Today I will discuss some things that I've noticed about dating in Latin America.
But first, I have a confession to make.
I'm not that great with women.
Three long-term girlfriends before the age of 23 hasn't left me much time in the field. As an introvert, I struggle with approach anxiety. I've never studied "game" or pickup techniques and I've never been fortunate enough to have a mentor to call on for advice.
That said, I'm getting better each day. Since I started galavanting around Latin America, I've averaged about 3-4 women per month. Although that would make me a God among my former high school social group (with who, thank Christ, I'm no longer in contact with), it is rather modest compared with some fellow travellers/bloggers.
I'm OK with that.
Although I haven't mastered the art of ‘game,’ I do consider myself more perceptive than most. I can usually pick up on social cues and avoid stepping on my dick when it comes to dating or talking to women.
But it didn't happen overnight.
Here are some of the truths I've observed over the past couple years about dating in Latin America.
Is it a comprehensive list?
But it should help first-time travellers of all ages navigate the waters.
7 Truths About Dating And Game In Latin America
1) If You're Good Looking, You'll Get Laid. but. . .
Another confession: I'm fairly good looking.
Well, in the face at least. Body is average (I'm working on it). Don't get me wrong I'm no Brad Pitt, but I'm attractive enough that I can use it as a crutch. In the long run this has actually turned out to be a disadvantage because it diminished the incentive to learn how to talk to women...
But I digress.
Point is, even if you have no game whatsoever, if you're not hideous you will still be able to sleep with 5s, 6s, and a handful of 7s. I'm speaking from experience. If you're a decent looking chap at a bar or club in Latin America, you'll have girls who will give you amusingly obvious indicators of interest, or even go out of their way to approach you. This is not the case in Canada or the United States, where women are colder and competition is fiercer. In such instances all you have to do is apply "don't fuck it up" game and you should be able to take them home. If not that night, certainly after a date or two.
Although this sounds great, if you rely on this game plan you'll never get a quality woman. You must work for that. Even worse, if you let a girl latch on to you as soon as you get to the club, you'll cock block yourself.
As someone who wasn't used to this kind of attention, I routinely fell into this trap when I began travelling Latin America. I missed out on many better opportunities because of it.
Dating in Latin America isn’t easier than anywhere else, you’ll still have to put the time and effort in lest be stuck at the same level forever.
2) It Is harder than the USA to hook up with top-tier women
OK, well perhaps not harder. But certainly just as difficult. If you travel to Latin America and want to meet women, you must be realistic. If you go to Colombia for the first time, don't expect Shakiras and Sofia Vergaras to be throwing themselves at a gringo in khaki shorts who can't speak Spanish. If you opt for Mexico, don't expect to be nailing Salma Hayek or Stephanie Sigman against the headboard of your hostel bunk.
It's not going to happen.
Things in Latin America are no different than back home in this sense: unless you're a highly skilled player, access to this kind of woman is only going to be possible through social circles. Your exotic status as a foreigner means absolutely nothing to a girl that can have her choice of the social elite in her home country.
By and large, the highest quality girls I've slept with in Mexico and South America were thanks to social circles. Rarely do I take home something truly spectacular while flying solo at the bar.
And, based on guys I’ve talked to, this has been largely their experience as well. Quality women are in high demand. And as a foreigner just passing through a city for a few days, you’ll be last in line for access to them.
When it comes to dating in Latin America, if you want to get yourself a high quality woman with good values, you will invariably have to spend a lot of time in one city, learning the language and building a social group. Aside from getting extremely lucky, there’s no alternative.
3) Social Proof and Superficiality are of utmost importance
This ties into #1 and #2 of the list. Latin America - for better or worse - is a superficial place. How you look matters, as does the company you keep. Luckily, this is something that you can use to your advantage. For instance, in Mexico or Colombia an item as simple as a suit jacket and jeans that fit will mean you're better dressed than 90% of people at any given bar or club. That accompanied with your foreigner status gives you a massive advantage just by showing up.
Social proof is also incredibly important when it comes to meeting women in Latin America. It's a way of vetting a guy to see if he's cool, trustworthy etc. I understand that you won't have a social circle upon arriving in a city, but it's important to develop one if you plan to stay awhile.
Ideally, you'll meet some locals who can introduce you to their friends, but a group of socially adept foreigners can serve you just as well in a bar or club setting.
Who you show up with to a bar or a club in Latin America can make or break your night.
I learned this the hard way when a couple of friends came to visit. They didn't pack any nice threads, so one came to the bar with shorts and flip flops and the other with a wrinkly Under Armour shirt and jeans two sizes too big.
Girls wanted nothing to do with us.
And, think about it: why would they!?
How you present yourself is important. It’s the first mode of judgement available to another person. You gotta put the effort in. You may be a great, charming guy, but if you don’t present that through how you present or carry yourself, more often than not you’ll never get the chance to convey that to your girl of interest.
4) The more Attractive the Girl is, The more dominant you must be
This relates more to dating in Latin America than it does picking up. Since girls in Latin America are used to guys approaching them aggressively in bars and clubs, a more relaxed approach can actually work in your favour. However, if you want to keep a girl around for more than a few dates, you're going to have to take the lead.
The higher value the girl is, the truer this becomes.
The stereotype of girls being clingy in Latin America is valid only to a certain extent. For example, a gringo chaser with few local options will be hard to shake, no matter how you treat her. But a more attractive girl with many options and who isn't impressed simply by your foreigner status will have no problem kicking you to the curb if you're too passive.
This can be a difficult adjustment for guys used to dominant American women. But remember, this is a different culture. Adapt or get left behind.
Now, when I say dominant, don’t get it twisted: I’m not talking about yelling or being violent. It’s more about confidence. Show her that you have a mission and things going on in your life. Don’t apologize for things you shouldn’t apologize for simply because you don’t want her to be ‘upset'.’
Don’t do something disrespectful by flirting with other women in her presence, but, through your behavior and confidence, imply that, indeed, you do have options.
5) Not are girls are Feminine and many can't Cook
It's not as bad as in the United States or Canada, but don't come to Latin America expecting that all women will cook for you...or are even capable of it. I'll admit, I'm a bit biased (bitter?) about this having spent so long in Mexico City. I've yet to meet a girl that can cook here. I'm sure that if I shacked up with a little Mayan from Oaxaca or Chiapas this would change, but I'm not sure if the juice is worth the squeeze. Fact of the matter is, middle/upper class Mexican girls are largely inept in kitchens. Admittedly, this becomes less of a problem as you head further south - it's more common for a Colombian or Peruvian to offer to cook for you and have it not be absolute shit.
Also, don't expect all women to be dressed to the nines. "Hipster" fashion has crept its way into larger Latin American cities meaning that many girls are exchanging their high heels and dresses for t-shirts and converse. Of course this will vary by country, city and venue - there are still plenty of girls in Latin America who won't leave the house without looking exceptional.
Just remember that this won't be everyone.
This is a common belief among foreigners that haven’t been to Latin America. That the women are so much more feminine than their American or European counterparts, and that they know how to cook. This is a belief that is simply no longer true. It’s all but died in the millennial generation.
6) Latin girls lie like you take a piss
I've already covered this here, so I won't go into much detail. Suffice to say that if you’re not good at spotting a liar and wear your heart on your sleeve, Latin women WILL take advantage of you. This make dating in Latin America a drag at times.
Generally speaking, lying is too normalized here. I hate to say it’s cultural, but I see no other reason for it. Whether it’s a girl lying to her parents about where she is spending the night, or a vendor lying about the price of a trinket on the beach, people in Latin America lie a lot.
7) Dancing is extremely important, but not absolutely necessary
Sorry for the vague headline, but it's the best way I know how to sum this up.
Let me explain.
It's been well-documented on this blog that I am a TERRIBLE dancer. I used to think "I can get laid without dancing, so why bother to learn?"
Well, a few reasons.
First of all, it depends on the country. In Mexico, you can get by without dancing or dancing very poorly. This is because there are many top-40 oriented venues that never play Salsa music. It's also because Mexicans - relative to the rest of Latin America - aren't very good dancers.
In Colombia or the Dominican Republic, it is MUCH MORE important to know how to dance.
Looking back on it now, I've missed out on a number of opportunities with women because of my refusal or inability to dance. How many opportunities? Who knows for sure. But it's irrelevant. Everyone would agree that having $1000 is better than $900.
Another reason is that many women think that a man's ability to dance is linked to his sexual prowess. Judging by what Latinas have said about how horrible local guys are in bed, I can't see this belief holding much weight. But, again, it's irrelevant. If they believe it, they believe it.
So, although you can get laid in Latin America without knowing how to dance (I'm living proof), you'll open yourself up to a world of new opportunities just by learning the basic steps of Salsa or Cumbia.
And there you have it.
If your a first time visitor to Latin America, these 7 truths should help you know what to expect in terms of dating and hooking-up.
Remember not to overthink it: just be confident, learn some Spanish, don't be a pushover and everything will fall into place.
Until next time,
For more information about dating in Latin America, check out my City Guides.