Supermarkets filled with prepackaged individual meals. Work hours so inhuman that the only moment you are able to socialise is the drink night out with your colleagues. Well, being single in London it’s so simple!
In this city, when you get back home from work you are so knackered that if you are able to give a ring to your parents or to your friends – who often live abroad – and ask if they are OK, it’s such a miracle.
During the week it’s quite rare to go out, and if you decide to do it most likely it’s because it’s related to your job.
On weekends though everyone becomes a party animal: you just need to stand outside a pub on a Friday or Saturday evening to see what I mean.
Guys still wearing their suits gulp down one drink after another – the quality here doesn’t really matter, the important thing is that it’s alcohol – competing in a kind of marathon.
The winner will be the most pissed, the one who will be “honoured” by being bounced off a taxi because too drunk.
In other words, the well known English self control goes bananas, together with the dignity, inside a couple of drinks.
Single situation in LondonTumbling down my heals and waking up without knowing who wrinkled my clothes and make up the night before, is not my cup of tea, I’m sorry.
Therefore, If I’m not spending the weekend outside the city, on Saturday nights I prefer going to the cinema or, even better, staying at home reading a book or watching my favourite tv series.
Of course I don’t turn my nose up at having one or two glasses of wine, far more better than those watery concoctions which are never under 7 quids.
It’s not that I am snob or not willing to socialise, and I know I’m not the only one facing this kind of situation.
On the other hand, what I find really funny are the Monday morning astonished faces of people asking me everytime the same questions. “Did you have a nice weekend?”… “What did you do?”… “You stayed at home?!?…By yourself?!?”
Usually these innocent questions are punctually followed by the predictable final one: “Are you dating anyone? No?!?? Really?!?!?!”
Being single in London: my experienceDuring my 4 years in London I did obviously have a couple of affairs, but none of them went further beers at the pub, dinners at the new restaurants and the cliched job relocations.
There is no doubt that in London the majority of the interactions happen in the work place.
As they are part of your daily routine, you can clearly consider your colleagues as your family and it’s not that difficult to sneak in each other’s beds.
The truth is that London hectic paces have rusted the courtship process. We are all rushing from one meeting to another, from a brunch or a train to catch and we are constantly living in a “I’m late! I’m late” state like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.
There is no time for anything here, especially looking for your soul-mate. Other story if your soul-mate finds you in a romanticism triumph – but this is definitely something extinct in the everyday life.
Everyone focuses only in fast & easy things. So why not concentrate our energies on the work place – where we spend most of our time – and the virtual reality where we can get whatever we want in just a click?
I’ve been refusing to try to find a man online for a long time, as I thought it was for losers, but, tired of the”Have you ever tried online?” I decided to give it a go.
Being single in London: the dating websites
I have to say that I’ve discovered a new world: to meet new people you can find million different websites.
There is the one for parents with children – to avoid bad surprises – and the one for art lovers. I was surprise enough to find the one for beautiful people only – no joking, you can be bounced off if you are not considered good looking enough –, the one for the one-night Saturday stand or the one for who is literally looking for a wife or a husband.
To be able to use some of them, you need to pay a fee. In addition, for all of them you have to fill a questionnaire regarding the physical features or hobbies you would like your dream partner to have.
The Guardian dating website versus the app
I’ve been looking through many online date websites, and finally I decided to subscribe to the Guardian one and, just for fun, to try two of the most famous applications: Happn and Tinder.
I dropped out a couple of conversations because I was too annoyed by not receiving an invite for a coffee or a glass of wine… Man, if we have been writing to each other since 2 weeks and you are not taking me out, it means that you are married or perhaps you have a girlfriend to whom you have to hide my message. Or simply there’s something wrong with you.Well, I obviously did receive some invites and I did accept some of them. Gosh! I felt so stupid while I was basically waiting for a stranger at the tube station or at a random café…
Anyway, a part from some lovely evenings, with none of my dates it was love at first sight.
In both cases (more serious The Guardian versus more frivolous Happn e Tinder) the character categories were kind of repeating. I don’t want to generalise or criticise, but some of them really have to be mentioned and in most cases they definitely deserve a screenshot…
In only three messages he usually passes through ten “you are so beautiful” or “how come that a girl like you is being single in London?” …
Everyone loves to receive compliments but this annoying rigmarole sounds as you are taking a piss: REJECTED.
The sex fiend. Or alleged one
It’s too easy to be explicit behind a keyboard, isn’t it?… I wish I could see how the braggart is able to face the situation in person: LEFT BACK.
Ok, so… we had a match, we started to write to each other and at some point you asked for my telephone number.
In one of your never ending messages – man, I’m chatting with you more than with my friends and trust me, it’s not something I’m used to! – you describe me your shopping afternoon in Oxford Street. And you know that is just one tube stop from my work place. If you are not showing to be disappointed not to have been using that f****g telephone number… well, my dear, I think you have a problem: REJECTED.
MR RIGHT… that obviously you don’t like enough
Same interests and passions, always comes out with the perfect idea, exciting London tours with his vintage car which he is able to coordinate even with his jeans’ color.
Flawless style and sacrosanct patience. Pretty much the perfection… but, I don’t know for which freaking reason, I didn’t like him enough. REJECTED. Me. Not him. Damn it!
You can unmask him by his ridiculous questions, by the frenzy he puts in his writing and by his incessant assurances requests. He’s heartwarming… LEFT BACK. See you in a couple of years, darling!
After shaking his hand the first time you ask yourself if you are on Candid Camera… gosh! He looks so different from his pictures… a very good Photoshop job, man!
In addition, you were kind and you thanked him for the lovely evening trying to show your detachment. But apparently he doesn’t get it: months and months of random messages “Hello! I’m in London” ,”Should we meet up?”
Do I need to be rude to make you understand that?: REJECTED. And please next time put some REAL pictures.
Being single in London: my conclusions
A couple of years ago I have been affected by a movie called Her by Spike Jonze. The main character, Theodore, fell in love with an artificial intelligence software.
Is this our future?
Will computers be able to feel the same emotions we do?
Are the feelings we sense in front of a screen real?
A part from the silly categories’ joke, in conclusion I think I’m an old style individual. I know a lot of people who found love online but I can’t help thinking how important a gaze or a smile are. A word. A perfume.
My first boyfriend and I – yes, we are still good friends – love to recall the first time we met.
We were at a party and he asked for my telephone number. We didn’t have a pen or a piece of paper and at that time only braggarts had the mobile – or the portable phone box, since they were massive!
He asked to each of his friends to memorise at least two digits and in the end he was able to call me on my landline – yes, with my mum’s curiosity and concern..
But he did it.
He showed to be interested and he put his effort in it.
Time, will to do the effort and genuine interest.
Three concepts the 4.0 generation should consider over a lot… and not only here in London.