The London Lassie explores the latest shift in the dating world: the shocking discovery that men dislike being single more than women…
Picture this: Sleeping Beauty is awoken from her slumber by handsome Prince Charming and grunts “get off buddy – I need my beauty sleep!” Or, imagine Sandy keeping her cute pastel look and telling Danny Zuko to like it or lump it. Or even, Rose keenly getting into that life boat off the sinking Titanic, “Jack, to be honest, I’ve only known you three days. It’s not love. See ya later mate”.
A parallel universe? Maybe not. Mintel can reveal the single stereotype in the form of Bridget Jones is gone, with their study showing 70% of men dislike being single compared to only 30% of women (the 30% probably being the Take Me Out girls). Meaning, men now get to be the ones that lie in bed crying with only a tub of Ben & Jerry’s for comfort.
The new YouTube series ‘I hate being single’ features a lonely singleton rummaging Manhattan searching for a partner and illustrates this point perfectly. It sounds like the perfect Sex and the City replacement doesn’t it? But the protagonist is not a Manolo-clad columnist, but a typical Brooklyn male.
And it’s not just across the pond singleton sitcoms are taking a turn. Shows like Mr. Right showcased a male with females fighting for his affections. Now, the makers of Come Dine with me have created Come Date with Me, where four relationship-hungry men fight for the affections of a single girl.
Interestingly, men’s mags such as Loaded suffered a calamitous 30% year on year drop, while higher brow magazines such as Private Eye excelled. Even rock stars – the epitome of the male singleton – are claiming they crave girlfriends over expected groupies. Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol recently stated he yearns for a partner, even claiming “I don’t think they allow single musicians to adopt, but I’m ready”.
It seems the heartless playboy is becoming an endangered species. According to London-based dating expert, Jasmia Robinson, her clientele of men is increasing – “Guys have much more requests now. They really want to find the one”.
But how have men evolved from the seed planters they are biologically programmed to be? Even ex TOWIE star and infamous womaniser Mark Wright recently told The Daily Mail that “I don’t see the appeal of one night stands anymore”. Jenni Trent Hughes, dating expert at eHarmony.co.uk, believes “Although men are extremely independent in most areas of their
lives they still love to be taken care of”. Perhaps so, but why do more women feel happier being single?
The first explanation has to be the fact there are now more females in top jobs. Decades ago women had the ‘Honey, I’m home!’ scenario where days were spent with a feather duster for arm candy instead of a Celine tote. Women no longer need financial stability and many are simply too busy. And this could affect more women. The Telegraph reported on International Women’s Day 2012, that Nick Clegg wants to see even more females in business stating there is “still a long way to go in achieving equality in society”.
But surely a businesswoman needs someone to go home to? Someone to rub her Louboutin-pinched feet? This needn’t be a heterosexual boyfriend, but a ‘gay boyfriend’. More and more women are filling the void that straight men once filled with their favourite gay. Sunday Times journalist, Giles Hattersley recently articulated that “Gay men have seduced the nation”, especially the nation’s women. Let’s face it – they shop better, they bitch better and they dote on women. And all the things they can’t do can always be purchased in a little shop named Ann Summers.
It’s not only gay men fulfilling the lives of women, but fellow women themselves. The modern woman has a close group of girlfriends to confide in. Men usually don’t have this. According to the Guardian’s Sali Hughes, “women’s friendships means that single girls get together to have fun, regardless. Single men tough it out alone and feel they’re missing out on that emotional support”. According to Laura Jane MacBeth, the singleton behind Cosmopolitan’s ‘Sex and the Single Girl’ column, “women are lucky because they tend to talk more, and open up about these issues, and also be more proactive when it comes to dating – so maybe that’s why they are finding being single easier”.
Dating Coach Jasmia Robinson believes women are now happy to be loners – “people don’t really need each other. We are more independent. You have ready meals. You have sex shops. Women are fending for themselves”. Alexandra Richmond, Mintel’s Consumer and Lifestyles analyst agrees articulating “the stigma associated with being single has virtually disappeared” and when it comes to women enjoying singledom “freedom is key”. Cosmopolitan columnist, Laura Jane MacBeth states, “being single is empowering in itself – it forces you to cope on your own, and once you know you can do that, you feel far stronger… I think women are starting to feel more in control of their love lives”.
Jane*, 22, a new singleton from Edinburgh is enjoying her new found freedom, “Within the last month I have become single for the first time in 7 years, and it has so many perks. I love the freedom. I don’t need to consider anyone else and if I make a last minute decision to go clubbing I can without upsetting my boyfriend. It’s also cheaper as I don’t have to buy presents for in-laws at Christmas which means I can spend more money on myself!”
As well as freedom, could it also be possible that women are simply becoming “too picky”? Women today are brought up to believe they can do anything, like living on a council estate and becoming a lawyer. Meaning more are delaying marriage and childbirth in order to work on their careers. According to Catherine McColl, Inspire Trends Analyst at Mintel, “not only has society become far less critical of singlehood, but we’ve actually become more critical of marriage – especially as divorce rates continue to grow. In this respect, ‘being single’ has become the new normal”. So, along with these postponed marriage plans and ambitious career steps has a higher expectation of men arrived? Cosmopolitan columnist Laura Jane believes women should have high standards: “it’s nice to be in love and have a relationship, but you shouldn’t go out with the wrong person just for the sake of having someone”.
The recent split of ‘Arg’ and Lydia in The Only Way is Essex was interesting. According to eHarmony dating expert Jenni Trent Hughes, “men do crave the
emotional attachment and consistency that comes with being in a
relationship”. After their split, Lydia wants to be single; she wants to see what else is out there. But Arg wants her back, so much so that he recently lost three stone in six weeks and spent a fortune on a gleaming new smile, claiming to Lydia “I did it all for you”. The Guardian recently reported that despite the recession, cosmetic surgery performed on men has risen by 5.6%. Is this to keep up with the heightened expectations of ambitious women? Are women so picky now that they need a surgically enhanced male to keep up with their standards?
Women may be pickier when it comes to men now, they may be too busy, and they may have too many friends and ‘gay boyfriends’ providing support to even need someone. Nevertheless, will the male womaniser actually become extinct? With fewer marriages can we expect to see a future of singletons? We don’t need a partner for babies anymore after all. Shall we all go to Mae West’s view of “I’m single because I was born that way”? Sassy Cosmopolitan singleton Laura Jane MacBeth believes “I hope women continue to enjoy their single lives to the max!” But can anyone actually imagine a world of Russell and ‘Rachael’ Brands? This could be dangerous. Watch this space…
As seen in iN-Magazine