Love in a Cold Climate: A single girl in St Andrews

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In this little seaside town of ours, it seems as though we are all obsessed with one thing. For a group of people who have chosen to spend four years pursuing knowledge on this rocky coastal outcrop, we cannot help but think, talk, analyse and stress about our relationships. Whether it’s on the steps of the library, the gym, coffee shops, or worst of all, drunkenly in the Lizard toilets – it seems to me relationships are all anyone is talking about.

Perhaps this a merely a symptom of our age, a result of the incestuous social circles we find ourselves in or just the manifestation of the haunting statistic that we attend the most loved-up university in Britain.

This preoccupation with love, sex, companionship, whatever you want to call it, has created a strange sense of urgency to our love lives. I find myself constantly asking if my future husband is actually that blonde curly-haired boy I’ve seen roaming the streets since first year, that drunk rugby lad in Ma Bell’s or the infamous Library Boy. My inevitable lack of progress with these anonymous men has led me to wonder, if I can’t find love here, how will I be able to find someone in the Big Bad World?

Ridiculous though this is, there is some truth in the matter. I like to think of myself a non-repulsive woman, entering the prime of my life, with some half-decent social skills that render me bearable company for at least an hour – perhaps even a whole afternoon on a good day!

This fear, however, is one that I believe is lingering at the back of all singletons’ minds, and perhaps even the paired-up ones too. For someone who isn’t looking for a long-term relationship, why does this town make me think I should have one?

I’m no Carrie Bradshaw. I may enjoy the occasional cigarette and an afternoon spent with Vogue, but as far as my love life goes, I don’t possess the same vast experience of men as that famous New Yorker. One thing I have learnt is that you cannot be a serial dater in this town. There’s the ex-guy you used to see wandering across town, as well as his friends, people your friends fancy, friends you shouldn’t fancy, friends’ exes all roaming around town – so many people that you immediately write off. With a small population to start off with, it can sometimes feel like options are dwindling daily.

Now, do not fear, I’m not going to turn this into an arena to vent my insecurities and moan about my lack of male interaction. Instead, over the coming weeks, I hope to delight you, my dear reader, with tales of a perpetually single girl in the three-street jungle of St Andrews.


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