Alison Taylor on relationships: Take a walk on the wild side

Apparently I can go feral because I'm a 'normal' person with a boyfriend

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The Independent Online

As a woman in my late 30s, I find having a boyfriend allows me to get away with so much more than I previously could. Last week, I found myself partying with a group of young, mostly gay men in a club in east London and nobody felt the need to raise this as anything unusual - even though it was a week night and I am 37!

One of them, a straight 21-year-old model (hopefully the boyfriend isn't reading this), even offered to impregnate me should the need arise - clock ticking and all that. He didn't mean right there and then, just if I got desperate further down the line. So very thoughtful.

I've been in situations similar to this before as a single woman and have been told I should be at home in bed. One night in particular stands out. It was fast approaching dawn and I was hanging out at with a few people after fashion week, at the Hippodrome in Leicester Square (I know, but give me a break, it was the only place still open). Once one of the guys discovered I was 36 and not, perhaps as he had thought, in my early 30s or younger, he told me I should be at home with a husband and child. The cheek!


First, he was older than me, and his (long suffering) fiancee had been trying to get hold of him throughout the night, while he studiously ignored the call. Double standards all round. Second, and more important, what did it have to do with him anyway? As a single woman, you are judged differently to your partnered-up counterparts, even though you might be doing exactly the same things. There's a foreboding sense that if you're still going out and getting drunk, or hanging out with people of a different age, or being a bit wild, then you're sad, desperate and perhaps a little unhinged.

This all stems from the belief that a relationship is the only way to imbue your life with purpose and stability. It is such a pervasive view that back in my single days, I'd even give myself a hard time about going out at the weekend sometimes.

Now, I'm like: Weeeeeeee!

I can go feral because I'm a "normal" person who has a boyfriend. It's total rubbish but there you go. I think the best solution to all of this nonsense is for everyone - single, coupled or indifferent - to take a walk on their own wild side every once in a while. It's good for you! And you never know, you might even get a sperm donor.