Dubai Diaries: 40s is the time to stay wedged in singledom
The distance between ‘being single’ and ‘in a relationship only gets tediously long the more you traverse it.
"Since I have no personal life at the moment, I will be home sweating out on the yoga mat and indulging myself with a Telugu movie with subtitles…. while awaiting the dawn of another weekend.” A friend of mine, who is single at the moment, responded when I asked her whether she is free this weekend. What she meant is she is free to hang out because there is no one to take her to the beach to feel the breeze against her face or take her out for a romantic dinner and watch the stars sparkling in her eyes.
Having been there and done it, I know it can be difficult to be single. It is even more difficult to admit you are single, especially in a city that is teeming with singles. “Where are all the singles?” is a question every single asks. Remember the ship that got stuck in Suez Canal? Being single in Dubai is similar except that you have to do all the digging and trenching to pull yourself out. Friends or colleagues will occasionally show up with tugboats. While you are wrenching and wriggling your way out, there will be intense pressure that time is running out before the cargo rots. It was different when we were in our 20s. It was cool to be in a relationship. It was equally cool to be a free bird. But the moment you blow 30 candles away, you are entering a danger zone. The whole weight of the world is on you to get hitched. The fear of the biological clock ticking away to the barren zone gets real. Then comes the digital revolution where your ego can get crushed a dozen times a day depending on which direction someone’s finger will swing. The stigma of being ‘single and boring’ keeps you awake at night as you window shop on dating sites and get turned off by the endless collection of shirtless, car-proud, mountain climbers and bar junkies who will hit you up with a ‘Hi sweety’ and disappear into the dark hole of dating.
The distance between ‘being single’ and ‘in a relationship only gets tediously long the more you traverse it. “You cannot go shopping for vegetables in a meat shop,” my brother used to tell me. After squandering away a decade hoping and believing that the right partner is a turn away, you enter the soothing 40s where you feel bold and beautiful about it. That is when you realise you don’t need trenching or tugboats. You ease into the crack and enjoy getting wedged and even call a party to celebrate your singledom.
Anjana is a humanist by passion and a journalist by profession. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.