Even so, those new to the singles market might feel pretty strange if they've spent every spare moment with their other half. "Being single has a stigma attached to it - the couple is accepted as the logical desired unit," Dubberley says. "We're brought up on stories of Prince Charming finding his princess and living happily ever after. Even Barbie has Ken - though one has to doubt the success of a long-term relationship with a man lacking genitalia." But the situation is changing and there's good news Dubberley says: "Once upon a time, there was the situation where you'd be judged harshly and labelled a spinster - now there are more women in the workforce and more of us are buying our own homes. There's this realisation that, yes, it is entirely possible to have a complete life without Mr Right and a baby. "Enjoy your time as a single rather than seeing yourself as 'between partners'. Once you're in a long-term relationship, you'll miss the sense of freedom and those little things like long, leisurely baths and not having to clean up after anybody else."