The Thirty Panic

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The humilating lengths that singletons of a certain age go to in the quest for companionship.

The pressure is un-yielding, the stress is immense, the expectations high, the disappointment – inevitable. I am of course talking about the Thirty Panic. The Thirty Panic describes a syndrome that affects most single people aged 28 – 30 where they develop an intense sense of needing to find a partner before they are 30. Having happily drifted through their twenties being single and for the main, unbothered about it, they now feel an impending sense of doom at reaching “dirty thirty” with no “in house nookie” and having not created the perfect ideal home with 2.4 children, a 42” plasma tv and a company car. The initial shame of Internet dating, speed dating and blind dating is quickly overcome as a Walmart style dating strategy of pile em high and sell em cheap is employed.

Expertise in scanning pages and pages of online profiles is soon acquired. Instant assessments are easily made – she looks too fat (the camera generally doesn’t lie), too old (not mouldable), smokes (I’d rather go out with a fat bird than a smoker), got kids (they’ll always hate you and vice versa), divorced (you’ll always be compared to the ex), too good looking (probably high maintenance or has major self esteem issues), and finally too many pets (see kids).

As you busily flick between 3 msn messenger chats, 1 gmail chat, scanning the new profiles on and trying to keep up with your personal messages on your assorted list of dating websites, you suddenly realize that it’s all too stressful and a big waste of time. The stigma of such methods is too much to get over and the initial awkwardness as you meet the latest dater who incidentally, put a 4 yr old picture of themselves online when they were a stone lighter, will always hinder any “chemistry” beyond any reasonable doubt!

And you see this brings me to my big problem – chemistry. Although it is invariably a bloke’s subject at school, when it comes to love, the girls are all about the chemistry. They can tell within 10 minutes of meeting you, perhaps even 10 seconds whether they’ll take it any further. And you’d better believe it’s up to them, not you! The ironic thing is that if these volatile chemical reactions were so common we’d all be at it like rabbits and would only be subscribed with complete social misfits and sexual predators. The reality is is full of completely normal people who are just a bit shy, a bit old for the nightclub scene and whilst completely affable and perfectly civilized are not part of Russell Brand’s womanizing club, in other words, there’s not going to be any chemistry!

For this reason I think I’m going to revert to the tried and tested method of reaching complete alcohol saturation at the local cheesy nightclub and latching onto the first girl that doesn’t tell me to F off. The shame of having to ask her name the next day is still a hundred times less than knowing you had to resort to the internet. And although women feign shame at such sordid affairs they have to admit that even whilst blind drunk their instinct for chemistry will be spot on. Only 272 days until I’m 30!