This post was first published on 27 March, 2012. Nothing’s changed, except I have moved jobs, where I come into contact with more men BUT the issues are more or less the same as when I wrote this post originally. I did get stalked by a Texan sociopath in Greece, though.
I have been single for close to five years, after having my heart broken by The Italian. (I have duct-taped the bits of my heart together, and while showing some signs of damage with cracks and leaks, is pretty much good to go again.).
I have never been single this long, though. And that’s not to say I don’t enjoy being single. I do. There are many benefits. I get to do whatever I want, with whomever I want, whenever I like, whatever the cost. There’s the not having to compromise. Or the not having to argue if compromise doesn’t happen.
But it’s time. I’d like find a mister, because there are some really nice things about being a couple. Things I’d like to have in my life again. The hard thing though, is actually finding that special someone to share those really nice things with.
Over the last couple of years, I have tried practically every Meet A Man technique known to woman. Speed dating, online dating, bugging friends to meet their single friends, going to different places with different people doing different things, joining various interest groups. Hanging out in pubs, clubs and restaurants. Travel. Hell, I’ve even flirted in the supermarket, hoping to bond over eggplant or coriander. And then there was the short-lived Twitter relationship that ended in disaster. The bottom line is: you name it, I’ve tried it. I have well and truly put myself out there.
But I now realise that there are two things going against me. Numbers. And age. Let me explain.
Firstly: numbers. It was easy meeting people as a young person. You are exposed to more people. Cast your mind back to high school. You had six or seven classes a day, sometimes with totally different people in them, depending on the subjects. There were thirty people in a class, give or take, and generally speaking half of them were male. That’s exposure to potentially 90 different males per day, minus 10% gay, 15% taken and 5% totally not suitable for any number of reasons (these percentages are guesstimates, but you get the picture). And that’s not taking into account the rest of the school population, plus out-of-school sporting events and parties. All potential boyfriends.
Compare that to now. I work with 15 people, only half of them male. All of them are married or attached. I may have conversations with three or four other males during the day, mostly related to coffee or food (as in serving it to me). Who knows what their relationship status is? My interest classes (running and photography) are predominantly female, or populated with mostly attached males.
See? The number of available men crossing my path on a daily basis is less than when I was young. Much, much less.
Now the second thing: age. Men my age want women 10, or even 20 years younger than I am. Generally speaking, of course. Women my age – and I’m talking late 40s here – are (and again I’m speaking generally here) resilient and independent. We have often raised children by ourselves, all while working or studying part-time and battling messy divorces or similar. We won’t be manipulated, we don’t like games and our BS radar is finely tuned. We simply won’t put up with crap, because we don’t “need” a man in our life just for the sake of it.
We do, however, want a partner, companion and friend to share the best of our lives with.
Sure, our bits and bobs aren’t as perky as they were, our faces may be lined, and we are grey(er or -ish) than our younger sisters, but we bring a lot to the table. Insight, experience, emotional intelligence, conversation, and self-assuredness – to name a few. We look after our health, and we are interested in our personal and professional development. We are fit and vital and confident and interesting.
I am sick to death though, of people (usually coupled people!) saying: “Oh, you’ll meet someone when you least expect it.”. Bollocks! Numbers and age are working against me. And this is why I vote for the return of the village matchmaker. Or arranged marriages. These interventions have been shown to be very successful for long-lasting, happy relationships. But unfortunately, I don’t live in a village with a matchmaker, or a culture where arranged marriages are encouraged.
So, given that the odds are stacked against me, I really don’t like my chances of finding my mister 🙁
I did like this idea though! Dating based on shoe choice! At least someone is being creative about getting people together.
Now, I just need to get Tom Hardy to pick out my shoes…!