Fall for any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, freeloaders, perverts. Bridget lives alone in London, worries constantly about being 30-something but still single, resents “Smug Marrieds”, lives mainly on chocolate, cigarettes and wine, and occasionally tries to dump the resulting cellulite with a trip to the gym.Moralists fret about them; marketing folk court them; urban developers want to lure them.
But the biggest rise in the 1990s was in the proportion of young people who are living alone.In competitive New York, the problem is at its worst: the Machiavellian brutality of office politics makes it hard to form friendships with the folk at work.Besides, many young New Yorkers live alone in tiny apartments.In July 2001, the published a helpful article on “Where the Boys Are”, with colour-coding to show which neighbourhoods had more men than women.In general, the boys tend to be in neighbouring bars and restaurants.Up to now, that has been a strategy that makes sense.
More people marry today—at least once—than ever before.
The boyfriend-hunt is a big part of Bridget's life.
And so it is with real-life Bridgets, many of whom find the big cities to which they flock lonely places.
Their counterparts in London typically share, finding a flat through the pages of , a newspaper in which the ads lay down in great detail the desirable qualities of “third woman to share non-smoking mixed house in Kentish Town”.
In London, the third woman could expect to meet the friends of her flat-mates in front of the television in the living room, or scavenging in the fridge in the communal kitchen.
But the longer women delay, the bigger the chance of failing to do either. “The trouble with trying to go out with people when you get older is that everything is so loaded,” she grumbles.