February 14th, St Valentine’s Day, is once more upon us and our thoughts naturally turn to love. So what does it hold in store for you? If you’re in a relationship, let us hope that it turns out to be more substantial than a fauxmance, a fake romance between two famous people, (‘faux’ meaning ‘false’), and longer-lasting than a showmance, a relationship between two cast members which lasts only for the duration of the show.
But what if you’re not in a relationship and looking for love? A dizzying array of options are out there for the modern singleton. The internet has, of course, opened up all sorts of possibilities to help you find your perfect match. Online dating has been with us almost as long as people have socialised online, but through niche dating, you can be set up with that special someone who shares your passion in life – be it rugby, science fiction, even farming. Or, if you think romance can blossom in less than 140 characters, you could go on Twitter to find your tweetheart. And if face-to-face contact is more your thing, and you think speed dating is just so last century, how about attending an eye-gazing party, in which participants do not speak to each other but instead gaze at each other for a set amount of time before moving on? (On second thought, maybe not – at least, not for me!)
Then again, others seem to actively seek out a partner different to themselves. Take the cougar, a mature (approximately 40+) woman who likes to date men significantly younger than her. Cougar dating websites exist and the term has even generated a verb, to cougar, meaning to approach a younger man in order to start a relationship. Then there is puma, referring to a slightly less mature woman, (in her thirties), who also likes her men a decade or so younger. But before you start to feel sorry for the poor young men being tracked down by these big cats, consider the cougar hunter, a young man who actively seeks romance with an older woman.
Age is one thing, but heaven forbid the differences between you and your partner are so great that you are accused of down-dating, which, it seems, means dating someone considered beneath you, either in terms of looks or status. Maybe it’s safer to eschew the whole relationship business and stick to your friends – something men particularly seem to be doing more and more, with the advent of the bromance – that very close, though not sexual, bond enjoyed by some men. You might even prefer to go on a man-date, perhaps even to watch a brom-com (yes, that’s a bromantic comedy).
But stick with it, find your perfect match, and who knows, maybe one day you might be described as a power couple or supercouple – one of those couples who, though the individual partners are wealthy and influential in their own right, have even more influence or glamour as a twosome.