Does Ethnic Background Influence the Perspective on Love?

We all want love. We all want marriage, or at least a version of it. One thing to keep in mind when dating a Latina woman is how the perspective on the process of love influences decisions.  

Being a Latino male in the dating world, I can pretty much attest that for the most part Latinos are like everyone else. Love is treasured and welcomed just as in any culture. There are, of course, some differences. In the case of a Latino perspective there are some Latino families for whom traditions become part of the love requirements. These perspectives can influence the person you’re dating. They’re mostly seen as a process of hoops you must jump through in order to come out ahead. Now, don’t get me wrong, these aren’t any set rituals or processes I’m talking about. If anything they are expectations Latino families have on what love is all about.

Traditionally, in the Latino culture, both men and women are expected to provide. Men are expected to be good providers and women are expected to be good homemakers. But before we get blogged by feminists claiming that’s a chauvinistic statement, let’s just say that although nowadays Latina women are more career oriented as well, there’s still an inherent belief in the Latino tradition for both men and women to help make a happy home.

I can’t tell you the amount of times I have dated a woman who had me meet her family very soon. But this is a norm. For many Latino families it’s nothing out of the ordinary and I suppose it’s due to the fact that families are very close. This is especially true if you wind up either dating someone who’s moved to the U.S. from Latin America or if you date someone with a very traditional family.

As a result, social interaction is another expectation. By that I mean that since you’ll be getting invited to family gatherings quite frequently, you’re going to be expected to have some social manners and be amiable. Better wear a clean shirt and score some extra points by attempting to speak Spanish. And I warn you in advance that many family gatherings involved music, so getting out to the dance floor with “la abuela” (grandma) isn’t a rare sight since the abuelas are usually pretty darn good dancers. So brush up on some leg movement as soon as you can as well.

If you wind up in Latin America, traditions are a little bit deeper. In many cases, no matter how old you are, you’re still going to have to “pedir la mano” or “ask for hand” in the event your relationship is getting serious. And this is just how you imagine it. You have to go ask her father for his blessing and permission.

So how do these traditions influence a perspective of love? Well, by going through what you may think are tests you’re really just giving the family and your loved one a way to determine how good you really are for her. After all, the fact that you’re in love with her isn’t the only thing you need to have in order to get the blessings of all involved. And if you pass these tests, you’ll be on your way to a great relationship and a brand new extended family.  

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