It's almost time for New Year's resolutions, and one I've heard twice already is "I'm not going to be single anymore." Two friends - perpetual Lone Rangers - are insisting that 2010 is going to the year of The Boyfriend.
On the surface you wouldn't guess they had a problem holding a man's attention. But over the years they have lurched from disastrous dates to furtive flings, finally ending up on drunken dinners with 'mercy dates'.
Of course, every smart girl should have enough going on in her interesting, busy and happy life for men to be nothing more than an entertaining diversion. But in this case it doesn’t matter how many times people tell them to relax, or to quit pursuing their future husbands, or to leave it all to fate. These women have a career, a property, a decent wardrobe, and a car, and now they need to tick those final two boxes: husband and children. The more elusive these become, the more obsessive the pursuit. After a while there is no attempt to hide the end goal. Men see themselves being corralled, and leap the fence in terror, the whites of their eyes showing. Who can blame them?
But the perpetually single women out there are infuriated by this attempted escape. They are sick of the generation of man-boys that have been spawned. Why don’t they want to be grown ups, with mortgages, babies, bin duties, and expectant wives? It’s infuriating, they say, that the man-boys won’t take commitment seriously.
But put this argument to single men and stand well back, because they may get a little venomous. They’ll tell you these women ooze desperation and frustration from every pore and there’s nothing attractive about that. They make men feel harried, pursued and trapped, so is it any wonder they show less enthusiasm for being hauled up the aisle, kicking and screaming, than ever before.
It's not pretty - these ladies are hitting the wrong side of 35, and their mothers are starting to make the 'on the shelf' jokes a little too often. No one likes to see their friends disheartened, so on their behalf, I sought some guidelines from men who don't mince their words.
So, when next you've got your eye on an unsuspecting Mr Right, take a deep breath and remember this:
- Don’t call him incessantly (i.e. more than once), nag him, or in any way stalk him.
- Be happy to hear from him, but never pathetically grateful. You’ve got a life, remember.
- Be fun and smiley, but don’t bounce around like a Labrador puppy that’s just been let out of its kennel.
- Don’t put out on the first date. Yes, it’s 2009, we’re liberated women, but just don’t.
- Keep at least three alternative options on the back burner, ensuring you’re never without an admirer.
- Watch and listen. If he’s keen, he’ll climb mountains for you - if he’s not, move straight on.
- Finally (and some insisted most importantly) learn to give decent blow jobs with generosity and enthusiasm.