So You’re Dating a Spaniard—5 Years Later

If it’s not obvious enough, I get a lot of blog traffic from people who are curious about dating a Spaniard. Why … It’s not like I’ve written about a lot, is it? Some search terms include:

  • dating a spanish man [Better hope you got a man and not a boy!]
  • dating spanish guys [What this mean, guy?]
  • dating in spain [Sometimes you will go on dates to visit 13th-century cathedrals]
  • why are spaniards so hot [They just are, sizzle sizzle!]
  • dating a spaniard vs dating an american [You will eat more pork]

Guys, I hate stereotyping. Nah, just kidding—stereotyping is the best! So let’s do it. What can I, after five years dating a Spanish man, tell you about the process?

Mario Kaley 2009 SalamancaBack when I didn’t know that much but thought I did (September 2009)

Spanish men are just men.

Every so often, a hapless guiri will stumble onto the Auxiliares de Conversación groups and ask a seemingly innocent question, which nonetheless drives me mad. “I’m going on a date with a Spanish dude, is there something special I should know?”

In a word, no. In some more words, not really. I don’t know if this message will get through to most of them, but Spanish men come in many shapes and sizes. Some are momma’s boys until they’re 30; some are independent by age 23. Some like partying and staying out all night; some like staying in and reading (mine). Some speak amazing English; some speak none at all; most speak somewhere in between. Some like the U.S. (or Britain or Canada) and want to visit; some have no interest or even have a particular disdain for the culture.

So if you have a date with a Spaniard … First, congratulations. Second, go on that date, and get to know the person, not the label. After all, you better hope they’re not judging you and expecting you to be a certain way just because of your nationality.

His family is likely very important to him.

Note the likely. Again, not every Spaniard is like this, but I see that, for the most part, Spanish men are very loyal to their families. Calling on birthdays is very important. Corresponding on a regular basis is essential. Family meals are likely sacred; do not expect to tear him away from his mother’s Sunday lunch easily. In Mario’s case, the whole family reunites in el pueblo in August, spending their days together, swimming, barbecuing, and paseando through the streets after the sun goes down.

You’re not cool for dating someone from another country.

I used to think I was cool for this, until I realized how lame that sounds. Like I said Spanish men are just men, so don’t start thinking you’re super special because you got a boyfriend from, oooooh, Madrid or Salamanca or Sevilla. Nope. Perhaps you will get a blog and people will tell you how they envy you. Don’t let this go to your head, because there are advantages and disadvantages to all things, even dating someone from another country. If things get serious, you will always be away from family. You will live on one side of the ocean or the other, and that’s not easy, especially if you love your family or they cannot visit a lot or vice versa. Sometimes miscommunications happen due to language or cultural differences.

Remember: You’re just not that special. Well, that sounds mean. You’re special, but not that special, okay? Now go watch some self-esteem boosting videos on Youtube.

Spanish men are not a commodity or a goal for you to have.

Another thing that really gets me irritated is guiris, usually women, setting a goal of dating a Spaniard, as though that were something to have goals about. Do you set goals, while in the U.S., to date Canadians perhaps? Or men from Arizona? Not likely. So stop setting goals to date particular nationalities and start making a list of actual qualities you want in a partner. You know, funny and kind and hard-working and all that.

Spanish men are from Spain.

At the end of the day, this is my number one conclusion. (No, seriously.) I can’t conclude much else about a Spanish guy except that he is from Spain. I’ve met many Spanish men in my time here, young and old, quiet and loud, annoying and endearing, funny and boring … And the one single thing that unites them is that they are all from Spain! I know, I know: My conclusions are ground-breaking and deserve to be included in some sort of academic journal, perhaps? I’ll work on my proposal.

Kaley Mario Gran Canaria 2014

I know a bit more nowadays, 5 years later (September 2014)

Check out some of my interviews from other people dating Spaniards

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15 thoughts on “So You’re Dating a Spaniard—5 Years Later

  1. Yep, it’s pretty much just like dating anyone else. I feel like Kike set himself apart right away by being a funcionario, by having a house and a car at 28 and by knowing four languages, but I would have been in love with anyone who bought me food, took me to new places and helped me when I needed it. He’s close to his mom, responsible and loyal to those he loves. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to marry him! Thanks for the link and happy anniversary!

  2. Search terms give so much insight into how readers find your blog, but also what they’re secretly thinking! I liked your sassy responses (in brackets) to the search terms above.

    I appreciate that you’ve been so transparent and honest about what it’s like to date someone from a different culture. Like you said, there’s the good and the bad–just like ANY relationship.

  3. Haha you should compile your research into academic journal! Maybe more women would realize that dating a Spaniard is like any relationship around the world. There will be some cultural differences but the important stuff remains the same.

    1. “kastilas”….what is it? a new word? i can tell you that it is not an English word ‘cos my command or knowledge of English language is impressive, brilliant and supreme, haha

      is it Spanglish? perhaps…who knows? Spanglish is always creating new words i imagine.

      what you really mean is Castellano (Castilian), right? do you mention Castilian as the whole of Spaniards? or do you mean that you have dated other Spaniards like Catalans, Andaluces, Gallegos or Murcians, whereas you have not dated Castilians?

      sorry for such questions, but i am a bit “quisquilloso” (pernickety or fussy) :-)

  4. glad to hear that we are like any other guys of the world…..well i think that us male Spaniards have one thing in common that unites us beyond the fact that we are from Spain as you say: to eat bread with the meal or food….yes it may look a tonteria, but i think that such a thing is a mark of all males.

    Spanish men? let me please say that many Spaniards tend to refuse the use of the word Spanish ‘cos it may imply a different thing, that is why i always say that i am a Spaniard man, or male Spaniard or just Spaniard, as some foreign people would think mistakenly of Latins, mostly Mexicans if i said Spanish..at least in North America.

    i love what you have said about goals when dating a Spaniard, hahaha…i’d never heard it before! it makes me think of a girl who feels like Ronaldo scoring a couple of goals at Bernabeu after having had a date! if such a thing is correct, then i imagine that i may have been used and treated like a net :)

    last but not menos importante: yes it is true that family is important, although such a thing also applies to Italians, Portuguese or the Greek…..i think that southern European countries have something special with family, something that northern countries lack of….i think

  5. Hahaha! Thanks for writing this, Kaley!

    I don’t know, I’ve been dating internationally for about 10 years now and I still think it’s cool. People are people, of course, and there are definitely downsides. But generally, it’s been a positive experience. Actually, now that I think about it, I wrote an article for ¡Vaya Madrid! on just this topic http://vayamadrid.com/why-you-should-date-a-foreigner/

    Also, I agree. Generalizing is fun!

    1. Way to miss the whole point of this article. Kaley is saying you *shouldn’t* generalize and look at Spaniards as just “an experience” to tell your friends about. Spaniards are just like people everywhere, and most the ones I know don’t want to be with someone who sees them as “something to try out” (they’re not a food or drink).

      I’m not sure what you agree with Kaley about, as your article is the exact opposite of hers. Hers is talking about relationships and dating people because you like them as a person. Yours is talking about having a quick fling (more or less) and experiencing “exoticness” in the form of a Spaniard. I dated a Spaniard, and guess what? He was the same as any other man! Just….he was born in Spain! Shocking, isn’t it? I mean, he even drank beer and stayed in sometimes!

      Your article pretty much says “have a quicky or two with a Spaniard since it’s great story for back home and you don’t have to deal with an actual relationship”. You remind me of a lot of Western men in Eastern Europe – they look at the local women as “a bit of fun” to tell their friends about, like we’re included in a “cultural trip” or whatever. Please don’t ever come to Eastern Europe.

      Btw it takes a lot more to get into Spaniard’s social circles than dating one of them for a month or two. Depending on the region, gaining trust and getting “in” take a while or take even longer. If you actually live on Spain, you should know that.

      1. Actually, I totally agree with Kaley and I’m happy she wrote a counterpoint to my article. She’s going much more in-depth (in many articles) on a topic that I’ve barely touched.

        Anyway, an 800-word blog post isn’t an exhaustive accounting of all my feelings about the matter. Thanks for replying, though!

  6. I know of someone here in Santiago who *literally* started looking for a novio as soon as she walked off the plane…I don’t have anything against dating people whereever you live, but like you said it’s stupid if you treat Spanish people as something to “collect.”

    Also—I love your generalization that all Spanish men…are from Spain :P

    It was so nice to meet you and Mario in person after reading about y’all on the blog for so long!

  7. I will say this there are always cultural differences. I am Mexican and Mexican men are different from White American men no doubt of that. The men in my culture are very machismo in a lot of ways, stubborn and once their mind is made up they stick to it. We have very traditional gender roles in my culture. Sure we have the siestas but a good friend pointed out recently when he came back from Spain is that Spanish people are far more reserved than Mexicans and we are very friendly people and outgoing. There are stereotypes I think in every culture and misunderstandings but you will only see for yourself is by opening up to people and learning about the culture in whatever country you either choose to visit or choose to live in. That is so you can quash those stereotypes. Frankly I am just curious as Spanish people are very collectivistic culture versus American culture in focusing on individualism. In my culture we are collectivistic as well so there are similarities there. I grew up in America however I grew up in a very latin based culture also so it’s very easy for me to see differences. But this article was good. A Spanish man is not something to be experienced like they are a pit stop at a gas station, they are real people with feelings like anyone else in the world with all different sorts of personalities.

  8. I think you are all nutty. Lol I am an italian women whose family came from Italy and I am so sick of the generalization that all Italian women are fat mama’s and will cook and clean and take care of the home and children without any help from Men. To generalize that Spaniards are the thing to date is ridiculous as much as saying all Italian women are fat and happy and will make pleasant wives. Lol. I am thin, happy, I cook and clean but come on man, do your part as well. But I will say I do appreciate a sexy accent. Lol

    1. To be quite fair, I don’t think I’ve ever said you should date a Spaniard just to date one. (If I did, I was being facetious.) I just love my Spaniard, and I love to hear others’ wide, varied experiences.

      1. No you didn’t say that at all. Spaniard men are very sexy, and I love the accent. I have a friend who is from Malaga who has been here (united states)for a few years and his ideas on American and Italian women are quite different. Although the same. We are perceived as one way and it is a fallacy, just as much as us (american’s dating a Spaniard just to date one. I am glad for you. Yes it is quite interesting to hear other experiences as well.

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