Where we show you how not to act like a sexpat – but instead to find meaningful relationships with men and women. Over time, I am going to show you my experiences, and those of other people who I know. For now we are going to give you a basic overview on how to Date in the Coffee Region!
How to Date in the Coffee Region
I have only experienced dating in the Coffee Region. Particularly with Paisas. It is a cultural experience. Probably one of the most interesting adventures when living abroad.
The attraction of dating across cultures is almost irresistible. It’s like sampling a rare and exotic dessert, one that you are emotionally involved with. You will find many different situations and personality types.
We are going to give a very basic overview about dating perceptions, culture and traditions.
Paisa (culture) men range from violent women-abusers to passive and apathetic losers. You will literally find all types. But there are a few things which are unique to this farm-based culture which values personal image so highly.
Traditionally, the Paisa is a cunning businessman, hard worker, family oriented and “echado por adelante” or working hard to get ahead. Many are hard workers with roots in el campo, or the countryside.
In general, they are very macho, full of pride, well-dressed, and enthusiastic lovers. Some will be very respectful, others will try to passively or even aggressively pressure you for sex on the first date. You must stay on your toes at all times and defend your boundaries.
Cheating on one’s partner is a deep issue within this culture. Many groups actually see it as part of being “manly.” Keeping a lover is extremely common among upper class married men and women. Sex is a major commodity in Colombia.
In the smaller towns and even big cities, women urge their daughters to have a child with an affluent man so they can become more involved with the family or provide economic assistance to the household.
The gays. With all due respect, there are some extremes here. The super-gays who are out of the closet, integrated into society and live their lives. The bi-males who might be married with kids and cheating on her with a man, or even boy. Conservative cities like Manizales cover it up even more, harder to discover. Be very intuitive when meeting men, and trust your gut.
Disclaimer: I have no problem with LGBTQ+ and all their variants. It’s your choice, respect me and we will be friends. Period.
Women available to date in the coffee region range from violently jealous to hopelessly selfish. The ones who have the heart of gold are extremely intelligent and hardworking. They know their value and will put it all on the line to ensure they only get the best. Once they have the man they want, they spoil him with cooked meals, massages and abundant sex.
Colombian women in successful relationships often tend to follow traditionalist female-role culture norms such as stay-at-home moms, child raising and small businesses which come second to their own personal relationships. They dress more feminine, they are softer and meticulous with their own hygiene.
Many lower class women will often have a “barrio boyfriend” who they go home to when there is nothing better to do, or in between dates with the rich man they desire. Unfortunately, due to poverty and extreme obstacles, many women decide to sell themselves – even if only temporarily, to get ahead. Again, Sex is a major commodity in Colombia.
Women here know how to manipulate and use men to get what they want. In fact, this is often the case. Keep in mind that a large percentage of Colombian women are single moms. They are lionesses who want the best for themselves and their young. This also plays into the dating culture.
To understand how to date Colombian men and women, you must first understand their culture. Even the music will give you clues. Women like to be pursued, men insist on respect. Don’t forget that Paisa’s are astute business men and women. Cunning as foxes.
For some it can be a fascinating adventure as they navigate the waters and risk it all for true love. Others lament their past experiences which left them and their pocketbooks hurting, or worse. You probably won’t get lucky on your first try. We hope to give you a couple tips which can make all the difference.
Don’t wear short hair. Period. In most cases, it is off-putting to Colombian men. That’s not to say that there aren’t exceptions, there always are, but we are generalizing a little bit for the sake of brevity.
Try to dress a bit more on the feminine side. You don’t necessarily have to wear a dress – but it helps. Wear lipstick. It will help you compete with the Colombian women who won’t leave home without impeccable make-up.
Of course I am generalizing! But, when you watch TV, music videos, observe the local fashion habits = guess what?! These are the trends. If you really want to pick up a boyfriend, experience love and/or at the very least get some exposure, then be a little flexible. When in Rome!!!
Get to know the guy before you go to bed with him, or even move in with him (or him with you). He doesn’t have to do anything too over the top, but proper Paisa men will pay – even if it hurts them, in order to prove their worth. Later you can invite him or even give him nice little gifts, once the respect is established.
If he doesn’t introduce you to his mother within the first month – he may only want sex. But, some twisted individuals will introduce you to their mother immediately just for kicks, even if they only want sex. (True story!)
Don’t EVER EVER EVER ask for favors from powerful people. They cash those favors in on sex, or corruption. Don’t ever borrow money from these people. In fact, I advise men and women to never borrow money. It is better to be happy in a hut than crying in a castle. But, I digress.
Don’t smell bad. The number one complaint I hear from Colombian women = “I really liked him, but his personal hygiene drove me nuts.” Actually, in some respects men have it easier.
Colombian women swoon over tall gringos. Please brush your teeth, smell good, and wear decent footwear beyond flip flops. Dress according to where you are going. Upscale = button up shirt/slacks. Casual = button up/polo, shorts/jeans and non-flip-flop style shoes. Coordinate colors a bit. Don’t mix patterns.
Colombian women are some of the most intelligent when it comes to dating. They know what men want = sex and food, and they aren’t afraid to give it once you have their inside track. But, you will probably pay for it in money.
A good girl, from a good family – who has an education, a job and marriage prospects – won’t be giving it up easy or cheap. She has been taught to appreciate her value. And, she knows that good-looking men usually aren’t the answer either. She will also be the first one to turn you down.
Women swoon over money too – so be careful how many favors you give. Keep your first few dates simple. Don’t spend a lot of money. Look for quality over quantity. If she doesn’t appreciate it initially, she never will.
Poor women usually have two decisions in life. Work really hard for peanuts or become someones’ mistress, or sleep with bosses/influential people – at least long enough to get ahead or have illegitimate children.
Dating a poor girl isn’t bad, her motives are basic. But, she probably has a man back in her neighborhood who she sees in between dates or when her boyfriend is out of town.
This isn’t about talking down on Colombian women, it is simply a reality check.
At the time of writing this article I was in a relationship – with a Colombian man. And, in September that went to pieces, I even tried to see if we could still dance together a little longer, but by December I was seeing that it was a hopeless cause. So here are a few more tips…
- Try to meet people through mutual hobbies, gym activities, dance or social groups. They will be higher quality, you will get to know them easier, and if nothing else they can turn out to be a friend.
- If they are constant broke-asses – stop feeling sorry for them and leave. Motivation leads to action and without action – results will never come.
- Do not take him/her home to stay the night for at least 2-3 months. Especially if you live in an apartment building, your neighbors will start to have major problems with you if your place is a revolving door for men/women. Motels exist for a reason, use them.
- Do not talk about ex boyfriends/girlfriends. Just don’t. It isn’t in good taste and Colombians have a hard time leaving their exes so they will automatically begin to wonder if things are really over.
- If he squeezes on you to the point of hurting – it isn’t a game. It means that later he will probably be beating on you. There is no “I’m just playing.” Love hurts – but not in a physical way, that is toxicity.
- If a woman accepts you “Just the way you are” with flip flops, shorts and a sloppy t-shirt, she will also accept your money too. In fact, all she really accepts is your money, most Colombians like to dress well and so should you.
- Not every Colombian who wants your money is a prostitute. Some just want security. Take your time to find out which category he/she falls into.
By now you are ranting and raving at me over-generalizing. I know – and you know what? I am over-generalizing. There are big fat stereotypes at play here. OF COURSE THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS! Which is why I want YOU to participate…
Please comment below about your experiences, your joys, your frustrations. Most of what I wrote isn’t even going to be half as relevant as the comments I hope to receive by touching on the main topics.
For some particularly juicy adventures related to how to date in the coffee region – check out this article…
Here is a basic fact-sheet with current travel requirements for Colombia in 2021. We will update the info as it changes or develops! #readerdrivencontent https://coffeeaxistravel.com/travel-information-2021-colombian-coffee-axis/
Jakki JohnstonSeptember 3, 2019 at 4:37 pm
This seems so outdated, bigoted, even kinda racist. Have you actually spent much time here? How good is your Spanish? Why the warning about date rape? Surely it happens, but less than say in the US. It’s incorrect and racist to act like it’s such a big issue here. A main point you’re missing is that most Colombian men really like women. Many US men are angry at women. Crucial issue. I wish you wouldn’t write this stereotypical shit. Learn before you speak/write.
DelavanJuly 5, 2022 at 7:22 am
I’ve lived in Colombia on a retirement visa for almost a year in Bogota, Manizales, and Pereira, and dated a fair amount. I can say that I see nothing wrong with anything you you’ve written. I have a lot of respect for the Colombian people and never had any real trouble. But men need to keep in mind that life is a struggle here, and for single women in their 50s it can be a scary time if they don’t have a career or thriving business. Honest, quality women are abundant and seem to be the norm, but you can quickly find yourself providing generous financial support–not because she asks for or expects anything, but as you learn more about her situation you will want to help. Add to this the fact that Colombian women are highly romance-oriented and can fall in love quickly, so in very little time you can find yourself in over your head. Avoid hurting anyone by knowing and communicating your boundaries and what you want in a relationship early on.
Erin D.July 5, 2022 at 1:19 pm
Thanks for your feedback! The idea is to always set boundaries early on and make expectations clear. As an American woman I struggle with showing a lot of affection early on because long term investment is more serious for me. And there ARE men who will respect that. Going slow is definitely the key to finding a higher quality long term relationship in my own experience dating in Colombia.