‘It must be so hard starting from scratch at your age’

December 8, 2012

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Single, female, thirtysomething and everyone wants to know when you’re going to meet Mr Right?  You might have heard some of these before.  This list ranges from the infuriating, to the tactless, insulting, laughable and ‘meant to be helpful’ that mothers, ex-boyfriends, friends and the world at large seem to say to single women, reminding them (yet again) of their single status.

‘Have you met ‘the one’ yet?’

‘I can’t understand it – you’re lovely, attractive, smart and successful.  Why haven’t you been snapped up?’

From an acquaintance:  ‘I absolutely must introduce you to John.  He’s so sweet and, like you, he’s been single forever.  I’m going to get you both around for dinner.’

‘Are you a lesbian?’

At a social gathering:  ‘Hello there.  You must be Mum!’

At a wedding:  ‘We’ve put all the singles together on an odds and ends table.’

From your mother:  ‘When, oh when, am I going to get some grandchildren?’

Your mother again:  ‘I read an article the other day which said that by their late thirties, women’s fertility plunges to such an extent that only five per cent can actually get pregnant.  You’d better get a move on finding a husband.’

Or even:  ‘It’s such a pity that you didn’t marry Paul.  He was so charming.  Didn’t he get married to Sarah – that really beautiful girl?  Do you still see him in your circle of friends?  I told you that you should’ve married him instead of mooching around on your own.  Why don’t you listen?’

From your best friend:  ‘Guess what?  We’re engaged.  Look at my ring!’

Also:  ‘I’m pregnant!  We’re going to have a baby!’

From your last serious boyfriend:  ‘Although Saskia and I have only known each other for a couple of months, I thought it only fair to tell you, and I wanted you to be the first to know, I’ve asked her to marry me.  I really hope you’ll come to the wedding.’

From your employer:  ‘The board has requested single members of staff without family commitments to provide skeleton cover in the office between Christmas and New Year.’

From the holiday company:  ‘Children go free.  40 per cent surcharge for single room occupancy.’

From the estate agent at a viewing:  ‘And in here we have the nursery… But you could make this into a study or office.’

On logging onto Facebook:  Shares, likes, photo galleries and glowing comments of your ex’s glorious recent nuptials – there for the whole world to ogle at (including you, wherever you happen to be 24/7).

From a married woman with children:  ‘You’re so wise not to have married and had kids.  I tell you, every second of my life is taken up with family stuff – husband, children, school – you’ve got the right idea.  Don’t go there.’

 And we read it everywhere too:

Mini Christmas Pudding:  Serves 1.

On lots of forms:

  • Circle as appropriate   Married   Living With Partner   Divorced   SINGLE!!!
  • Spouse’s/partner’s details …
  • Number of children …

On a wedding invitation:   (your name) plus guest

On a Christmas card:  To Jane, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (fingers crossed this is THE year for meeting THE ONE!), Lots of love from Camilla, Rupert, Naomi, Charlie, Toby, Anouska…and the bump!

Invitation:  St Margaret’s School 1992 Reunion.  Bring husbands and children. See you there!

©  Annie Harrison    Extracted from Finding Mr Right: The Real Woman’s Guide to Landing That Man

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One Response to “‘It must be so hard starting from scratch at your age’”


  1. I love this, I smiled as they rang so true. I do question though if us singletons are just hypersensitive but it really does feel like a slap in the face every time, as if it isn’t hard enough!


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