When Sally, a Brit, arrived in Madrid five years ago she had the rather unrealistic expectation that Javier Bardem lookalikes would be queuing up to sweep her off her feet. Now in her early 30s and a seasoned veteran of the dating scene she tells the Local how to avoid the pitfalls of a Spanish mummy´s boy and the perils of communicating through the language barrier.
Here are Sally´s top ten tips for navigating the perilous path to true love in Spain.
A year ago I still had a flip phone and spent my summer days picking blackberries and watching my mother garden.
Now I not only own a smartphone, but have downloaded the dating app Tinder. For those few remaining saints who aren’t familiar with such superficiality, Tinder locates the guys or gals in your area, shows you a few pictures, and you swipe right if you’re interested, left if you’re not.
Remember this is only a very basic level introduction and is not meant to stereotype all Spanish people you may meet!
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay, Mediterranean Sea, North Atlantic Ocean, and Pyrenees Mountains, southwest of France Capital: Madrid Climate: temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast Population: 47,737,941 (2014 est.) Ethnic Make-up: composite of Mediterranean and Nordic types Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, other 6% Government: parliamentary monarchy The official language is Spanish, also called Castilian, and is the first language of over 72% of the population.
You want to be that couple making out on the Metro.
If he´s into you then you can expect him to ask you to meet his mum, cousins and uncle Jose pretty quickly.
This is useful for anyone researching Spanish culture, customs, manners, etiquette, values and wanting to understand the people better.
You may be going to Spain on business, for a visit or even hosting Spanish colleagues or clients in your own country.
Spanish men typically are still living at home until well into their 30s so his mum is likely to be the queen of his world (who irons his pants and gives him a Tupperware to take to the office).
I avoided this by always trying to choose men whose family lived in another city, or preferably another country. 2 - Take a dictionary Photo of a man with a dictionary: Shutterstock At intercambios (language exchanges) you won´t just be swapping your mother tongues.