Friday, July 6, 2012

The Mating Game

True Love?

Someone left this advertisement in Bogotá Bike Tours' shop the other day.

But marketing sex or romance with colombianas to foreigners is nothing new. 

Google 'women Colombia' and you get stories like 'How to pick up women in Medellin' and websites like Calibrides, ColombianCupid and InternationalIntroductions - all on just the first page of results.

In contrast, Google 'men Colombia' and the results are topped by the National Education Ministry (whose initials are MEN), a story about Colombia's tallest man and news reports about the U.S. Secret Service's prostitution scandal in Cartagena.

Apparently, this virtual fascination with Colombian women does translate into real world results. I've met many couples consisting of a foreign man from a wealthy country and a Colombian woman, and very few of the reverse.

Theories I've heard for this situation include:

* 'Colombian women are more attractive than are Colombian men'. I wonder whether this is even biologically possible.

* Cultural norms: Foreign men are attracted to Colombian women because of Latin women's reputation for being loyal and unassertive. On the other hand, relative few foreign women would seek a Colombian man, with their  reputation for machismo and skirt-chasing.

Height: Latin women, including colombianas, are relatively short. Men generally seek shorter women, and women taller men.

Wealth: Altho this is changing, Colombia is still much poorer than are most developed nations. Many women still look for wealth in a partner, while many men seek women with less money so that the men feel they are in control, or feel like the sugar daddy.

Age: While the populations of developed nations are aging, Colombia and the rest of Latin America have many young people. Men generally look for younger - sometimes much younger - partners, while most women seem to want a partner who is older than they are.

But even with all of these factors, I'm still surprised that the proportion is so overwhelmingly one-sided. By my observation, there must be ten times as many couples consisting of a foreign man with a Colombian woman than the reverse.

This phenomenon isn't limited to Colombia, of course. In Texas, I knew a middle-aged, thrice-divorced man who traveled regularly to Mexico for his sales job. In some lonely restaurant, a young waitress caught his eye. He smiled at her and invited her to dinner. At dinner, he talked to her non-stop. She didn't understand a single word, but just smiled when he smiled, laughed when he laughed.

When I met them, they were living together in Beaumont, Texas, just a few blocks from the homes of his previous wives. They seemed happy enough: He had landed a young, attractive wife who was unlikely to assert her independence. She had found a good-natured husband with lots of material goods she could never have dreamed of back in Mexico - but they hadn't bothered to learn each other's languages.

Unfortunately, of course, these relationships can turn exploitative. There are many cases of young women being lured overseas with promises of love and marriage only to find a nightmare of abuse, captivity and exploitation. And I've also heard of cases of women who manipulated wealthy men into giving them their property and then abandonded or even murdered them.

But, like my Texas friends, I've seen many of these relationships that appear to be happy enough - which may say something about the shallowness of human nature.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Unknown said...

Mike can you tell me the domain of the website that has my logo and slogan "Love Has No Borders" on your headline photo?

You are correct there is no difference between the beauty of Colombian men and Colombian women. All the foreign women I have met in Colombia find the men to be attractive.

There are more relationships between foreign men and Colombian women than the other way around because women in general do not spend money to go after men or will they cover the cost for dating and travel. The majority of Colombian men do not have the means to fly a foreign woman to his country and cover all her expenses, and few women would pursue such a man who could not do so.

Owner of International Introductions
Engage the Exotic

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

Hi Jaime,

Thanks for your comments and analysis.

Can you send me an e-mail, via Bogota Bike Tours. I'd rather not post their URL, as I know nothing about their company.



rasta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rasta said...

Can I just point out what I think is the most obvious reason you don't see many Colombian men with foreign women: like foreign guys, they also think that Colombian women are damn hot. And don't see any reason to chase after a foreign girl.

Carlito said...

That´s not beign shallow; it has all the bilogical and genetic sense: men want beauty (fertile) women, women want the best men they can find (social status and age are strong indicators, handsomeness is not)

Miguel said...

I agree. Men and women, in general, follow genetic adaptations which have produced successfull children for generations - even tho the conditions may have changed today.

But that doesn't mean those factors aren't shallow.