When the working day is done…

5 Jul

When you’re a 30-something singleton, it’s easy to become despondent, especially during winter. You see the 20-somethings trotting around on Friday nights in their short dresses and non-bulky coats, trying to keep warm as they wait for taxis to whisk them off to a club you have no desire to visit. And you think,

I can’t be bothered. It’s freezing. I don’t want to risk pneumonia for the sake of exposing flesh.

By the time we’ve hit our 30s, many of us are dealing with more responsibility, and often more stress, at work. If you’ve had a busy workday, you’ll probably feel like a quiet, cosy night with a few friends instead of big night out involving a effort on your part. The problem is though, you can end up missing out on a bit of fun and silliness.

I’m the first to admit I’m guilty of Crimes Against Fun and Silliness. Between a busy publishing job, survey guys, blogging, finishing a novel and seeing family and friends, frivolity is frequently de-prioritised. But I’ve noticed that a night of lighthearted fun often gives me a much needed mood-boost. Even if it involves a late night, I usually have a lot more energy for my many schemes the next day. And I think I’ve finally realised why this is.

Every now and then single ladies need a bit of obligation-free flirting, just to remind them that they’re women. Even if you know nothing is going to eventuate for whatever reason, a bit of male attention can really warm up a cold winter night. I saw this happen a few weeks ago when I grabbed a mid-week drink in the city with three wing-girls. Two of them were well into their second bottle when I arrived. Sitting with them was a good-looking guy who they’d started chatting to and had invited to join them. There was no way that anything was going to happen with this guy. He was nice, funny, cute and friendly. But he was also a good decade younger than us and had made mention of his girlfriend  (in fact he was running late to meet her…clearly not great boyfriend material!). And even though the conversation didn’t have a particularly strong sexual undercurrent, we all enjoyed a bit of a casual flirt. When we finally went our separate ways, we did so with big grins.

So I thought I’d share with you a few places I’ve mapped that are perfect if you’re looking to meet guys without the pressure of a hardcore meat-market vibe.

The Monkey Bar, Balmain 

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 69%
Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%
Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights
Crowd: Straight, fashionable, crowd-conscious guys who are ready to flirt.
How many wing-girls you should take: As many as you like but don’t create an intimidating crowd.
What to wear: Glam casual
Top tip: Catch the post-work crowd on Friday then stay for the later-comers. 

The Monkey Bar is true to its name. It’s definitely a bar, not a pub and for singles, it’s a playground. Although it’s known as a place to pick up, don’t be put off. The men are friendly, fun and usually not sleazy. The light-hearted mood makes it perfect for flirting. Catch the locals after work on a Friday, then stay for a dance. As the music gets louder, more and more non-locals will join you on the dance floor. Be careful not to get tucked away upstairs or at the short end of the bar. Just like in real estate, location counts!


Ages of single men:      
20-30: 27%
31-40: 27%
41+: 46%

Professions: Corporate strategy, engineering, trade, customer service, entertainment, finance, IT, science and technology
Interests and hobbies: sport socialising, travel, water sports and music   
Men who socialise here also like hanging out at: The London (Balmain)   

The Marlborough Hotel, Newtown

Percentage of surveyed men who were single: 77%
Percentage of surveyed men in a relationship who have single friends: 100%
Prime time: Friday and Saturday nights
Crowd: Blokey, live music lovers. Younger crowd upstairs. Student nights during the week.
How many wing-girls you should take: As many as you like. The space is big enough for all your friends.
What to wear: Casual downstairs, sexy casual upstairs
Top tip: Chat to guys before the music starts so you’ve got a reason to dance with them during the set. 

The Marly is layered with possibilities. At street level, the boys are ready to appreciate live music over a beer. It might be too loud for conversation but bonding over a favourite song is a great way to make new friends. Venture upstairs to the Level One cocktail bar for more sophistication. If someone takes your fancy, lead the way downstairs to The Cellar where the lighting’s low and the leather couches are perfect for getting better acquainted. Check the website for events like State of Origin screenings. They’re sure to bring in the boys!


Ages of single men:      
<20: 10%
20-30: 50%
31-40: 40% 

Professions: Sports industry, media defence, engineering, finance, IT, community services
Interests and hobbies: Socialising, sport, drinking, sex, watching tv              
Men who socialise here also like hanging out at: Clock Hotel, AB Hotel

On the other side of the Bridge, try The Oaks in Neutral Bay. I’m yet to map there but every time I’ve been we’ve met heaps of nice guys, particularly playing pool.

If you’re not in the mood to go out on a cold night, you might prefer to stay in and check out this fab website I stumbled on: Men In This Town. It’s a fashion-focused journal of men in Sydney. A lot of the shots are candid, which I think makes them fascinating. Enjoy!


2 Responses to “When the working day is done…”

  1. Catherine July 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    So interesting to hear about your winter as I’m dying it’s so hot in summer here 🙂
    Love your stories.

    • Lucie Stevens July 20, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      Enjoy the heat Catherine – it’s cold and wet in Sydney. Terrible mapping weather!!

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