A Latina or Latino refers to a person who came from Southern America or someone whose heritage and culture are rooted to any of the Southern American countries. That means you can say you’ve dated a Latina or Latino when you have dated a Hispanic. But you can never say you’ve dated a Hispanic just when they came from Brazil. Those who are from Brazil could be called a Latino or a Latina since they are from Southern America. Always be conscious of this if you don’t want to be embarrassed or feel awkward about the situation when you have mistakenly labeled them. In fact, Brazilians doesn’t speak Spanish, they speak Portuguese.
Dating a Latino or Latina is a lot like dating a Hispanic but with a few cultural differences. Those who came from Southern America are usually referred to as a single group because they share almost the same values. Family, religion and tradition are always an important part of their culture.
The considerable difference between these countries is their language. This is often a misconception of those who are not familiar with other culture. Not everyone in Southern America speaks Spanish. You can say that most of them speak Spanish but there are also those that speak Portuguese. You may not have heard of Portuguese yet but it’s a lot different from Spanish.
The Family in Latin Culture
The family is very important in the Latin culture. When you start dating someone with a Latin background, you’ll most likely to meet their family members especially when you are getting serious in your relationship. Don’t worry, the Latin culture is very welcoming to strangers and the thought that you’ll be soon part of their family makes them even more welcoming.
What you should remember though is that they have a deep respect on their elderly. It’s not common that a member of the extended family is staying at the same house with your Latin friend’s parents. Their parents and grandparents could be living in the same roof and their opinions to a lot of things matter. Although they value the input of their children, they are still the people who will have the last say on things. When you take a look at it physically and financially, they are not really that strong or financially stable to be in command but respected is highly valued in a Latin family that the elders are still consulted to any major decisions.
The Religion in Latin Culture
Roman Catholicism is prevalent in Latin culture although they are usually infused with local flavor which usually borders mysticism. Latinos who grew up in Southern America and migrated to the US or any country with western culture might experience a little culture shock when it comes to the lack of religious affiliation or dedication. When you don’t have the same convictions with regards to religion, you just have to be familiar with their tradition especially during Christmas and Easter. Popular culture has a totally different take on Easter. Instead of Easter bunnies and egg hunting, Easter is a time of celebration where friends and families gather to eat to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You could be invited to one and expect a large family gathering when they celebrate Easter. Because of your relationship to one of their kin, you’ll be regarded as part of the family. Religion also has a close relationship in their traditional beliefs which shapes their values and priorities. Religion may also influence the dating practices of some Latinos and Latinas.
The Traditional Latin Dating
Dating in Latin culture is associated with an idea that you are interested in her because you wanted her to be your wife. The girl will look for ways to test your capacity to provide as a husband and you on the other hand should do things to please not only your future wife but also for parents. You may not be ok with this, but their intimacy is often associated with lifelong partnership.
When you’re going out with a Latina, always be a gentleman. Even though that Latina may already be Americanized in her ways, she will always expect a lot from their date. You can still be yourself but you don’t have to be excessively rude. No one will go out with you or will have fun with you if you insist in showing your rude and bad side.
If you’re going out with a Latino on the other hand, expect that he will always be a gentleman. They will always have a sunny disposition and be respectful to any of your decision. However, if they feel you are attracted to them, they will never hesitate to get close to you. They are not really advancing to be really sexual but they wanted to be as close as possible to be intimate or romantic.
Always be Yourself
If you think there’s a great different between you and you’re date’s culture, don’t worry. Although there is a great cultural disparity, the fact that you and your date are attracted to each other will mean that you are willing to be in her culture and she is also willing to reach out and know you more. It’s not only you who will be making the adjustments but also your date since she will not only come to accept you for who you are, but she will also have to explain and present you to her family if you get into a more serious relationship.
Being yourself will not only show your date who you really are and what you can do to be in her culture. She will, as much as she can, be natural and will not think of the differences you have. When you are being yourself you will immediately know if you are compatible with your date. By being natural; you trying a different culture which value tradition without being too intrusive with their lives. As long as you respect their culture, you’ll always be fine to their family, friends and your date.