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How To Understand Relationships vs Sex in Colombia

How To Understand Relationships vs Sex in Colombia


Where I try to shine a light on relationships vs sex in Colombia. Here you will find some of the most friendly, open, and fun people to hang out with that inspire, add color and who bring good stories to our lives. Their crazy sucks us in and allows us to relax and have a good time like never before.

But there is a dark side to all their fun and games which I think foreign residents have a hard time understanding due to language barriers, cultural norms, and personal values.

Relationships vs Sex in Colombia

This is a rather dicey topic to take on, but it won’t be my first time. Please air your ideas, experiences, and criticism in the comments. Truthfully, this is as much about having a campfire chat, as it is about me airing my spleen about personal successes and (mostly) failures, and my wild experiences Dating in Colombia.

Language Barriers

In a nutshell, my formation in Spanish was a bit more prepared than the average expat or intrepid traveler. I had three years of Honors Spanish (accelerated/intensive), in high school. I also LOVED my Spanish class and the games, songs, or worksheets that were more like crossword puzzles or word searches.

At the age of 27in February of 2013, I moved to Colombia and have had only one visit to my native country in these years of permanent residence. As someone who has to work hard and pay my own way, we can also say that I learned out of an intense desire to eat well and sleep comfortably.

My motivation to learn Spanish has given me a special foothold on this culture. I’ll try to explain common terms and forms of communication you may find in couples situations in the Coffee Axis region of Colombia.

I said all this to make a point:

Your ability to select a boyfriend, husband, or lover in Colombia hinges on picking up their grammar, subtle cues – or not so subtle, and body language. Please don’t come here and take shots in the dark.

This is a culture which values public image tremendously, which means they also hide their true selves from the world on a cultural level. You can’t hope to change them, only make your own decisions to change yourself or move on.

Read More about relationships in Colombia:

Culture Norms

Relationships are taken seriously by good people. High quality individuals in this country work hard to improve their interpersonal relationships, public image, and community connections.

In the smaller towns everyone is having sex discreetly, but only a select few are investing in relationships. This is a cultural norm which goes back to the Catholic church and the resulting taboos. Married men and women may take lovers privately but rarely make it public or divorce their wives. They will simply leave it at “separated.”

It is normal and acceptable for a man/woman who is married to take a lover, or look the other way while their husband takes a lover. It is not acceptable for an old school Catholic to divorce in order to get with someone else, many priests no longer grant church divorce. Due to the permanent nature of legal matrimony, and church values, the older generations particularly will stay with their spouse and take lovers to feed their desires.

In fact, they have a saying, “a wife to clean and raise kids, a lover for pleasure and fun.” As a foreign resident you must decide if that is something you are willing to forgive, tolerate, or move on.

Relationships last longer, and tolerate more for stability. In a culture that has been a little unhinged around the edges since day one, people in the smaller towns especially, will cling to having someone versus being alone.

Along those same lines, people also spend a lot more time getting to know each other before committing to anything serious. Easy sex on the other hand is available everywhere. If you aren’t getting any – it really is you!

In the words of one of my neighbors in my small town of 12,000 inhabitants, “This place is a giant orgy.” Ew, which also leads to another locally known fact, that there are high rates of birth out of wedlock, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Truthfully, if lots of sex is your thing, you can find it anywhere in Colombia. If your real desire is to have a stable relationship, and a family, then you will have the best results by taking your time to know people around you before getting too involved. It can take 6 months up to a couple of years to really know someone enough to risk a relationship with that person.

Tip: Watch out for anyone who tickles the palm of your hand when you shake in greeting – they are giving you a not-so-subtle hint of their sexual interest. Be discreet if you decide to use it, the other person might get offended!

Personal Values

Our personal values change in new or different environments. We make our decisions based on our own upbringing, cultural values, religions beliefs, and experiences.

In a new place, we have to re-evaluate your personal values, their personal values, and then make a decision on whether you are going to compromise or draw a hard line.

Hypocrisy is a thing here. People will do lots of things behind closed doors that they may openly criticize in front of their friends. Maybe it isn’t just Colombia, but watch out for those pots who call the kettle black.

It is not uncommon for men and women to also be bisexual, but going back to the hypocrisy of things they will hide and deny in most situations anything that isn’t the commonly accepted norm.

Dating in Colombia

Dating in Colombia is a great adventure. The best results come from taking your time to really get inside the culture and orient yourself.

Hobbies, sports, gym programs, dance classes, and coffee shops are all great ways to meet and interact with Colombians. You will quickly find that people here are not afraid to approach strangers. Especially if you share a common activity.

In my own experience you can’t go wrong by spending 6 months in a similar routine where you go to the same place, to do the same thing, with the same people. Especially dance classes like Tango, or salsa give their attendees more opportunities to interact and create connections.

Get to know the people around you and give it lots of time to mature.

Relationships vs Sex in Colombia

If a man or woman wants something a little bit more serious with you, they introduce you to their mother. Even on the first date, this seems to be a normal occurrence as a way to signal a more serious interest.

This doesn’t change much across cultures, but maybe we need to be reminded. People who invite you to drink with them (versus going out to dinner) are probably hoping to have sex with you. Which is ok. But, don’t confuse the two.

A friend in Manizales who has a certain reputation for taking lovers once told me something that I think is true about dating in Colombia.

If you have sex once for adventure, no problem. Maybe it was so incredible you go back a second time. But, the third time one starts to fall under the control of the other.

“A man who occasionally wanders”

This is like a way of saying, know yourself and don’t do anything you will regret, or which will leave one of you hurting. From personal experience you really can’t be too careful

Use protection!! Some men will lie and do whatever they want. Some women will lie about birth control. Children add value to lives in this country because of child support! Also, use a condom to prevent STD’s! Be smart!

Watch out for anyone who doesn’t want to be seen with you in public!

Don’t move in until you have been together for at least 6 months. Don’t take them home for the first few months, if possible!

Abstaining from sex always means better relationship possibilities and interest in being serious. Pressuring for sex usually means that all he really wants is sex.

Inviting you to go on day trips and family hang outs always means you are moving towards a more serious relationship.

Talk about it! Don’t expect him/her to read your mind and try to set clear, easy to understand expectations.


The nature of men and women is always going to be tricky to understand, but easier to define over time and experience. Colombian culture is very carefree and happy. To the average person, sex happens naturally, and getting back together with an ex also is on the table.

You will find exceptions. It probably won’t happen the way you expected it to. Seize the moment and go with what feels right but also makes sense logically as well!

Be safe! Tell people where you are going and with whom. Don’t go out to rural/distant places alone with someone you don’t know. Try to avoid alcohol or heavy drinking during the first few dates.

The most important part of how to understand Relationships vs Sex in Colombia is to remember to always have fun. If you are feeling miserable, then he/she is probably not for you! When you get good vibrations and happy feelings – let it flow!

If you feel like these tips resound with you and you want to have an online consulting session – feel free to email me at Cost is $25/hour to sit and discuss perspectives, ideas and culture norms related to dating in Colombia.

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About the author

English Teacher, Freelancer, Chocolate Entrepreneur and Traveler!!

1 Comment

  1. Antonio
    April 10, 2024 at 6:52 am

    I am a frequent traveler to Colombia and I strongly agree with all that is written and I enjoyed it and thanks for the tips. I am interested to learn more about this topic from an academic view point, social, spiritual and psychological perspectives.

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