This is indeed a trend that is largely led by women. But Rob Smith, 36, who runs a property development business on the south coast of England, points out that maintaining a happy relationship with yourself is just as important for men. “I’ve been single for five years and I’m very comfortable with it. I had a job that required me to travel frequently and I value my independence, freedom and flexibility,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been able to have a lot of the experiences I have had if I was in a relationship.” However, when his family started making jokes about his single status and pressuring him to settle down, he began to internalise their negativity. “I ended up going on a dating spree to try and find someone, which made me really unhappy.”

After some soul-searching, he came to the conclusion that he was happier alone than trying to force a romance out of thin air. “I deleted all the apps and decided to go back to enjoying my single life.” He confronted his relatives about the comments they had been making, and asked them to respect his decision to be single. “I don’t think there’s as much pressure on men to settle down as there is for women, but it definitely exists. I’m very happy with my life and I needed my family to understand that.”

Although he is open to the idea of having his own family in future, he says it will not affect his happiness. “Men are lucky because they have the option of having children much later,” he says. “I suppose that might be an added challenge for women.”