If you’re afraid to argue in relationships, you risk not asking for what you want. Learning to bicker well means communicating your needs (even if it’s through catharsis), and there’s always makeup sex.

5. Be Open To Change


Viewers were heartbroken when Jenny McCarthy left for a sitcom, but that’s how we met Carmen Electra. When you get dumped, it’s only a matter of time until you meet someone else, even if it doesn’t feel that way at first. (When you do find a new OTP, try to play it cooler than the blonde girl in this GIF.)

Related: 10 Women Who Got Started On MTV

6. No Judgments


Little Bob and other “Singled Out” players reminded us that there’s no shame in this game. In order to date effectively, you have to be vulnerable, and that can be more embarrassing than stripping. Judging someone for opening up is just a wimpy way of saying you never will, and that’s way more unattractive.

7. Fairy Tales Aren’t Real


Unlike a lot of contemporary dating shows, no one on “Singled Out” ever tried too hard sweep you off your feet. (If anything, they might take you snowboarding if you got lucky and won — not to some private island or European villa.) The show had practical expectations of people meeting for the first time and just having fun.

Sure, love at first sight happens sometimes, but usually it’s smarter to take it slow. There’s no such thing as a Fairy Godmother, and even if there were, you wouldn’t want some old lady with a wand showing up every time you’re about to get laid.