Tuesday 21 November 2017

Lorraine Courtney: Looking for love? Then break 'The Rules' and just be nice

Bridget Jones became the icon for a generation of women trying to balance a hectic life while desperately searching for Mr Right
Bridget Jones became the icon for a generation of women trying to balance a hectic life while desperately searching for Mr Right

SO, you spent Valentine's night at home with Netflix, while everyone else enjoyed star-spangled romance. You might be feeling like a loser in love but you are far from alone.

The number of people who are single has doubled in the past 30 years and it's predicted that very soon the single-person household will be the most common kind. It seems that our lives are no longer measured out in wedding cake. That this explosion of singles comes hand-in-hand with the rise of speed dating, online dating and the acceptability of dating agencies is no coincidence. In the same way that more of us are on diets than ever before but we're getting bigger, something about dating is making us single.

Obviously, publishers noticed us females, wailing on their polished doorsteps. "Teach us how to be real women," we wept. "Guide us. Help us." As if a lifetime of periods and failed relationships wasn't enough to educate us in the ways of womanhood, we started buying rulebooks. Every time we went on a date, we devoured oodles of rules on what to say, how to act, when to kiss him, when to text him and how to play the game. These rules did more than just insult our intelligence: they spread anxiety and insecurity, made us all more cynical and, worse, when we followed the rules we might have overlooked our match.

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