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Thu, 28 Mar 2013 21:45:00 GMT | By Amy Reyes

Why are American women crazy for Latin men?

The mystique of the Latin lover still gets the blood pulsing in ladies from California to Connecticut.


Man kissing woman. © Picturegarden, Getty Images

Man kissing woman (© Picturegarden/Getty Images)

Latin men take top billing in the fantasies of many an Americana: the handsome guy who can twirl you like a pro on the dance floor even if you have two left feet; the attentive lover whose smoldering eyes undress you in public; the impassioned suitor who knows you belong together and will stop at nothing to make you see it.
 

OK, perhaps I’ve indulged in more than a few stereotypes when it comes to romance, but I am not the only woman who has found herself bewitched by the charms of a Latin man.
 

Perhaps the jury is out on whether Latinos make the greatest husbands. Apparently there are certain issues of fidelity that many find a bit off-putting. For example, a 2007 study showed that about 20 percent of married or cohabitating Dominican men had been unfaithful in the past year.
 

But the mystique of the Latin lover still gets the blood pulsing in ladies from California to Connecticut. What is it about Latin men that make American girls want to run out and get a Rosetta Stone Spanish course? Plenty.
 

No games
 

In my experience, a Latin man who is interested in a woman makes his intentions known early on. Be ready for the barrage of phone calls, emails, and whatever form of communication available from your suitor. These guys generally don’t play around when they are into you.
None of the “wait a day, then call” nonsense. My husband, who is Dominican, called me almost daily after we met even though we lived in different countries (I lived in the Dominican Republic and he was living in Miami). He would find ways to visit me almost every other weekend.
Latin men throw caution to the wind when it comes to courtship and to be the object of that abandon is almost addictive, having someone recklessly pursue you is refreshing. If he doesn’t, then – to borrow the famous line – maybe he’s just not that into you.
 

Chivalry
 

Comedian Dave Chapelle once joked, “If chivalry is dead, then women killed it.” For most Latin men, chivalry still lives and is a cultural norm. It’s rare to find a Latino that won’t instinctively open doors or offer to pay when out on a date. If you come across a guy that does not go above and beyond when it comes to courtesy in the beginning stages of a relationship, something is amiss. You better head for the hills.
Why do Latin men tend to be flagrant in their demonstrations of gentlemanliness? My guess is that we can thank Latin women for the years spent conditioning the men in their lives to behave a certain way in a woman’s presence. Latinas expect men to be attentive, kind, generous, and courteous. This kind of behavior is not considered to be patronizing, it is simply respectful.

Mama mia
 

You can usually get a hint as to how a man is going to treat you based on how he treats his mother. While Latin men are not Italian men - a 2006 poll revealed that 3 out of 10 divorces in Italy cited the cause of the rupture as the husband’s meddling mamma- their mothers wield a lot of influence over them. There are few things my mother-in-law could ask of my husband that he wouldn’t do and I have yet to see him do anything she has asked begrudgingly.
But perhaps his uncompromising duty to his mother makes a Latin man that much more likely to respect and accept the existence of a powerful feminine presence in his life. While a wife and a mother obviously fulfill two different roles, a Latin man who has a strong bond with his mother will prove to be a caring provider and a sympathetic partner.

A four-month trip to the Dominican Republic turned into a two-year residence for Amy Reyes, a Michigan native whose Spanish was just good enough to find a bathroom. She fell in love with the culture, the music, and the language and later met her husband and moved to Miami, which is about as close to the United States as one can get without leaving Latin America. Amy Reyes is Assistant Editor at Miami.com and writes for the Miami Herald. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Michigan.


 

24Comments
Mar 29, 2013 6:15AM
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True. Every word. She left out how great they are with children. They love kids. Let me add that if, or I should say, when he cheats on you, he will be surprised that it upsets you. Why are you taking it personally? He's just being a guy. If you find a Hispanic man who doesn't cheat, snatch him up, because he is truly a rare find. Want to attract a Hispanic man? Tight, low-cut dresses, and long blond hair are all you need.

Jul 15, 2013 10:21AM
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This is interesting. :)

Well, I'm a latino. My family comes from Italy (Florence), but I was born and raised in Chile (South America), and because of work I'm travelling a lot to UK. In fact it's possible that I'll be moving there pretty soon. Therefore, I guess I can describe the "Latino Profile" in a most accurate way as I've travelled quite a bit around Europe, which has made me realize what are the main aspects that define us in contrast to men from other countries.

Latin America involves many countries, so we have to distinguish between the traits we all share, and the ones which are specific for every country itself. The common traits we all share are these: warmness, passionate, friendly, empathic, jealous, sensitive, smiling, a bit dramatic in how we express ourselves, a tendency to use hugs and kisses all the time to express ourselves (which is narrowly connected to our warmness) and honest. Being honest is very important because it can be contrasted easily to, for example, british men. They tend to be very polite, at least around London, but they don't say what they really think as a matter of politeness. We latinos tend to be really honest about what we say. 

On the other hand, some bad traits can be found in latinos who didn't have a good education or that come from poor socioeconomic stratum: very jealous, sexist, unfaithful, violent, ignorants and lazy. However, it's important to highlight that those traits are linked to socioeconomics. Take me for example: I had the fortune of having a good education and I'm not a jealous person, I've never been violent with anyone, to me men and women are equals, I've never been unfaithful to a girlfriend, etc. There are a lot of guys like me, and we are latinos, sharing all the traits I mentioned in the second paragraph. Regarding other things like dancing and music skills, well... like in every place in the world, you can find people who is good or bad at different things. But at least, comparing groups, it's easy to see that we latinos have more rhythm and passion at music and dancing, from a statistical point of view. But we can't generalise, of course. 

In any case, everything will depend on women's tastes. When living in UK I met girls who don't like being cuddle. I'm from Chile, which is one of the most formal countries from Latin America, regarding social behaviour and customs. Even thus, I felt many times uncomfortable because I wasn't able to say hi to british girls with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. It seems they need to drink like 4 glasses of booze to feel as free as we Latin Americans feel by default about expressing ourselves through hugs and having a short distant proximity when speaking between each other, specially with women. But no one is better than another. I'm just telling anecdotes now.
Mar 30, 2013 11:03AM
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Why are Italian men not Latin? Am I misunderstanding something? They are part of the basic Romance Language or the Origin of Latin? I knew I was missing one.  The original Romantic or Romance languages are French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. There are many sub-cultures of the Latin language. My goodness, have you never heard of the passionate Italian lovers Giacomo Casanova or Rudolph Valentino? If these aren't Latin legends, I do not know what is. Both of these men went down in the historic definition of the "Latin Lovers."  Maybe modern terms makes Spanish or Hispanic men exclusive to owning the word "Latin." But I am going by historic definition of the word and also of the culture. Good article otherwise.
Apr 1, 2013 2:58PM
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It's nice to see that sombody from the east coast can speak for all hispanic men. Last time I felt the love from your anglo constituants, was when I was in Austin, Tx getting kicked out of the musem for asking about racisim in Texas. I really enjoy the number of times I was appoached and spoken LOUDLY to about thier vehicle issues when I used to work in an auto shop. Yep every time I pass through middle america going to the club getting the brush off unless Im with a mulato buddy. But Its nice to see the change these days and see that Italian people do the same thing thier great grand parents delt with when they were the scum of the earth. Infidelity? Right like a hot potato if  you get caught your the only group guilty of cheating.  Im pretty sure hispanic men don't just like blondes if your a really good looking woman or have out standing attributes your have thier attention.
Mar 30, 2013 10:45AM
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The word "Latin" comes from the Romance languages of French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian. There might be another one. So why is it becoming exclusive to Latino or Spanish? Yes, Latin men have always swooped American women, but when I hear the word "Latin," I think of the countries that I mentioned-French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish or Latino men. Most Latin men are incredibly passionate, love family, children, his home, religion,soccer, and the "Mother" country. But the downside, as someone stated about HIspanic men, and I am bringing it out more to the "Latin" or Romance Language background-infidelity is a huge trait of the Latin man. Once a person accepts that fact, life with a Latin man is amazing.

Jul 1, 2014 1:35PM
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 I am from Honduras and I have been living in California for ten years. During the first years, I was told that white girls were dumb. However, I do admire how beautiful and smart they are. I am convinced that white girls are everything a man has ever dreamed of or asked God for
Jan 26, 2014 2:53PM
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fancy article about fancy views of South America.If our men are so wonderfull,why there are high rates of domestic violence,sexual exploitation,violence against women in general?? and how can you describe latin men from  the entire South America centered only in one particular country and one particular culture?? that´s awful and too steriotyped.
Mar 7, 2014 5:47PM
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I prefer to share my bed with a rattle snake than with an American woman ..no thanks
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