Monday, April 07, 2008

The dating jungle

This post is nothing I've experience first hand on the island but rather behaviour that I have observed while watching from the sidelines or accounts related to me by my single friends. When you're a single expat and living on an island in the middle of the ocean, there can be plenty of fish in the sea to choose from. With a steady stream of single expats leaving and new ones relocating to the island, sometimes the choices may seem never ending. Other times it can be a repetitive batch. I've heard stories from both sides - expat singles complaining that there are no decent single expat guys or girls on the island, local singles complaining how there are no decent local guys or girls on the island, with some locals that have blatantly said they don't want a guy or girl from 'here', and some expats that have said they'd rather date a local. Expats and locals are crossing over into each other's realm all the time, not that there's anything wrong with it. Sometimes it just seems that it's done for the wrong reasons. There's so many layers to this topic, that I have to break it down or this will be one long post.

But this is what got me thinking. With an island so small as this and the human tendency to gossip (particularly given on a small island), how do you end a relationship and still have the ability to deal with privacy and all that post break up mess? It's not very easy and if this were a big metro of a city, you could easily ignore your ex if you chose to, you could even be on hostile terms and you'd be fine. But this sort of behaviour just won't be had here. Assuming that both parties are planning to stay on island post break-up, it is a survival tool to be on friendly terms with your ex, as much as you may not want to. I think it's harder to end a relationship on a small island, than if you were back home. People talk and this talk can even make the rounds into your professional working world as well. So, closure is something both parties had better receive and fast. Grinning and bearing the awkwardness when you run into one another again, or meeting your ex's new beau for the first time is just something that has to be done with shall we say, a modicum of propriety. I find people tend to gossip far more if a former couple is not on speaking terms, rather than when two exs get along fabulously and still sing each other's praises. While that may be a smart move yet one that is forced, really is there anything interesting about exs that stay on good terms. I didn't think so! Like I said, it's a survival tool.


bermudabluez said...

I totally agree with you. You have no choice. It's a survival tool. And one that you had better use given the fact that you are on a small island. It really doesn't seem like one has much choice at all. Except maybe sending a letter to the ex expressing exactly how you feel after you have left the island?

Tryangle said...

Yeah, dating in Bermuda can potentially be full of pitfalls. As a local I've been interested in dating expats in the past because it opens up one's eyes to the potential of new experiences in a way that dating another local may lack.

As for decent expats/locals, it again goes back to the whole fish in the sea scenario. Can't label one set of people as untouchable, etc.

But yeah, you're always going to butt up on someone that you went out with in such a small place, some people handle it better than others.