Like me, most of my peers have suffered similar stagnation. I am 52, single and expensively housed. I could never find a decent family home in my price range and now must make do with a perioded bachelor flat. Likewise, although I own my home, I have to admit it’s a lovely place but sadly doesn’t come with many connections and my move upmarket has resulted in a significant rise in prices.
My neighbourhood, which is quite fancy and neat, has seen many residents move east. It’s a great place for young families to buy, mostly due to the rise in rental prices. However, my local high street is starting to feel a little unsafe. The takeaway counter is thronged with young and empty-nester couples, with an apparent sharp increase in violent crime. I have also noticed a steady increase in streamers, or at least increased interest in them. These are usually found on the high-ups (above 25, anyway) for male pleasure. We can spot him outside the local pub at 3am or jaunt out on a Saturday night for drinks. (One of my recent sexual encounters has ended with the woman informing me: “I got a job at Savile Row.” This is a worry for a 50-year-old man who is both single and dependent on income outside work.)
My English plumber and friend Liam has to drive four miles to work each morning, as the housing bills, bills and more bills make transport to work on the affordable end of the scale very expensive. This isn’t exactly cutting-edge dating, but where there’s a will there’s a way, and people will behave however best they can.