'What I hate most about being single again after 3 years is shopping. Instead of the dulex shopping trolley model, I am back to carrying the sad, single basket.

Panic sets in. Everyone will know that I am single. I hide and scurry through the aisles keeping my head low, avoiding eye contact with others shoppers especially the men. I try and find comfort in the phrase used by my mother, "Who do you think you are, Marilyn Monroe?". I'm never going "to pull" a new man if he sees my Tesco labelled tin of beans.

I've noticed several changes about me. My walk has changed. I now slink with swaggering hips. My appetite has blown out of proportion. I wear my hair differently. My colour chart has changed from blacks and blues to limes and lemons. Are these changes positive? Am I reborn? I flirt with everyone, even with unattractive people. I giggle like a schoolgirl. My husky voice has risen 5 pitches.

What is happening to me? Has the X Files taken away the old me? At work I appear a happy, sociable individual, full of life. At home and in private, I'm introvert and deeply sad, but I haven't cried for a couple of weeks now. There are no more tears. I have to pick myself up; I will pull myself together. I watch the telephone, why hasn't he rung? I watch the door, why hasn't he phoned? Is he coping better than I am?

I don't want to be single. Living on my own for the first time is totally frightening. What if all the lights go out? What if water floods through the flat? I may watch all the DIY programs on the television, but I don't even know where the stopcock is. The gas board asks for my meter reading, where is the meter? Not being able to change a light bulb, I stay in darkness.

I'm paranoid, I think everyone is watching me and saying "Look at her, she is single". I went again to a nightclub as a single girl. Will I be able to wear a pink top and high boots again? Do I remember how to dance? Will I know any of the songs? What am I my doing with glitter on my face? When I got my posterior smacked by a winking lad, it took my breath away; I didn't know how to react. I felt naked and out of practice.

My car is another headache. It's now my sole responsibility. I can no longer rely on a man to look after its maintenance. A woman with a car in a garage full of mechanics is like a lamb to the slaughterhouse. I think that if I flirt with them and wear a tight top, that they will be like putty in my hands. I pretend to be confident and know all about cars and engines. I may know the price of four tins of beans, but I don't know how much four new tyres cost.

When reluctantly out shopping for food again, I came up with a bright new idea; a check out area for singles only. This would make it easier to meet eligible single men. It would also be easy to strike up a conversation as there would be no loud music there or a fog of smoke in the eyes. Instead of just picking up the items on your shopping list, you can pick up a partner too and go home and cook for two.

I now fear walking down a busy road. I'm wondering why I am all dressed up to go to the library. I never before noticed that the majority of drivers in delivery vans are young, attractive men. When they wave or shout, I scurry off again. I can't wait until I can wave back confidently. I walk with my eyes lowered to the ground imagining that I have a neon sign above my head informing all that I am indeed single, available, vulnerable and desperate.

In my familiar surroundings at work however, I flirt with everyone because I feel safe there. I come out with bold and brash remarks and find any excuse to bend down in my tight skirt. In front of everyone, I brashly inform a male colleague that he has beautiful eyes and when he approaches me later on my own, I go to pieces and cannot think of anything intelligent to say. The tiger in me has momentarily faded and I have missed another chance. Am I doomed to be on my own for ever, or am I just recovering and mending? The tiger is asleep.

Why do I feel so lost? I am now only a one-sided coin. I go to fetch 2 cups from the cupboard, realize my mistake and put 1 back. When buying a new bed, I purchase a double one with 2 pillows. For whom? The last I checked I have only one head. I couldn't imagine waking up next to someone new. I would feel guilty, like I have cheated.

I have thought about the next partner and what sort he would be. I imagine a scenario where I am at a busy intersection handing out flyers with my name and address on them. This would be a way in which I would be in control of choosing my next mate. My new favourite pub is situated on a busy roundabout and I like to sit outside during rush hour and have a good peek at the drivers. What sort of music are they listening to, what cars do they drive? Am I interested in the professional guy in the sleek, fast company car, or the student in the dirty small Fiesta XR2 with the modified exhaust?

I'm not asking for God, all I want at the moment is some quality time to re'focus, spoil myself, and do very little housework. I daydream of the romantic meeting where I will literally bump into Mr. Right who's not afraid to clean and cook, who doesn't smoke and doesn't spend every waking hour down the pub with his mates. Is he even out there?