Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Dating in Brazil

Feliz Ano Novo!! A slow start to 2013 blogging.. as much as I think I'll have time while I'm travelling I'm not so compelled to sit at my computer when I have friends + family to catch up with and of course I'm busy killing saudades for Asian food. But at the same time it was SO nice to come back. I love holidays but living out of a suitcase (especially with 2 kids) is tiresome, and jetlag from travelling half way around the world makes it almost not worth it. This is home for us, for now.

If you have been following the JAM blog, my business partner Maria has been blogging up a storm about her first few months here in Brazil. The most popular one is the dating one she just posted which I'm re-posting here so you can live vicariously through her too!

Dating in Brazil (originally posted here)

It’s amazing how despite the increased cultural sensitivity one acquires from living abroad, extensive travel and the acquisition of international friends it’s an endless educational process.  When it comes to dating inBrazil, it’s no exception here are a few things I’ve learned: (Disclaimer:  the content below is based on observations and extensive interviews with Brazilian friends who have expressed their views.  It does not by any means reflect my private life or my personal experiences which I would prefer to keep private).
Paquerar = To Flirt.  This is the initial “mating’ subtleties two people engage in to initiate contact.  In Brazil it’s almost scripted.  Picture the scene at a “Balada” the Brazilian Portuguese word for “Night Club.”  Guy makes eye contact looks away; you make eye contact and look away. You watch him from across the room as he attempts to arouse your interest by flirting with someone else (you know it’s for your benefit only).  He walks by in the crowded “Balada” slow enough so that by chance you might catch the smell of his cologne or the touch of his skin (depending on how crowded it is).  This might go on for most of the night until he finally gets the courage (or has ruled out his other options…sad I know!) to walk up and talk to you.  He’ll usually ask you to dance and take this opportunity to hold you ever so close.  This is perfectly normal and means absolutely nothing.  If the dancing goes well and there is chemistry between you then the obvious next step is to get even closer as you dance (If you’re not glued to each other than you’re not close enough…reminder this is perfectly acceptable and means absolutely nothing other than for pure “in the moment” enjoyment.
If you’ve made it this far it will only be minutes before you’re snogging on the dance floor. Be warned this is not the casual innocent kiss.  We are talking about an escalation of some serious face sucking.  If you’re tongue is not down his throat on its way to his stomach then its only seconds before it will be.   If this process is still “gostoso” Brazilian Portuguese for “tasty” usually reserved to describe FOOD and WOMEN; somehow one in the same in this country.  A typical use of this word goes something like this “ Que Gostosa, eu vou a comer a voce” “you’re so tasty, I’m going to eat you”.  Then, the snogging is escalated to a side wall at the “Balada” for a little bit more privacy and besides the wall serves a purpose as you’re pressed up against the wall for some serious dry grinding and more snogging.   If things escalate further (and they will) then you can fill in the blanks from there.
 The key here is it means absolutely nothing other than carpe Diem.  Tomorrow is another day which may involve you but more than likely not.  The day after though might have your name on it though as Brazilians always come back for more unlike your typical one night stands and this is where it gets complicated because you move from “Paquerar” to “Ficar” which means ‘seeing each other’. The trouble is you have no idea how many people exactly he was “ficando” with when you met him or while you are “ficando”.  One thing is for sure, as long as he is seeing you from time to time, then you’re still in the game.  The fabulous news is that the rules apply to everybody so you can be “ficando’ with lots of other people too.  Basically this carries on until you start “seeing less and less of the others and more and more of each other.”  In which case you find yourself “namorando” or “Boyfriend/Girlfriend” which means you’re exclusive to each other however this means nothing because you can be “namorando” endlessly for years.  Bottom line unless he is introducing you to his friends (this is universal) then he is definitely not putting a ring on it.  Now, if you’re meeting the friends AND the family, then you are definitely on your way. 
I should also mention most guys in Brazil unless they are married will be living at home with their parents.  I know exactly what you are thinking, which brings me to the next phenomenon…Love motels.  There is NO shame or negative stigma in a love motel as ALL the social classes from A to Z participate as there is something for everyone’s taste and budget. 
Some finer details you should know, while in most places around the world if someone says “Talk to you later” the expression is open ended with no expectations of actually talking later.  The equivalent of this in Brazil is “Let me call you back.”  Which does NOT mean they will ACTUALLY call you back so don’t bother waiting for a phone call.  It’s a way to get you off the phone and nothing more.  Additionally, “I promise…” “See you..” “Yeah we’ll talk” all have Zero value, you might as well start believing in Santa Claus.   Oh I almost forgot, Brazilian men will lavish you with compliments from the second they meet you “you’re so beautiful”, “you’re so smart”, “Wow you smell so great”, “you have such beautiful eyes, legs, hair, lips, body etc etc.”  I know you ARE fabulous, but it’s NOT you its protocol so take compliments with a VERY small grain of salt.  Last, expat single men living in Brazil pick up the Brazilian protocol very quickly so beware!  On the bright side rest assured though when Brazilian men do fall in love they will be eating out of the palm of your hand.
Expand your local lingo with dirty.jam.brazilian_portuguese

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