Friday, 9 March 2012

Single white female

I’ve been watching a lot of Sex and The City lately. I mean, a lot. And watching four episodes a night has made me really quite jealous of single American women.

From what I can gather, the American dating scene is completely different to dating in the UK. Dates are set up by mutual friends (“oh I dated this guy, he’d be perfect for you!”), guys going up to girls in the street and asking for their phone number, or girls slipping guys their number and simply saying “call me” with a wanton look in their eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever said the words “call me” at all, let alone looking wanton while doing it. US relationships are casual unless it is decided otherwise, so there is nothing wrong with seeing Chad on a Monday and Brad on a Wednesday, as long as no one utters the word exclusive.

In the UK, relationships start in an entirely different manner. My only “dating” experience - aside from being slipped a note in Maths saying “do u want 2 go out with me?” then “walking round” at lunch time holding hands, only to get another note in Science saying “I’m finishing with u” - is limited to one guy getting my phone number off a friend, inviting me out for a drink and then instantly becoming my boyfriend or going from friends with a guy then straight into cuddling up on the sofa in matching jammies watching reruns of Friends. I seem to have completely bypassed the entire dating/getting dressed up and going out section in all my relationships. UK couples are exclusive from the word go, and anyone dating more than one person is considered to be putting herself out there a little too much.

At first, when thinking about getting back into the dating game my thoughts were ones of sheer horror. Apart from the stress of peeling back thirteen years worth of not worrying about unshaven legs, I had a sudden realisation that any relationship I started would have to go through that emotionally awkward phase where you don’t want them to know that sometimes you need to fart really badly and your knickers don’t always match your bra. You never really know what they’re going to say next, emotions are up and down, and you spend hours on the phone to girlfriends discussing whether or not he’s the one (frankly I’d like to think I had better things to do). I just wanted to walk straight into a two year old relationship, where I could burp at will, not worry about morning breath and not suffer the exhaustion of trying to be sexy all the time.

The eHarmony advert shows single women spending their evenings painting old chairs and getting on buses with lots of other single women (presumably to go somewhere exciting and glamorous), and it looks kinda cool. Given, the reality may well be more sitting in tracksuit bottoms, watching Sex and the City and eating Tesco Value Crunchy Nut Cornflakes out of the box, but it’s just as satisfying as painting chairs believe me.

When I was part of a couple, all of my single friends seemed really glamorous. They remembered to use more than a token swipe of mascara and always seemed to be wearing nice pants. But the truth is you do make more effort when you’re single, because there isn’t someone there who is morally bound to tell you that you look great without makeup on a regular basis. Unless you count son one “I like your look today mummy” (he’s a little Gok), the only person judging your appearance on a daily basis is you. And you know the truth, you look better in makeup. I don’t believe there is a woman out there that truly believes the male party line of “you are so naturally beautiful, you don’t need makeup”. If I was naturally beautiful my friend, I would not scare the cat when I woke up in the morning.

But I really want a Sex and the City/eHarmony style dating experience. I want to do my hair every night and go out in a flippy dress and date lots of really good looking men who take me to the opera, fancy restaurants and other glamorous pastimes (none of which are available in my town, but my fantasy is steadfast). All the things I thought seemed so exciting when I was part of a couple.

So I have decided that dating is for me after all. I want all the excitement and not knowing what will happen next. And those delicious feelings of getting to know someone for the first time, before that amazingly sexy and cool guy turns into the man who leaves springy hairs in the soap and comes out of the bathroom just as you are about to have a long luxurious shower saying “Phew, you’ll want to give it ten minutes”. And I have discovered that caring about stubbly armpits and whether or not my underwear is fancy actually makes me feel pretty good.

I may well be dating, but if I’m honest, it would take a lot to wrench me away from my paintbrush and single girls bus pass. He would have to at least bring his own Crunch Nut Cornflakes, because I ain’t sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic post Beth although sorry to burst your bubble but finding a man who will wine and dine you in expensive, glamourous restaurants will be very hard to find in Andover as most of seem to be unemployed!! :( However, they say there is someone for everyone out there so you may have to look a bit further a field :) Good luck with your dating x