Kim Williams is excitedly packing her bags for the trip of a lifetime.
It’s not, she admits, the kind of holiday that would be everyone’s cup of tea — an expensive bird-watching trip to the Gambia led by TV wildlife expert Chris Packham.
The figures speak for themselves, with 73 per cent of women recently surveyed by the Woolwich Building Society having bought their first property on their own, compared to 48 per cent of men — a statistic which suggests today’s independent women don’t wait for Mr Right before making key decisions.
What’s more, according to the Office for National Statistics, fewer people than ever are choosing to get married.
She lives alone, and takes great pleasure in decorating her home in a bold and eclectic way — one wall, for example, is decorated entirely with wallpaper samples.
She says: ‘As I put the key into my door each evening, it’s lovely not to have to worry about anyone else.‘Of course there are times when I would like to share things with someone.
I went on holiday to Kefalonia with Mum last year and we had a great time — I certainly didn’t sit there wishing I was with a man.’‘If they’re genuinely happy then great, embrace it, but I would advise them not to behave as if they’re anti-men,’ she says.
Bridget Jones’ fear of being left in a cold flat surrounded by cats now looks horribly out-of-date.
The number of 25 to 45-year-old women living alone has doubled over the past two decades, with twice as many single women buying properties as single men.
She says: ‘I always laugh when ladies come to my salon to have their nails done, and when I suggest a particular shade of polish, they say, “My husband wouldn’t like that”. ‘I’ve never been maternal and I’ve never wanted children.
Women today are more capable and independent, says Harley Street chartered psychologist Susan Firth.
‘If there is a gap in their life, they don’t want to fill it with a relationship,’ she explains.That’s why I’m happy to be single: I don’t want anyone to cramp my style or routine.’Something else that seems to inspire so many forever singles is not having to be financially accountable to a man.