Bryony Gordon On How Not to Date In Your Twenties

03 June 2014 by

Fed up of dating? Here, columnist Bryony Gordon, whose first book The Wrong Knickers – A Decade of Chaos is on sale now, tells Grazia how snogging a succession of Mr Wrongs eventually led her to Mr Right…

The Wrong Knickers is published by Headline on 5 June; £12.99. Join Bryony discussing her new book and debating ‘Are we as sexually liberated as we think we are?’ with authors Elizabeth Day, Alexandra Heminsley and Helen Walsh at a Grazia Salon event, 25 June, Momo, 25 Heddon St, London W1B 4BH. Cocktails on the terrace from 6.30-9pm (last entry 7pm). Tickets cost £5, or £3 for Waterstones Loyalty Card holders. Only a limited number available, on sale 3 June; visit

Let me tell you about the man who gave me nits. And the one who thought I’d given him chlamydia. Oh, and did I mention the married man, the womanising celebrity, or the author who asked to snort cocaine off my breasts? No? Well do pull up a chair.

Men. During my twenties, I met a few – the good, the bad, and more often than not, the ugly. I was a journalist on a national newspaper with a great job and yet all I cared about was being like my friends with long-term boyfriends.

I hated being single, and then I hated myself for hating being single. And listening to other women, I knew I wasn’t alone. And so now, at the grand old age of 33 and three quarters, I have written a book about my numerous failings in love as a 20-something, in the hope that other young women will read it, see what a car crash I was and immediately feel better about themselves.

It is, if you will, a guide on how not to date in your twenties.

I never set out to have quite such a disastrous love life. But after a couple of years of being single, it was almost expected of me to turn up to a lunch date with my coupled-up mates armed with some wild tale of yet another car crash attempt at a relationship and a debauched night out. Having started the decade desperate to concentrate on my career rather than my marital status, I ended my twenties feeling totally defined by my failure to get a boyfriend.

But, there is a happy ending to this tale, and it is that I am now happily married with a one-year-old daughter. When it eventually happened, it happened quickly for my husband and I (we haven’t even been together three years yet) and I am pretty sure that is all because I had such a calamitous time of it during my twenties. Maybe I needed all those dreadful men in my life to appreciate the really good one. Because without all of them, I wouldn’t have got to where I am now.

Read Bryony's full article in this week's issue of Grazia, on sale now.


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