As a singleton in 2014, Facebook is a key social hurdle to navigate in the early stages of a relationship. Do you really want someone you're getting to know to have access to details of the last ten years of your life? Should you see photos of his parents, friends and siblings before you actually meet them?
In the late 20th century the most common way men and women met was through friends or through work. There were many benefits to this; when meeting through friends, you know something about their history and background as well as being more likely to have shared values and interest. In the last 15 years this has started to change with the event of online dating.
But beyond the polarity of 'proud to be single' vs 'smug married' is more human uncertainty than any other sphere of life. People are unreliable and relationships a gamble, bodies don't work as required when babies are meticulously planned. Being single may be gloriously liberating one day, bleakly lonely the next. This is life.
I'm not saying it isn't a wonderful happy ending: falling passionately in love with someone for the rest of your life, someone who'll forever support you and of whom you'll never tire. But it's the journey which appeals to our imagination, not the destination. The fact 39 per cent of marriages end in divorce provides further evidence for that.
I should celebrate being single as a mature, happy life preference, and yet here I am, nearly 60, still explaining myself; so my subconscious clearly isn't celebrating, is it? And why? Because too many experiences in my life, like that smear test, exacerbate my self-image of social misfit: of being somehow lesser, if not outright forgotten.
Valentines Day is the most contradictory celebration of the year. The annual onslaught of heart-shaped commercial tat is unarguably irritating, exploitative and exclusionary, yet it is a celebration that men ignore at their peril. So, before you get it wrong again guys, here's ten things you need to know...
I am pretty sure, I am the kind of woman that pick-up artists around the world would refer to as a "10". Have I not an excessive amount of lumps here and there? Men love that. And don't get me started on my extensive knowledge of Fresh Prince of Bel Air-trivia. In all ways, I am a catch. I think I am damn well entitled to make some demands of my own, when choosing a man.
If you're a single woman, it's highly likely that the most annoying things you encounter on a daily basis aren't bad dates or jerks hitting on you while you're on the train. Rather, it's the 'wisdom' that your friends, family and strangers on the street love to dispense when the subject of your single-dom comes up.
Yep, it's wedding season. If you're single, wedding season can bring to surface a lot of confusing emotions. On one hand, you're likely over the moon happy that your friends have found true love and are excited to share in their joy; on the other you might find yourself feeling jealous, bitter and annoyed with the whole affair.