Everyone out there knows a hater. He or she may be an undercover hater, but they are a hater just the same. You know the one — the person who doesn’t know when to leave after you meet someone of interest at a party, but rather just stands there as an awkward third wheel. Or worse, keeps talking so you can’t get a word in edgewise, or even starts dropping info about you which you would never in a million years have thought of revealing to a new prospect.

So how do you tell the cock-blocker, um, I mean, your friend, to skedaddle? Before going somewhere you could possibly meet someone, create a code with your friend so they know when you can be left alone or when you need your wingman. Be it a tap on the thigh, a touch on the back of the hand, or a codeword, decide on something that you can subtly communicate. The key is to not be obvious. If you set up these signals and your friend doesn’t follow, you may need to take a look at the friendship because he or she may be trying to sabotage your luck in love. It is probably subconscious, but if your friend is also single than he or she may not want to lose their buddy. Try to have some sympathy — the other person is scared and jealous and that is a bad combination — but you may need to either have a talk or find some new single friends to hang out with. Just make sure you don’t become that person one day.

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