One of my favorite blog-related activities is going through the search terms that lead to my blog. Over the last few years, the overwhelming majority of searches have been about Colombian men. I get hundreds of searches every month from all over the world regarding Colombian men. Are they faithful? (not usually) What do they expect? Can it work? Why do they live with their moms? The list goes on and on. This month I started getting more diverse searches so I will be breaking this post down into two entries: One dealing with Colombian men and one dealing with all other search terms.
Colombian Men: Below you will find the most common Colombian men-related searches that lead to my blog over the last two weeks.
1.) Moving to Colombia to be with boyfriend: While I didn’t move to Colombia to be with my Colombian boyfriend, I did stay longer than originally planned to be with him. While I don’t regret it because I believe that all experiences can be positive so long as you put the right spin on them, I would highly recommend you also have a good job/life opportunity you can take advantage of while you are there, because if things don’t work out, the last thing you want is to feel like you wasted your time. I’ll just call my boyfriend-related time in Colombia a learning experience.
2.) How to flirt with a Colombian guy: I found this to be pretty easy and one of the welcome aspects to living in Colombia. I am not a particularly forward or flirtatious person so in many ways, the Colombian dating scene suited my style: I didn’t feel I had to be particularly proactive. A little eye contact or a smile should be enough. Let’s face it…Colombian men like the ladies and they are much more forward than American guys. In fact, now that I’ve started dating in D.C, I’m astounded by how un-forward (is this even a real word? Probably not) American guys are. Does this mean I need to be more proactively flirtatious?
Because I’m not a particularly great flirter, I’m not really sure how to fully answer this question. So ladies, if you’ve lived in Colombia and have any input that might be helpful, feel free to share!
3.) Dating a Colombian: Can it work? Sure, it can, and I know people for whom it has. I would only say to be aware that there are cultural differences that are very real. I enjoyed dating my Colombian while we lived in Colombia and I can say he never disrespected me or abused me and was generally chivalrous, but long story short, at the end of the day, we simply had a different set of values and priorities. One thing I never thought about when I was living in Colombia with my boyfriend was how our relationship would translate when we moved to the U.S…what I’d say about this is that if your significant other plans to move to the U.S/Canada/Australia/Europe/Asia to be with you, it’s very important that they are psychologically prepared to live with the cultural differences and are prepared to surrender the fantasy of moving back to Colombia (unless of course, you plan to move back to Colombia). It’s not easy starting out in the U.S., especially if you aren’t prepared to do whatever it takes to make things work.
4.) Bad Experience Colombian guy: I hear you, sister. Actually, I would say my experience was more a clash of value systems than a completely bad experience. You can always take something away from a bad experience, right? After my relationship ended, I got happy, fit (well, still working on this, but I have come a long way) and more focused and I truly feel my life has improved a thousand fold since the end of the relationship. At the end of the day, I can say I’m a better, happier and calmer person now than I was before the relationship and I think he’d say the same about himself. So it all worked out.
You occasionally hear stories of men with secret wives and families, guys who are just looking for a visa or relationships that become abusive or controlling, but I think this is not necessarily specific to Colombia. I would just say that the narrative we’re fed here in the U.S, about the importance of fidelity, (relative) equality among the sexes and the importance of self-autonomy, is not necessarily the narrative Colombian men are hearing when they are growing up or even as a adults. So it’s definitely something to keep in mind. Although I think some values are universal, I think many are also relative. For example, autonomy is big in the U.S, but it’s almost a curse word in Colombia. My grandma still thinks the idea of 18-year-olds moving away from home for college is a cultural travesty. What may seem outrageous in the U.S (think a 47-year old guy who lives at home and whose mom cooks his breakfast and does his laundry) is relatively common and not particularly unusual in Colombia. No matter what Hollywood tells you, love is not always enough.
5.) What do Colombian men like? Well, the same thing as all men, is my guess. I’d just add that they like their girlfriends to take care of themselves, more so than American guys, at least in my experience. Plastic surgery is much less taboo than in the U.S and I can’t say I met all that many guys in Colombia who seemed seriously opposed to plastic surgery. They also like their moms. Actually, they love, love, love their moms. Which is great, although if you come from a country that values independence a little more, this can be a little hard to deal with. I’d say they definitely expect more pampering than American guys as well. Anyone out there have more input on this subject?
So Colombian-man loving ladies all over the world…if you have any more questions feel free to ask. I am by no means a Colombian man expert, but I did live in Colombia for 2.5 years, had a 3-year relationship with a Colombian and am a second generation Colombian myself, so I do feel I have a pretty good knowledge base in the subject. And keep in mind my explanations come from my own experiences. I’m sure many of you out there have had very different experiences and would be very interested in hearing about them!