The single life
The single life. What comes to mind? Machiavellian nights on the town with the girls? Your blackberry brimming with texts from handsome eligible bachelors? Or is it your sofa, slippers and Doctor Who re-runs on a Saturday night?
If you happened to pick the last option, then you’re probably wondering what the hell was the oft-touted Carrie Bradshaw thinking when she tried to convince us the single life was worth living? There seems to be this greatly romantic premise being fed to us by the media single girls lead exciting, passion-fuelled lives full of dinner dates, cocktails and expensive haircuts.
This could be true to the more popular socialites among us – but for the ordinary working girl, how much of this is actually the real deal?
I have always considered myself a relationship kinda gal. I love the feeling of being wanted, being thought of, being loved. Yes, we know our mums love us, we know our friends think we are brilliant, but being in a relationship is like having a magic pair of shoes. The magic shoes that are that tiny bit better than all the others, the shoes that always make you feel good about yourself, no matter how much they pinch, the shoes that you don’t necessarily need in order to get on in life, but they look and feel damn good to wear.
Being in a relationship allows you to wear your oversized hoodie and uggs and be told you look ‘cute’ and ‘sexy’. Try wearing the same thing with minimal makeup as a singleton and it’s another story. You now look like a tramp. You can get a face full of spots when you’re in a relationship and let the hair that Mother Nature gave you grow till your heart’s content and still you have the comfort of knowing the man in your life still fancies and adores you. However, now freshly single I have this nagging paranoia that unless my legs are always smooth ( just in case Leonardo di Caprio walks past and nearly decides to ravish me but – at the last minute – spurns me for my hirsute ways) and my face is always spot-free, I am never going to meet anyone and I’m goint to live a lonely life with nothing but a glass of wine and a few cats for company.
The only upside I have found to the single life – and I’m sure most women will agree here – is the quantity and quality of nights out. It is liberating and extremely fun hit the bars and clubs dressed in that dress someone or other (you know, THEM – the sewing circle) always insisted was ‘too short’. Being chatted up by various men trying their luck can provide a great ego boost when you’re feeling more Pat Butcher than Annie Get Your Gun. And there’s nothing quite like shaking your booty to Amanda F*ckin Palmer where for a whole 3 minutes we can pretend we really don’t care that we don’t have a fella waiting at home and thrust our hands joyously in the air with pride.
However, every other day/night of the week we are faced with, well, not really much to do. Nights that were previously spent with the boyfriend pigging out on takeaways or chilling out in each other’s company are now replaced with blank pages in our diary. The creativity we thought would fill our lives when we had the extra time – the writing, the singing, the crafting – quite frankly, it’s too much effort. Television becomes important and Facebook stalking could now be considered your counter-profession. Loneliness begins to creep in. Even when surrounded by friends telling you to ‘cheer up, you’ve got us! You’re only (insert age)! You’ve got plenty of time to meet someone’, you can’t help but feel just a tad lonely. I find myself lately texting people I don’t really care about just to receive a text back, just to feel like I am being remotely sociable and still have friends to talk to. I find myself texting old flames in the hope of re-igniting my intimate life which is fast becoming incredibly dull.
So, what next? For the single girls of Britain what’s the verdict on this idea that someone once planted in our heads that the single life is glamorous and invigorating? Perhaps I am being far too sceptical, which I am embarrassed to admit, I tend to be known for. Maybe I should try and be more optimistic and embrace the freedom and liberation of the single life, because one day (fingers crossed) I am going to be married with kids and look back on these days with envy. The days when you really can have one night stands and no-one cares, you can drink a bottle of wine and be congratulated rather than tutted at and you can be texting 4 or 5 men at a time and be considered popular rather than a slatternly harlot.
So, for the singletons out there, who like me, are prone to bouts of loneliness and feeling sorry for ourselves, don’t worry. Our time will come, and when it does we have the passionate, shiny first few months of being in a new relationship to look forward to, whilst our current coupled friends will be complaining about how he leaves the toilet seat up and eats all the best flavours of crisps. So let’s hear it for Beyonce… All the single ladies, PUT YOUR HANDS UP.