The quest for love can be a noble but bloody tiring one, even if you’re lucky enough to be on Love Island. But what if you’ve decided to leave London and repatriate to a developing country? To a really ‘drag your feet’ kind of place in terms of dating…what then? What dating adventures or woes can we expect in comparison to the lovely isle of Great Britain?
Our tale begins with a girl in her mid- thirties, marooned on ‘no love island’ a few months ago in the Caribbean. Ah the Caribbean you say…sounds dreamy right? Warm blue waters, golden sand between her toes, beach shorts pasted on, all day, all the way! Umm not exactly…
Our heroine isn’t new to the isle but has adopted a British lifestyle and a single gal London lifestyle (she’s never been single on this little isle and is only now returning after eight years). At first everyone is so friendly in this tiny place, London seems like the more difficult dating jungle, and she wonders how she ever even managed to get a decent date in London.
But soon her rose coloured spectacles melt in the Caribbean heat and she finds herself in an entrenched machista culture where the majority of daters are in their mid twenties at most. Only she is no longer that age. Cougar you say? 🤷♀️ try a Cougar with stomach troubles (our thirties aren’t as friendly to those island spices). Eww. Now most her age are married and even worse, lots of the men who are willing to date are still married!
With few foreigners, different thinkers, but lots of ‘stinkers’, singles are a rare breed she soon realises.The first guy to chat with her asks, ‘where are your kids?’. They both look confused together.
Locating a date Asking her local friends about the dating scene she soon relearns the meaning of ‘organic dating’. Online dating barely exists on the isle and the few sites evoke an image of a dodgy street in dark winter…so she stays away (it would probably be a disaster anyway even if you managed to meet someone decent; you’d start chatting online only to realise they are a friend of a friend and will soon show up at your house or jump the gun before you can say no. Ah close knit communities…
So referrals are the custom here. Everyone has to know you are looking to date. Every aunt and tantie. Great 😐. She smiles and waves goodbye to privacy like a Madagascar penguin and rues the day she cursed online dating in London.
Protocol So we’re one up for love island 🌴 but all is not lost. In the midst of despair she finds herself on a date with an old friend and the guy is so charismatic and confident (ok a tad too confident at times) but actually warm and gentlemanly! Though mostly dictated by machista protocol, we will not over analyse it- let’s just say chivalry is not dead here. 🎉 woohoo !
To hitch or to ditch Meeting up for a date on an island is easier than the Jubilee line at its fastest, but the risk of seeing a date that goes sour in your neighbourhood supermarket the next day is just as high. Ditching without a careful strategy is not recommended- especially if aunts and tanties are involved. Something Londoners have that’s way simpler in love island. 🇬🇧
Though severely limited in choices, this heroine is still marooned on ‘no love’ island; still a prisoner of hope. (A prerequisite for any single heroine right?).
She is adjusting and persevering – the most valuable thing we all develop from being single Londoners. Will keep you posted, but it looks like the grass is not always greener on the other side even when the weather is great.
Ranjeeta is a friend and an ex marketing colleague from Trinidad. She’s a former Londoner, new Caribbean adventurer, freelance writer and solopreneur. This gal loves all things travel, food and wine related…dating, not so much 😉 You can find her on twitter here Interested in writing about dating and relationship topics? Then I want to hear from you 🙂 Get in touch!