Dating Colombian Men: The Dos & Don’ts


Editor’s note 1: This post was updated on March 8, 2019. The original post was published on September 18, 2014.

Editor’s Note 2: This post contains generalizations that don’t apply to all Colombians and Gringos (but most of them).

Medellín – the city of eternal spring, bandeja paisa and beautiful women. It’s no secret that men from around the world flock here in the hopes of wooing a Sofía Vergara/Shakira and living happily ever after. But what about Colombian men? How do the male locals shape up in comparison to the other half of the population? And moreover, what’s it like to date a paisa guy?

While Colombian women undoubtedly have more of a reputation for their looks – long sleek hair, tanned complexion, curvaceous figures – Colombian men lucked out in the gene pool too. A typical Latino has large dark eyes, facial hair, tattoos and lots of confidence.

Make no mistake, Colombian men are not shy, gringas are likely to experience staring and calls from them just walking down the street. There are also a handful of local men in Medellín who say they are exclusively looking for an extranjera girlfriend (note: the word “girlfriend” is used somewhat loosely). Oh, and come night-time, the charm is severely turned up. In a country where machismo rules and Aguardiente flows, Colombian men have flirting down to an art. From an innocent question at the bar to a gentle brush of your hair, you may find yourself later firmly pressed between a man’s thighs on the dancefloor.

By Frank Romeo

So, if you’re looking to take the plunge and date a paisa, there are a few things to be savvy about. The culture and rules are certainly different here, and to make the most of a fling or lay the groundwork for something long-term, here’s the lowdown:


Embrace looking different

If you’re not from Colombia and want to sample the dating scene, make the most of being a foreigner! Men and women alike tend to be attracted to what’s exotic, so accentuate your different body shape, let down your hair (props if you’re blond), share stories about home and don’t be shy about having an accent. Generally, Colombian men are intrigued by women from overseas, so celebrate where you’re from!

Play hard to get

The chase is probably the most important thing when dating a Colombian man – it’s all about the build-up. Paisa men are particularly determined when it comes to getting a woman and it’s wise to know that your new man is likely to be well-rehearsed in the seductive back-and-forth, so why not enjoy being in charge? Be independent and elusive, don’t immediately show your interest, it’ll make them work harder and the tension is bound to benefit you in other areas…

Say “yes” to new experiences

Chances are, your Colombian guy will want to impress you, and there’s no better way to see the city (or country) than with a local. Make the most of your newfound “friend” and take them up on any meeting places, activities or trips they suggest. You may find yourself in one of Medellín’s hidden gems or even on a plane to a new city.

By illpaxphotomatic

Let them show you off

It’s no secret that Colombian men have gringa-fever, and if you’re lucky enough to be on the arm of particularly handsome guy, expect to be shown off. Colombians are extremely open people and even if your relationship is casual, you may end up meeting most of his friends and family. It’s a compliment that Colombian men want to showcase you, just expect lots of flattery and questions from his male relatives in return.

Know there’s an expiry date

There are way more relationships and marriages between extranjeros and Colombian women than the other way around. Colombian men definitely don’t seem to have the same commitment plans as the females but that doesn’t have to be a negative. A tourist visa in Colombia lasts a maximum of 6 months and very few Colombian men are willing to attempt long-distance. Being aware that your Colombian romance may come to an abrupt close means you can be extra fun, adventurous and direct in the relationship.


Don’t Expect them to be on time

There are some things Colombians are: friendly, funny, generous, but being on time is not one of them. If a local says they’ll meet you at 6pm, expect it to be more around 7/8pm or maybe not at all. Unfortunately, dating also falls into this bracket. Just because a guy is interested, doesn’t mean he’s going to start showing up early. Always make flexible plans and bring a book for when you’re kept waiting.

By Daniel M Ernst

Compete with their mom

The reason why Latino men know how to treat a woman? They’ve been raised well. Colombian culture is rooted in family and caring for relatives, especially mothers. While most women are thrilled to learn this, it does come with some difficulties. Men typically live with their parents throughout college and only move out once they’ve found a potential wife, meaning they’re used to being doted on, and you’ll probably have to book a love hotel come the evening. Additionally, there are family norms which may disrupt your man’s calendar. Sundays are usually reserved as a family day, as are puentes and religious holidays. Plus, if you do meet the real number 1 woman in you guy’s life, be prepared to be grilled about your intentions with her prince.

Think you’re exclusive

As well as things could be going, many Colombian men aren’t exactly the monogamous type. Sure, you could be showered with praise and attention but it’s also probable that another girl is hearing the same thing. Paisa men are passionate and known for being promiscuous, so it’s best to not have expectations of loyalty and to take the opportunity to also date other people.

The bottom line is that dating a Colombian man is great fun and one of the best ways to integrate with the local society. While the above do’s and don’ts are generalizations, there’s some truth to the distinct gender roles in South America and being aware of these will ensure you’re smart and happy while dating.


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Leave a Reply to Sharon Wright Cancel reply


  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 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

    • I find zero offence in the word gringo. In fact, I introduce myself as a gringo. Dont bring your victim culture down here.

    • We don’t use it in a pejorative way at all! I have been living in the states for 13 years and I am now a gringa for some of my friends. Gringo is only a way to call someone from the 🇺🇸. Hugs Catalina.

    • Aw man dont play into the whole race baiting crap. I get where your going with this but dont play into it man. Everyone needs to stop focusing on this garbage. Were going backwards here

    • I’m media Colombiana, born and raised in the United States. Please don’t impose Anglo-Saxon culture onto other countries. The term “gringo” is not offensive in Colombia. As someone else mentioned, we also call people “gordito” o “flaquito”, too, and Matt call any brunette “negrita” (even if she’s white). We sometimes use physical attributes as terms of endearment. It’s not meant to be offensive in any way.
      However, saying that there is reverse racism and that the experience of a caucasian man is at all similar to the racism and opression experienced by people of color is incredibly ignorant. I don’t know where you teach multicultural education, but you should be ashamed of yourself. Color blind is not acceptable in this day and age, we must have an awareness of the oppressive experience of others and, sorry, white men do NOT suffer the same prejudices as people of color (including in Colombia). Fyi, I’m a Doctor of Social Welfare and I teach about oppression at an ivy league graduate school.

  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.