This is the third post in my series about dating Latinos and how it differs from dating North Americans.
To catch up, you can also read the complete articles here:
Dating Latinos… It’s Different: Shopping [this post]
Dating Latinos It’s Different: SHOPPING
In North American culture, it is stereotypical for girls to love shopping and guys to care less about it. I routinely pity men who are standing outside a dressing room, holding their girlfriend’s purse. I have also never asked or expected any boyfriends to go shopping with me and pay for things. In my mind, I make my own money and can buy my own stuff. I also happen to hate shopping, so I wouldn’t drag my boyfriend along for the misery.
I have found that Latinos treat the whole shopping situation differently. In general, both men and women enjoy shopping and are fairly concerned about their style. It is also very common for couples to shop together. Women expect and enjoy their boyfriend’s opinion on potential buys. Men also actually enjoy giving their opinion and picking out clothes they want to see their lady in.
While living in Argentina, I laughed at some of my guy friends when they told me they were taking their girlfriends shopping. I assumed this meant they were whipped and the girl was forcing them to go shopping and buy them things. I was totally wrong. The shopping was sometimes the guys’ idea. They wanted to pick out clothes for the girl they spend most of their time with and they wanted to shell out the cash for it.
I think the payment goes back to the whole machismo thing. Much like paying for dinner and a movie, Latino men may see paying for clothing as another way of showing their power stance in a relationship, as well as how much they care. It can either be wildly offensive or kind of sweet – it depends on your upbringing and the way you choose to look at it.
Personally, the first time my Puerto Rican boyfriend told me he would love to take me shoe shopping, I thought he was joking. It turns out he really likes shoes, and would see it as a sort of romantic gesture to help me find the right pair and pay for them for me. Unfortunately for him, I hate shopping. The first (and last) time we went to the mall together, I was so unbearably crabby and whiny the whole time, he was just desperate to make our purchases and get out of there. My culture shock caused by his love of shopping was nothing compared to the shock he experienced by my hatred of shopping. Dating Latinos is different!
Check out these other articles on Spanish.