Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Gareth Sibson

And speaking of lawyers turned writers, tonight is the night of the meeting with Single White Failure Gareth Sibson. In an attempt at preparation, I googled him this morning. Other than discovering he is the only child of a close marriage, went up to Durham, qualified at Lovells and is now pursuing a career as a writer, I found very little. I did find a few interviews, articles and comments in response to his chasing bridget phase however. Opinion of Sibson varies wildly; it is interesting to note that both sexes fall into both view points. One of the overriding viewpoints seems to be that Sibson is setting himself up for failure; he is desperate for a woman, a wife, an interesting well read intelligent woman - but he writes off his dates with 'Bridget Clones' when they seem obsessed with work and careers. That he considers all women, though sometimes reasonably well hidden under an independent, sassy shell, to be like Bridget is perhaps his downfall. Sibson suggests that women don't need to be like 'that' in order to get a man:

"I have dated dozens of other singletons in their 20s and 30s just like her, and I have to say I am bored of the whole lot of them. Call them Bridget Clones if you will, for these women seem to take a pride in behaving just like their fictional alter ego. And I can't think of a worse role model. For a start, they are boring company. Not only are they obsessed about themselves and the way they look, all they want to - or indeed can - talk about is work. I also found them far too upfront about sex. What sort of man wants to be propositioned on a first date? I certainly don't. It's terribly off-putting. It's not that I want to play the field. Far from it. I'd like nothing more than to find a wonderful woman to settle down with. But my cut-off point at the moment remains just three dates. Because that's all I can take. These women aren't as sexy, strong and independent as they like to think they are. They are unsavoury and positively rapacious ladies with a penchant for boasting about their bra size within moments of meeting. They also have a frightening tendency to flit from incessant chatter about their "independent lives" and "high-flying careers" to talk about marriage. Scratch a little deeper and they are all fanatical about finding Mr Right behind their officious career-woman facade."

Sibson is looking for his 'perfect' woman - the interesting, intelligent, warm, beautiful girl with a career she enjoys, who is sexual but not promiscuous - who will ease into a trusting relationship, followed by a fifties style marriage involving the demise of her career but not her looks or personality. And who won't throw herself at him after one date. In reality I believe that if girls like that do exist, they are few and far between. The ones that want to be housewives - probably already married. And the rest - put off by men with double standards like Sibson. The girls who grew up in an age where women were encouraged to 'have it all'. But found in reality that this doesn't exist - that there is no ideal time to have a career, marriage and children because there will always be someone who says that you're too old, too young, too successful or not successful enough. That if you talk about work, you don't reach a second date because you're work obsessed, but if you don't, well, you're dull and uninteresting. And if you are into commitment and relationships after the first meeting, well, that's off putting as well. Sibson will be seriously disappointed because he's drawn an impossible scenario. And if he does find someone who fits, she will mostly likely have married someone else.

And a few comments which I found in response to an interview Sibson did with a newspaper:

"I am not sure why you keep meeting women like this. Perhaps you're too swayed by external appearances, looking too hard or in the wrong places "

"Gareth seems to have to the classic male double standards that just are not widely appealing now. He’s keen to "settle down" but views women who want to do so as "desperate". He assumes that his own solvency and independence is attractive but writes off women who say the same about themselves as "harpies”. No wonder he is single!"

"He is obviously very picky over his women, he's letting first impressions an hour into a date determine whether or not he'll consider a relationship. Has he considered that the woman might be feeling nervous only has the confidence to talk about work until she gets to know him better? Gareth, you say you are happy having a modern relationship with a working woman but you won't tolerate her talking about her career, and later you admit that you aspire to the relationship that your parents shared where your mother was a housewife. You probably won't find a woman like that now because she's probably already settled for being a housewife with someone who didn't run a mile when she mentioned marriage!"

And in response to a point Sibson made about women feeling that living alone was a positive experience, almost a rite of passage to many women, one writer said: "The added bonus of living alone is, of course, that you're not living with Gareth Sibson - who would be scared by your rapacious sexuality and massive breasts anyway."

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