pros and cons

by rantywoman

Steven, 40

In my 20s, I lived for several years with a girl who wanted to settle down, but I hadn’t got the wild streak out of my system. After that, I went berserk and I’ve not settled down since. I have days when I’d like someone to be around, but about 90% of the time it doesn’t even occur. I’ve always got some project on the go. I think this is just my life card; I’ve never had to consider anyone else and I don’t think I’d be capable of it now.

There are times when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision – Christmas is painful on your own – but you’re not telling me that people in relationships don’t feel the same thing. They may lie and say they’re happy, but I’m a therapist: I see people who have been in loveless marriages for 25 years and they are riddled with stress and disease because they’re constantly unhappy. This concept of love that we’re exposed to by the media is all fake. It’s the stuff of Hollywood.

The one thing I do not like about being single is that you’re always viewed with suspicion. Did you watch The Killing on BBC4? It turns out that the killer was the fortysomething single bloke. And you think, great, thanks for that.


Stacey, 38

I always thought it was a given that one day I would marry and have children. Obviously, I’ve got my mum, who adores me, but other than my family, I don’t really feel like I’ve got support. My friends have partners, so I play a smaller part in their lives, while they play a bigger part in mine. I’ve begun to get more involved in my own thing recently: I keep fit and do courses at the weekend.

I think it’s important to find love. I can’t imagine what will replace not doing that, because I’ve done everything else I’ve wanted to. I’ve travelled the world with my job, and I’ve now given that up so I can meet someone. I think it’s the sense of belonging I hanker after. My sisters are twins, three years older than me, so when I was growing up they were always so much closer than I was. If I was 45, I’d be more worried. I do have confidence in myself, but I don’t want to be the one at parties who’s on their own, with everyone saying, “Oh, where are your kids? Oh, you don’t have any. Sorry.”