Office socialising, office romances, sh1tty small flats and a catastrophically lonely generation?
Hotblack Desiato 12 Oct 21 13:10
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Socialising in the office is, by common consent, not what it once was for a variety of reasons. Relationships and romance in the office are nowadays, in many organisations, actively frowned upon and regulated or prohibited by employers without prior disclosure.

It is often said that, after university, the workplace is the most common place for graduates to meet their other halves, and anecdotally that seems to bear out.

Outside of work, most people under 30 are badly underhoused, in small flats in zones 2 and upwards. This makes it intrinsically unlikely that they will host social events where lots of people get to mix spontaneously be they a large dinner party or a flat or house party..

As an observation of the under 30 cohort in my shop - it is overwhelmingly female (as is the case in most firms) and most of them are not in a relationship, and don't live with a flatmate. No one seems to go to large social gatherings - socialising appears to be meeting 1, or 2 existing friends in a bar or restaurant. 

Given the long hours associated with law, time for socialising outside of work is going to be limited and as noted above, socialising within work has changed significantly even before the pandemic.

So it is not immediately obvious how anyone in that position is likely to be able to change their situation and find a relationship if they do not already have one, other than via dating apps (and while that might work for romantic relationships, it isn't going to be a good way to make new friends)

What is the collective wisdom of ROF?

Is it now harder for people to meet their significant others, or make new friends, in real life? 

If so, isn't that a bit fvcking sh1tty?




"most people under 30 are badly underhoused, in small flats in zones 2 and upwards. This makes it intrinsically unlikely that they will host social events where lots of people get to mix spontaneously be they a large dinner party or a flat or house party.."


My experience was the opposite tbh. most people I knew when I was under 30 had house parties and dinner parties all the time in their shitty little flats. 

Maybe they've just grown up earlier out of undergrad booze-soaked methods of meeting people. Think the apps have a lot to do with it too.

Lawyers shouldn't be in couples anyway.

Isn't that why everyone is on some app these days?

Maybe youngsters want careers and not one night stands.

Up to them, init.

What Sucker said and in the old days generally the smaller the flat the better the party.  My neighbours in London certainly still have parties judging by the noise some nights.

So it is not immediately obvious how anyone in that position is likely to be able to change their situation and find a relationship if they do not already have one, other than via dating app

You have answered your own question there, the reasons young people dont have as many large social functions, are less likely to go to clubs etc is precisely because they meet the opposite sex through dating apps. Thats just how its done these days.

Guy - so how does the dating app generation compare to the pre dating app generation? Does selecting your attempted partner consciously, through an app, generate more lasting relationships than the old fashioned way?

I can’t imagine what the solution is. If only you had some friends you could introduce them to.

For some people it does but you'll also find that young people are far more questioning of the ancient expectation that everyone will find one person to settle down and spend the rest of their life with.

also the assumption that everyone who is single and lives alone is lonely and desperate for a partner is simply wrong.   A percentage of the population may secretly have always wanted to basically live alone but felt pressured into "settling down" - whereas now they feel freer to do it.

Someone I know decided he was anti apps - he used to go and talk to somebody everyday on his lunch break. Sometimes he asked for their number, sometimes not.  Its just numbers he said. Took him about 3 years and people creeped out by someone actually talking to them in real life, but eventually he is married to someone he met on his lunch break.. lol.

No necessarily a bad thing to move away from an assumption that the best "courting" forum is work.

How many marriages in the legal industry which happened purely because the two people worked long hours together, are really a good match in terms of personality and suitability? 

And how many of those marriages break down because at the end of the day, the attraction was very little more than extreme mutual pent up sexual frustration caused in part because the working hours culture means you rarely get to go home.

Some lawyers even make the mistake of marrying a collegue more than once.............

Alot of incels being created by this new dystopia

That's for sure

We have been through the consequences of the rise of the apps before. Essentially it creates a very big dating pool (with very limited sharing of information between participants).  The result is that a relatively small number of blokes do most of the shagging.

A lot of the youth seem to be using wfh opportunities to live in cheaper nicer areas so can buy bigger flats/houses. 

I started my first remote job in 2016 and bought a fooking massive flat by the sea but there’s a 25 year old girl I know who is actually a civil servant who technicallyworks in Westminster but lives near me and just goes to London a couple of times a month. I’ve know programmers doing this for years but it’s pretty mainstream.

we still have parties. Had/went to a few this summer we can just have them in nicer properties.

still boff people from the parties but the apps are also a rich seam of opportunities. Just go up to London for some (free) sex tourism

this is london

dating is now done all on apps. in terms of where you live, as a lawyer, working the city, you have to accept, if you work for a US firm of any description, MC firm and following pack, that you need to be in the office 4-5 days a week and thus need a 20 minute or so commute, unless you are an outlier.

that means hackney, islington, stoke newington, angel, canary wharf at a push, greenwich at a push, wapping (ew), limehouse basin (20 minutes on bus to city, 10 minute walk to CW), or london bridge, borough, southwark area.

in terms of the accommodation in those areas, it's poor. you have terraces in the hackney / angel area, and mostly flats everywhere else, unless you head to bermondsey.

the quality of accommodation is generally very poor. there are some fair apartments around canary wharf, one or two places in aldgate maybe, some around london bridge, but really they would get laughed out of dubai on a good day.

if you're single you're doing well if you're in a 500 square foot flat. it's generally pretty grim.

your life is spent in your little prison hole, doing your pointless commute, spending 14 hours in your silly office full of other drones, pop out for 5 minutes to Pret, get some fattening deliveroo in the evening, and then taxi back to your grim little prison.

desperately flick through your dating apps hoping for matches before you pass out and repeat the process.

on your weekends, you go out with mates and get drunk to forget the terrible life you lead. maybe you go on a date with a floozy who has no idea what she's doing, she's lost, she's graduated, she doesn't know anything about anything but is mildly impressed you are a lawyer, although she has no idea what it is. eventually you have sex, and you grow bored of her after 2-3 pops. onto the next one.

such is life in london.

Hotblack D sums up London living.

It's shitty. Get out of London for better accommodation for your money. Get a job outside London. Less commuting. No tube. Fewer stabbings.

Why live lin a house-share, flat share, or rented room in a terrace that is on the edge of a ghetto which becomes dangerous at night? Got a flat in a 'luxury' development? Probably overlooks a ghetto. The local GP practice will be near a shitty shopping centre in the ghetto, where you buy your groceries. Your tube station will be in stab central.

As for relationships, especially with colleagues, fuggadaboudit. Coupledom is boring and for smug types. It's great being single and there's no need to ask permission to do anything. When in one's quality pad outside London, one has the sitting room, study, bathroom etc all to oneself. The wine also.

I don't currently have the luxury of ownership of my own place for economic reasons as poor grades means poorly-paid jobs or being a perpetual student to improve my competitivity. I'm sick of law but can't do anything else because the real world doesn't want people like us.

The long(ish) term solution is, fellow Roffers, over the next ten years, is to put all your spare cash into crypto, but not 'shitcoins', then you can be independent. I only started trading crypto in August, so have a long road, but won't regret it. In 10 years I will be unemployable anyway on the grounds of age (as I am now, tbf: who wants to hire a middle-aged drunk whose favourite word is 'khoont'?) 


I am a profound optimist, but it’s true that socialising has taken a knock from which it will take time to recover.

SecularJurist and TopDawg have it.  The life of the juniors at my shop seems pretty grim at the moment and it's not just Covid. London is fooking shite.  It's not really a 24hr city like Moscow or Asian cities.  By the time you get off work everything is shut on a week night. 

It does seem sh1tty, but like others, I have been to some pretty crowded parties at crappy London flats.

Never done the apps so don't want to be a Luddite and pass judgement. I do think that frowning on relationships developing at the workplace is at odds with basic human nature.

there is definitely a neo-victorian prude thing going on

ooh! shagging people from the office! quick! cover up the table legs they’re so sexy!

you notice it’s always the men’s fault, too

We need much more office shagging.  I can see the argument that a superviser shouldn't be able to shag their trainee or someone on the bonus committee shouldn't be able to shag someone whose bonus they determine but if a random partner wants to shag a random associate or a trainee wants to give a PA one behind a Whetherspoons - have at it I say. 

Laz, you are capable of some good thinking when you actually stop and do some thinking.  Such a shame that you let yourself down in other areas by unthinkingly parroting the accepted views du jour. 

How did people live before? I can’t imagine someone from say Leeds starting a city career in the 70s could simply buy a flat in central London in their first year? They must have shared too?

Yeah as long as nobody is taking advantage of anyone, I dgaf what people do with their genitals. Up to them


Crypto they’d have shared during - yes - articles then bought. Somewhere - now - nice. Soz. 

By way of comparison , I bought a flat just before I started my TC, and it was three times my annual trainee salary. That same flat is now 12 times the annual salary of a trainee at my shop.

You know reading proboner there I had forgotten how almost noone is talking about house price crashes anymore. I think everyone has given up on it ever happening and just assumes money will be printed to abandon. I think Ive gradually come to that view.

But in terms of prospects for growth its all shit really demographics wrong, taxes going up, inflation and maybe rates going up. Etc etc.

Yeah I know weve been here before but I really wouldnt be surprised if we finally had a proper price crash.


Something is going to give. Country can’t 86 itself repeatedly and expect to get away with it.  Not that many of the fat fvckers on here will be affected. Too busy stockpiling artisan goods and admiring their own coliforms 

In 1984 we had to buy in zone 5 as could not afford zone 1 - 3. You then have to add 2 hours commuting a day on which is not always that easy. I was always married however ,just before my TC started so I wasn't dating. These days my sons' 20 something friends don't seem to have too much trouble meeting people.

Being married doesn't stop you from dating. Most people have affairs of some description. I suppose you're probably divorced now so it doesn't matter.

I’m quite libertarian Asimov, I just extend that libertarianism to immigration and the labour market, and I consider the nation state an oppressive concept.

every time I glance at the board I think this thread’s title refers to “office socialism”

I’ve worked at a few firms that would have been improved by the workers seizing the means of production tbftbf

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