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The Challenge of Cross-Cultural Relationships in Colombia | Lifestyle

The Challenge of Cross-Cultural Relationships in Colombia | Lifestyle

Culture, Life Abroad

Relationships in Colombia are hostile to the well educated, intelligent women (and dare I say men too?) of more developed nations. Nothing new to an educated, intelligent Colombian woman either – although they seem to bear it better. You might want to prepare yourself for this by banging your head against the wall – followed by a fortifying shot of aguardiente.

Relationships in Colombia

You’re traveling or living abroad. One day, someone will cross your path who sees you, the real you and you will fall madly in love with them. Or was it just the alcohol talking?

Despite language and culture barriers, you go for it! Because life is an adventure. And life abroad can be lonely. You don’t consider whether you will understand their sense of humor, and they yours. Right now all you see is the intensity of this moment. The passion. The feeling. The sense of finding someone special.

And maybe, just maybe – you will find your Media Naranja, or that perfect relationship situation. (Hat-tip, to the reader who corrected my understanding on this one)

Here are a few things to consider when considering a partner.

  • Religious beliefs and approach to the meaning of life.
  • Attitudes and culture norms which affect hygiene and personal care.
  • The food they desire/eat. The food they don’t desire and refuse to eat.
  • Sense of humor, and understanding how to interpret an expression or gesture.
  • The in-laws. Google the term “Hijo Bom Brillo.” And then run away from this type.
  • The language barrier, or being unable to express feelings coherently in the second language.

This is a pretty small list of the little things, but you will notice that many of them are even present in your home culture too. And, more often than not, they drive us crazy! That’s my list. Let’s see what others have to say…

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The International Community Weighs in on the Debate

Cultural norms, family issues and more. I spoke to other foreign residents of Colombia, and here’s what they had to say about the joys and challenges of their cross-cultural relationships…

Perspective #1: Mollee’s Experience

🙂

Likes: Latin men are way more expressive and passionate. They generally treat their women like a queen…which is nice if you are someone (maybe a middle child) who loves attention
Also I think communication is a big deal in every relationship, and being in one with a second language really forces me
to plan what I say before I say it, which is not always the case when I am speaking English.

Dislikes: Long distance is hard, green cards are expensive, and everything takes time. Sometimes I think about how
easy people have it who are from the same country!
Its also difficult when I’m with his friends and almost all jokes are lost on me.

Mollee, Age 26, USA

Perspective #2: Dales’ Experience

 There are several key takeaways from my experiences dating Colombian women. I think the first any gringo will need to have when dating a Colombiana, is patience. Patience is everything. Many women will tell you they just want to be friends first. Some will want to bring a friend or family member on the first date. Many women will show up late, or will want to change the plans at the last minute.
 
Because of this, the initial stages of dating Colombian women can be more than a little difficult and confusing for Extranjeros, or foreigners. However, once you are “in” with one, they make for fabulous lovers who will care for you, look out for you, and treat you with tremendous respect.
One last thing. Yes, the women are beautiful here, but this does not mean that they are easy. In fact, the opposite is true. A man wanting a relationship with any self-respecting woman, is going to need to put in the time and work to get to know her. If you had a difficult time with relationships in the US, your move to Colombia will likely not change that. Put the time in, smile, be a gentleman, be patient, ask questions, make her laugh, learn salsa, take her to dinner and a movie.
If you are good you will find someone good, because there are plenty of single women here.