Being lucky enough to have spent a year living in Colombia, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of different people from all kinds of origins, and was able to make many cultural comparisons with the United Kingdom. One of the main differences, which I had perhaps anticipated but never before experienced, was the behaviour of the notoriously passionate Latino man in comparison to the Brits I’d known my whole life. Interacting with male Colombians was like coming into contact with a whole new breed of man – everything about them was different, and I still to this day can’t decide which culture I prefer (if I even do prefer one!). I will, however, tell you exactly what living in Latin America taught me about British men, as it helped me to realise a list of things which I’d never before even contemplated!
They’re More Independent
It can’t be denied that South American countries are infamous for the on-going machismo which exists within society, but I was still shocked to find in Colombia that the majority of men don’t know how to (or choose not to) cook or clean at home – in most houses the women do pretty much everything! Given that I grew up with two brothers and a dad who were perfectly capable of cooking for themselves, this was a contrast which I noticed straight away between our two cultures, and one which I did not support and, frankly, struggled to accept.
They’re Less Intense
My personal experience of British men is that if they ask for your number and you tell them no, they’re most likely to just leave you alone. In Colombia, I found that it often took more than one “no” to get the message across, and men were often more persistent than was welcomed. When witnessing romantic couples on a daily basis, it was also very apparent that the men showed a high level of passion towards their partner, almost always using terms of endearment to address them (even when arguing!), such as amor (love), mi vida (my life) and cielo (sweetheart). Although we are fond of pet names in the UK too, I found the level of intensity to be much higher in Colombia.
They’re More Shy
One thing I really admired about the Latino man was his ability to walk up to a woman and start a conversation with complete ease. I feel like my whole background history with British men has always featured the obstacle of shyness in some, way, shape or form, and you know what? Confidence is a huge turn-on! Of course sometimes this confidence can sometimes be too much, verging on arrogance, but a bit of cheeky charm can never go a miss, and this is something which the Latino has mastered. Nobody wants flirting – or even just conversation – with the opposite sex to feel like pulling teeth!
They Don’t Like PDA
I thought I had been in PDA-heavy relationships in the UK, until I started living in Latin America and realised my behaviour had been nothing but conservative. I played witness daily on the streets to the display of couples who most definitely wanted the world to know that they were together, and not on the market to anybody else! Hand-holding, kissing, piggy-backs, spooning on a bench – you name it, I saw it. I even saw arguments take place in public…all that embarrassment that we hold as Brits doesn’t translate in the Latino culture – they are exceptionally open and free with their feelings and emotions!
They Can’t Dance
I left the UK thinking that dancing just wasn’t a common hobby amongst the male population of the world, unless you happened to be born with a natural flair for it. Colombia proved that theory wrong, as I swear I didn’t come across one male who couldn’t move his hips even just a little bit to a catchy rhythm. This kind of behaviour by a man in a nightclub in Britain would most likely be followed by judgment and even embarrassment, whereas in Colombia it is considered shameful if a man can’t dance due to the country’s reputation as the home of Salsa! I for one find it extremely attractive if a man has some moves, and even better if he’s willing to teach you… This was one of the big things I learned while living in Latin America.
The general conclusion
Living in Latin America taught me a lot of things about men in general, and how coming from a different culture can have a huge impact on your entire sense of being. I appreciated how comfortable Latino men appeared to be in their own skin, as well as their ability not to hold back in conversation and ask whatever might be on their mind. This came as a stark contrast to the British men I grew up around, who tend to be much more coy and subdued, but it doesn’t mean to say that one should be considered better than the other.
I value my origin for the reason that I come from a place where equality between the sexes is higher than many other countries, and this is noticeable in the behaviour of much of the male population (who don’t expect everything to be done for them by a woman). Perhaps there exists out there a hybrid of the two cultures, which would be an ideal match for many women, I imagine – a tidy, respectful, confident, dancing and romantic Wonder Man!
That is what I experienced while living in Latin America! What do you think of men in different parts of the world outside of your own? Tell us in the comments!
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A 22 year old foreign languages enthusiast from Glasgow. Lover of all things latino with a passion for travel, writing and photography.