Despite not being in one for a considerable length of time, I have every faith that a good long term relationship is like one of those very expensive duvets from the White Company. Secure, comfortable and still kind of sexy if worn with nothing underneath. When the time is right, I think the whole she bang sounds like quite a nice idea really.

But as several pop stars have made clear ‘you can’t hurry love’ so for now I want to focus on the good stuff in between. Bridget Jones and her ginormous pants may not have showered the world of singletons with shining glory, but the lifestyle does have some benefits.

 

2006: The bestie and I on world tour (shoe shopping expedition.)

1.)    You can eat what you like

In 2008 I experienced my first male fusspot. “I’m not really that bothered about food.  I stick to a low carb diet,” my date said, leaving me open mouthed in horror.  Since then I’ve encountered all manner of food neuroses. They don’t eat meat off the bone. They don’t eat anything with sauce. They are  *whispers in horror* a vegan.  Even if we assume your man doesn’t poison your mind with his dairy phobic sacrilege, you’re still likely to disagree on at least a few favourite meals. Being single means you need never worry about another person’s food idiosyncrasies or feel guilty for eating Nutella out of the jar with your fingers spoon. Chocolate brownies and ice cream totally counts as breakfast food and chips are nutritious because they’re made out of potatoes and potatoes are a vegetable. It’s not that I’ll never be willing to tolerate a man’s hatred for anchovies, but for the moment I’m making the most of my (slightly fish breathed) meal time silver lining.

You can still rock it like it's hot *ahem*

2.)    You still have possibility

There’s only one teeny tiny snag with finding your very own Prince/Princess Charming and disappearing to a castle (grotty flat in North London) to live happily ever after. Unless you join a polygamous tribe in South East Asia or follow the Tiger Woods’ marriage manual, the ‘one’ is the also last one. If you’re single the potential frisson of excitement that can accompany a first date is still within your grasp. The army of butterflies in your tummy. That first kiss. The possibility that you’ve met a man who doesn’t leave the toilet seat up. It’s all about the potential excitement. And anyone worried about running low on possibilities can just join a dating date. Formerly a hunting ground for mentally unstable 80s porn addicts, internet dating has become ‘the new black’. If you are unlucky enough to happen across one of the certifiable crazies just man up and enjoy the ride. At least you’ll have a good story to entertain dinner party guests.

 

Me having 'adventures' (Still prefer ones with pie...)

3.)    Your time is your own

I’m going to share a little secret with you. Even though I know staying in on a Saturday night with a onesie, 90s soundtrack, a hairbrush microphone and industrial sized quantities of crisps makes me, by definition, ‘the saddest woman alive’, I genuinely enjoy that me time. That’s right. “My name’s Lizzie and I like dancing on my own to Mmm Bop like a poorly coordinated Flashdance reject.” Even when you’re not dipping chips in mashed potatoes at your own little carbohydrates party for one, being single affords you lots of choice. Fancy buggering off abroad for a few weeks? Been invited on a spur of the moment weekend away? Want to travel the world? Feel like staying out all night? Enjoy having the responsibility of a 12 year old? See? Singledom does have its perks.

 

4.)    No in laws

On balance Christmas is one of the worst times of year to be single. (Particularly if you’re a woman rapidly hurtling towards her child bearing years.) But if you can abide a few probing love life questions from well meaning relatives and your mother refrains from setting you up with that ‘nice boy’ she met in a queue at the chip shop, there is a silver lining. No in laws. This means you only have to be put up with one set of relatives asking irritating questions and complaining that your hair is untidy. In addition to this little gem being single means the number of ‘really boring events you have to attend but don’t really want to’ is cut in half. Because you only have to go to your own friends and family’s ‘really boring events you have to attend but don’t really want to’.

It could be worse.

5.)    You could be with the wrong person

Just to clarify, I’m not anti the idea of marriage. I’m just anti the idea of divorce. According to a recently published article I read on the ever reliable tinterweb, almost 50% of first marriages now end in big D. (That number shoots up for second and third unions.) Now if you’re currently riding a rainbow cloud of relationship joy through Carealot that’s fantastic- I’m really not trying to piss on your chips. But the fact remains that at least half of all relationships just aren’t built for the long-haul. Partly driven by the urge to procreate faster than the alcopop infused poppets on Kavos Uncovered, the late twenties/early thirties seems to be the ultimate age to dive into the ‘bad relationship abyss’. I’m watching friends and acquaintances do it right now and I can honestly say that jealousy, unhappiness and insecurity in a ‘committed’ relationship are far more painful emotions than any feelings of discomfort a Friday night food coma can induce. (Even if I include the time I ate 11 chocolate brownies and had to spend the entire evening lying motionless on the sofa for fear of regurgitation.)  So if you’re not in a relationship, be grateful. Because at least you’re not in a bad one.

And anyway. I met the man of my dreams aged 21 and I’ll probably never find one like him. So this single lark is for the best.

girl and oranutan

"It must have been love..."