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O my! Marvelous women… without men!

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A funny thing happened this week. A friend of a friend passed on an urgent request for stories of American women between 40 – 60 years of age who relocated to Asia around 5 years ago to set up a business.

The story is for a feature in O Magazine – yup that is the famous Ms Oprah Winfrey folks!

O Magazine's FaceBook page (Image: Opra FB)

O Magazine’s FaceBook page (Image: Oprah FB)

Now, I’m Canadian not American and while I fit the right age range, I don’t meet the ‘last five years’ criteria – I came to Asia in 1990, then again 1995 and finally settled down in India in 2003.

And my move back certainly wasn’t start a candy shop or some other cool business venture.

Truth be told I’m a very reluctant entrepreneur.

They apparently proposed my profile anyways… however I know there are too many cool American women out there! This lass from north of the border won’t make the final cut…

However it prompted me to think of all these amazing adventuresome women I know (and keep meeting!) who are from one country and moved to another… be it from Mumbai to Vietnam to Indonesia or Indonesia to India to Singapore and back, Australia to India, Canada to China…

  • A common thread with all these women is they packed up and moved on their own
  • Another common thread is as they transitioned from their twenties to thirties to forties and for some fifties, most do not have ‘permanent partners’

Men (and in some cases women) came into their lives, enjoyed a good romance or romp for some time but did not remain.

Is it their restless spirit?

Or is it that potential partners just can’t keep up?

Or is it that finding a kindred soul with anyone less adventuresome and transnational simply isn’t enough?

A few months ago, this topic dominated a rather interesting gathering of women in Jakarta.

Solo dining and indulging, Jakarta Aug 2013

Solo dining and indulging, Jakarta Aug 2013

All were strong, attractive, successful women in their chosen paths. None had steady partners.

Most liked the concept of having someone to share their lives but in societies that still has conservative threads, early marriage for most… they were too busy having adventuresome lives to get hitched! And now, bemoan that ‘potential’ men nearly universally fall prey to the ‘pretty young things’ rather than consider remarkable mature women.

There is a stereotype of older white guys coming to Asia and hooking up with sexy young Asian wives.

What about the women that do not need a ‘sugar daddy’?

Who frankly can more than hold their own? If anything, intimidate the crap out of most mere mortal men…

What is it with you men folk?

Can’t you see these gorgeous, accomplished, humorous, fabulous females?! Yeah, so there may be a few wrinkles and they don’t have 20 something figures, but come on – wouldn’t you rather an intelligent witty conversation with shared interests and someone ‘age appropriate’?

Single men – just what’s up with you dudes?

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  1. If a guy can get a younger woman, he will. Biological imperatives prevail.

    Anyway, I hope your post prompts a whole bunch of interesting women to share their stories. I love reading about this kind of thing 🙂

  2. sarahinguangzhou says:

    I don’t think there are so many men who like strong, independent women. They may say they do, because it’s politically correct to say it, but in the end they want to settle down with the little woman who knows their place.
    Then again, I may just be a bitter cynical old woman. 🙂 But happy to stay that way.

  3. Expat Eye says:

    You see the same thing with the men here. They’d rather have a piece of arm candy who can barely speak the same language, than a strong successful woman their own age. Sad really!

  4. I absolutely loved this post! I am not sure what you think about this request, but it will be a great help to fellow women entrepreneurs who are still trying to get their feet wet (like me), to get some ideas, tips-tricks, feedback about entrepreneurship. I think a lot of us are “reluctant entrepreneurs” and your perspective will help us grow as well!

    • Awww… thanks! I’ve actually been thinking along these lines too…

      Believe it or not, I’m actually in the process of setting up three companies?!

      One for my international consulting work (just for me!), one for domestic work (for me and another gal pal) and a third for a crazy project that is still a bit ‘hush hush’ at the moment. If we pull it off, I know I won’t shut up about it ‘cus it’s uber exciting! 😉

      Which means I can share insight into the fascinating world of applying for DINs, a gazillion licenses and more (snore!)

  5. Gururaj says:

    Carissa, today’s world of economic activity, peace and progress enables individualistic adventurism in all aspects of life. However, those who dare are few and the rest of humanity follows tradition – marry young, procreate and remain in lifelong relationships. Does not adventure, by definition, mean differing from the routine? And how do we fight human nature and biology ? These achievers should be happy about having led fulfilling lives which others could only wistfully yearn for, and have faith in serendipity for meaningful relationships. Kabhi kisiko muqammal jahan nahin milta, right ?

  6. Lady Sparrow says:

    Oh dear, I was just thinking about the same thing and was planning to write something on the similar note (from a late 20’s and early 30’s perspective).
    Now, I don’t meet some of the criteria (I’m 29, Indonesian, living in Jakarta), I consider myself fairly independent (my parents think I am too independent). I earn more than enough to support myself and I certainly don’t need a sugar daddy. I’m not even 30 yet and I already feel the same thing as you. Though the way I look at it is that men today seem to prefer women who *maybe* are not as successful or independent, regardless of age. And that gals with good careers and sense of adventure and accomplishment are intimidating….for both young and older men alike. *sigh*
    The pressure is, I find, higher if you’re Asian, living in Asia.
    Is it too early for me to think so? #help #confused

    • Yeah… I know what you mean… it does make for a double whammy!

      Truth be told that not so distant couple of convos in Jakarta were mostly ‘Asian’ women originally from Korea, India, Australia and Indonesia itself who worked in various countries.

      Bottom line – be yourself and be happy with yourself!

      In truth, my story is a bit different. I was married for 15 years, it didn’t work but still no regrets. Enjoyed a bout of being completely single in my early 40s – loved it in fact!

      Then met someone who just rocked my world and apparently I did his too. Its been more than two years now of living blissfully in sin. I highly recommend two strong independent individuals just having a blast and making a deliberate decision to build a life together! 🙂

      PS I’m coming back to Indonesia soon – yippee!

  7. Tim says:

    I am a man…I admit it. I’ve entered the belly of the tiger on this one. It is true that a part of the male population seek out only young women and ditch the older ones. It is equally true that a portion of the female population seek only an older man of financial stability. Which is better? Then, of course, you have the rest of us men and women who are content to find someone to share and enjoy life. Travel, be adventurous, see the world, experience and throw caution to the wind.
    It exists!

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