Tips on dating in Spain

If you think dating is complex, you have clearly never dated a Spaniard. Hear from six expats who took the plunge.

Dating is a pretty complicated process no matter where in the world you are; Spain is no exception. But being a foreigner can make that process even more difficult. Let four women expats and two men expats aged 18-32 who dated a Spaniard give you the ups, the downs, the dos and the doníts.

Dating lingo

To start off itíll be helpful to know some words in the dating vocabulary.

For instance, if you want to say that youíre dating someone, as in boyfriend/girlfriend, youíd say estamos saliendo.

If things arenít that serious, you may use the phrase amigos con derecho a roce meaning friends with benefits.

If you had a good night out in a club, you can use liarse. Depending on the context it may mean just make out or perhaps a little bit more. Additionally, ligarse, can be used to mean almost the same thing.

If youíre a little more adventurous, the word for one-night stand is enrollarse.

Where to meet?

Of course, there are Spaniards everywhere in Spain. But a good place to actually meet one for romantic purposes, like anywhere else, is through the nightlife scene.

Singles arenít limited to meeting in clubs or bars though. A great place is through English centres, especially if youíre still not quite up to scratch on the language.

  • By Mike, 24 - Spanish-American

    She worked at a language school I attended in Malaga. She was one of the teachers there (not mine however) and I was completely infatuated with her Andalusian accent. The first words out of my mouth were "hola boquerona" (boquerona our what Spaniards call girls from Malaga) and she giggled and decided to give me her number It was a serious short-term relationship, it lasted about four months.

  • If all else fails, thereís always the internet.

  • By Rose, 23, United States

    We met on, an online personals website. We dated seriously for almost a year, but were on and off. I would tell foreign gay women in Spain to use an online personal website because it is hard to find lesbians, even in Chueca, Madrid.

  • So the dating game begins

    Now that youíve met that someone, what comes next? Usually a text message!

  • By Tara, 20, United States

    We met at a party and exchanged numbers but I thought it was just in a friendly way. Then I got a text the next day that said something like, "no se porque pero lo ķnico que me acuerdo de ayer es que me quede con las ganas de conocer mejor a cierta chica." So that made it clear he was interested romantically. As I was attracted to him, I went with it. Then we hung out after school a few times, and then he took me out on a very nice kind of elaborate date.

  • How are they different?

    Perhaps all these sound familiar. After all, itís the same dating game everywhere, isnít it? Maybe not. The panel shared their thoughts on the differences between Spaniards and people from their hometowns.

  • By Amy

    I think that with my boyfriend, Iíve found an exception to the majority of Spaniards. He doesnít give empty promises when he says something, he actually does it. Although heís almost always late, itís usually through no fault of his own. To me, he seems a lot more mature than all of the Americans Iíve dated. He is older, almost 23, but he has his life set, he is off away from his parents (which again is very unusual for a Spaniard) living life on his own. And he has his own car, which is very convenient.

  • Final words of advice

    Itís important to remember that no two relationships are ever the same. However the panel still gave their final words of advice for any expats thinking about embarking on that extremely tricky journey known as dating.