My sister was reading this book and recommended it to me. It is a story about Nina, a early thirties British single gal, a successful food writer with amazing friends and loving parents. The book is about navigating love in this day and age. It gave me a glimpse of what life could have been if I am still single. As pictured in the book, it doesn’t seem to be a bed of roses being single in the 30s & searching for the “right” men in the congested heavy crowd of single men, though being a wife & mom in her 30s or 40s isn’t that awe-inspiring in comparison either as illustrated in Nina’s married & pregnant childhood friend, Katherine. Finding love these days means being tech savvy with all the dating apps around, have a very keen intuition to weed out the “wrong” men, have investigative skills and analytic mind to decipher the men. It takes skills, time and stamina to date nowadays it seems. Being a married woman, marriage can be challenging but the single-hood has quite its own challenges too especially for women (Sorry, boys! I may be biased.)
These days, there are new words to learn in the dating world too.
Gaslighting – Making a victim question his/her own sanity and reality while the toxic manipulative abuser slowly takes control aka mind games
Ghosting – Disappearing on you. It’s a cowardly way of saying, “I’m no longer interested.”
Breadcrumbing – Stringing you along. Often the person has no intention of following through
Soft Launching – Posting subtle hints on social media that you are dating someone new
Zombie-ing – This is when the person who ghosted you come back to life, usually with a “Hey” suddenly in you DMs
Catfishing – Pretending to be someone else online using another person’s name, photo, etc
Love Bombing – Moving too fast in new relationship by declaring his/her love for you within weeks of dating
Micro-cheating – Small, seemingly harmless actions or behaviour that may indicate a partner is emotionally invested with someone else like intimate chat conversation with a coworker that is not your spouse
Benching– Practice of keeping a potential romantic partner on hold in case others dont work out
It seems dating nowadays would need a dictionary for all the new terms. In the book, Nina and her single friends would often get ghosted by initially promising men. Why do men ghost women? Have I ever been ghosted before? The book ended with a view of acceptance to this new way of dating and its adventure, perils, excitement and the promise of hope.
I got engaged at age 32 and married at the age of 33. For some they think that I got on the married train, late in the game. I was starting a family in my mid 30s while my high school classmates have teenagers already. During the time when I was still single when I was in my late 20s, there were definitely unspoken but palpable pressure from all corners why I am still single. Dating, even during that time, was exhausting, complicated, difficult and unfortunately, the selection pool was very limited in quality. I have to complain to my mother that dating “out there” is sooo hard, finding “the one” is that easy as they picture it in movies or books, very far from it. But it seems dating has even become more difficult. If I am still single, would I be constantly engaging in dating apps? Would I have the energy to date almost every night to find the “one for me”? Or would I give up and runaway from the dating jungle and stay secure in my home with Netflix & chips? These thoughts run in head when I was reading this book. I love how Dolly Alderton writes. She write in an entertaining narrative, giving to life the protagonist’s thoughts and headspace. Reading the book gives me lots of thinking points, realisations about love, family & friends, and like I said earlier, a glimpse of being a woman & single at 30s. The book celebrates female friendships, love for our parents and being resilient in our search for love.
Read this book and let me know what you think.