Over the years a lot of my friends have told me it’s so much easier being single. In some ways they are right. I have no one to answer to but myself and if I feel like doing something I don’t have to worry about upsetting a partner. One of my fears about being in a relationship is being cheated on and we’ve all been hurt of messed around by someone in the past which as we get older means that we pick up baggage from past relationships. Why are we so cruel to each other? A lot of the time it’s about protecting ourselves from being hurt again but it’s a misguided way of doing it. I’m as guilty as the rest of the world but it’s not helping because it just adds to someone else’s baggage.

So I’m proposing a license. Yes, a license to relationship. Here in Australia we start our driving life on our “L” plates, and then, once you’ve logged enough hours behind the wheel and reached a certain age you are entitled to go for your test and go for your “P” plates. These mean you can drive alone but with a limited number of passengers, a reduced speed limit and other conditions before you graduate to your full license after 3 years.

A relationship license should start the same way. You start on your “D” for dating plates. You are allowed to go on dates, meet guys and even hook up but your “D” plates show that you are inexperienced and a little naive. Sure, you haven’t been broken hearted by anyone yet so you don’t have baggage but sometimes it’s all a bit much to handle and you might cause some bruises and scrapes along the way. Once you’ve gained some experience with supervision you are free to upgrade to “B” plates for possible boyfriend material. You’ve learnt appropriate behaviour on the road but still act inappropriately from time to time. You might go for a ride with someone who isn’t approved for example. Or you might not call when expected or behave properly around family. All infringements result in a loss of a pre-prescribed license demerit points from your license to relationship.

After a period of time on your “B” plates you can, if you like move up to “H” for husband plates. These come with much more responsibility but also an expectation that you know what you are doing. If you’ve lost too many demerit points at any given time anyone you approach should see on your license that you are a possible liability on the road to bliss. Once you are at the “H” plate stage you are free to decide whether you prefer to emotionally or physically car-pool in the relationship lane or you prefer to have just one person to share the navigation down life’s road. It’s up to you, but you can still lose points for picking up the wrong hitch hiker or causing too much damage on the way.

If anyone loses all the points on their license then their license is revoked and they can only hook up, no dating, until they have proven they are rehabilitated and fit for dating. If they want. Lots of men I know may be quite happy without a license to relationship.