Although my own experience of dating in Colombia is really pretty limited (sob), I’ve canvassed friends of both sexes and have compiled a brief list of tips for him and tips for her in order to avoid heartbreak, dodge the STIs and have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Girls are very unlikely to approach you, or make the first move.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl in possession of a job in Colombia must be in want of a date. Ostensibly a bar for foreigners to participate in a language exchange with Colombians, and actually a great way to make friends, after about 9pm it morphs into a free-for-all speed dating service between gringos and locals.
All across the city of Bogotá, and indeed the rest of the country, gringa girls living and working in Colombia are pairing up with local boys – at a staggering rate! Ask anyone about it, go and check it out, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
That isn’t to say that they’re uninterested though.
Keep alert for eyelash batting and an ear out for high pitched giggling.
It seems to be a match made in heaven – the Colombian males, who are fascinated with foreign women, and the young English girls, who are 6,000 miles away from home for the first time. It’s fair to say that for people in their early twenties in England, dating culture hasn’t really taken off – at least, not like it has in America.
Add that to the Harlequin romance-fueled Western imagination and idealisation of a Latin lover, and ! Rather than dating multiple people casually, including almost strangers, like we see in shows like In Colombia, the relationship between men and women affects the dating culture.
As I mentioned in my last article, male-female platonic friendships are considered far less common, particularly if the pair in question are single.
So, even while you’re not in a relationship with someone just because you went on a date, it’s important to know that going for a casual drink with a guy would be considered a date in Colombia.