So, are you seeing anyone?

As a perpetually single lady in her mid-twenties, I find social gatherings like weddings, work functions, and/or family birthdays challenging. And by challenging, I mean that it’s challenging trying not to punch every single person who asks me if I’m with someone yet really hard in the face. Because apparently violence is not socially acceptable.

What gets to me is that there is always a sympathetic ‘aww’ to follow my firm ‘nope’ when answering that sodding question. Like it’s a bad thing that I’m not seeing someone. It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing? I get that meeting someone you actually get along with and procreating is what life is all about for some people – and probably me, when the time comes – but at the moment, it’s not that high on my list of priorities, actually.

 

It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing?


 

I’m not a bitter singleton. I get on with my friends who have partners just as well as I did when they were single, and I’m genuinely happy for them. I’m not the stereotyped caricature of a man-hating feminist; I’m not against the very thought of having a man in my life; and I do go on dates.

But I’m single for many reasons – too many, really, to go into now; but one of those is that I’m actually quite happy on my own, thank you very much.

we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single


Shocking, right?

This tiresome question, it seems to me, is prevalent at weddings. Yeah, I get it, it’s a day of love and a celebration of coupledom and all that jazz but here’s the thing, people. I can relate to being in love and revel in the joy of matrimony EVEN IF I’M NOT WITH SOMEONE. A wedding doesn’t make me wish I had a boyfriend, or make me frantically sign up to (ahem, re-download) all those recommended dating apps on my phone, or even cry hysterically in the bathroom over that shit-head I dumped five years ago, with some toilet paper stuck in my ponytail like a veil. The reaction from people to my status, however, does make me feel shitty. It makes me want to paint my face, make a bone spear out of a previous boyfriend’s appendage,and descend into a man-free pit for the rest of my life, war crying all the way, just to prove a point.

Here’s the thing – and pay attention, because I’ll only say this once – your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.

I understand that it’s a very generic question for people to ask, especially far flung relatives with nothing better to say, and 90% of the time it’s not in a malicious way. But there are other topics of conversation that have nothing to do with my love life – or ‘lack thereof’.

“I’ve been doing really well at work, I have a very interesting job, my brother is doing well thanks, so are my friends, yes I have actually moved out of my parents house finally, I’m enjoying living in London a lot. In fact, I’ve made it my mission to to drink the bar dry of every cocktail establishment in the central vicinity of the city – would you like some recommendations?”

That, my fair ladies and gentlemen, is a good hour’s worth of decent discussion not related to a potential ring on a choice finger that isn’t my preferred middle one.

 

your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.


 

The point I’m trying to make is that we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single. Especially when asking someone about their situation. They might be happy as I am, or sad, or angry, or just plain indifferent, but it’s up to them to decide the parameters of disclosing those feelings to you. AND FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (vodka) don’t make them feel like their feelings are wrong or bad. They’re not. Being single isn’t bad or depressing or wrong. Neither is being so in love it makes people want to throw a Nicholas Sparks book at your head. In fact both can make you feel strong, and liberated and free.

So next time you feel the need to ask if someone is seeing anyone – Don’t. Stop. Think. And get a glass of wine instead. We’ll all benefit from less negativity and more wine.

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Mr & Mrs Musician: The Man Cave

By Georgia Sanders

Around eight months ago, I did one of those things that your parents/sit-coms/cheesy knock-knock jokes tell you not to do; I married a musician. Not just any musician mind – a self-employed musician who, when he’s not playing gigs, run his own rehearsal studio. It’s a job that keeps him out of the house until gone 11pm most days. It sounds quite sad when you say it out loud, so let me explain – I may work in London Dolly Parton style (9 to 5), but I’m not exactly left pining. We’re not a very co-dependent couple. I, too, am a gigging musician – as well as writing, knitting obsessively, and my ongoing master plan to drink at least one cocktail in every bar in Soho – so it works for us. And we have the added bonus of never getting sick of one another.

That’s not to say I don’t miss the bugger a lot of the time – but it works for us, for the most part (apart from the drum riser that I have been tripping over in the hallway for the past three weeks, and the fact that neither one of us ever has time to do the dishes).

The Man Cave

Mr S is building a ‘man-cave’. This idea first came about when I explained that fine, upstanding households do not have pub-size fruit machines by their front doors. The machine had been a birthday gift from his parents, and he had been more than excited for a good hour or two. He even played with it once or twice, before unlocking the front and using the remaining change to buy pizza.2e83cc79cc3e4c8f121657acbc116071

I’ll admit, the thing was pretty entertaining when Mr S needed change for parking and I’d hidden the keys, forcing him to gamble for it, but for the most part we were just using it as a giant, electricity guzzling money box. And we have a money box already – it’s shaped like a TARDIS and it’s awesome. Plus, when your hallway hasn’t been decorated since 1978, a fuck-off fruit machine does not particularly help the aesthetic.

 

When the time came to re-decorate last October, the thing needed to get gone. And thus the dream of the ‘man-cave’ was born.

when your hallway hasn’t been decorated since 1978, a fuck-off fruit machine does not particularly help the aesthetic.


 

I don’t consider Mr S to be a particularly ‘man-cavey’ kind of guy. He professes to be manly and ‘ard – he has, on more than one occasion, insisted that he “could kill a man, if he needed to”. He seems to forget that I live with him, and I’ve heard him singing to our two cats when he thinks no-one can hear him.

For perspective, here is Mr S holding Keef the Cat in a Primark bag.

For perspective, here is Mr S holding Keef the Cat in a Primark bag.

“I’ll build a bar!” He said for the eighth time since the start of our relationship (one for each time we’ve moved house). I smiled and nodded as he reviewed our cobwebby stock of stolen beer mats that had laid dormant since the last mention. When we first moved in he’d suggested building a bar in the corner of the living room in a spot which he has since, thankfully, filled with a beautiful piano.

“I’ll get a home gym!” he exclaimed in a bout of amnesia that clouded his memory of the home gym he had sold not six months earlier.

I’ll hand it to him, he even spent a weekend cleaning out the garage and researched plasterboard on the Wickes website. He heaved the fruit machine out there, where it joined the folded up and forgotten pool table that I’d bought him two Christmasses ago.

“I’ll build a bar!” He said for the eighth time since the start of our relationship


They were then joined by an empty fridge freezer, a deflated paddling pool, and a convertible with a leaky roof.

The man-cave still gets mentioned from time to time, but these days it’s more like a mythical legend of a place. Like Narnia, but with more dirty magazines.