Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Great "Oh Shit, I'm Single At 28" Blog Post of 2012

In the last couple of months, the ratio of single-to-not in my friendship group has shifted slightly in the other direction.

With my Housemate, Partner in Breakup and the Fashion Editor all tentatively dipping their toes in new relationships this autumn, it's safe to say that my 28th year will probably be known as The One With All The +1s.

It's been a while since my last post, and no, love hasn't removed the need to blog, but something else has - relief, that I didn't find myself feeling jealous, bitter or resentful of my friends who have coupled up.

In a lovely twist on common assumptions, they have become happy in their fledgling relationships, and I in turn have remained happily single. It was the surest sign so far that while occasionally the longing to find someone does grip me, perhaps things are as they're meant to be for now.

But being single at 28, I'm realising, is a different kettle of fish to all the years before it. There's an added pressure, subconscious and spoken aloud, that things have changed. We're all thinking ahead in ways we never used to.

And while some friends are embarking on things, others are ending them for much the same reasons; last week, it was The Lawyer who made the split from her long term Younger Man. Unlike previous breakups, it wasn't arguments or infidelity that sealed this deal, but the fact that her bloke's vision for the immediate future (marriage, babies, and perhaps, on the off-chance, him willingly introducing her to his parents) didn't match with her own.

It was the PiB who noticed another nuance in 28 year old coupled life; that her having a man on the scene appeared to have prompted an increase in dinner party invitations.

"Its all 'Oh you and The Engineer must come round for dinner with me and so-and-so, and Other Coupled Friends" she mused to me the other day, continuing, "to which I thought 'where were these invites when it was just me before?' I only ever got told about the mad, drunken nights out."

Although that hasn't been the case for me, another sentiment has. "I'd love to see you happy", sighed a friend the other week - before clarifying "You know, with someone" - as if the two were synonymous.

Perhaps my version of happy is the wrong sort of happy in the eyes of some, but as long as I'm pleased for my friends and not envious of them, that's something I'm happy with for now.

And so we finish with a quote, from a BBC article I was sent yesterday:
"In the course of my life, I have loved and lost and sometimes won, and always strangers have been kind. But I have, it appears, been set on a life of single blessedness.

And I haven't minded. Or rather, I realise, I haven't minded enough. But now I kind of do. Take dinner parties. There comes a moment, and that question: "Why don't you have a partner?"

It is usually asked by one of a couple, with always a swivel of the eye to his or her other half, so really two people are asking this question.

And I struggle to answer: "I have never found the right person... I am a sad and sorry manchild... I am incapable of love... I am a deviant, and prefer giraffes."


nuttycow said...

Wait 'til you get to 30 and single, the pitying just gets worse!

Seriously, I'm glad you're happy. I am too, although, there is a little part of me that wonders whether I'd be happier if I were with someone. And a part of me that wonders if it's not a little bit sad that a 30 year old goes out clubbing and lasts longer that those there whippersnappers.

But sod it, I'm having fun. I just need to remember my age sometimes :)

Foodycat said...

I had a lot of friends who ended relationships at 28 for the reason the Lawyer did. And none of them have been forever alone as they may have feared when they took that step.

Dominic said...

Mmm.. giraffes...

Luckily, I don't seem to get pestered with the "Why are you still single at 35?" questions. Possibly that's because most of the people I know are programmers; possibly it's the well-worn boxing gloves visible in my car.

I'm almost hoping someone does in future, just so I can use the "Why did you settle for her?" comeback from the article :)

Expat mum said...

I have a group of girlfriends who are now well into their 50's and boy, the life they have. Some of them have been in relationships, they all have great jobs and enough money to travel when they want and generally live the life they dreamed of. I don't think anyone feels sorry for them now!
(Came over from Mud's blog, btw)

Smidge said...

I ended my last relationship at 28 because, basically, it was wrong and I didn't want marriage and babies with him.

I wasn't scared at the time, although others seemed scared for me!

I do wonder sometimes if it is the other people that project 'single' fears. It is often the person that has rushed into something that is doing the worrying..

There is no need to push this onto people who honestly don't give a cr@p!

Sprinkled Words (former Miss Milk) said...

Ugh. Biological clocks, the one gendered problem that feminism can't solve... Yet. Maybe science will fix it and you won't have to put up with all of that.

Agent said...

Seeing the quote about giraffes reminded me of this piece of dating advice:

Think like a dolphin.

Dolphins will pursue a female, denying her access to food, until she's willing to mate.

Next time you're at a restaurant, try taking your date's plate and throwing it on the floor. Knock that roll out of her hand. Make a series of high pitched screeches and clicks, and spit your water at her.

Women love dolphins.

Can't understand why I'm still single...

The Unbearable Banishment said...

My favorite poem by Charles Bukowski:

Oh Yes

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
too late

Anonymous said...

I am as yet to have sex that beats eating chinese in the morning in my pyjamas. You can't legitimately get away with that when you're coupled up.

Til that day that the earth moves more convincingly than spicy ribs in Szechuan sauce - or I meet someone who has equally disgusting habits - I'm staying single, thanks very much.

Blonde said...

Amelia - that is possibly the best comment I've ever seen written anywhere on the internet. Masterpiece.

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Amelia - I hate to break it to you, but even married people with kids do that sometimes. Even at the grand old age of 31!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

nutty - Of course I think it would be silly to say we don't want to meet someone, but I'm under no illusion that I won't, on some level, look back at the freedom I have now and wish it back a miniscule bit once I do. Hey ho. Like you say, we're having fun.

Foodycat - It seems like now is the time to find "that person" as opposed to "a person". It's not a bad thing at all.

Dominic - Haha, yeah, that would be a good comeback to have. Would probably get you chucked off the dinner table though.

Expat Mum - I always think of my grandma, who was widowed, but her diaries show a meeting with a different bloke every week. She was fabulous.

Smidge - You're completely right, a lot of it is projection. As I read in a book not long ago, the things people say to you are often more of a reflection on them than you, something that's helped me quite a lot.

Miss Milk - I don't even know if these people are wanting me to procreate, just find someone that I might want to...but no doubt that is the next pressure on my list.

Agent - I'm going to engage my dolphin brain this weekend. Not sure why I'm single either.

Unbearable - Can always rely on you to sum up a sentiment with a well placed poem. I like.

Amelia - Brilliant. I indulge myself so much (pyjamas, fondant fancies and all the Take Me Out shows) so often, I wonder how I'll ever part with this lifestyle.

Blonde - No one, coupled, single or married, can argue with that.

Model - But can you do it without the kids jumping up and nicking your prawn crackers?

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Jo - she's 6 weeks old; prawn crackers can be eaten in perfect contentment while ear plugs are in or breastfeeding is on-going!

Ellie said...

Giraffes are definitely under-rated.


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