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However, for your average Spanish guy, a car is a large part of the seduction process. Most people blame the economy, the real estate market, or something equally lame. Was she just waiting for the interview to be over so she could go back to dating guys with dark hair and the ability to get a tan? But it could also be some wild superstition based on the pre-scientific beliefs of the shepherds in the hills around her town. Anyway, Spanish girls are used to dating guys who own cars – or who can at least borrow one from Dad when he’s ready for some action. If you’re in your 20s or 30s and carless, but somehow manage to scrape together the money to rent a room in a shared flat, you’ve got a leg up on the competition. Maybe she got sick of my carless ass and our sofa dates… Of course, there are people from all over who believe one strange thing or another. Here’s one that bothers me: the idea that aircon or heating makes you sick. The amount of heartbreak I’ve been through because of Spanish girls and our cultural misunderstandings is truly mind-boggling. And that was where he was doomed to spend his holidays, till death do us part: sleeping on a sofa-bed in the kind of place where Clint Eastwood would have gone to film a spaghetti Western. If you want to learn English without the pain and discomfort of trying to make an intercultural relationship work, head over to my “professional” blog at – I’m actually capable of some level of seriousness, if I’m being paid.
I’ve written before about the benefits of dating people from other countries.
‘Cause last time I checked, sex in cars was pretty awkward. I don’t see much of what goes on inside Spanish families. But let’s just say women from the South of Europe are used to expressing themselves and talking about how they feel – often at high volume. Spanish people just converse in tones that sound (to us timid anglophones) like someone losing their shit. Maybe she longed to go back to making out in the park with an unemployed guy who uses lots of hair gel and “goes clubbing” for fun – whatever that means. Or really moving air of any kind – especially if you’re indoors. I’m shocked that I’m still – barely – hanging onto a shred of sanity, after all that.
You might see her do it with friends – shouting and waving her hands, in a group of 9 people who are all talking simultaneously. If you should somehow become the target of this conversational shouting – and you will, if the relationship lasts longer than a few hours – the best thing to do is just breathe. It might not even be an argument – at least by her definition. You’re saying, “But last weekend my mother-in-law made Anyway, much like dating a Spanish girl means you’ve forgotten about any summer plans that don’t involve lying on a beach for 3 weeks, you’d also better forget about Sunday plans that don’t involve rice and saffron. I’m sure I’m not the only guy this has ever happened to… I suspect this is just a myth created by the scarf industry to make sure she spends 11 months a year wrapping her neck.
He who talks loudest – and who isn’t afraid to interrupt or talk over people – wins. Of course, as a Buddhist, I practice patience and compassion on the reg. And what better way to develop patience than to wait, compassionately, for someone who needs 45 minutes to blow-dry her hair before leaving the house? Paella with the in-laws is one of those things that ruins expat relationships left and right, because to many Spaniards, it’s completely non-negotiable. It’s a few weeks or months off, and you don’t think much of it. Plants give off oxygen during the day, but at night they shoot poison gas out of their pores and you’ll die asphyxiated in your bed.
The relaxed attitude towards the passing of time is one of the things that draws many foreigners into Spanish life… But she prefers speaking English when you’re together. Camping is okay, though, because that’s outdoors, and it’s different air.