Dating Colombian Men as a Gringa

Categories Blog, Multicultural Life
dating colombian men

There are many perks of dating Colombian men. A Colombian boyfriend will give you a lot of attention, show you around his city and teach you about his culture, and can be very, very romantic. As with any other multicultural relationship, there can also be some challenges, or thins that you haven’t experienced before in past relationships.

You have arrived in Colombia and have started to get to know some people here. As you meet a couple of Colombian men that you are interested in, you may find some differences between Colombian dating culture and your home country’s dating culture.

It can be really challenging, especially if this is your first relationship with a Colombian man and especially if you don’t have other Gringa friends who have been in relationships with Colombian men to ask advice.

Here are some differences between Colombian dating culture and dating culture in the United States, and my suggestions on how to address them:

colombian dating etiquette
My favorite/only Colombian boyfriend


Dating Colombian men means having a Colombian family

Colombian men are family men. They are also very close with their mothers. For me, that was something very different. I haven’t lived with my parents since I was 17 and none of my past boyfriends lived in the same states as their families. So all of a sudden having Colombian in-law’s that I saw on a weekly basis and that messaged me every other day and that asked me personal questions was a bit overwhelming. I don’t even talk to my own family that much.

My suggestions from a Gringa point of view: take a breath and take it in. Respond to the messages, message them just to say hello, embrace the weekly lunches, and most importantly, get on your suegra’s good side

Side note: *Some* Colombian men are used to having their mothers treat them like kings and wait on their every need. And *sometimes* this can translate to them expecting the same treatment from their girlfriends. If that’s what you’re interested in, go for it. I stayed far away from that type of relationship dynamic.

Colombian dating culture
Me with my Colombian brother-in-law and his family


Colombians have expectations about how women should act.

Groomed, well-dressed, and juiciosa. For me, manicured nails, makeup, and perfectly smooth legs was never really my priority (you could say I grew up more of a “beach scrub”). I also had very little fashion sense. I got by living in a big city in the U.S. and definitely don’t dress in normal “gringa attire” here – i.e. flip flops, shorts, t-shirts – but I am not much of a fashionista. Colombian men, and Colombian culture in general, expect groomed and well-presented women.

Colombian dating culture also prefers women who are “juiciosa”. There isn’t a direct translation for this word but a loose definition is a well-behaved woman. A Colombian woman who focuses on her studies and her work, knows how to take care of her mother-in-law, doesn’t go out and get wasted every weekend, and that is dedicated to her man, is a Colombian woman in high demand.

This isn’t to say to be “juiciosa” is to be boring, but just that there are certain types of attributes and behaviors that Colombian men value in the women that they date. It all depends on the relationship, but this is where clear communication and understanding comes into extreme importance.


Going out without your Colombian boyfriend can be weird.

In the United States, I would always go out without my American boyfriend. My best friend in the States was a guy and it was normal for us to go out to the bars together both alone and with other friends. I also had girls night with no guys at all, friends or boyfriends.

Colombian dating etiquette can be a little different. It isn’t as common to go out dancing without your Colombian boyfriend, and certainly not with just guy-friends.

My suggestion: talk with your significant other about what makes you uncomfortable. Also, plan a lot of group dates.

dating a colombian man
Girls night out!
dating colombian
Group dates!


Colombian relationships can get really intense really fast.

As my Colombian boyfriend Mario has explained this to me many times, “Si piensas, pierdes”. As in, if you hesitate on dating a woman, you’ll lose out to another Colombian man. This is because Colombian dating culture requires men to act fast. If a Colombian guy is interested in you, he will make it obvious to you right away.

This can also cause Colombian relationships to become really intense and serious, really early on in the relationship. Like, really intense. As someone who likes to take things slow and is very relaxed about my relationships, this caught me off guard a bit. There also isn’t really “just dating” phases. Usually once you start going out with someone more than just a couple times, you’re in.

My suggestion: Be aware of this. And, if you’re going to use a dating-app to meet potential romantic partners, make sure to follow my online dating guideline so you can avoid some too-intense people (I learned the hard way on this one).

dating colombian men


Multicultural relationships can have miscommunication.

Even if your bilingual language skills are perfect.

Communication is made up of a couple different factors. The most important two: language and culture. Even if you are saying something in perfect Spanish to your partner, your cultural differences can still cause some steep miscommunication.

An example: I have an athletic build. Mario calls my “belly” a “chicharroncito” in a very cutesy way. Coming from a very aesthetic-focused land called Southern California, I took this as an extreme offense the first time I heard it and thought he was strongly hinting at me to lose weight. When in reality, he’s just being playful and joking around. And now I call his belly a chicharron as well.

My suggestion: over-communication is key. When Mario says something that doesn’t make me feel good (even if his intention was harmless), I tell him directly “I don’t like it when you say/do _____ because to me it says _____”. That’s it. The majority of the fights in our relationship have come from miscommunication, whether language-wise or cultural. For me, and for any multicultural relationship, it’s best to be direct with communicating how you feel.

colombian culture dating


What other cultural differences have you experienced in your relationships with Colombian men? Whether funny or serious, we’d love to hear them. Share them with us in the comment section below!


A big shout-out to my Gringa-Colombiana girlfriends for contributing their insight on dating Colombian men for this post.

15 thoughts on “Dating Colombian Men as a Gringa

  1. I liked the post Eleni. It’s definitely a perspective I’ve been curious about. Having lived here in Medellin for over 6 years now I have seen a steady increase in gringas staying to live here. Therefore, I always wonder how they get on with Colombian guys and the dating culture.

    I have a few gringa friends here and they get A LOT of attention from guys here. Just walking down the street they get guys gawking and cat calling. Whenever we go out to a dance club they are relentlessly hit on and asked to dance.

    I wrote about my own experience dating in Medellin., so it’s cool to read your experience.

  2. Hi, I stumbled upon your article and enjoyed reading it. I’m moving from Belgium to Colombia in 2 months and i’m single so now i know what to expect 🙂 My past relationships have all been with non-European men so i already recognised some of your points.
    Definitely gonna check out the rest of your blog 🙂

  3. Great insigh, your article has been posted in our Facebook group Relationships in Medellín!

    We welcome future posts like this one to diversify the rhetoric, hope to see your musings around!

  4. Very insightful- I have been here a month and found myself in a relationship with my landlord quite inadvertently and without my own knowledge jajaja. It’s been resolved now- but in my culture in the UK relationships work very differently!

  5. Hello Eleni, thank you for this informative article. I was wondering due in part that I am dating a gentleman from Barranquilla who came here to the states, on how fast exactly do Colombians go into a serious relationship? I am told that it is part of his culture and wanted to get into one on the first date. Thank You!

    1. Hi Emily! I think it always varies from person to person. In my personal experience, relationships with Colombians move a lot faster into a serious relationship than relationships with people from the States. But again, it depends on the person. I’ve found that being upfront and honest about what you want from the beginning is always a good way to go 🙂

  6. Hi Eleni, perhaps you need to add me on the list of those who totally relate to what you wrote. Unfortunately in my case of my relationship with the Colombian guy I would add the term “possessive ” as one of his characteristics and a bit “jealous” . Perhaps it is only happening to me but if it is a bit of a characteristic of Colombian men i would like to know. What I read about going outs above kinda reminded me of my situation that if there are other guy- friends around other than him he would get nervous, moody and super super suspicious. He acts exactly like it is unacceptable to go out with male friends and back in my island in Greece this is more than common. However if he does that “is normal in Colombia ” . I still get into thoughts about the gender inequality in his country but if I don’t get to travel there is a bit hard to know.

  7. I’m a colombian guy and I find this entry very amusing since it’s very common to see blog posts about foreign guys dating colombian women but not the inverse thing (sorry, my english is very rusty since I rarely write in this language jajaja)

    Regarding this post content, I think it’s very accurate. Good luck with your relationship 🙂

    Greetings from Bogotá

  8. Thanks for this post currently talking to a columbian living in Spain we have talked about me visiting I’m not too far away in england I just don’t know If its a good idea or not.?I like him. Alot and I’m planning to talk for longer first but not too long as I realy want to see him. Are cultures are different completely but we seem to get on great on a level and I find him charming and interesting I jjst don’t want to go. Over and be disappointed but it’s so exciting thinking about it haha.

  9. Some great points. My husband is from Bogota, and we’ve been married for 13 years. The cultural differences, especially familial, don’t get easier. But intense and romantic don’t go away either. That’s a good thing.

  10. We had a miscommunication at Valentines Day. I didn’t know that it is different in Colombia than in the US. I was so upset that he didn’t acknowledge it, only to find out after why. So for us the culture differences have led to more arguments than language differences. I love my Colombiano he is the kindest, most honest, most romantic man I have ever had a relationship with. We are engaged.

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