“Eventually I just stopped and enjoyed getting free wine and nice meals.” With financial matters settled, there only remains the delicate subject of how quickly to proceed with your new-found love interest.
For ladies in a hurry, there should be no problems convincing the average Latin man that time is short.
“Just because a girl is being touchy feely it doesn’t mean she’s definitely interested in that way,” he said.
“For a lot of people here, personal space exists on a much smaller scale.” As the night draws on a new challenge may arrive with the bill – who pays?
“(Men here) are definitely intimidated by me,” she added.
For some Latin men, these differences can be quite a shock, Georgina said.
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.
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?
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.