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Shed gloom fast with The Man Diet

July 18, 2010

Sometimes it's best to leave off the pursuit of men. (Picture:

It was suggested to me recently, by a guru-figure, that I should go on a man diet.

She noted that my singletude had taken on something of a manic form, as it does with many people, and that rather than constantly questing for the next story to tell my friends (in the form of a hook-up or date of some type), or for self-validation via male admiration, I should just take a break. Go off duty. Work on my relationship with myself.

Above all, stop pursuing men, which only makes  you feel rubbish when they aren’t particularly keen on you. And let’s face it, when they’re keen, they’re keen: they pursue you. You can’t generally woo a man, as I need only refer to my own book (What the Hell Is He Thinking?), to recall (convenient, that!). Yet lately I’ve been flouting my own wisdom: serenading men, wining and dining them, luring and persuading them. And guess what? I’ve been left feeling deeply unsettled, my sense of well-being buffeted about by this cold text or that lack of follow up or that excuse. So I’m taking a break. I’m choosing to read a book (Stieg Larsson, naturally) over bars, and when I do go out, there’s certainly no lingering around while I wait for someone to notice me. If I meet someone nice, I try to enjoy that, then off I go. If they want to follow up, they can. And most of all, I’m trying not to initiate “man talk” or the “man update” with friends. It inevitably comes up – such is the pressure of being single, you’re expected to deliver stories – but at least I can lead with a comment about, oh I don’t know, the weather.

After my conversation with the guru figure, I went on my merry way, instantly feeling a load lighter. Freer. I began evangelising, jauntily telling my single friends that all that man-related angst was gone, poof, at least temporarily,  since I’d clambered upon a very comfortable, emotionally-healthy high-horse and was done prostrating myself on the altar of male admiration…for at least two weeks. I didn’t expect the reaction I got: instantly my girlfriends wanted to go on the Man Diet too; their arteries were also feeling clogged full of low self-esteem and pointless laying-down of self worth. They felt the  high of meeting hot men followed by the low of poor treatment and/or general crapness was robbing them of overall health. Then there’s the fact that you drink far more when you’re on the hunt: laying off men results in less booze-induced podge too.

Single ladies out there, feel free to join us. It’s a lovely, wholesome diet, very good for you, and a lot easier- it seems- than laying off the cakes.

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