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But if a guy did that in the States I’d be like ‘you’re pathetic’.” Once contact has been made with the object of your desires, you are running a whole new cultural gauntlet – one in which body language can play a bigger role that what you actually say.The key differences for travelers from more ‘distant’ cultures are in the Latin approach to eye contact and physical contact – lots of both.Georgina Blair is a young American professional living in Medellin, Colombia, and she first met her Colombian boyfriend a year ago when she broke with convention and asked him to dance.Dating Etiquette According to Georgina, foreign women are given more leeway to break with traditional gender roles and dating etiquette as they are viewed differently by Latin men.“If you catch a woman’s eye, don’t dwell in it or keep catching her eye. ’ Men and Flirting A lack of directness is certainly not an issue for most Latin men, according to Beth Stevenson, an American veteran of the Argentine dating game after living and working in Buenos Aires for a year and a half. “They do not leave you alone, which is annoying but they’re very charming.” Being naturally extroverted and flirtatious also means Latin men can get away with behavior that would not wash in the U. “What we expect from guys in Latin America is completely different,” Beth said.

Throw in a language barrier and culture gap and you’re lost in a strange new game with strange new rules.

“A good way to meet people, because of the dancing culture here, is just to pick a partner and ask her to dance with you.” Even if you don’t have time to squeeze in salsa classes, it is still worth the effort to at least try and get your rusty hips and leaden feet moving, according to James.

“Your foreigner inability can be charming to the right person,” he added.

Is that hand on your knee a flirtatious come-on, or a culturally distinct approach to personal space?

Is splitting the bill a nod to equal gender relations, an unforgivable challenge to your date’s masculinity, or the sign of an incorrigible tight-wad?

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