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Thread: Dating a Spaniard

  1. #1
    Juxtapoz
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    Dating a Spaniard

    I'm thrilled and happy to have a Spanish boyfriend. He's amazing. The real challenge, however, has been trying to learn his language. He doesn't speak English and I'm at pre-intermediate level Spanish. But so far we're getting along.

    I come from a very small, non-traditional family in the States, so unlike the normal Spanish family. When I date someone, my mother usually meets them in the very beginning, because we're close and I like to know her opinions on the men I choose to date. However, you don't "meet the parents" in Spain until after a considerable amount of time, and it's a pretty big deal.

    Here in Spain, I'm in no rush to meet my beau's parents, considering I'm not confident enough with my Spanish to try and win them over with my wit.

    I'm curious if any of you have dated a Spanish guy (or girl). As a foreigner, what was it like? Some people warn me that when you marry a Spaniard, you marry the family too, and sometimes they can make things really complicated. I'm not especially worried about that right now, but it is nice to hear others' perspectives. And, how long is it usually until he "presents you" to his family? Is that when he officially addresses you as his "novia" to the world and not just to you behind closed doors?

    I'm ridiculously happy with the man I have and I want to have him for a very, very long time. Sometimes the culture barriers present challenges, but I'm in it to win it.

  2. #2
    sidehop
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    They are very family oriented people. I believe many Hispanic families are the same way as I've dated a Puerto Rican woman before. I don't think things were complicated, I remember being welcomed like as if I was part of their family even though I was nowhere close to their cultural background.

    As far as getting introduced, it may be when you two are in a serious stage of a relationship?

  3. #3
    winchester3
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    I was dating a girl from Colombia, spanish speaking and had very deep roots. She was saying that when we started dating i didn't just get her, she was a package deal her family came with her. Her entire family spoke english, her dad had a bit of trouble with it tho. My spanish is very poor but after a while i could understand the general topic of conversations, no details tho. Was a great culture to get to know, no regrets ever dating her. Same thing as sidehop said, they took me in like a part of the family.

  4. #4
    mumto2
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    I tell you what, you'll gain respect from his family for trying your best to speak their language, no matter how much Spanish you know. They'll see what you value by your efforts and that'll go a long way. And they'll be willing to help you speak too. Most foreign speaking countries tend to be that way inclined. It's a shame we aren't so positive responding like that when its the other way round (well, here in the UK anyway)

    I lived in Greece for a few years and I found people much more friendly to me when I tried to speak Greek. And I learned fast too.

    Lots of luck xxx

  5. #5
    Shortpants

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    I married into a Nicaraguan family, and was honestly suprized at how they accepted me immediately. I took 4 years of Spanish in High School, so I could understand bits and pieces of conversations (they speak strictly Spanish in their house), but didn't speak much myself as I was (and still am) wary of sounding too "gringo". LOL I now speak more Spanish when we are visiting, but if I don't know the Spanish word, I'll just use the English, and I find they are just glad I am trying. They are also thrilled that we are planning on raising our daughter to be Bilingual as well.
    Our cultures do differ in some ways, but all in all the basic philosophies are the same. It's been 4 years and I definitely feel like I am one of the family. Even my first visit to meet them (stayed for a week during Thanksgiving), they were treating me like part of the family. They even got me up at 4 AM on Black Friday to go to Walmart for a good deal on a LCD TV! haha Honestly, I think I was more worried about it than anything!
    Just relax and be yourself when you do meet the family and you will be just fine. Best of luck!

  6. #6
    Hermes
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    Hello Juxtapose:

    Nice to ready your happy and upbeat post. I do hope your relationship goes well, and why not!
    Just to remember that Spaniards are Europeans (so there is a difference in outlook from people called "Hispanics" in the U.S.)
    I am Irish, but lived most of my adult life in Spain, living with, working with and for Spanish people. Yes, I already spoke, wrote and read Spanish before I even went there (school and subsequently college). The Spanish (rather like us Irish) are family orientated, no bad thing in this increasingly impersonal world. Again some Spanish people are more family orientated than others, I noticed.
    I know many Europeans - men and women from other European countries - who married Spaniards, (some members of my own family are married to Spaniards), but I do not know of an American-Spanish combinations, so cannot give you an opinion there. There is a big difference between the way Europeans think and approach things, and the way Americans do.
    As your relationship progresses differences may arise or become clearer, but it is up to both of you to surmount these. Good will can go a long way in overcoming almost anything.

    All the best
    Hermes

  7. #7
    quirky
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    I'm the on other side of mumto2!
    I am Greek but lived in the UK for 9 years. Everyone at first thought I was spanish because we are quite similar (the accent as well). With Spanish people I felt like they were Greek. So judging from that the family bonds are very important to the culture and yes you don't introduce the partner very soon.

    Some people warn me that when you marry a Spaniard, you marry the family too, and sometimes they can make things really complicated.
    I won't lie, it's important for him that the family will like you. Since most families are really close it means they'll be doing lots of things together, he won't be seeing them once a year. If you are warm and make an effort with the language I can't see any problems. Some of my partners (all foreigners) have found my family's crazy loud vibe a bit too much to start with and I have found their families cold and distant. But it all gets easier and better when you get to know each other's families more.

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