- Gender and Relationships
I DON'T NEED A WOMAN TO COMPLETE ME
'I DON'T NEED A WOMAN TO COMPLETE ME'
Robin Lander Brinkley, 31, lives in Portsmouth, where he owns and runs a PR and marketing company.
"I have never been in a serious, long-term relationship, and I have no plans to be.
I don't believe in having a relationship just for the sake of it.
The last time I went out with someone properly was more than 10 years ago, when I was at university. I dated a girl for a couple of months, but it didn't work out. She wanted us to spend all of our time together and it just made me feel trapped.
I certainly don't miss out on female company. I enjoy being with intelligent and interesting women, but it rarely goes beyond a couple of dates. I like sharing my bedroom occasionally, but I couldn't do it all the time and I don't like the idea of someone else always being there.
My parents split up when I was 22. It caused a lot of hurt for my mum and younger sister, and I suppose that has affected my attitude - I'm wary of causing anyone that sort of pain.
A lot of my friends have settled down - I've already been to seven weddings this year. At one of them, I was the only person on my own. Looking around at all these couples holding hands, just made me feel a bit nauseous! I'm sure they thought that I was missing out on something special, but I genuinely don't feel that I need someone else to make my life complete.
The only potential downside of not wanting a relationship is that I might miss out on having children, which would be a great shame. But I'm godfather to a lovely little girl, Emily, aged seven, and a lot of my friends have children who I enjoy spending time with.
I think men like Gerard Butler have got it absolutely right. He's clearly very happy with his life, is surrounded by great friends, and dates women when he feels like it, without feeling pressure from anyone to settle down. And that's exactly what my life is like."
'I ADORE WOMEN BUT I'M MARRIED TO MY JOB'
Celebrity hairdresser Stuart Phillips, 40, runs an exclusive salon in London's Covent Garden, and lives in Essex. He's been single for two years.
"People assume that because I'm a hairdresser, I'm gay. But nothing could be further from the truth!
I was married for 12 years, but at 38, I realised it wasn't for me. Thankfully we didn't have kids, as that would have made things more complicated.
So I'm a born-again bachelor, and I adore women. I'm out most nights, partying and meeting new people. I enjoy showing women a good time - I just don't want to settle down. I'm married to my job and it comes first.
I live happily on my own in my beautiful home. It's a modern bachelor pad with a state-of-the-art home cinema and loads of gadgets. A woman would only want to come in and stamp her mark on it, and I don't want that.
I'm more than comfortable with my own company, and if I've had a long day at work, I just want to go home, close the door and relax.
For me, life is about spending time with friends, male and female. Like many successful people, tying myself down to just one person is not what I want."
'WOMEN JUST WANT TO TIE YOU DOWN'
Businessman John Mulkerrin, 39, has been single for three years. He lives in south London with his prized collection of superbikes.
"Sometimes I wake up in the morning and think: 'By tonight, I want to be sipping a cold beer in St Tropez.' So I hop on my bike and I'm away. For me, marriage and a family would curb the lifestyle I love.
I have no trouble finding girlfriends. I'm very romantic and I love whisking women off for expensive meals and weekends away.
But I make it clear from the outset that marriage is not on the cards.
I hope women won't read this and think I'm an absolute s***. It's just that I have my life worked out - I'm perfectly able to cook and clean for myself and I love my freedom.
My determination to stay single probably stems from my earlier experiences. Until I was 28 I dated just three women, including a woman I was engaged to for eight years. While I was with her, I had two exciting offers to work abroad, but she wanted me to turn them down. I felt suffocated.
So I split up with her and travelled round Asia. I was in Thailand when the tsunami hit in 2004. Seeing the aftermath of that tragedy made me realise that life's too short not to follow your heart. It also made me decide to set up my business, which finds funding for charity.
My mum is desperate for me to settle down, like my siblings. But I take no notice. I think I'm a good uncle, but I'm always happy to hand my nephew and nieces back! It would be nice to have kids of my own one day - but work would have to calm down first.
I know I'm not getting any younger, but I genuinely want to do something worthwhile to help others before I look for a partner."