Saturday, 4 June 2011

The 7 Stages of Searching for Mr/Ms Right

Finding that special someone is harder for some people than others. The chart above shows the seven stages of searching for a life partner. While there are people who get married at 16 and others who tie the knot at 99, most people fall into a general pattern. For simplicity, I assume the search starts at 18 and continues until you find someone or you keel over! The seven stages are:

  1. Nonchalance: This stage lasts from the age of 18 to the age of about 25. You're young and carefree and just want to have a good time with your friends. The last thing on your mind is settling down; the world is your oyster after all!
  2. Optimism: At or about the age of 25, most people begin to keep an eye out for a potential partner. While the partying may not stop, the motives for going out gradually changes. You're young and vibrant - it can only be a matter of time before you meet someone, can't it?
  3. Concern: As your single friends start to drop off like flies and you're still searching, the worrying starts. It starts as a slight nagging doubt, but as you approach 28-30 (women) or 30-33 (men), let the panic begin. Many of your friends' partners have tried setting you up, but there's still plenty of time and opportunity, right?
  4. Desperation: If you're still single by 33-35 (women) or 35-38 (men), you're hit by a double whammy. Not alone are there fewer single people your age to choose from, you find it harder to meet the remaining ones. This leads to desperation creeping in as your biological clock starts ticking in earnest. Your supply of willing wingmen has dwindled to practically nothing, so unless you hit the Internet, it's harder to meet someone*.The pressure to find someone (almost anyone, as some of your family might think!) is intense as the spectre of enforced bachelorhood/spinsterhood looms large! This turns into a vicious cycle as the more desperate you become, the less appealing you are, which increases your desperation......
  5. Resignation: As your milestone 40th birthday approaches and you're still on the lookout, you begin to resign yourself to the fact that eternal happiness is about to pass you by! You may even rationalise that you are happy focusing on your career or that you were destined for a higher purpose, neither of which keep you warm at night! However, the sad truth is that it's looking very likely that you're one of the unlucky few destined never to meet that special someone.
  6. Acceptance: Shortly after the above stage, it's time to accept your cruel fate. It appears you are destined to roam the earth alone. If you're a woman, it's time to buy that cat if you haven't already done so!
  7. Apathy: You've reached your early to mid 40s and realised that this true love malarkey was a pile of pants. You don't even bother to look any more, seldom going out as you're now the oldest swinger in town. You've even abandoned the minefield of Internet dating, even if it did allow you to meet ostensibly suitable people from the comfort of your own home. If it was true what they say about it happening when you least expect it, then no one would be single after the age of about 45!

Obviously, once you start looking, the earlier you find someone in the process the better. However, judging by the amount of married friends that seem to envy your freedom, losing out on true love might not be so bad after all!

*Men have it slightly easier as it's more socially acceptable to go for a younger woman. However, the rise of the cougar has redressed this inequality somewhat!


Aidan said...

This post was inspired by the five stages of grief, which were on a TV show the other day!

No prizes for guessing my approximate age and marital status!

Archangel_Baw said...

LOL That was hilarious. Love your blog:)

Aidan said...

Thanks - glad you enjoyed it!