“Are you single?” 

Fortunately, in a work context, it’s illegal to discriminate against someone just because they don’t have a romantic partner. Questions about marital status are among those proscribed by the Equality Act of 2010. An interviewer should never ask if you’re single.

That said, “singlism” is rife in the workplace with a recent study of 25,000 workers by Opportunity Now, finding that two thirds of those without families reported they were expected to work longer hours than colleagues with partners and children.

Likewise, single workers complain that they have to provide holiday cover for those with families. And when they do get to go on holidays, they’re hit with the dreaded single supplement of course.

Being single definitely isn’t the cheaper option and it’s not just single supplements on your holiday accommodation versus the married person’s tax break. Many things are more expensive when you’re on your own.

While officially your employer can’t discriminate against you for not having a partner, insurers certainly discriminate based on relationship status.

The Comparethemarket.com website puts it this way, “Marriage symbolises so many things, not least it demonstrates that you’re responsible and care enough about another human being not to do anything crazy or reckless.” Which equals lower insurance premiums for the coupled up.

I’ve seen it in action. A few years ago, having accrued a few points on my licence for speeding (Not clever, I know), I was having a hell of a time finding someone to insure my Fiat Panda for less than a hundred million pounds. A friend suggested I add him to my insurance application as an extra driver.

The cost immediately dropped by nearly two hundred quid. Since the website hadn’t at that point asked for any details beyond his name, I can only assume that an algorithm decided my friend was my partner and he’d be sitting beside me whenever I got behind the wheel, tutting and scowling if I went over 30 in a 50 zone.

Surely by the same token, I’d be just as likely to go crazy, put my foot down and run every red light on the south circular every time the controlling bastard wasn’t in the car?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Technically, single people may have more car accidents but that statistic must be skewed by all the newly licensed 17 year olds who aren’t married because they’re still at school.

Age and experience is the factor there. Not whether “you’re responsible and care enough about another human being not to do anything crazy or reckless”. Crazy and reckless like marry the wrong person because all your mates are coupled up and you feel like the odd one out?

Marriage might just as well equal desperation, depression and a desire to divorce as stability.

While divorce is generally on the decline, that might be due more to the fact that in the current economic climate people simply can’t afford to split a household rather than because we’re getting better at relationships. And when people do get divorced, they’re no longer in such a rush to couple up again.

At least, the women aren’t. A recent survey showed that fewer than half of female divorcees would be willing to tie the knot again. To quote Shakespeare, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama (according to the internet), “there’s nothing lonelier than being with the wrong person”. Exactly.

I’ll leave the last word on the question “are you single” to this unattributed quote (found on a Pinterest board), which might come in handy next time that bore breathing whisky hears you answer “yes” and suggests it’s because you’re being picky or not making enough of an effort (it’s that moustache again).

“Stop asking why I’m still single and I won’t ask why you’re still married.”

*The “manmade animals”. A friend’s step-mother, a devout denier of evolution, answered her son’s question about how big the ark would have had to be to get all the world’s creatures on board by explaining that some of the animals were in fact manmade and thus not around in Noah’s time.

She didn’t specify the animals in question, but my friend and I concluded they must include the duck-billed platypus and the aye-aye. I mean, come on, they were clearly both invented in the course of a drinking game.