10 basic tips for dating in Spain

If you’ve got a crush on un español o una  española, you’d be wise to read these 10 tips for how dating works (and doesn’t work) in Spain.

1. Spaniards don’t date. The verb to date doesn’t even have an exact equivalent in Spanish. The closest equivalent would be the verb salir con alguien (to go out with someone).

2. Spaniards are scared of the word novio-a. Don’t take it personally if he/she doesn’t call you novio-a immediately because it goes in and out of fashion. While boyfriend/girlfriend are widespread in the U S, in Spain there have been times when novio/novia was seen as implying too strong a commitment.

3. Your Spaniard novio-a will live with his/her parents. This is not only the Spanish way, but also the current-economic-crisis way.

4. Don’t expect to meet the parents immediately. Meeting the parents means: Vamos en serio (we are serious about our relationship).

5. Once you meet the parents, be prepared to meet los abuelos (the grandparents), los tíos (uncles and aunts) and los primos (cousins), since all of them live nearby.

6. Don’t expect a ring. We don’t do anillos de compromiso (engagement rings) at all.

7. Spaniards don’t use the word prometido-a (fiancé) either. You will only hear it in dubbed foreign films.

8. Many Spaniards no se casan (don’t marry) at all, but most who do still celebrate una boda católica (a Catholic wedding).

9. Tu boda (your wedding) will be very well planned: The date will be decided at least 12 months in advance at a minimum!

10. If your novio-a asks you: ¿Quieres casarte conmigo?, that means: Do you want to marry me? If the answer is yes, just reply: Sí, quiero.

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