It’s a simple question. But it’s one which single women seem to have great difficulty answering honestly. Especially as we get older.
I think part of it is programming. We’re so focussed on the end goal – the house, the husband, the babies – that the older you get, the easier it can be to overlook the relationship steps which get you to those things. The way a relationship between two people starts out, and then gradually develops, sometimes into a lifelong commitment.
Another part of it is a key difference between single men and women. I know a lot of single guys, who have openly admitted that they just needed to be single at a certain point in time. However, I’ve heard far fewer female friends make the same decision. I think a lot of that is down to society’s views of promiscuity. I realise it’s a broad brush to paint, but in general being single for a guy doesn’t mean having to give up sex, it just means giving up relationships for a while. Whereas for most girls I know, enforcing singledom, is also to enforce celibacy. Or at least pretend to!
And so whilst I have a lot of single male friends, who are quite contently single. Very few of my single female friends are as satisfied with their single status, and very few approach being single as something they have actively chosen for themselves.
The thing with my guy friends, is that they are far better at identifying their immediate needs, and acting on them.
What do I need right now? Some casual sex. A no strings attachment. A complete break from women. To meet a load of women and get over my ex. A rebound. A longterm relationship.
Ask my single female friends what they need, and the answer is more likely to be –
A tall guy with brown hair. A guy who has never been married before. A driven professional. Someone over 6 foot. A man in uniform. Someone who wants kids. Someone who likes dancing.
I’m just as guilty. When I ask myself what I’m looking for, I overlook what I need right now, and look for the personality traits of a longterm partner. I know that my ideal guy is a driven, adventurous intellectual. And I’m also aware what looks and demeanour I find attractive in a guy. But the bit I’m overlooking, is what I actually need from a guy at this moment in time.
Do I actually want a boyfriend right now? What do I want from him? How much time would I want to spend with him? How much time do I realistically have for him? How far am I really willing to travel if I plan to see him at least a couple of times a week?
It’s easy to go online and start ‘husband searching’. Looking for your ideal man. For the type of man you think you need to settle down with. The happy ending. But the reality is that majority of the most successful relationships I know, never started that way.
They started with a simple question – what do I need right now?
And the answers were often – a one-night stand, a sixth form boyfriend, a university boyfriend, a bit of fun while I’m travelling, a drunken snog, a nice date …
All the best relationships I know started as something simple, and developed with time. Each person adjusting to what his or her partner needed at different stages in the relationship. Sometimes it doesn’t work. Sometimes you can be what each other needs right now, but as things develop, you’re unable to adjust.
But the key is the adjustments.
In my experience, things which start quickly also end quickly.
And the developments are the fun bit! Yes, it can be fun every now and again skipping your starter and main course and rushing to dessert, but it can also be a lot of fun pacing yourself and enjoying a long, dragged out meal.
Or maybe just having a variety of starters for a change. Or just a quick drink 😉
Maybe it’s time we all treat our love lives a bit more like we treat our appetites, and simply asking ourselves more often, ‘what do I need right now?’, ‘am I getting it?’, and if you’re not getting ‘it’, ‘what do I need to change so that I can get it?’.
Food for thought …
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx