RIA NOVOSTI (Full Story)
“I'd like to make room for her in my closet,” a pal of mine, a successful Moscow entrepreneur told me recently of one of his priority New Year’s resolutions. He stressed the word “her,” implying a girlfriend, a hypothetical one whom he is hoping to meet during the year to come. He said he had made the same resolution last year, but somehow it didn't come true. Even so, my friend doesn't complain much about his life. He works a lot, travels a lot and spends his rather limited free time partying heavily in the city's trendiest bars and nightclubs and throwing lavish dinner soirees at his cozy downtown apartment. “It's so easy to stay single in this city, the temptations are so many,” he mentioned somewhat abashedly, confessing that his family has long been pressuring him to settle down. “I know that nightclubs are not the best place to meet marriage material women, but what should I do? Stay home and watch TV? I might as well enjoy life to the fullest while I am still single.
“In Moscow, you work hard and play hard,” he said.
My friend is in his late 30s — back in the Soviet times, he'd be inevitably labeled “a toxic bachelor” some overly protective Russian mamas would strongly advise their daughters to stay away from. Today, he's an eligible bachelor showered by attention from women of different ages thanks to his charisma and social status. And he, of course, is not alone. The army of seemingly content and comfortably self-sufficient singles of both sexes is rapidly filling up the big cities across the Western world. And although, according to the National statistics bureau, the average marriage age in Russia is still as early as 23 years for females and 26 for males, Moscow stands out as quite a single’s haven. Especially when it comes to open-minded yuppies in their mid-20s to mid-30s who've managed not to have tied the knot in their early 20s or who are already divorced. Many are very much used to being single and would not eagerly sacrifice their lifestyles for a commitment. Their lives appear stuffed with appointments, projects, multiple friendships (many are maintained virtually, through various social networks) and ambitious travel. Some of such unattached city dwellers boast stimulating jobs and some spend so much time at work that coworkers, in fact, become some kind of a family surrogate.