One can imagine how such a topic could be a little alienating to many men, and Natasha herself admits ‘there’s only so much I can talk about my own interests without sounding patronising.’She says that men often try to change the subject matter back to lads’ nights outs, holidays and sporting hobbies.‘I’ll always listen to be polite, but superficial, self-indulgent conversation is an immediate red flag,’ she says.
‘At school I wasn’t bothered about boys, but I’m at the stage where I’d like to share my life with someone.’With a working-class upbringing — Becca’s mother is an activities co-ordinator and her father an engineer — Becca was not only the first in her family to go to university, but an anomaly among her male peers in Burnley, Lancashire.
This growing gulf between male and female attainment — the result, many believe, of the feminisation of the education system, with more female teachers, less physical exercise and an emphasis on the arts — is having troubling repercussions when it comes to relationships.
A recent study found more than 90 per cent of predominantly graduate women surveyed were delaying motherhood not to pursue careers, but because they couldn’t find a suitable man.
On A-level results day last month, 133,280 British women aged 18 secured a university place compared with 103,800 men of the same age.
The effects of this carry over into the workplace, where women aged from 22 to 29 typically now earn £1,111 more a year than their male peers.
Some were so despairing they were considering freezing their eggs as an insurance policy.