I have since discovered that "Debbie" is an act and not a real eHarmony customer trying to find the love of a good man while showing tremendous lack of judgment. I am both relieved and disappointed. I am disappointed because I rather liked poor Debbie, and I wanted to know if she had, despite being inordinately attached to cats, attracted dozens if not hundreds of men. She's very pretty, and some men are absolutely goofy about airheads--even ones with MBAs from Villanova, I imagine. But I wondered if even the goofiest would immediately contemplate what it would be like to live with such a woman.
By the way, I had a terrible nightmare last night that B.A. and I were trying to buy an apartment in Toronto, but we could not be approved for a mortgage because I do not have a proper job, which was rubbed well into me by one of the current owners of the flat, a guy who had gone through male-to-female "transitioning" and who lived with a woman who was practically his/her twin and their children. Talk about multi-layered anxiety dreams.
Anyway, I was happy believing in Debbie, for Debbie was an illustration that sometimes (NOT always), sometimes, men and women persist in being Single because they have a serious habit or way of engaging the world that bores, antagonizes or frightens people. Of course, some people with terrible habits or antagonistic or scary ways of engaging the world end up shacked-up or married anyway because the rocks in their heads match the holes in others.
Having written primarily for Singles for years, I still think a lot about why so many people are Single for longer than they used to be, but I never voice my opinion on why a particular individual is Single unless I am asked. One of the worst things you can say to a Single is "No wonder you're Single because blah blah blah blah blah." Not only is it deeply insensitive, you might be terribly wrong. The one exception is if it is a male friend at university and you know he is Single because he doesn't wash every day and thinks clean clothes are optional. I think in such a circumstance, it is kinder just to tell him.
An aside: I was on the Rough Bus yesterday, and I mentally redressed everyone in view, gave them better haircuts, and made them sit up straight. Vast improvement, and the most unemployable-looking one was actually quite striking. Clothes do make the man.
There are so many reasons no-one has much control over that has delayed marriage for millions, and they are not all bad. The best one is that fewer people feel that they will be a shame and a disgrace if they are not married by 22. If we were still all treated as virtual adults from the age of 14, as in the Middle Ages, then most of us would be ready for marriage at 22. But we aren't--and someone would be doing the Western world a real kindness if he or she wrote a bestselling book about how to raise children so that they really are adults by the age of 18, not teenagers until age thirty.
But at the same time, it is very sad that self-absorbed adolescence lasts so long for so many, and so many women have to unwillingly wait until their reproductive years are almost over for the right guy to come along or to grow up or for themselves to grow up. And from an aesthetic female point of view, it is sad that fewer men marry when they are still wonderfully good-looking with full heads of hair, etc.
So it is almost a comfort to realize that sometimes the reason why one persists in being Single is because one is doing something wrong that one could cease doing. Personally I changed many mental habits on the path to meeting B.A., and I decided at the age of thirty-two that it would be good to stop emphasizing all the "guy stuff" I was into (e.g. boxing) and start learning from very feminine and pretty women about "girl stuff." Somewhere along the line I noticed that all the "feminine" stuff second generation feminists hated--make-up, skirts, pretty dresses, impractical shoes, shopping, deep interest in babies, a former deep interest in ponies, attraction to sparkly objects in jewellers' windows--men seemed to like in women--and not because it makes men feel all superior, as various feminist writers wrote again and again.
Men in general are not as good at women in expressing how they feel, but over the years, I collected enough naive male remarks--accompanied by goofy, fatuous facial expressions--about heterosexuality to get a clue as to what marriage-worthy men think is attractive.
But that is enough from me for now. As a married lady who works from home, it is now my duty to do the housework, starting with the dishes. Clean kitchen fanatic B.A. has already put a pork roast in the oven.