Tag Archives: single women

A different kind of love

6 Sep

Dear lovely readers,

Well, what can I say, I’ve been a BAD blogger the past week: failing to post, then promising to post, then not posting. I apologise. I hope the guys out there don’t think this is a reflection on how I’d behave in The Land of Dating…

The reason I’ve been so unreliable is because last week I had some ENORMOUS news, which occupied most of my head space and a large chunk of my time. You see, while manMap is a project that I love and have been working on for some time, I have a confession to make: manMap is not my only love.

For what feels like about a lifetime, I have been working on another writing project, a novel. manMap pushed my novel to the sidelines, demanding my time for surveying and blogging and the making of enormous spreadsheets. Like an attention-seeking child, it occupied most of my non-working time while my poor little novel waited in the corner for the moment it could spring back into my arms. Last Monday, this moment came.

As previously blogged, I’ve been busy chores with a few applications. One of these was the Australian Society of Authors mentorship program, where 15 emerging writers each get adopted by a published author to workshop their writing. On Monday, I found out that I was one of the lucky ones to be awarded a mentorship.

I’m beyond thrilled about being one of the chosen few, but this means I have Much Work To Do. I really want to make the most of this experience, so I need to spend the next month or so spending some quality time with my novel, so she’s ready to be ripped apart and analysed by my mentor.

So I hope you will forgive me, lovely readers, if I hang up my blogging and mapping hats for a space. Big apologies particularly to my new subscribers. I feel like you’ve been drawn in, only to be dumped. I hope you’ll keep reading in October, even if it’s quiet in September.

Keep an eye on the manMap facebook page so you know when I’m blogging again. I’ll drop by in an non-official capacity now and then. Until next time, I’d like to share with you a funny story.

A single guy-friend of a wing-girl was out with a mate the weekend before last. His quirky sense of humour inspired him to write this:

manMap embraces coasters

on a coaster and stick it on the table in front of him. Sure enough, it caught the attention of a few girls, who he invited to join him and his friend at their table. He hit it off with one of them and ended up going on a date with her on Saturday night (not sure how the date went, but snaps to him for his novel approach to dating). There you have it ladies: lateral dating strategies at work!

Happy Spring to you all and be sure to drop me a line if you have any adventures of your own,
Lucie.

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Sorry for standing you up…

25 Aug

Hi lovely readers,

Sorry for standing you up last night without so much as a facebook update to explain my absence. I’m still in hardcore application mode, but this will come to an end on Sunday afternoon with a bit of luck, and I’ll be back on the mapping trail next week.

In the meantime, I came across something interesting on the 7pm Project. A rural community in Victoria called Harrow has been actively addressing their woman drought since 2003, when they hosted their first Beaut Blokes weekend. Eighty city ladies were invited to spend the weekend in Harrow to meet rural blokes who had to meet the following requirements:

A bloke must be single, love his Mum, be kind to his sister and live in rural Australia.

Beaut Blokes has seen twelves marriages, a number of engagements and numerous friendships, so maybe if you’re keen to meet a farmer without going on national television, you should check out their website. If not, I’ll be back next week with hints of where you can find men in Sydney.

A big hello and thank you to my new subscribers. Seeing a notification in my inbox telling me I have a new subscriber always makes my day. 🙂

Strike a pose…

17 Aug

Just a quicky this week lovely readers, as I’m in hard-core application mode. I am curious for your opinion on something  though…

One of my lovely wing-girls is dabbling in online dating. This is a profile pic she stumbled on:

Wing-girl wondered if the photo was meant to be ironic. I figured the only way we’d find out is if she went on a date with him. If this man in the mud is striking an ironic pose, Wing-girl could very well end up on the most hilarious date of her life. What’s your opinion?

A single woman’s open letter to Dymocks, George Street

10 Aug

Dearest Dymocks,

As I’m sure you’re aware from my Booklover’s card, I’m a big fan. I love wandering through your shelves, rearranging them so friends’ books are cover-out not spine-out, looking for nerdy guys clutching copies of EM Forster’s work and then choosing something new to take home with me (typically a book, not a guy…). But you have betrayed me. And I wonder how, after all these years of devotion, you could be so cruel. And not only to me, but to single women all over Australia.

You see Dymocks, I’m hoping one day my name will appear on one of your shelves (cover-out of course). As part of this process, I had to review books that publishers will see as competition (although I know you know, Dymocks, that none of your books are anything like mine…). This meant I had to spend a few hours in part of you that I rarely if ever visit, that I avoid at all costs: the self-help section.

I don’t object to self-help in theory. It’s just that I remember too well the episode of Sex and the City, where Charlotte discovers the lack of humiliation online book-shopping offers. If this self required help, she would turn to Booktopia for privacy and free shipping. But the philosophy of manMap is the same when it comes to men and books: online research just isn’t as good as research done in person.

And so it was that I set aside a few hours on a Saturday to carefully examine the advice your shelves offered on the topic of Being Single and Wanting to not Be Single. With great trepidation I noticed that your shelves were arranged so almost everyone alighting your escalator would see me in the self-help section, notebook in hand as I scrutinised your current listings. Would it not be kinder to arrange your shelves at an angle, so men on the way to the history section wouldn’t spy the woman nervously leafing through Textbook Romance and Finding Your Soulmate?  

This was not the extent of your treachery. Coming to the end of your self-help shelves I discovered, with an intense feeling of betrayal, that you had positioned the Wedding Book section next to the Single Women’s section. Why would you do this? Why would you rub salt into the wounded heart that loves you?

And so Dymocks, I would like to suggest a change. You are in a position to help singletons all over the country for very little effort or cost. Please move your ghastly wedding books far far far away from the books for single women and replace them with the Sports section, which is always brimming with men. This simple act could make you the Choreographer of Love, something which will surely give you Great Joy and Satisfaction. If you cannot oblige for reasons this Single Woman can’t imagine, then at least consider switching Wedding Books for Cook Books. That way the forlorn singleton can be consoled with fantasies of Manu or Curtis Stone stirring a pot on her hot-plate. Or at the very least, 101 Ways to Cook with Chocolate might help her deal with The Science of Single.

Yours ever hopeful,
Lucie Stevens.

Frock philosophy

3 Aug

Once upon a Friday night in winter, three wing-girls set out for a round of mapping followed by dinner. For the sake of story-telling, let’s name the wing-girls according to hair type: Curly, Straight and Short. Mid-dinner, Curly was struck by a strong desire to dance to a cheesy covers band in the Rocks. The others were happy to oblige, even though Short wasn’t particular thrilled by the idea. She was dressed for warmth, not dancing. Lugging a huge coat around a beer-soaked pub wasn’t a particularly appealing idea.

When the trio arrived at the nominated pub, Short went straight to the bar. She was already feeling self-conscious and over-heated thanks to her 900 layers of clothing, so a nice cool vodka seemed to be the best solution. The pub was cramped with people in the mid-20s to early 50s. A strange assortment of office workers, tourists and ‘girls-night-out’ groups mingled on the dance floor, vying for space. It was exactly the kind of scene Short wasn’t into, but since her friends did nice things for her she realised it was a good opportunity to return the favour. She collected her drink, pushed away the negative chatter and slapped on her happy face.

Before long the wing-girls were on the dance floor. Straight was getting all kinds of attention without having to do much other than be her Lovely Self. This was interesting because Curly was also a very Lovely Self and after another vodka, Short was starting not to worry so much about looking out of place. Yet it was Straight alone that caught the men’s fancy. The bolder ones jostled around trying to get a better position of the floor to dance with her and the not so bold ones gave her little sideways glances of appreciation.

Being an avid student of human nature (ie. someone who enjoys staring at people), Short found this fascinating. To her, Curly and Straight were both equally attractive and charming. And yet Straight was chalking up all the points. What was going on? And then Short realised. It was all about outfits.manMap recommends avoiding convent wear

Short herself wasn’t getting any attention from the guys. She was dressed like she was being sent to a convent in Austria: shapeless shift dress over jeans and a skivvy, with ballet flats designed to withstand the walk home from the station. Nothing about her outfit said, “Hello Man, I think you’d like to talk to me because I’m a woman.” Curly was nicely dressed in a feminine little top and jeans but, being thin-blooded like Short, she was wearing a coat. Yes it was a lovely, fitted red coat, but it was still a coat. On a dance floor. It said to the guys, “I’m not even taking my coat off so don’t bother talking to me.” Straight on the other hand was dressed in her casual Friday work-wear: jeans, heels and a cami under one of those light cardi-top arrangements. She had enough flesh showing to remind men she was a woman but not enough to make her trampy like a lot of other women in the pub. And the men couldn’t get enough of it.

So the moral of the story is this: make sure you wear what’s appropriate for the venue you’re going to. If you’ve never been there before, do a bit of research. Look at the website or ask someone who’s been before. Over-dressing is just as dangerous as under-dressing. You don’t want to turn up at the Old Fitz or Cricketer’s dressed like you should be at Marble Bar. Make sure your clothes are pitched to the right market so you feel comfortable and confident when you get there. That way you’re more likely to get the kind of attention you’re hoping for.

The ‘other’ Great Male Survey

27 Jul

Well it seems I’m not the only one out there asking guys questions about values, beliefs and goals. Ask Men, in conjunction with Cosmopolitan, has just released its 2011 Great Male Survey. Here are some of my highlights about Aussie guys:

  • 68% believe in marriage and think it’s worth preserving
  • only 22% don’t think about whether or not a new girlfriend has ‘wife’ potential
  • a sense of loyalty was seen as a more important quality than a sense of humour or a caring/nurturing attitude. Intelligence was seen as the least important quality of the four mentioned here.
  • almost half the guys surveyed were single (still hunting the stats on how many guys were surveyed but still, it’s a good sign!).
  • most thought they should pay for dates until the relationship was established.
  • only 12% had successfully internet dated. Most of them don’t use the internet to date.
  • 85% said they won’t care if they were in a relationship with a woman who made more money than them.
  • only 19% said they tried to be romantic most of the time, but the bulk of men tried to be romantic fairly regularly. Three out of four guys said that feeling close to their partner was what motivated them to be romantic.
  • 46% of guys thought dating someone from their office was  a bad idea.  So ladies, what we need to remember to do, is to introduce all our single work colleagues to our single wing-girls. That way we can help everyone out!
  • Given the choice of being Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Wolverine, or Spider-Man, the most popular superhero was Superman. I was surprised about this. I thought all Batman’s gadgets would get him the votes.

I’m curious to know whether guys and girls are on the same page with superhero fantasies. Given the choice, who would you date?

Leave a comment if there’s another superhero that takes your fancy (He-Man anyone??).

Hobby-honeys

20 Jul

manMap ponders hobbies...When it comes to love, my hobbies have always let me down. My teen years were dominated by two things: reading and horse-riding. As previously posted, I always hoped I’d find some boy-nerd clutching a dog-eared copy of my favourite book, but I knew it was a long shot. Riding, the only sport I’ve ever managed to do with any level of skill, didn’t prove helpful on the romantic front either. Even when I belonged to the local pony club, the only boys there were the young ones being dragged along with their elder sisters.  

By the time I started uni, I’d switched riding for writing, but this didn’t improve the situation. In a way, it actually made it worse. I suddenly found myself surrounded by smart, funny, articulate men who loved the written word. But most of them were gay. I felt like I was on the end of an elaborate trick the universe had choreographed.

Over the next decade, I tried to find other things I enjoyed doing that men might like to do too, but it seemed that everything attracted the wrong kind of men (ie. ones way too old for me). And so it was that one day in my early 30s, I asked my older, very sociable, brother what he and his friends liked to do. I held my breath while he thought for a moment. The Holy Grail had never felt so close. And then he answered:

We like to drink, and we like to watch car races.

Now anyone reading this who doesn’t know my brother has probably got the complete wrong idea about what sort of person he is. Contrary to his devastating response, he’s not some liver-diseased yobbo who spends his weekends in Bathurst watching cars go round in circles. He’s a well-educated, smart and charismatic man who’s spent the last 18 years working in the arts industry. His response threw me into a whirlpool of despair. Was it possible I’d have to embrace man-stuff like football and race tracks to meet guys? Did this mean I’d be condemning myself to weekends of footy-tips and the smell of burning rubber?

It was this conversation with my brother that actually initiated manMap. I realised the only way I could ever find out what Sydney men were up to was to interview them myself. Still, I wasn’t ready to give up hope that somewhere out there was a man whose hobbies might be compatible with my own. So I ask the men I map what they do in their spare time. And instead of telling you what the most popular hobbies are, tonight I’m going to honour the quirky men of Sydney, the ones who, like me, probably think they’ll never find someone who can appreciate how they spend their non-work hours, the activities that fill them with a glee that gets them through the stress and demands of all the other bits of life. 

Unsung hobbies of single Sydney men:

  • Going to museums (and he was a chef!)
  • Theatre (yes he was straight…)
  • Graphic design (yep…straight)
  • Living a hassle-free life (ok, bit lateral but I can see how it would take a certain level of commitment)
  • Trivia
  • Violence (hmmm…can’t understand why I didn’t ask for his number…)
  • Getting stoned
  • Spending time with his dog
  • Watching Foxtel
  • Being busy
  • DJ-ing
  • Studying wildlife (I wonder if this is a euphemism).

If you’ve got a hobby that’s helped you meet men, please share it by leaving a comment. You might inspire a single-sister to give it a go!

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!

 Manography

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!

Manography

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!

Size matters

10 May

manMap ponders if size mattersThe advent of the small bar has been tremendous gift to Sydney women. We now have a myriad of civilised, social options. There are cosy places we can share wine and conversation with a few friends. Comfortable places with great music and tapas give us a burst of joy after a day at the office. Places with refreshingly quirky décor and delicious cocktails reinspire us if we’ve been exposed to too many hard-lined, modern bars. And best of all, the smoking laws mean none of the new places have that whiff of yester-year’s nicotine, which older venues are still trying to purge.

But, as with many aspects of contemporary life, Sydney women are now even more saturated with choice. With new small bars opening every other day, how do you know where to go? Which venue is going to suit your mood? And more importantly, which venue will help you meet single men?

Bar Zine’s Dan Kaufman is Sydney’s expert on bars. Kaufman spends his evenings exploring Sydney’s bars, new and old, and reviewing them on his website with an honestly that comes from working independently. Although Kaufman doesn’t question people about their relationship status à la moi, his knowledge of the Sydney bar scene means he knows what makes bars popular. And as I’ve said before ladies, it’s all about the bait.

When I met Kaufman last week, I was delighted to hear him echo some of my own theories about the features a bar needs to help strangers mingle and flirt (oddly enough, room for palm-flashing didn’t come up). If you’re socialising with just one or two wing-girls, or if you’re enjoying a wine alone, Kaufman believes the essential ingredient is the humble bar stool. By sitting along the bar, you’re in the space that nearly everyone will enter at some point. It makes you easy to approach if someone likes the look of you and you might end up speaking to a nice guy sitting next to you. Plus there’s the benefit of flirting with the bar staff. Kaufman uses The Grasshopper as the perfect example of this set up. It was only later that I remembered I’d sat along the bar with a wing-girl when I was there. I was early and chatted with the lovely barman until my wing-girl arrived, and two guys ended up sitting next to us. We should’ve embraced the opportunity to speak to them.

For some time I’d been thinking the target for small bars was women like me: thirty-somethings wanting somewhere where the music isn’t blaring so they can chat, where the menu and wine list are good and the furniture comfortable and interesting. Speaking to Kaufman, I realised I was wrong about this. Lots of guys are looking for the same thing (although they probably wouldn’t use the word ‘chat’). After a few walk-throughs of small bars in my area, I realised he was right. Lots of small groups of guys were there. And a small group is always easier to infiltrate.

Kaufman explained that Sydney’s experiencing an ‘anti big bar movement’. It seems that despite our harbour and sunshine, we’ve been craving what Melbourne has known for so long: a smaller bar unafraid to have personality. Sydney-siders have been so deprived that any new little bar is going to create interest, meaning people will go to them. Meaning men will be there. Meaning you might want to go there too. And in Kaufman’s opinion, one crucial element for meeting new people is the ability to make eye contact. In a small venue, where everyone is contained in one main area, this is so much easier.     

So where does Kaufman think single women should go to meet men? If you’re after a suit, he recommends The Argyle, Ivy or Establishment. “Show enough flesh and at some point someone will hit on you, how quickly depends on your body language.” Not into the meat market? Head to the small bars in the CBD, Monday to Friday. Kaufman’s picks are Grandma’s, Stitch Bar and The Grasshopper. If you’re looking for a more suburban vibe on Saturdays, try the Green Room in Enmore or Vice Bar in Balmain. And of course, if you’re not in the head space to meet men and you just want to enjoy the company of your wing-girls, visit Kaufman’s website and take your pick.

Crimes against attraction

21 Apr

A few weeks ago I heard a radio segment where men called up and shared all the things they didn’t like about how women dressed. Topping the list was toe cleavage and wearing a black bra under a white top (Guy readers, what do you think?). It was fascinating to hear this because what was clearly orchestrated to capture men’s fancy turned out to be a crime against attraction.

So I thought I’d open the floor to women. What do guys do that turns you off or just out-right confuses you? I’ll start!

In the last week I’ve encountered two cases of SLP (Severely Low Pants). On both occasions, guys in their mid-20s have been wearing their jeans so low they had to waddle. Really, they’re performing a community service because I couldn’t stop myself laughing.

I wish I had the courage to stop an SLP-ers and find out how they keep their pants from dropping all the way to their ankles. Do they have a sturdy yet concealed band of velcro that sticks their jeans to their boxers? What happens when they sit down? What happens if they need to run for the bus? Don’t they find it restrictive? Don’t they want to take long, manly strides? Do they really think women will find it attractive? Maybe some do. Me, I veto.

So what guy-crimes against attraction have you witnessed?