Looking For Love (or Whatever) In Latin America   2 comments

Recently I met a guy, who said he was in Colombia looking for love and marriage. He had made a number of contacts via one of the online international dating sites. As we talked, I was reminded of a world that I discovered when I first started coming to Costa Rica and Colombia. A universe of people who are seeking, and finding, people in other countries and cultures for the purposes of dating, romance, sex, marriage, finding a way out, finding the love of their lives and more. I was so naïve. I had no idea such a network of people with like interests and varied motives existed, much less an industry raking in millions that is available to support them. I grew up in Rand, West Virginia way before the internet was a reality. All we had were White and Black people. And dating outside of one’s race – there were no other ethnic groups that I knew of in West Virginia – though a growing phenomenon, was still taboo.

What struck me though was that this guy was really down on Latin women, Colombianas especially. Undaunted by the fact that we were in a room with three Colombian women, including the woman that had invited him to my apartment, he told me that he had been married to a woman from Colombia, who he said “…got most of everything in the divorce.” And though he was here, again, looking for another Colombian woman, he just could not understand why they kept playing him for money. Now I am really a bit uncomfortable. Though the women in the room spoke no English, his agitation was obvious. He said he would go out on dates and they would bring friends, without telling or asking him beforehand, and he would HAVE to pick up the check. One woman had invited him to her house for lunch, he said, and then taken him by a Chinese restaurant, ordered a bunch of food – for which he HAD to pay, to take it to her house for them to eat lunch. I did not ask who got the leftovers. He went on to say that his ex-wife, who had family in Bogota, sent a suitcase with him to take to them. By the middle of our short conversation, I wanted to scream “Don’t you get it, my brother? It is not them. It’s you.”

But that would have been a too simplistic response to a more complex set of issues. Being the psychologist that I am, I asked him what he brought to the table. Why a Colombian woman? What images did he have in his mind of these women? Why did he think that the same drama continued to play out in his life? It turned out to be a decent conversation, with me offering some of the lessons that I have learned. As I have been told, I am never too shy to give my opinion. But our conversation also got me to thinking – these are questions that not only fit my new friend. Economic disparity, cultural/values differences, sexual attitudes and behaviors, interpretations of what is love, social and political discourse and more, within the context of relationships between north American men and Latin American women, however they are defined, are the subject of conversations in chat rooms, message boards, bar rooms and bedrooms.

While my travels to, and living in, this part of the world does not make me an expert on relationships between north American men and Latin women, my travels to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Colombia have opened up dating possibilities that I really have not taken seriously until recently. In the past I have gone out with women looking out for a boyfriend to take care of them and their children or a husband to do the same. I have been asked for money and had offers of marriage. I have been fooled, understanding what is really meant by “beware a big butt and a smile.” All in all it has been fun. I have no complaints. I have learned a lot and grown immensely for my experiences. But to be honest I really did not take the possibilities of marrying a woman from this part of the world too seriously.

To me, the thing is – it seems that there can be a collision between fantasy and reality on both sides of the divide that can cause pain or bring happiness, making meeting, dating, mating (sex) and/or marriage amazingly complicated. There are horror stories, for sure. On both sides of the isle! There are also dreams come true.

So, now that I am here seriously and the possibilites of a long term relationship really does exist, for the next several weeks I am going to talk about “Looking for Love (or whatever) in Latin America.” And so the conversation is not one-sided, I have also invited some of my Latina friends to contribute their own stories and opinions. I hope you will find this subject and the next few blog posts as interesting – as I may find it cathartic.

Posted August 23, 2011 by Wayne in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

2 responses to “Looking For Love (or Whatever) In Latin America

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Well brother as you know our history together covered many flanks over the years and conversations on the common denominator of your blog us men. I’ve come to one conclusion as I climb the ladder of age and wisdom, that is, ones free will and how it’s used is ones destiny.

    • I found the love (or whatever) so it is possible. I didn’t go looking for it though, it found me most unexpectedly! Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: