How to Date a Colombian Man

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A gorgeous Colombia man!
A gorgeous Colombia man!

Editor’s Note: This post contains generalizations that may not apply to all paisas.

Since I’ve been in Medellín, I have not failed to notice the hoards of attractive women who in my opinion, far outweigh the attractive men.

I have also not failed to notice the amount of international men (or gringos) who come here looking for attractive women and have read the numerous articles on how to date a paisa woman.

But…what about the Colombian men?

With so much attention focused on the gorgeous (and yes I am a bit jealous) paisa women, I think it’s only fair to talk about the men, and after three months of living in Medellín complaining about the lack of good-looking men, something very strange has happened.

I am starting to see Colombian men in a completely different light. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been out of the country in a while, but they are suddenly looking very appealing.

So if you’re looking for a date in Medellín, first thing’s first; forget dating an expat. Most are only here for the paisa women, and anyone who tells you they aren’t, is probably lying.

If you want to be wined and dined and enjoy dating in Medellín, I definitely recommend dating a Colombian man (and I am speaking from personal experience).

So how do you get yourself a date with one of these latinos? After all they’re everywhere, and although the trend tends to be an older Colombian man with a younger Colombian woman, some are open to the idea of wooing a gringa.

The way to catch one – is to be different from a paisa chica.

Sounds easy? You look like an expat, and are an international woman but inside you’re actually a woman of mystery and one which they are really not used to.

First, you pay your own way. Paisa women tend to leave their purses at home and expect the man to pay for everything, which he generally does.

Second, you work to a fixed time schedule and 7pm to you means you arrive at 7pm. You don’t start getting ready at 7 o’clock and turn up at 8 or even 9pm.

According to some gringos whom I’ve spoken to currently dating paisa women, they don’t even turn up at all, and they have to arrange three dates for the probability of them turning up to at least one.

When we have a date, we turn up (most of the time anyway). Plus, coming from the western world, if a man turns up late, you won’t stand for it and be ready to move on to the next.

Third, you’re not into cosmetic surgery. This is not saying that every paisa is, and although we appreciate the finer things in life, they are not everything to us.

Looking good is important, but not everything, and we tend to value a more emotional connection over being bought nice clothes or being treated to nice meals.

Meeting a Colombian over a game of football
Meeting a Colombian over a game of football

What to Expect Dating a Colombian Man

Chivalry is not dead in Colombia and you can expect your Colombian man to open the door for you to walk through, pull out your chair at a restaurant and tell you how beautiful you look at the beginning of your date whilst holding your hand across the table throughout the evening.

Expect a great evening, and one full of dancing (although the one I am dating protests he cannot dance). Paisa men can dance, so prepare to be led across the dance floor as he shows you his sexy moves.

He will have a weekly routine, whether it’s working out, seeing his friends or other interests that you need to slot into.

Expect to be treated like a princess with so much affection and compliments that you’ll be totally flattered and wooed off your feet.

What Not to Expect

Having a choice over where you go for dinner, which for some of us coming from a country of equal rights can feel a bit frustrating. Saying that though, it is a refreshing change after being an independent woman to have someone make all the decisions for you (for a short while anyway).

Don’t expect your plans to fixed either as he may change them at the last-minute as he just “doesn’t feel” like doing what you had originally planned together.

Because you’re not a paisa chica, don’t expect him to pay for your meal. Coming from an equal-rights country, he may expect you to pay for your share (mine definitely does).

Don’t expect anything long-term, or start planning your future with them, as legally you can only stay in the country for six months a year if you’re on a tourist visa.

Don’t expect that you are their only girl. This obviously does not apply to all Colombian men, but I do know of girls who have dated men for months to then find out that they have another girlfriend, a wife or even children which they did not know about!

But this does work both ways and although it’s a common thought that paisas aren’t one woman men and are serial daters, in actual fact, the women are also doing the same.

If you want a one-woman man, play hard to get and don’t expect your Colombian man to have the same relationship values you have. Colombia is a macho society after all.

So date a Colombia man, enjoy the ride and worst case scenario if it all goes wrong, walk away knowing that you’ve been able to improve your Spanish (between the sheets anyway), eat out at some swanky restaurants and be completely wooed by a latino – definitely one for the bucket list.

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Lisa Eldridge is a travel writer and self-confessed travel addict currently living in Medellín. Her background in the travel industry fueled her passion to see the world and since the age of twenty one, she has travelled extensively as a solo traveller, living and working in numerous countries. Her aim is to make solo travel easier for females through her website, Girl About the Globe.

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48 COMMENTS

  1. I object to your constant use of the word ‘gringo’. It is unacceptable. If someone comes from Mexico we call them Mexican, from Colombia, Colombian. If we don’t know, we say Asian, American, European etc. There are some pretty gross words for latinos out there but no-one would dream of using them in these kind of articles, so keep the g word out too. I have a name, a country, a language and a culture, just like anyone else, and I object to being referred to in any other way. Please don’t give me that old thing about it being a harmless term either; it’s just a cop out.

    • By “constant” are you referring to just this article, because she only used it twice, or all of the content on Medellín Living? It’s not something I’ve felt the need to filter out as being offensive, but that’s not to say I’m not open to considering it going forward.

      When I first arrived in Colombia and heard “gringo” used in reference to me, my first reaction was to take offense, until I learned that Colombians use it without intention to offend (context matters of course, but in my company it’s never been used in a derogatory fashion).

      I began to see it as simple slang for foreigners in general, and even adopted the use of it myself.

      Another contributor touched on this topic in this post (under the “What Did You Say” section).

      “Simply put, many people here have no idea what they’re dealing with when it comes to foreigners because Medellín has only recently started to open up to the world.

      The individual that you’ve been talking to might literally have never interacted with a foreigner before. Indeed, anyone with blue eyes is labeled a gringo…”

      Even the term “American” is offensive to some people, yet it’s used the same way, as shorthand to refer to people from the United States.

      • You picked up on my use of the word constant; perhaps this was a reference to the whole blog, and I have raised the issue with you before. When recently in Medellin, I asked a local friend if he would call me a “gringo” if I was black, to which the reply was a definite “no”, so it does denote race. You say white, blue eyed people. What about white, brown eyed people or myself with green eyes? (a clue in itself to mixed racial origins) Whilst in common use in the Latin American world, this does not mean it is acceptable. In the days of Mark Twain, the ‘n’ word was accepted in much of North America. Now it is not. It is a matter of educating people, but this cannot be successful if people refer to themselves with racial stereotypes. As long as foreigners in Latin America refer to themselves in this way, it is a losing battle. That is the most offensive thing for me.

          • Actually Des, I have a lovely time in Medellin every time I visit, and by way of a relationship i am involved in real life there, not that of the typical expat. I have been living amongst Latin Americans both here in London and in Colombia for many years now, and I get on very well with them. I avoid the ex pat community in Medellin because of bigoted people like yourself. Oh, and by the way, I have been working in multicultural education for over 20 years, specialising in Ethnic Minority achievement. In that time I have seen racism in many forms. It comes from ignorance mostly…

          • Des. The word is ‘whingeing’ and it is spelt with an ‘e’, but I suppose I can’t expect correct spelling from an ex pat such as yourself!

        • I understand where you’re coming from, though I’m still not convinced “gringo” is a racial slur. I’ll give some more thought to whether we should be using it on the blog.

          In regard to the “white, blue eyed people” comment, those weren’t my words. I was quoting another writer. If you read the section of the article I linked to you’ll see the point that writer was trying to make was that Colombian society doesn’t tend to see the difference, green eyes vs white, US citizen vs Canadian. Gringo is a catchall phrase for foreigners.

          This is a similar discussion to Jay Z and most rappers’ use of the n-word. According to Jay Z, as artists they co-opted it, changing it from an ugly word to a “term of endearment” (his words, not mine). According to him, this took the power out of the word.

          Oprah questioned him directly on this (video here) and they agreed to disagree. This sums up how I feel about the use of gringo. The intent behind the use of a word is what matters more than the word itself.

          • Thank you for being at so reasonable and considerate about this David. I worked for years in London schools, often having to deliver policies and actions to combat racism in communities that have more diversity than anywhere in the Americas, including New York. Understanding and respecting differences seemed to be the only way forward, but also assumptions, no matter how harmless they may seem, should always be challenged.

          • there is already the word “extranjero” to mean foreigner..what’s wrong with that word exactly? I think people claim words are harmless but use them one way amongst an all-Latin group (referring TO ‘gringos” and differently to people’s faces..like how Spaniards use “guiri” funny how there is a double standard..can I say “Beaner” or “Greaser” if I mean no harm by it?

        • I myself come from Colombian parents and visit Medellin every year. I have brown eyes and brown skin and I’m also still called “gringa”. It’s not meant to be offensive it’s what makes you unique in the crowd of paisas. It’s literally how you want to take it and if you’re that sensitive about it get ready to be called “gringo creido”.

          • You are so right pero que saben ellos que an llamado tantas hentes afuera de su nombre por el color. Yo creo que una hente como ellos con la historia de mi paez U.S. y de lo que yo se, a leido y a visto esas hente no son nada de buena. Yo lo puedo si decir porque yo soy mitad gringa y Latina. So I know both worlds. Por favor me perdonas los errores, no encuento los lentes de lear Y mi espanol para escriber no es como yo quisera. Gracias por tus palabras y alomehol nos encontramos otra ves on line. Con respeto….Nin

        • The word “Green go” came from the Vietnam War. When the North American troops were attacking the Vietnamese troops, the Vietnamese heard the “Green go” as a military term; therefore, the word “Greengo” was implemented to make reference to the North American army or their allies. Not really an offensive term against anybody. Colombians in general use the term to refer to people with a an Anglo appearance and background regardless of their country, again not intending to offend them.

      • David I have to agree with you, I have found Gringo many Colombians use is like Flacko, Gordo etc a nickname in friendly terms

  2. ‘So if you’re looking for a date in Medellín, first thing’s first; forget dating an expat. They are only here for the paisa women, and anyone who tells you they aren’t, is probably lying.’

    This is a ridiculous statement.

    • Is it? In my experience, it holds true for most of the single male friends I’ve had in Medellín since 2009, as well as the guys I’ve met in passing.

      If they arrive here without a girlfriend, and choose to stay for any length of time, it’s highly likely they’ll begin trying to meet and date Colombian women, not fellow foreigners.

      • I don’t think it makes sense to write-off an expat just because he is in a foreign country. Meeting paisas might be the intent of one’s trip, but two people could hit it off anytime anywhere in the world. I would imagine two foreigners meeting each other in a different culture could be a unique experience they could share.

    • I understand what you’re saying Dani. I think absolutes can be a touchy way to describe things and maybe “most expats” or something to that effect would have been better? To say “all” would require someone to be omniscient and ubiquitous and I know of no such person. But I think Lisa intended that portion of the story as a tongue-in-cheek thing, not anything meant to stereotype all male expats…

  3. Dani & Ryan, yes that statement is meant as tongue in cheek and not to stereotype all expats. There’s a disclaimer at the top to say that this is not a generalisation. The article is meant as a bit of fun and like with any country, everyone is not the same but I have just taken the general consensus for the article. I have changed the wording to ‘most’ to make this clearer.

    • I think the whole blog needs to pay more attention to diversity in general. Not only are there narrow assumptions of nationality/ethnicity but also sexual orientation implicit in much of its content.

      • Paul, this is Ryan, the managing editor. If you could please list a half dozen stories that fail to meet your approval when it comes to diversity, I will give it my fullest attention. Our goal is to have diverse content on this site and I am open to any constructive criticism that can help us achieve that.

        Thank you 🙂

        • Ryan, I can only talk about impressions on those rare occasions I have looked at the blog. To trawl through it and find examples would be very time consuming. Your recent article about LGBT Pride is very welcome and provides a much needed balance against all the dating articles.

          • Thanks for the compliment about the LGBT story. I encourage you to follow us and you will see more stories like that. I am of mixed race — in my family there are whites, Japanese, Colombians and Brazilians, so my goal is to properly represent diversity, not just with race or sexual orientation, but with everything. It’s the reason we even cover so many parts of Colombia, despite the fact that our name is Medellin Living and we are based here. But we appreciate your feedback and will try to continue to improve 🙂

        • Kevin, I can see that you understand and agree with my point, but it is not a good idea to sink to their level by using other offensive terms.

      • Why is it that the people who disagree with me are so offensive rather than just disagreeing in a reasonable way? It speaks volumes about you!

      • Oh dear Mike. You choose to live in Colombia to avoid the PC brigade. but you know that old saying “Wherever you go you take yourself with you”, which in your case might cause some problems. BTW what was your surname? You didn’t include it.

      • Paul, Naturally you may think what you wish. And many thanks to Ryan for being so kind. I live in the US and do not consider the term gringa/gringo derogatory. Tapped into this site today to gain insight about Columbian men. One had very recently tried to entertain me. We work together at the same school. I would say our values do not combine well. He is 60ish, invited himself to my house to watch a movie (first date). I played along. He admitted he has been separated 8 years. We watched a very sweet movie, Born Romantic. I felt he was disappointed that I did not want to have intercourse and let him spend the night. Yikes. I am 50ish and not interested in sexual encounters until I get to know someone. Cest la vie.. I do recommend the movie though.

        Studies seem to indicate there have always been struggles to some degree with regards to diverse people and thinking. Yet it remains that we cannot control what people think, say, et cetera ..

        Understanding different perspectives and working toward this understanding seems a worthwhile endeavor..

        Reno, Nevada

  4. So far, no one has actually commented on the subject matter – dating a Colombian man!! I have dated Colombian men in both Medellin and London so I was interested to read your thoughts. I think you are pretty spot on with everything you’ve said. Colombian men are indeed chivalrous, they make a real effort to look and smell nice, are very complimentary and they’re damn good fun quite frankly. I agree with your comments about their negative traits too. I can live with most of them apart from the general acceptance that it’s perfectly OK for them to have several girls at once. At first when dating, anything goes but once it gets into relationship territory, how can this be so acceptable? They get away with it because everyone just accepts/expects it and so they don’t worry about there being any consequences. Instead, as you say, the result has been that now many women are at it too!!!!

  5. Hey guys, thanks for finally writing this article, it’s been a long time coming!! I loved it!! Please give us more stuff on the female perspective in Medellin!!! 🙂

  6. I must have been needing an adrenaline rush cuz when Paul lost it and succumbed to sarcasm ie. Trawling and a reference to the rarity with which he finds himself following Medellin Living I injured myself laughing!

    Sounds remarkably like someone can’t get the closet door open.

  7. David, I meant to thank you for your Playa del Carmen article. Heading back down in November to escape the deep freeze that is Toronto and sooo looking forward to that beach!

  8. This article sounds too stereotypical and generalizations are usually just wrong. Not all paisa women care about the material things they can get out of relationships or at least not more than women from the United states do. Gringo is not a derogatory term is just a way to refer to people of USA as American would mean everyone from the American continent… western world? So what is Colombia? There is no magic formula to get a Colombian man or any other, be yourself, and if there is chemistry then something may work out … i don’t know about bucket list worthy.

    • Very well said sir. You are right not all Paisa women care about material things from men. We have a gringa writing about us, how American is that? I am also American but I can see how we will make money and publicity even on other’s miseries by writing books and documentaries and what not. We even have them writing about how we treat relationships, not on an individual basis but in a whole, she refers to Paisa men Paisa women.

  9. folks, go to etymology >…. etymonline.com or wiktionary,org and look up the roots of the word GRINGO! stop bugging over stuff, that’s like saying the word nigger is wrong… the word nigger came from negro which came from NEgro…. and negro is a latin word which simpoly means black in colour. Gringo doesn’t come from the folk myth from MExico for the word existed in the Spanish dictionary way before the mexican american war! it comes from GRIEGO… greek! and in Colombia it means white westerner, basically to its most basic point. and afterwards vaguely oultander, but yes more of race. as white westerner. I live in Colombia and am Colombian and understand the way we use it here. In mexico maybe is it only used for USA for USA is their closest white western country, so that goes without saying wherefore they use it only for them. while for Colombia since we don’t have a border with any white western nation, do we not only think of americans. in Brasil go look in the dictionary what gringo means in Portuguese from Brazil… it means any foreigner … even a Colombian in Brazil could be called a gringo… the word began in the Iberian peninsula a long time ago…! the word white westerner is a great definiton for an ethnicity and therefore is gringo too! or green-go! it’s all good! if you don’t know how to understand things will… well, you’ll definitely not understand the secret of Colombian happiness!

    Jesus loves us!

  10. i would never advise my friend to date a colombian man, not even for fun. by far the worst of all latinos i was unfortunate enough to date. lying, cheating and manipulation are their normal language and they will not even think twice if there is anything wrong with doing it to you, knowing very well that you actually trust them, because apparently they gave their best to convince you they’re trustworthy. and always use protection with them, you don’t know where else he’s sticking it. in general i’d never suggest any of my girlfriends to date a latino, but i insist that colombians are by far the worst. apparently a society which cherishes superficial relationships, selfishness and sociopathy as their norm. save yourselves time, effort and pain. be single, date other people, go to the fucking monastery, buy a dildo…everything but dating THEM.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I recently met a Colombian in the US who invited me to visit him in Colombia after my trip to Costa Rica, where I am from. I was really tempted to go because he is very charming. While in Costa Rica I shared my plans with my friends and they all warned me about the reputation of Colombian men. Your article has just reinforced what they said. I am not going to Colombia!

  11. Don’t date Colombian men you will regret it, they are selfish and egotistical and lying comes easy to them. Try anyone else but them, they are not worth the trouble. One of my biggest mistakes was dating a Colombian man. Just a warning to all the other ladies thinking of making the same mistake I made.

  12. Hi mi name is David Betancur, I appeared in the first picture, I never accepted to publish one of my pictures, I’m worry about it because is my image to the world, I dont want this picture related to this topic, I ask for delete this content. Thank you so much