That’s right. Single. Not single and ready to mingle. Not single and searching. Single. Full stop. End of sentence. As marriages fail, work life becomes more demanding and socialising ever transient, being single is no longer a process but a way of life for many. For the best part of my 20s and 30s I was on a fruitless search for The One! Family and friends often questioned my status like it was a defect. They often tried to set me up, as if they were healing the sick. It got me down for a while. Then at the end of 2017 I thought, “what if I am meant to be single?”. Call it an epiphany – you may think a defeatist one at that – but it gave me so much clarity and freed myself from the assumption that we are all meant to be with someone- an assumption that was at the root of my disappointment and injustice.
Since then I have been retraining my perception of going solo and stopped seeking soul mates as if it was an automatic entitlement. Then I spotted an article about 1930s Vogue Editor Marjorie Hillis’s book “Live Alone and Like It: the Art of Solitary Refinement”. It has been repeatedly published because of its growing relevance in modern society. I related so much to her ideas and was glad to see that I already was on the right track to reclaiming singledom. Now that a new year dawns I’ve decided to continue that trend further in a bid to not sacrifice another day of my youth to lamenting at my lonesomeness nor letting others do so. So if you want to do the same, here is my (and Marjorie’s) guide.
For the past 11 months I’ve been single and, for the most part, cool about it. I have quite a bit going on and when I don’t, relish the idea of chilling out at home. So yes I really don’t mind being on my own. But, when I meet up with coupled friends, the social inadequacy creeps in and I think I should get myself a plus one. Everyone tells me to get back on to the online-dating front. But I just can’t find the courage to hit that “register” button. Memories of my 20s come flooding back where I was a relentless internet dater; Guardian Soul Mates, Time Out Dating, Match.com (3 times), My Single Friend.com, Badoo- at some point I have been a member of these. My bank statements prove it.
Looking back I can’t believe the amount of crap I took from various guys and now at the age of 33, it got me thinking. I could tell myself that it’ll be different this time, but the prospect of going through that clinical process of scrolling through online profiles turns my stomach. Let me explain…
Why everyone should have one, why prospective partners should read them!
Finding the One is almost like finding a job. You have a person/skills spec in mind prescriptive, most probably, to the T. The first date is like an interview and if you tick the boxes, you get the call-back for the second round selection- perhaps complete with a PowerPoint presentation or In-tray assessment. As dating is starting to mirror the job hunt perhaps we should invest in a relationship CV. The important document that contains those little nuggets of info that will tell you whether your new (candi)date will lead you to real love or a true dud! Sure a CV takes all that’s left of the excitement in dating, but I’ve seen some colossal break-ups in my time, most that could have been avoided if they had a little insight into their other half’s romantic history.
Anyway here is what I envision a relationship CV to be. I wish you every success in the future and no doubt your CV will be kept on file.
Historically it’s been women who have gotten men confused. When we say yes we mean no, a question is a loaded minefield and our emotions have more twists and turns than a velocity-fuelled theme park ride. I won’t refute those claims, we ladies are a complicated bunch. However our male counterparts can’t escape so easily…