So You’re Dating a Spaniard—Elizabeth

I am really excited to publish this interview with Elizabeth. I found myself identifying with her answers is so many ways. You can check out her blog at Slightly Nomadic.

Elizabeth Bostick

Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed! So, tell us about yourself!

My name is Elizabeth Bostick, I am from Rhode Island, and I just turned 26 years old. I write a travel blog called Slightly Nomadic. I was in Spain last year, as an auxiliar de conversación in Sevilla, but I recently moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to teach Middle School French and Spanish. This makes for a super long distance relationship with my Spaniard!

Ah, I have had that same situation in a way! After the 2010–2011 school year, I moved home to help with a local ESL program while we maintained a LDR. How did you meet your Spaniard?

I have been with Juanpe, my boyfriend, for nearly three years now. (Geez, time flies.) I did my undergrad degree in England and France. I met Juanpe, a Sevillano, when we were both studying in Amiens, in the north of France, in 2010. We both lived in the same residence hall, and became fast friends, and then a couple … complicated, right?

When I graduated, I applied to become an auxiliar de conversación in Spain. It was pure chance that I was placed in the Mairena del Aljarafe, the town right next to his home in Bormujos.

Wow, that is really great! Do you think that he’s a “typical” Spaniard (whatever that means)?

Juanpe is a “typical” Spaniard in many ways. He has a fierce pride for his language and culture, and comes from a Spanish-to-the-core family, but he is also very worldly. He speaks fluent English and French, and absolutely LOVES American culture (just go ahead and ask him about any movie!). Sometimes I joke that he is more American than me! Yet when I am with his family, I am snapped back to reality, and remember just how Spanish he actually is.

Elizabeth Bostick sevillana

Which language do you speak when together?

We speak a plethora of different languages. We actually started off speaking French, when we were both in France, but that didn’t last long! Now we usually speak a mixture of English and Spanish. It basically depends on who we are around … if I am with his family, we speak Spanish, if he is around mine, we speak English.

You are very similar to Mario and me! But what about the in-laws?

My in-laws are great. I had my own apartment in Seville, but I spent a lot of time at their house. They have really welcomed me into their home with open arms, and went out of their way to involve me in family gatherings. My dad has met Juanpe, and I hope that my family will be as warm to him, as his has to me.

What’s the best part about dating a Spaniard?

I don’t know if there is a “best part” about dating a Spaniard, in general. I think the best part is dating a man that I love, a man who is my biggest supporter, and the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

Elizabeth Bostick Juanpe

Good answer! What’s the most difficult part?

I am not going to lie, the distance is hard. The only thing we are sure about is that we want to establish ourselves financially before we do anything permanent, relationship-wise. So, right now I am in Virginia and he is working in Sevilla. It is tough, but we are both independently minded people, and know that if we want a chance for a future together, we need to be financially stable first.

That is difficult. Sometimes I wondered how our relationship would work out. Eventually, it did! Do you have any advice for a person who’s thinking about starting a relationship with a Spaniard?

I think the best advice to give someone is to be realistic. Don’t rush into anything because of the whirlwind nature of a foreign relationship. It is so easy to get caught up in the heady romance this kind of thing can bring. Take it from me—it can still last, even if you end up being long distance for a while. Put yourself first and your relationship second.

Where do you think you’ll end up?

Our plans are in no way set in stone, yet. I know at some point we would love to settle down in Spain, but I have a feeling it will be a back and forth situation for a while. Spain would be a great place to live in the long run, but given the economic problems, it might be wiser to live in the US right now. Besides … he deserves to experience a slice of American life for a while, right? We just aren’t making any decisions quite yet.

Elizabeth Bostick dinner

What about kids? Have you thought about that? Would you raise them bilingually?

Kids are not on the table, right now. I am only 26! If we do end up having kids, I am sure they will be raised bilingually. It would be inevitable, since Juanpe and I are such language nerds. Plus, you always want your kids to be able to speak to both sets of grandparents!

Yes, speaking to grandparents is important. If you could import/export anything to the US from Spain and vice versa, what would it be?

I wish I could bring the Spanish lifestyle back here to the US! I need to become accustomed to the American work-till-you-drop culture again. I could definitely do with a long lunch and siesta after work, but alas, this is not feasible here. I am kind of dreading the idea of being up at work before the sun rises! Oh, and jamón … I wish I could get it through customs!

What do you think your relationship with Juanpe has taught you?

I think it has taught me patience. Of course I want to be able to see my boyfriend more often than I actually do, but I have to remember this situation will help us in the long run. It is better to make decisions in a stable place. We love each other, and we have to be patient for it to last. It is a lot of work, but I think it is worth it!

Elizabeth Bostick Juanpe lovebirds

Thanks so much, Elizabeth!

Interested in being a part of my Dating a Spaniard series? Email me; I’d love to have you!

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22 comments

    1. no matter ‘how many years have you got’ to have a baby…it depends on whether you are ready or not about what it really means, sometimes you may have 20, 26 or 50.

      to have some years of age or to be, it means the same.

      1. I completely agree. It’s just when people play up their age as if it’s “too young” or “too old” for anything is strange. 26 is definitely old enough to be married, have a kid, etc – it isn’t exactly super young anymore. I’m 23 and I think if I was married and financially/emotionally ready, that I would be fine with having a kid if that was what I wanted – my age wouldn’t put a stop to that at all. It just depends on the person and if they’re prepared for it (whether that be financially or emotionally). Biologically speaking, 26 is years after one’s actually biologically prepared for it. I know it’s nitpicking and probably comes off a little mean, but it’s something that really irritates me about my generation! We like to think we’re so much younger than we actually are – I know I’ve been guilty of it too, but I’ve started to correct myself on it.

        1. well getting married and having a child are totally different.
          Here in Spain we have been raised and taught about what is supposed to be the correct, i mean, you must have a girlfriend for years, then both the guy and the girl save money for a house, then after years they get married…this is what we all have seen from round us.
          Having a chils is totally different, it is something that will be part of you for the rest of your life.
          Getting married is a silly thing, or bubble, where you spend a lot of money on a celebration with people being more interested in eating than the wedding itself, then after a couple of years your life (above all the woman’s life) falls into routine, her daytime is boring as hell, and finally they divorce.
          Having a child at least means that somone will have your surname, and will remember you. I

          1. I think that a couple can have a child at any time as far as they realise how much important it is. Those who have never had a child will be forgotten after they die and are placed in a sad and lonely grave.

        2. But by your own admission on your blog you say that you are young at heart and spirit, so why disparage those of us who are too young for anything? You sound like you are having some sort of crisis (and I’ve had one continually from 23-present), and think that maybe you are older than you really are. What’s the rush??

        3. Ok…I am the person who was interviewed here. Biologically, I might be able to have a baby, but honestly, I don’t feel old enough. I grew up in a household with an ‘older’ mother and father (I was born in their mid-thirties) and I saw the benefits as a kid. Sure, I can biologically have a kid right now, but I personally, am not ready…so why are you nitpicking if you even say that it depends on the person? YOU may be ready at 23, but I am not, and I like to think that at 26 I do have a few good baby making years left in me, and that is why I played up my age. I think your comment is a little bit rude and judgmental.

      2. Yikes. My guess is that you don’t believe in marriage? I completely disagree with you on it. Why would a woman’s life fall into a routine and become boring? Are you assuming the woman will not work or have a life of her own as well as a life with her husband? Perhaps that’s the problem. As a woman, I intend the rest of my life (even as a married woman) to be as exciting as it is right now. I don’t want to give up working or working towards my personal ambitions, but I completely respect stay-at-home moms as well (as long as that is their choice). Many women are the same. If that’s not what you’re accustomed to, that might be why you have that view on women in marriage. I can’t speak for Spanish women, but I was raised to be a badass til the day I die – man or no man.

        I’m not Spanish, but I do live in Spain. I understand that many couples wait much longer to get married than in other countries, but the norm is the same everywhere – find a good person, save money, get married, get a house, have kids (if you want them), etc. That isn’t specific to Spaniards, although maybe moving in together before getting married is more of a Western Europe tradition? I don’t know how Spanish people do it, but personally I wouldn’t buy a house with a boyfriend. They would have to have been my husband for a year or two before I would do that. Legal matters are important to me.

        Children are a beautiful blessing, but they shouldn’t be about carrying on your surname or legacy or really anything about you besides how much happiness they bring you. I know that’s the biological (and very MANLY) way of seeing it, but I would have kids for the pure joy of it and being able to raise well-educated people who can help make the world a better place. It’s permanent, yes, and should be taken very seriously. However, why shouldn’t marriage be taken just as seriously? That’s the problem with our society now – we see marriage as flimsy, whereas it should be a very serious commitment and decision.

        1. i’ve never believed in marriage and never will, of course. I have never been married, but because of what i have seen and my personal experiences, i say that the first 2 o 3 years after getting married both the woman and the man still live in the bubble, then after those years routine kills passion and desire, and when passion and desire disappear there is nothing to do…..

          Of course not all people are the same, but what i say happens to most marriages whether they admit it or not. Yes what i have said about saving money to buy a house is a mark of how we have been raised in Spain…for years you had to buy a house with your girlfriend before getting married, then you get married and move to the house. People not doing such a “right” thing were considered not doing what was supposed to do, above all if your family was deep rooted in tradition.

          As for having a child, well i am sorry for not explaining well what i felt (this is something that may happen writting in a foreign language, English, while my brain works in Spanish). I did not mean that a child is about carrying a surname, something material, please! Of course a child is more than that, the most important “thing” that a man or woman will ever have.

          Sometimes it is not easy to express in English what my brain feels, but i never suggested that a child is about carrying a surname as it sounds.

          1. I don’t think passion and desire are what real and good marriages are about. Those two words more accurately describe lust, which is the worst thing for a successful marriage. Marriages are about dependency, reliability, long-term trust, whereas passion and desire are fleeting traits. Marriage is a partnership – sometimes, that means it even experiences times where those who are married to each other face difficulties, routine, and have to find ways to get out away from that.

            Si quieres escribir en espanol, no pasa nada. Yo puedo leerlo tambien.

  1. god….you must be the only person who says that passion or desire are not an important part of a marriage…if you do not desire your partner, who do you desire? when desire or love is lost you better go and get someone you feel important with.

    Dependency and long-term trust are also important as you say (i didn’t say they are not), but let me tell you that when you depend on your partner, there may be a time that you may see it as a brother….lots of couples, above all mature people, stay together just because they have got used to it (if they were asked secretly about having something new, i guess they would say YES).

    Well i feel fine writting in English because i love it, only that sometimes your feelings cannot be translated properly into a foreign language

  2. Wow, I see this post ignited some passion. Speaking from my experience( note I said my) why rush something because of age. I have friends who have become parents for the first time at 42 because that’s when they felt they were ready. I’m 44 with no children and I don’t think my life has suffered either way or am doomed to be forgotten. I don’t believe in having children just for the sake of it; if you are still in “me” mode than you have no business creating “we” (again my experience).
    Sure passion and desire are important in a relationship but you must have something more…affairs can be passion and desire if that’s the case. I think today society is wrapped in fantasy- a relationship is hard work. You have good and bad- truthfully some days you don’t like your partner and may not even love them at that moment but they key is to “be in love”.

    So enjoy life no matter what path it takes you (for me it was life long dream to go live in Spain)…there is not set road map of life for every one that’s the beauty of it all- every one can choose a path that best suits them.
    Have a good one and be well. :)

    1. i did not say that people must have children just for the sake of it……to have a child is the most important thing and you may be 20, 30 or 50 years of age, you must do it when you really feel it.

      there is no problem with you being 44 with no children, but under my opinion you are not a real woman. Dating, love affairs, etc are real parts of a life of course, but you only see the reality when loving your son or daughter. If you never have a child and reach 60 or 70 years of age, will you feel fine?

      Anyway i don’t think that society is wrapped in a fantasy, everyone knows that relationships are hard to keep, but some people just keep their relationships because they’ve got used to it and they treat each other as friends with no love or desire, and even they stop having …

  3. Excuse me Pedro, but what is your definition of a “real woman”?? Any woman is a “real” woman, simply given the fact that she exists, has female genitalia, and identifies as a woman. Whether or not a person of any gender decides to have a baby, or adopt one, does not change his or her gender and it sounds ignorant and archaic to declare otherwise.

    1. i am sorry if you do not get what i mean…sometimes i blame myself because i can’t express exactly in English what my brain feels.

      Of course any woman is real in the sense of having genitals, the fact that a woman breathes air, eats food, uses the loo, sleeps, etc does make her real, the same with men.

      What i mean is while everyone is real, you will never be “realizado” until you see the greatness of your own child (note that i have used the Spanish verb realizar because i don’t really know if “to realise” express perfectly what i mean.

      I am far from being archaic, i am sorry if someone thinks that i look like a cave man who may not respect women, i am far from being that way, and i shouldn’t worry about what people i don’t know thinks of me.

      If i were archaic i would believe in marriage or i would be stuck in old tradition….and the reality is that i am as modern as any other, and i am the first person to say that people mustn’t follow traditions in order to do what makes you happy, not thinking of what others may say.

      If i were archaic or a cave man i would not have travelled to the USA as it was my dream at that time, i would just have spent that money on what was supposed to do correctly.

      Call me ignorant if you wish to, but i am proud to say that once you have a child you then realise that what you have done before is just tiny and doesn’t equal.

  4. I really enjoy reading the interviews and the blog, so I would like to apologize to Kaley and Elizabeth if I in any way took the focus away from a great interview. What I won’t stand for is the (hold my tongue and count to 10!!!)…. statement that I am not a real woman just because I do not have children. Pedro often it is the impact not the intent- please choose your words more carefully. One can see greatness in and be enlighten by many things…
    Again, great interview series and I hope they continue. :)
    p.s. Thanks Chelsea

    1. this is my last comment: you find greatness in many things…..only that a child is more than any other thing.

      i am sorry if some people haven’t understood what i really meant….it is quite easy to just take words literally, failing to see what they really mean.

      i have never insulted women or something like that, if someone feels that i have done it then she or he has a problem, not me.

      I do apologise to the owner of the blog and the person who told her experience about dating a Spaniards

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