It’s generally easy for a Western male to date in lower income countries, especially in Latin America. Being a Westerner automatically associates you with money, and a chance for the girl to obtain a visa back to the richer country. It also draws in girls who might be tired of the macho-infested culture and are eager for a change. This is certainly true all over Latin America.
After spending more than a year in Rio, I thought I’d give some pointers to guys that are interested in going to Brazil and dating Brazilian women.
(Disclaimer: My experience is based on my stay in Rio de Janeiro — so if you’re staying elsewhere, your mileage may vary)
The universal rule is that Brazilian girls usually fall into two camps: those who exclusively date Brazilian guys and those that have dated and are open to dating foreigners (gringos). This alone sets Brazil apart from the rest of Latin America. Signs that a girl is open to dating a gringo, she has lived/travel abroad, she speaks great English, she had/has gringo friends, she hangs out in places where gringos go, etc.
This seems obvious, but it’s not. If you only speak English, you will most likely meet girls who speak English and have travelled/lived in US (or Europe) and hang out around gringos (see #1 above). On the other hand, if you speak Portuguese, you will meet all Brazilian girls, and it’ll be harder to filter which ones are open for dating a gringo. Knowing Portuguese is obviously a plus, but not as important as it seems at first.
Unfortunately male gringos in Brazil have a negative reputation as prostitute seekers and exploiters of Brazil’s natural resources (i.e., women). This creates a double standard. The girls are especially sensitive to such stereotypes, and as a result they will take any negative “asshole-type” behavior very personally. Even a light tease that’s culturally acceptable anywhere else can result in backlash, while the same behavior from a Brazilian guy can be totally acceptable. This means in the initial encounter, refrain from any questionable teasing and keep things very friendly.
Venue is important
If you go places that charge $50 cover, then you would expect to meet girls who are interested in meeting well-off guys. However, if you go to street parties, and cheaper places, chances are the girls will be more down to earth. In Rio, Ipanema and Leblon have the most beautiful, but richer girls, while Lapa and Botafogo have more down to earth variety.
Looks are important
Rio is a beautiful city situated with mountainous landscapes and blessed with a gorgeous beach. Girls are beautiful as well, always dressed to the nines, refusing to leave the house without without high heels. They take care of themselves, and expect the same from guys. So remember to GTL (Gym, Tan, Laundry) before you go to Rio.
Brazilian girls are direct
Unlike in US or Europe, girls here play much less games. When approaching a girl, the girl will know very quickly if you’re her type or not. If things are not moving forward within the first 10-15 minutes, it won’t go anywhere. Just politely eject and keep going.
If on the other hand, things are progressing nicely, slowly go for a kiss after fifteen or twenty minutes of conversation. A kiss doesn’t signify intimacy in Brazil, but kissing quickly is normal and is part of the mating ritual.
Things move fast
After you get the number, it’s OK to call the next day and schedule a date for the following or same evening. You do not need to wait 2-4 days like in US.
Keep it simple
I know in the West, dinner and movie is the norm. In Brazil, keep dates simple. Meet her at the beach, go for a drink at Devassa Bar in Ipanema. Go to a Hippie Fair in Ipanema on Sunday afternoons, or just grab a coconut juice on the beach. It doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. The cheaper the better.
Many guys get wrapped up in trying to attract the girl by impressing her. This wouldn’t work in Brazil because above all Brazilian culture is extremely chill, and people value a relaxed atmosphere over a serious or deep conversation. So don’t try too hard and just have a good time.
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James Maverick used to work in a cubicle as a code monkey in Silicon Valley. Then, in 2007, he quit his job and a one-way ticket to Brazil. Ever since, he continued to travel, visiting over 85 countries and living in more than a dozen of them. He loved his location-independent lifestyle and has no plans to live in America.