Harriet on: being single.


Anyone over the age of about 16 who’s been single for anything more than…ooh…about five milliseconds will know exactly what I mean when I say how annoying it is to constantly get those nudges and the phrase ‘so, got a boyfriend yet then?’ uttered with a coy smile, which changes to disbelief when you say no. They prod further, asking if there’s anyone you’re interested in (and god forbid if there isn’t, what’s wrong with you? Are you a robot?) and fire a line of questions at you before ending the conversation abruptly with ‘We’ll have to find you someone’ (if they’re a friend) or ‘Never mind, you’re still only young’ (if they’re a family member).

Yes I am only young, I’m on the brink of 21 not 91 so the fact that I am single (and enjoying it) is not a disaster on the same level as an apocalypse. And heaven help you when you tell people that you’re not actually looking. If something comes your way then fine but you’re not dating, you’re not scouring clubs looking for someone who vaguely looks like they might have a job and/or home and have had a wash in the last two weeks.

Sometimes I think I would get a better reaction if I told people that yes, I was seeing someone – a 72-year-old tramp called Fred with herpes and a patch over one eye who lives in a cardboard box round the back of Aldi.

I just don’t understand that in these modern times where we (supposedly) have equality, it’s just not acceptable for a girl to be single. I mean come on people, we’re living in 2011 – it is perfectly fine for a woman to support herself, live on her own and jolly well enjoy doing so without needing to be validated by some guy’s arm around her shoulder. What happened to girl power? Or does it only count if a man’s hovering in the shadows ready to look after you?

I’m not really asking for a lot, I just don’t want people to look at me like I’ve started sprouting tentacles or a stone where my heart should be when I tell them I actually enjoy my full life of family, friends, work, going out for dinner, girlie nights out, girlie nights in, writing and a little downtime on my own.
I am not defined by my relationship status, thank you very much!


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