They are single, they are fabulous, they are island girls and they are over 40.
The Caribbean is a fantastic place to live. It is something I have said again and again but what is it like to be single and over 40 in paradise? I gathered some of my single friends and asked them this question over a bottle or two of wine.
40 seems to be the new 20, and there is definitely some truth to this statement when I look around the table at each one of my single island gyals. All of them successful, independent and yes, fabulous. Some with kids, others without. Some divorced while others have not yet encountered Mr. Good-enough-to-settle-down-with. That’s the thing, once you get to a certain age you stop believing this bull crap Disney has been feeding us for so long; that we all must wait for our knight in shining armor, mr. Charming who will show up on his white horse and rescue us from our “depressing” singlehood.
By now we all know that the castle actually belongs to his mother (the evil queen) and happily ever after meant the prince is happy as long as you did what he wanted, which often meant being someone you’re not. Don’t get me wrong, we all do this with a smile on our face, eager to please until one day we wake up and realize that we have lost ourself somewhere along the way.
One thing is clear: there is nothing depressing about being single and over 40 but does the Caribbean society agree?
The advantages of being over 40 and single are clear, no matter where you live. You do what you want, when you want and sometimes with whom you want. Oh, that great feeling of complete independence. Nothing surprises you anymore.
The single island woman is nothing new in the Caribbean, there are enough single mothers out there to prove that this statement is right but what is still a unacceptable to most Caribbean people is a single woman that knows what she wants and doesn’t rely on a man to get it. “What’s wrong with you?” is still a repeated question asked to single island women. To assume that just because a woman is single, has a career and has the looks on top if it, there must be something wrong with her is atrocious. But perhaps the “something wrong” lies in the options out there on the island.
The Caribbean has a tiny pool with limited nice, good looking, intelligent and fun fish. Most of the nice guys you meet has at one point been with one of your friends or was married to one of your girls. That great guy you’ve been waiting for to finally become single turns out to be gay. Then you have the tourist just out for some island fun and mr “I’m afraid of Commitment” and Mr. Married come in all shapes, sizes and colors. It is clear: E-Harmony will never be able to set up shop here.
Island life is also quite limited in activities. There are only so many places you could run into a nice guy at. Church, a bar, a friend’s party, the office or the beach and each of these locations present their own set of challenges. The office for instance is not recommended.
Another assumption is that a single island woman over 40 must be lonely. Although the single girl will at times miss the company of a gentleman (or gentlegirl), they are not at all lonely. Once you are happy with yourself, you will be happy with your own company and very content with your life the way it is. The biggest misconception is that being alone is the same as being lonely. Caribbean parents especially seem to have a problem understanding the difference. And if you happen to feel lonely at times it’s easy to call up some friends and arrange a fun get together.
But what about sex, baby?
Let’s be honest. You are now at an age that you know what you want or more importantly you know what you DON’T want. In your early 20s and 30’s you were less picky, less selective and was still looking for that happily ever after, while in your 40’s you no longer have the patience to teach anyone the basics of sex or how to please a woman. To all of you Caribbean men, now thinking that “oh, she’s just been single too long”, you sir, are the problem.
Some women are interested in a committed relationship while others just prefer a friend with benefits or a one night stand. The single island girl over 40 is also no longer interested in changing her ways to adapt to your life. In fact you better be ready to accept her the way she is because she really is quite comfortable with the life she has created for herself. Don’t think for a minute that she will change her ways to please you.
How young is too young? Obviously 19 is cradle robbing but anywhere over 30 seems to be acceptable. Too young means they tend to get clingy. At this age most women have already raised children and are not interested in raising a boyfriend as well. Let’s also not forget that the younger they are the less they tend to “last” in between the sheets. This does not mean that the over 40 man does not have this problem. Some older Caribbean men are also set in their ways and are more interested in pleasing themselves and to hell with what the woman wants.
In conclusion the single island girl over 40 is optimistic and open to what the future holds for her. While she no longer believes in fairytales some still do believe in the “Notebook”. Cinderella stopped being a role model and if you lose your glass slipper at midnight now it is simply because you’re drunk. 40 is the new 20 and being single in your 40’s is absolutely fabulous.
Advise to the single 20 and 30 year old island girl: enjoy your life as much as you can. Build your cake yourself and the cherry will be the person you decide to settle down with. If the cherry decides to bail somewhere along the way, it doesn’t affect the taste of the cake at all. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
To quote one of my single gyals: 40 is like being 20 with 20 years of experience. So, if you are reading this and you are 40 or over, congratulations! If you’re not: hold on, the best is yet to come.
What do you think of the above or what would you add? Leave your comment below.
Don’t forget to laugh, live and travel as often as possible.
The above is based on the opinions of a small group of single island women.