I've filled umpteen inches of this column with detailed accounts of my own resentful singledom – almost with a kind of self-perpetuating relish. So it's with some surprise (and slight panic over what the hell to write about) that I have to admit that I've met someone nice. Of course, life can turn on a 5p piece; just as easily as I've ended up in this situation I could spin rapidly out of it when she realises that my tolerance for bad timekeeping is gossamer thin, or that the happy-go-lucky veneer I'm managing to maintain is liable to crack without warning. Equally, I might find out that she likes going on racist chicken-stabbing weekends. But, at the time of writing, it's not going appallingly. Whoop.
I'm not generally one for getting caught up in the excitement, but it's hard not to get caught up in the excitement. In the last few days I've found myself kissing in a restaurant, initiating a comically romantic pirouette on a tube platform and skipping down the road while whistling. I'd love to tell you that I'm being sarcastic, or that the skipping itself was dripping with latent sarcasm, but it wasn't. I've transformed into the kind of person I'd avoid at parties by going into the garden and staring at an unpleasant ornamental fishpond.
Reining in my good mood on social media is proving to be a particular challenge. Facebook and Twitter communities have no truck with self-satisfaction. If anything, we turn to social media for a welcome reminder that our peers are reassuringly unhappy; crowing excitedly over an achievement as mundane as the successful poaching of an egg will ensure a mass exodus of friends and followers, all of whom preferred us when we were useless. If I announced that I might conceivably have a girlfriend (which I'm not going to, not least because I'll jinx it) for every person who expressed delight there'd be another who rolled their eyes and thought, "I'll give it six weeks."
So, instead of changing my "relationship status" on Facebook I thought I'd bang on about it in a national newspaper. That way I avoid provoking any bitter congratulations, and also bypass the humiliation of having to change my status back again when it all goes wrong. If you see any of my friends, please keep all this under your hat.