Red manicured nails

A single life: a life worth living

As Sunday morning is a working morning for me, I rarely sit and read the papers. However, it seems that when I do, there is always an article, generally in the Style section of the Sunday Times, that sends me in to a spin. Last time it was Claudia Winklemann telling us what we should and shouldn’t be wearing after a certain age, and this time it is Jean Godfrey-June (Executive Beauty Editor for, Gwneth Paltrow’s company), waxing lyrical about her ‘post divorce beauty routine

I had hoped to find an article that offered advice on things that might make women feel better after an event as a traumatic as divorce: products that deliver a large dose of TLC, or a confidence boost. Instead, I found myself reading about which beauty regime to adopt to have the best chance of securing the next man. How sad.

I should have known, the signs were there from the start:

I’d grown up on statistics about single women and their ever diminishing chances…I could only imagine what the statistics might be for single moms in their forties.

Against my better judgment, and to the detriment of my blood pressure and Sunday afternoon peace of mind, I read on.

What saddens me the most is the idea that life isn’t worth living unless you have a man in it. And that even after the traumas of a relationship that has not worked out, the best way forward is to get straight back on the search to fill the gap. Worst of all, that it is women’s responsibility to look as good as they possibly can to increase their chances of getting one!

You can’t know what sort of a person….your potential mate is looking for. Do they love women with perfect manicures or do they see them as a huge high maintenance turnoff?


When I read articles like this one, I can’t help but feel concerned about the out-dated idea that, as women, we are the subjects of a selection process over which men have sole control. I worry about the inherent impotence and self-imposed inequality that accompanies it. Even more concerning is the potentially flawed decision making that can result. It is exactly this kind of thinking that leads to bad choices…. repeatedly.

And anyway is life without a man really that bad? Not if my own experience is anything to go by. Living alone can be liberating, exciting, and a hugely positive and rewarding experience. I have spent many wonderful years as a single woman and would happily go back there should the chef finally get fed up of my antics (or me of his!). The reality is a far cry from what the media and others would have us believe.

Of course being in a relationship is special too but only on the right terms. I live by the premise that if someone comes into my life they have to make it better not worse and that it is mutual respect, honesty and a readiness on both sides to compromise, that ultimately leads to true and lasting happiness. It does not come from contorting yourself to fit what you believe is someone else’s preference.

Learning to love yourself and treating yourself well for no other reason than because you deserve it, is paramount. Spend the money on the manicures but do it simply because they make you feel better. The more you can love yourself and be true to yourself the more others will be attracted towards you. Whether or not you choose to allow them in is then down to you. As women we do have a choice….no statistics required! Is that not a more healthy position to be in?


  1. Tracey

    I know just the sort of article you mean (although I didn’t read this particular one) – it’s not just the Sunday papers, but often womens magazines too (and the adverts within them) that promote the idea that all the effort we “should” make is for snaring a man. It’s infuriating. They should be making as much of an effort for us, if things were equal 🙂
    Well sod that for a lark!! I’m divorced and would love to have a partner again … but if he doesn’t accept me for my loud laugh, very curvy body (ok, overweight!), my independence and strong views on things, then he’s certainly not the man for me. I’ve had a few short-lived flings since my divorce but they haven’t worked out as I seem to have chosen badly – nice enough men but they want a fairy tale that’s not me.
    And if in another year I’m still on my own… well, as you say Lindsay, a single life is as good as we make it!!

  2. Julia

    Wow! Lindsay you have hit the “nail on the head“ (no pun intended!). I had no idea that in 2018 women in the prime of their lives could feel so in thrall to men and fatuous issues, such as whether or not they like manicures. I had a friend once- some decades ago- terminate a lunch with me early after fretting all the way through that she had broken a nail and had to get to her manicurist with whom she had made an appointment to fix it. She genuinely seemed distressed about it. Although a very beautiful young woman and in a good job, her apparently “fairytale“ marriage ended. Her husband treated her like a doll and her behaviour matched that. We are people and should be judged on our qualities as people.

  3. Zoe

    Well said Lindsay!! I’ve always been a firm believer that until you are happy being on your own, you’ll never be happy whoever you are with. Relying on another person to make you happy is a recipe for disaster and an unrealistic basis for any relationship. I love my other half to bits and wouldn’t want to be without him but if it happened I know I’d be OK on my own and I’d be able to watch Strictly in peace for once :-).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *