British journalist Claudia Connell is all alone and lonely in middle age, and regrets the choices she made  when she was younger. Excerpts:
For me, the single girl lifestyle that I embraced and celebrated with so much enthusiasm in the Eighties and Nineties has lost much of its gloss, and is starting to look a little hollow.
I was part of the Sex And The City generation — successful, feisty women who made their own money, answered to no one and lived life to the full.
When it came to men, our attitude to them was the same as it was towards the latest must-have handbag: only the best would do, no compromises should be made, and even then it would be quickly tired of and cast aside.
What none of us spent too long thinking about in our 20s and 30s was how our lifestyles would impact on us once we reached middle-age, when we didn’t want to go out and get sozzled on cocktails and had replaced our stilettos and skinny jeans with flat shoes and elasticated waists.
When I look around at all my single friends — and there are a lot of them — not one of them is truly happy being on her own. Suddenly, all those women we pitied for giving up their freedom for marriage and children are the ones feeling sorry for us.
She goes on to say:
The brutal reality remains, however, that Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones — our fictional, singleton poster girls — ended up living happily ever after. Even the writers behind those characters couldn’t accept that they’d be happy to stay single for ever — which does make me feel a little cheated.
Carrie and Bridget were lucky. The same can’t be said for the millions of women, like me, who were so inspired by them.