Just because I’m unmarried doesn’t mean I’m going to pounce on the opposite sex

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I don’t think I fully appreciated the dinner party scene from Bridget Jones until I hit my 30s. You know the one, where Bridget, surrounded by couples, becomes the focus of attention merely for being the only guest there on her own.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a whinge about my marital status. I’ve been single for a while, which means I’ve moved on from the panic of how will I survive without a man, to actually realising that whilst the opposite sex obviously has its perks it’s also fun to be me.

However, since hitting my 30s there’s been a subtle shift in how people react to this single woman appearing in their midst. (Much to my boss’ dismay) I’m a very chatty person, so put me in a room full of people and I’ll generally find someone to talk to (or at if it’s said boss), but where in younger days this would be seen as friendly mingling I seem to have become a shadow to disturb the happiness of those I’m near.

At dinner parties I’m the awkward one who messes up the numbers around the table, and at a recent social event, within minutes of my arrival I was shepherded to the nearest single man and unofficially linked with him for the rest of the evening, even being asked to pose for photographs as a pair. Whether to keep this man-eater (ahem) away from the other single men or because I’m perceived as so desperate I needed some help I wasn’t sure, needless to say it was an awkward couple of hours.

While at another event where I was the odd one out I found myself the focus of attention as the couples I was with scoured the venue for a single man, even going so far as to approach a few because they wanted to ease the way for me to make a move. It’s all well and good to have some support and interest from friends, but to spend an evening feeling like my singleness was such a problem it needed to be fixed did more for ruining my self-esteem than any failed chat up attempt I’ve ever made – and these are the friendly gestures.

People’s reactions to single me get worse when they’re not in the form of misguided help. When I recently bumped into an old friend in the street his girlfriend immediately put her arm around him and glowered at me while we caught up, and upon being introduced to one guy at a party (marital status unknown) his first words were ‘It’s nice to meet you, but just to be clear, we’re not going home together’.

Being a single 30-something doesn’t mean I’m desperate for a boyfriend or going to chase every man I meet. Sure, when cupid fires his bow I’ll be very happy to meet the future Mr Jones, but in the meantime for the sake of all single women out there please remember that our marital status is only a small part of what makes us who we are and we generally don’t bite (unless asked very nicely, but that’s another blog).

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