beard backpack heidi montag reality show spencer pratt

Spencer Pratt is now single and back on the market ... and he's not afraid to say it!

X17 photographers caught up with Heidi Montag's estranged hubby while he was grabbing an early bite with his buddy Cougar Zank at Coogie's Beach Cafe in Malibu, and the reality TV star looked totally bummed when we caught him stepping out of his '64 Cadillac.

When asked about his relationship status, Spencer tells X17 exclusively, "I used to have a wife..."

Our X17 videographer on the scene tells X17online exclusively, "Spencer sounded like he was missing Heidi a lot. He wasn't his loud, usual, bragging self. For the first time, he seemed a bit sad and kind of down."

Just this morning, X17online broke the news that Heidi is moving full speed ahead with her reality show plans ... now looking to add the Shannon twins into the mix.

Seems like the reality couple that everyone loves to hate is heading in two separate directions now. C'est la vie!