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Dating in Spain

Dating the Spanish Way

Dating can be a difficult process no matter where you live in the world. Rules, protocols, etiquette, customs, dos and don’ts aplenty. If you’re an expat living in a foreign country, such as Spain, things can get even more complicated. Sometimes the learning curve is steep with painful trial-and-error situations and enough self-doubt to scare you out of your wits. However, if you can be patient and approach with an open mind, many rewarding opportunities will present themselves along the way. The art of assimilating a culture different from your own adds a new layer of complexity to your personality and character. Fundamentally, it helps make you a more interesting person.    

In this article we’ll be taking a close look at the Spanish Dating Scene. In Spain, there’s no need to restrain your feelings. You don’t have to worry about putting up a show or pretending to be somebody you’re not. Love is a public affair. It’s out in the open – you can breathe in on every street corner. Nevertheless, you won’t find a dating (hookup) culture similar to that in the USA with rules and formalities. Instead, things are more organic. Relationships are allowed to flourish naturally without the need for outside help or serious discussions. The Spanish don’t date, they “go out with someone,” and, depending on the circumstances, this expression can have completely different meanings.

Expanding Your Social Circle

In Spain, there are three basic ways to meet people: through the nightlife scene, online or through friends. You’ll find that Spaniards hang out with the same group of people they met in high school pretty much all of their lives, usually hooking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend through mutual friends. In the bigger cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, if you’re savvy enough, you’ll have chances to meet people in places such as English centers (especially if you’re still brushing up on the language). You’ll notice that people in Spain are always interested in improving their English and this can open you up to many interesting conversations.

Tips to Succeed in the Spanish Dating Game

One of the first things you’ll notice about Spanish men and women is that they live longer with their parents. This is a culture where family is placed high above everything else (the current economic crisis also plays a large role). So, remember, to win over the heart of your Spanish significant other, the approval of their family is a must; especially of the mother, who Spanish men all hold dear to their heart.

Keep in mind his or her friends will have to accept you as well. That’s right, so get ready to meet lots of new people. As you get more intimate with your Spanish lover, he or she will want to introduce you to his large group of friends. Stay relaxed, play the clueless foreigner, answer their questions politely while smiling like an idiot. The Spanish are mostly easy-going and will accept you into their circle with open arms.

If you just started dating a Spanish man, rest assured everyone will soon know you’re his girlfriend. It’s a well-known fact Spanish men can be very protective. It’s not uncommon for a Spanish man to keep his arms around his lady at all time in public areas and God help the poor bastard who disrespects you in any way. Be warned, however, they can also be excessively jealous, and while this may sound cute at first, in can become an extremely unattractive quality in the long run.   

Although no two relationships are ever the same and situations vary depending on the people and circumstances – it’s safe to say that, as a whole, the Spanish wait a lot longer before they get married. There’s no rush to go out, buy a ring and get engaged, set a wedding date and start sending out invitations. In fact, many Spanish couples don’t get married at all, but instead prefer to live together in exclusive relationships. Those that do get married, though, will usually do so with a huge religious (Catholic) ceremony.  

Online Dating Services in Spain

Online dating in Spain work more or less the same as everywhere else. Luckily, however, you’ll find that several online dating services are quite popular and active in Spanish society. But you have to be careful as many websites simply don’t deliver what they promise and can sometimes be filled with fake profiles. To find a suitable dating website, make sure you read their reviews and user comments, compare them to others you find on the web, and when you’re ready, select the one that best fits your needs. Joining a dating service allows you to seek out people with similar interests and values, who may be looking for exactly the same thing as you.

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