“Nature abhors a vacuum, and society abhors a woman on her own”, I tweeted drunkenly and loftily in October 2020, and honestly, I stick by it. Our society is not built for the uncoupled, and no one is made to feel this more acutely than women who are mostly single, by choice or otherwise. Over… Continue reading Is single positivity good for women?
I know someone who does not kiss on a first date. It’s a shameless and transparent ploy, because he tells the woman at the start of the evening that he doesn’t kiss on a first date, effectively setting up a challenge. I assume he has to play this game to concoct the frisson that other people… Continue reading Boring in bed: on sex, desire & vulnerability
I woke early this morning – who’s on a healthy sleep schedule these days, anyway? – and looking for something quick and digestible to read, stumbled across this New York Times opinion piece. And it needled me more than it should have done, possibly because I had a conversation with a friend a few days… Continue reading On love and panic
Most first-person pieces on dating end neatly (‘and I quit all the apps one Sunday and met my husband on the Tuesday’, or ‘I have decided to stay single, I now devote my life to rescuing orphaned goats*, and I’ve never been happier’) and frankly, so they should. The general rule of writing is: take… Continue reading In search of the lightning strike
The thing about being both insecure and perhaps a touch self-involved is that when someone sends you a 4,000-word email explaining what they think of you, you find it more compelling than creepy. I received one such missive fairly recently, and it contained – among a host of other wildly incorrect things – a line… Continue reading Lines on lust
I have a friend who teaches boys how to kiss. Not as a job, you understand – but if she’s dating a guy and doesn’t like the way he kisses, she will tactfully put him right. I’m not sure of her exact methods (it would be weird if I’d witnessed this, let’s be honest) but… Continue reading Low-maintenance
The second series of the inimitable Derry Girls opens with Erin monologuing in the bath and Orla crashing in with the line, “she’s pretending she’s on Parkinson again!” I cannot tell you how much I love and, as will come as no surprise, relate to that moment. Except when I do it, it’s not Parkinson, it’s Woman’s Hour or… Continue reading The necessity of being alone
Or: Woman, 28, in ‘modern dating is awful’ shock If you’ve read Dolly Alderton’s beautiful memoir Everything I Know About Love, you’ll join me in a sharp intake of breath when I mention the ‘guru chapter’. For the uninitiated: a few years ago, Alderton conducted a phone interview with a man who billed himself as… Continue reading Flirting with writers