Thursday, 24 September 2009

32 and yet still single…The London issue!

Life continues to be thrilling and fun, work somewhat dwindling due to the market situation, love life completely deserted, social scene: exhilarating, wardrobe completely saturated with designer items in an attempt to compensate shortcomings on other departments, mood swings off the chart and the weight is uncontrollable. What a girl to do?

Female congregation I partook in recently led me to conclude that London is what we all had in common, London is the single mens town ergo the single gals town, thrilling social scene, exhilarating London life, plentiful eye candy for both sexes, high flying busy jobs, all these are factors actively contributing to the unavailability, lack of time and also trust, making the masses of London town chronically single.

Singles looking, matches.com, singles events, speed-dating, meet London singles, single and mingle…wherever you look you see some kind of advert broadcasting this issue and pretending to offer solutions. The truth is these solutions are not everybody’s first choice, Internet dating is still very much seen as desperate and speed dating as the end of romance.
So again I ask: what a girl to do?

Do we resume ourselves to being single?

Women are typically more affected by this issue mainly due to the age factor, body clock and fierce competition from other female hunters; and because women spend the most and the best of their child-baring years with emotionally unavailable men whose sole purpose is to remain single and free despite pseudo-relationships they may or may not form with hopeful and probably naïve women.

Men have always been intrigued by what women discuss when between themselves, if they had the chance to, they would see panic and desperation in some, distress and anguish in others but mostly anger, anger about their situation which in time becomes a resolution to make the most of their singledom and success.

Women’s careers steadily become important parts of their lives, they study, work and strive to achieve an outstanding social and financial status, and this usually takes part between the mid twenties and late thirties, which should we follow the norms, also represents the female’s best period for child bearing or starting a family, most strive to achieve both to the best of their abilities, but it’s a struggle that women have to face alone it seems. It’s almost as though men want to push women to their limits, proving that they (women) cannot achieve both a successful career and a family, women’s careers then hit a systematic downgrade with pregnancy and maternity leave, leaving place to male colleagues who do not have that burden. The knowledge of this discourages women from child bearing resulting therefore in increasing numbers of (older) single girls or a higher rate of divorce.

Another factor contributing to the rise in single girls number in London is the female competition which has become rife in the last few years, it seems there is so much choice for men, blondes, brunettes, party girls, working girls, beauties and cuties, all races and all nationalities, all eager to find a man, who in turn become fastidious players, resulting in the average girls absolute demise and imposed singledom.

Which brings us to another point of focus: Desperation, desperation engenders settling, settling for anybody to avoid loneliness, which then leads to discontent, commitment issues, deception, infidelity, separation, divorce and many unhappy endings which takes us right back to singledom again, singledom that is tainted with emotional trauma and financial problems on top of the social stigmas attached to divorce and older single girls.

Now you might say why London. This problem is not specific to London only, in a general manner yes, by my personal investigations of counterparts in France or the US etc proved otherwise; women do not seem to face the same issue, in the US the dating etiquette proposes that a man should propose marriage if he dates a women for more than a year, dating is a national sport in the US, people occupy themselves with dating until they meet the right person, which implies the reluctance to being single. In France men and women seem to be keen on marring fairly young, the average and accepted age for marriage is 27, marriage is first on the agenda and quick to come by it seems, people tend to be in relationships, being single is not very well regarded. As for London, the fact that it is such a melting pot of cultures and an intensely cosmopolitan city, a career stop spot for most people, means that people do not tend to think about it as home but rather as a temporary base that is necessary for their career development or studies, English lessons or Travel base as is the case for a lot of antipodeans, if it is a temporary base then not many couples tend to form, dating becomes useless and people are more reluctant to form relationships, leaving therefore a large community of people single and looking.

So there you have it: until further news – I and a about 5 million women remain single in London….

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Algerian dating phenomenon

A new dating phenomenon has appeared on the Algerian social scene, I noted.

It seems the international dating rules and etiquette do not apply to the Algerian dating scene, the players make their own rules and play their games against a participating public who is oblivious to these rules, therefore claiming victory at each game and collecting the trophies and titles, leaving behind indignant or wounded parties both on the physical and emotional level, turning this game into a vicious circle that would ultimately have long-term effect on the overall socio-behaviour of the society.

We all know that "dating" comes from western cultures and that it is not really recognized in Islamic cultures, due to the strict rules of non-mixing before marriage, but due to the westernisation of most Islamic nations and the globalisation trend as well as other social activities such as Immigration; dating has become more tolerated and sometimes even encouraged, though it does remain frowned upon and even strictly forbidden in certain countries where free mixing is non-existent such is the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Now Algeria seems to be a completely different case; generally speaking you'll find a bit of everything in Algeria. you have the group where social free mixing is completely unheard of and dating is as common as the rain in the Sahara, and other groups where dating is a social activity that is completely accepted and tolerated, although this was not the case 10 years ago, things have changed and a sight of a couple walking down the street hand in hand is not totally shocking, providing you are talking about a big city with busy streets and local cafés and tea-rooms where these couples could sit and enjoy a hassle-free date.
The first group is not so fortunate, as you'll find couples struggling to meet or even talk on the phone, where everything has to be scheduled and schemed carefully or it could mean trouble with the girl’s father or brothers or even in some cases, cousins and uncles, it could even go as far as neighbours in some extreme cases.

Now, in this blog, what I am concerned about isn't the dating itself but the new dating rules or should I say the abolition of these rules and etiquette. Where women have become important players despite the fact that men are still the more prominent ones and are still holding the dices. They have taken it to new levels, where women are usable and disposable and are actually okay with this; Marriage doesn’t even enter the agenda or at least is very cleverly hidden. It is all about non exclusivity, open relationships and affairs. You are a women, therefore you should know this is an open relationship and of determined duration, do not expect more than your given time and do not question the fact that there are more than two in your “relationship”, if you do (question) then you’re jus not open minded enough or at least not interesting – there is an expiration date and limit; its in fact expiration dating.

These players of both genders view their lifestyles as very westernised and therefore very developed and cultured; this is mainly due to the effect of westernisation and viewing everything European or American as cultured, developed and THE standard to follow, leaving indigenous and inherited “social” principals visibly diminished and neglected, which results in a very westernised generation that is torn between the old and the new, Islam and westernisation which could be explained by the socio-behavioural evolution that occurs naturally with the mixing of races and religions through trade and immigration but that is generally speaking, in Algeria specifically, the change is most significant in the younger generation of higher economic status, where financial freedom makes for an easy mean or access to the western world through travel, TV, mobile communication, cinema and fashion. This new generation it seems adopted their own culture and created their own “new” traditions which are a more contemporary urban set of traditions adopted from what they view as suitable for their lifestyles and times, this can be witnessed through the new dating behaviours mentioned above, the mixing of races (international marriages are now becoming a more common trend in Algeria), the wedding celebrations, this behavioural change extends to new dialects created and considered more “HIP”, hair styles and body arts, though we have to visit the issue of the recent Islamic revivalism, many young Algerians have a new found faith, wearing of Hidjab (Islamic veil) is high amongst the youth of middle and lower classes, putting this group in direct conflict with the latter which holds more liberal views. Can this be viewed as diversity? Or a new social concern?

So this brings us conclusively to the question of marriage since dating – the new dating phenomenon has created new rules and criteria’s that surely would affect the marriage decision of the players.
If the core values of the society have been modified, what are the criteria they based their searches for life partners on? Keeping the same dating criteria is not something impossible but quite rare, showing the hypocritical behaviour this dating phenomenon has engendered.

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