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While the relative calm of a laid-back cocktail bar might appeal, the best approach is to head towards the sound of a pounding salsa beat and shuffling couple feet, according to James Flood, a 30-year-old British who has had numerous romantic (or so he claims) dalliances with local Latinas in his travels in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Cuba and Colombia.
Salsa Dance “Get a couple of basic salsa lessons – seriously,” he advised.
Georgina Blair is a young American professional living in Medellin, Colombia, and she first met her Colombian boyfriend a year ago when she broke with convention and asked him to dance.
Dating Etiquette According to Georgina, foreign women are given more leeway to break with traditional gender roles and dating etiquette as they are viewed differently by Latin men.
Will an invite back to your hotel lead to a night of passion or a slap in the face and a condemnation to the fires of hell for your sinning ways?
Latin America, though, is rightly renowned for its fiery passions and beautiful people, and to miss out on this side of the region’s culture through fear is far more unforgivable than embarrassing yourself with culturally inappropriate body language.
Is that hand on your knee a flirtatious come-on, or a culturally distinct approach to personal space?
Is splitting the bill a nod to equal gender relations, an unforgivable challenge to your date’s masculinity, or the sign of an incorrigible tight-wad?
The key differences for travelers from more ‘distant’ cultures are in the Latin approach to eye contact and physical contact – lots of both.
“If you catch a woman’s eye, don’t dwell in it or keep catching her eye. ’ Men and Flirting A lack of directness is certainly not an issue for most Latin men, according to Beth Stevenson, an American veteran of the Argentine dating game after living and working in Buenos Aires for a year and a half. “They do not leave you alone, which is annoying but they’re very charming.” Being naturally extroverted and flirtatious also means Latin men can get away with behavior that would not wash in the U. “What we expect from guys in Latin America is completely different,” Beth said.
“If in a bar here a guy whispers ‘you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,’ you’re like ‘oh, thanks’.
“With girls here, if they’re really interested – it’s obvious,” said James.
However, once you note that interest, it’s crucial to act on it without delay or you risk losing out, he added. That doesn’t mean be aggressive or pushy, say sleazy things to them or invite them straight back to your room but if you’re interested the best thing is just go straight over and say ‘can I buy you a drink?