The Vagenda

Meet the Undateable Woman, courtesy of Grazia

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Last week Grazia proudly continued in its fine tradition of chronicling the emotional difficulties of thirty and forty something ‘career women’ with ‘I HAD THERAPY FOR BEING UNDATEABLE.’ It made a nice change from the usual freezing your eggs/I aborted my only chance at a baby malarkey, but still, cop a gander at the standfirst:

‘While Inna Lomteva, 41, was beautiful and accomplished, she rarely got past a third date with a man. Here, she explains why her lack of dating luck drove her to some unusual therapy…’

It’s tantalising stuff. I don’t know about you, but I for one was curious to find out what it was that made (the very pleasant and affable looking) Inna so undateable. Could it be that she had experienced some terrible emotional trauma from which she had been unable to find closure, thus leading to an instinctive and long held distrust of men?

Could it be that she gets mouthy on the white wine and has some pretty dodgy views on immigrants and gay people that are ultimately incompatible with the capital’s metropolitan, left leaning dating pool of non-arseholes?

Could it be that she has a learning disability that has led her to be declared officially ‘undateable’ by cynical Channel 4 executives whose desperation for viewing figures and twitter feedback has outstripped any steps they may have otherwise made towards basic human empathy?

Well, no, it was none of those things. Inna was, in her own words, undateable because:

‘Friends were settling down, but all I ever did was work. I was earning six figures, but I knew that if I carried on as I was, I would never meet anyone. And so, at 38, I made the decision to go into business with a friend who runs a high-end fashion boutique.’

I’m not sure if it’s just the way that the piece has been edited, but it pretty much sounds as though she abandoned her career as an investment banker because it wasn’t conducive to meeting men. But maybe I read it wrong. Maybe she is, like so many of us, genuinely passionate about luxury leather pants.

She continues, or rather, the ghostwriting journalist does:

‘Yet I was still single! Date followed date, but none of them went anywhere…some friends suggested I dumb myself down to seem more approachable. But to me that wasn’t the answer.’

I like Inna. It doesn’t sound as though she takes any bullshit, and she certainly won’t pretend to be stupid in order to get a man. But then:

‘I met Elizabeth, a love coach, at a dinner party a year ago.’


‘After working in a masculine environment, she said, I was used to being assertive, sometimes even competitive…’

Assertive? Competitive? UH-OH.

Oh, hold on…

‘There’s nothing wrong with that’

That’s OK then.


Oh no.

‘…it coloured the way I behaved.’

Oh shit, no.

‘A man would tell me something, and sometimes I would come back with an opinion’


‘…when sometimes they just want you to listen’


Inna also says that she was told her emotional detachment was a factor. I’m surprised that more isn’t made of this, as anyone with half a brain and a ton of dating manuals knows that, career or no career, this is the biggest barrier to intimacy that there is (and if you’re wagging your finger and going ‘nuhuh girlfriend, it’s obvi texting him first and agreeing to a Saturday date later than a Wednesday’ then you need to pipe the fuck down) but then Inna says:

‘I believe in equality, but I also think…’


‘…you can’t fight nature’

Someone please hold me

‘Some men need a degree of nurturing’

That’s it. That’s the silver bullet right there, the nurturing. Clearly Inna was going wrong by taking care of herself rather than taking care of men (her main role in life). Now that she’s met someone, I’m happy for her, I really am, but Grazia needs to stop publishing this shit before I have an aneurism.

Undateable? Unreadable. At least for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the 1950s housewife model of relationships. Too many opinions. Fuck, man. I’m off to defrost my eggs, pronto. This soufflé needs to be ready for when my husband gets home.

13 thoughts on “Meet the Undateable Woman, courtesy of Grazia

  1. Amazingly written! =)
    But also amazingly depressing, though not exactly amazingly surprising.

    The running commentary/internal dialogue was a really cool approach. I fucking *lost it* at “OH FUCK NO NOT AN OPINION”.

    It’s great to read work here again, I always really enjoy it. Love the new site!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this, but my relationship coach told me women don’t have opinions, and now I’m really confused.

    But seriously: I do sometimes think that “womens’ mags” do more harm to society’s perceptions of women than “lads’ mags” do. (Although I can claim no expertise on either.)

  3. What Amy said- my lunchtime reading was nowhere near as enjoyable while you guys were writing your book…

    Literally only commenting because your reference to “the rules” made me lose my shit. Great writing, soul-destroying subject matter. Makes me feel better Grazia was discontinued in Australia (shout out to Tony Abbot reference early, heeeeey!) even though I did read it. In my defence however, it was merely because I was homesick for London.

  4. Thank god the Vagenda is back! I’ve missed my regular dosings of feminist hugs in reading forms with just the right amount of sarcasm!!

    Great writing

  5. Man it’s shit like this that makes me happy to be a lesbian… Well I’m still hit on and objectified and cat called, but at least it’s easier to be equal with my romantic partners….. All ‘women’s magazines’ need to be burned to the ground.

  6. I love the vagenda! (and holy smokes, is it really THAT big of a deal for women to get in a relationship??? Like calm your balls!!!)

  7. Really, she couldn’t meet any men in INVESTMENT BANKING?? Wow.

    It sounds to me like this woman is cold, detached, and lacks nurturing instinct. That’s not nice to be around, no matter the gender.

    Such women are great for one-offs, but not relationships. Maybe she’s just a douchebag.

  8. Great article.

    But seriously SCARY how many of my friends read this 1950′s housewife bullshit, arrrgh its 2015 people!