Millions of happy single people can’t be wrong
Last week at a lunch to console a newly-divorced friend, I decided to lighten her terror at being “the only single woman left on the planet” and relate an interesting new statistic.
“A recent study in the UK found that in 20 years, one in five women currently in their twenties will never have married and will live alone. See, there’ll be millions like us!” I said cheerily.
Looking at my girlfriend’s face, it became apparent she was not quite as enthralled by this statistical tidbit as me. In fact, judging by her open-mouth stare, anyone would think I had just disembowelled a baby panda and was about to start on a litter of puppies.
“Great! Thanks,” my friend howled. “I get to know there will be millions of other girls after the same men as me. God, I can’t stand the thought of dating again! Guess it’s that or… being alone! ” And with that, she resumed crying a puddle.
As someone who has never married and oscillates between being alone or coupled depending on my hormone levels at a given time, I was surprised to see the terror that still exists when women become born again singles.
It appears that those clichéd images of unwed sexless spinsters with back humps and daytime soap addictions are still alive and festering in the dark “please don’t let that be me” recesses of some female minds. However, I see as the statistics in a completely different light - one that’s fairly rosy.
In my mind, these figures do not say we are all going to be celibate with unsightly chin hair and the detracting aroma of cat’s pee and mothballs. What they tell me is that we will not be as prone to marriage or cohabitating – which makes perfect sense. They don’t say you’ll never have a significant partner, a father for your children or great love of your life, it just means you don’t buy into a lottery that gives you even odds at best.
Nor do they mean we won’t meet men and date – in fact, I predict the opposite. With so many single and a biological imperative to reproduce, we will just find better, more efficient ways of meeting. It’s already started!
Where 10 years ago, anyone who resorted to arranged means to meet a partner was perceived as desperate, these days you’re dumb if you don’t. In the past six months alone three girlfriends of mine have hooked up with men who they met on what was once presumed to be the domain of geeks and fuglies – the internet. Yet I can say, without bias, that neither of these women are anything of the sort – nor are their new dates.
One is a former TV personality and the other two equally successful and easy on the eye. All three women have busy social lives – something indicative of most of my single friends who still get out amongst it – and were wary of office romances, slurring men with combovers in bars, or horrible set up dates that end up revealing they dress up as Captain Kirk on weekend (don’t laugh, it’s happened!)
All three were happy to live alone yet open to a meaningful relationship. What’s more, they all admit that the process of getting out amongst other singles these days is actually lots of fun.
For example, if you go to a speed dating night at a pub or club you won’t see too many people worthy of having the letter L tattooed on their foreheads. Instead, you’re more likely to wish you could ditch your date and join in because from what I hear, it’s a hoot.
“No one is taking things too seriously so you end up having a good laugh,” a girlfriend who regularly attends such nights confides. “I’ve met some really nice guys. If anything, it restores your faith they’re out there. The best part is discussing the ones you did or didn’t like afterwards with your girlfriends because they got to meet them too! ”
Another acquaintance has begun combining her love of food with her love of men at degustation dating nights. This entails sitting down to 12 small gourmet courses, each with a different man. So, if he’s not your type, you can avert your stare from his monobrow or stonewash jeans with “isn’t this jus great?” quip.
“As someone who works in the food industry, I need to avoid the ‘can I have some tomato sauce with this’ types,” she explains. “And even if the men turn out to be duds, at least you’ve had a good meal!”
In fact, this filtering of the eligible date wheat from the chaff process is expanding all the time. There are already nights catering for women who like tall or Asian men and those who like to party hard. As my friend says: “It’s pretty well like choosing the type of meal you want, except you have a chance of a second dessert”.
But the best fun way I have heard of meeting eligible men has to be the trend called Recycle Michael nights. This is where girls bring a great guy who is either a friend or former lover and introduces him to other single women.
I have decided to host such a night to help show my newly single friend that being partnerless in 2009 does not mean she’s destined to be eaten by her cat. My only problem is which eligible single male I should invite along as I know many.
You see, the statistics about women’s marital status fail to mention there is a similar proportion of men the same predicament.
In fact, I met another lovely guy who recently became single only last week. He was moving into the apartment above mine where he plans to live happily - on his own.
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