With all her girlfriends domesticated and married off, Jordan Paramor, 37, hates life on her own – and controversially says all other women hate it too…
‘And then there was one. As yet another wedding invitation thumps on to my doormat, I’m starting to feel like it’s the end of a party, and I’m the last to leave. Couples have copped off, coats have been gathered, and I’m waiting for a taxi for one.
That’s what it’s like when you’re the last of your friends to pair up and settle down. I’m the last single girl standing.
There’s a lot to be said for being single, though. Of course we don’t need men to make us happy. It’s just that sometimes it doesn’t feel that way.
Growing up, I was part of a gang of 10 girls in Farnham, Surrey. We did everything together. We had our first drink in the park, our first cigarette to take away the taste of that drink (Special Brew: vile) and made our way through a series of unsuitable boys.
But in the years since, nine of them have gone on to settle down and have kids, while I find myself still a long, long way from finding “him” – that elusive creature with the looks, charm and (to be frank) cash of Keanu Reeves, who’d like to change my Facebook relationship status for good.
It’s not like I haven’t had my share of boyfriends. There was even one four-year relationship that involved conversations about marriage and children. But since that ended two years ago – I instigated the split but he likes to tell people it was mutual – nada.
Feeling a failure
Girlfriends tell me I’m empowered – a single girl in the city! But, controversial as it may sound, I don’t feel very empowered. Nothing makes a single girl feel more of a failure than hanging out with couples and kids. And although it’s very kind of my friends to try to make me feel better by saying: ‘But you’ve got a great career, I’m just a mum,’ a career doesn’t hold your hand or bring home pictures made of pasta from school.
And it’s not such a social whirl, really. I rarely get invited to dinner parties, I take my gay friends as plus ones to weddings (on the rare occasion I get offered a plus one), and good friends assume I won’t want to go to their kids’ birthday parties, even if they are just excuses to drink wine while children whack each other with plastic objects.
On the occasions I am invited to couples’ events, people aren’t always tactful. When my friend Jane asked me to a dinner party with three couples, she insisted we all sit boy/girl at the table, even though I didn’t have a boy with me. In the end I sat in the middle of a couple.
When I later went to her wedding anniversary do, I was put on a table with four couples – leaving a vast expanse of unset space next to me. It may as well have had a sign with an arrow pointing to me saying: ‘Poor girl, she’s on her own’.
Of course, my friends love joining me on girlie nights – babysitters allowing – living vicariously through me. But for them it’s a holiday, for me it’s life.
The fact is – and some of you may not like this – I think being single sucks sometimes. OK, most of the time.
When my best mate Gill texts me to say she’s in the Science Museum on a rainy Sunday with her kids, I sometimes have a smile on my face as I message back that I’m spending the day on the sofa with Downton Abbey and a bag of onion rings.
But the sad, secret truth is that I’d much rather be sharing my bag of onion rings with someone (Cousin Matthew from Downton would be nice).
Gill may have a small child clinging to her legs, laying claim to every second of her day, but that evening, after an exhausting day at the museum, she’ll go to sleep beside her husband and wake up in the morning to a cup of tea in bed. I can’t even be sure there’s milk in my fridge, and I can never be bothered to get up and make one for myself.
Here’s the big secret. Like all single girls, I do my best to convince myself I’m fine, extolling the virtues of not being answerable to anyone.
Which is true, up to a point. Being single can be amazing. But at the end of the day, I reckon everyone would rather be in a relationship given the choice. Being able to do what I want is overrated. I’d like some time to do what someone else wants for a change.
So am I really not fussed about finding a man? Of course I am. My friends have someone to cuddle up to at night, while I sleep star-shaped in bed. That’s not empowered. That’s lonely.
Still, next time I’m home alone on a Saturday night with nothing but The X Factor to keep me company, I’ll remember the words of my friend Clare: ‘At least you can order meals for one from the Chinese now. They’re so much more economical.’ Every cloud…”
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