I might be missing out on love, but I’m never short of intrigue, and right now intrigue seems more fun. In fact, I can’t remember the last night out with my single friends where we all stayed until the end, or where we weren’t joined by a special guest at some point.
Some of this intrigue even becomes actual, real-life, human interaction and perhaps… But mostly I’ve found myself in a perpetual state of limbo – stuck somewhere between first encounter, a hook-up and a full-blown relationship. Twitter, Facebook and Google have turned the dating world upside-down, changing how we meet people, what we know about them before we do – and introducing a new layer of ambiguity into single life that generations before us never had to contend with. ‘Drinks with the girls.’ ‘Want to meet us at my local? I schlepped all the way across the city – only to spend the next three hours with Paul and about six of his friends. And it isn’t simply a case of women being on the receiving end of the latest incarnation of male dating fecklessness. But in the world of endless options, where nothing seems permanent, and you never have to interact with anyone face to face if you don’t want to, me actually picking up the phone, telling someone how I feel about them, or even asking them out for dinner seems like too big a risk.
‘I’ve met a few guys that way – it’s much easier to take a risk because you can pass it off as banter if you get rejected. We started messaging each other and, eventually, I invited him to a night out I was already going to.’ For Anna, the constant tweeting and messaging took the stress out of the first date.
Some experts worry that technology and the ‘hook-up’ culture it supports are producing a generation that doesn’t know how to form proper relationships.
I’m finding it hard to get too worked up about this just yet.
Strange then, I realised recently, that I have rarely been properly on my own.
I haven’t lived with a boyfriend, introduced anyone to my parents, or been on a mini-break.