He gazes at her with such intensity and desire; when he locks eyes with her, he doesn't let go. He is seductive. Charming. Passionate. Flattering. Persistent. Affectionate.
He will sweep her off of her feet. This is the powerful, irresistible lure of the “Brasileiro” (Brazilian man).
I admit that a fair share of Brazilian men have entranced me. There is just something about them that always seems to pull me in -- can you blame me?
Irresistible lure aside, after spending nine months in Brazil, I came to really appreciate certain facets of romance and dating there that tend to be lackluster stateside.
So, American guys, listen up: While the Brazilian society is far from perfect, there are definitely a few things that you could all stand to learn from your South American counterparts when it comes to wooing a girl.
1. Be expressive; tell women how you feel.
With unbridled passion comes expressiveness. One thing I love about Brazilian guys is that they don’t beat around the bush. If a Brazilian finds a girl beautiful, he will tell her. None of this, “you’re kinda cute” or “you look nice” business.
I’m talking real compliments, like “voce é muito linda” (you are so beautiful). In Brazil, it is not unusual for a man to bombard a woman with compliments as she walks down the street. "Linda" (beautiful), they will often blurt out, with infatuation and fervor.
It is almost as if it’s in their DNA to flatter women; they just can't help it. They really seem to know exactly what to say to make a girl feel special, like she is the only girl who exists.
Even when I first started dating my Brazilian boyfriend, he would always tell me how much he missed me when I was gone. He would rave about how beautiful he found me to be, send me romantic song lyrics and just weeks after we started dating, he told me he loved me.
From then on, he made sure to remind me of that constantly. He made it clear from the start that he felt strongly about me, so I never once doubted his feelings. For me, such effusiveness was a refreshing change from the many tight-lipped Americans guys I have met in the past!
2. Show affection, and don’t be afraid of a little PDA.
Why is it that we Americans are so afraid to show affection in public? Not that I encourage couples to make out for hours in front of me on the subway, but since when did it become a crime to kiss your partner or be publically in love?
I find it interesting that in the US, we have a term for publicly showing affection (“PDA”). There is no word for this in Portuguese because this type of behavior happens constantly; it's expected.
Furthermore, being “carinhoso” (affectionate) is integral to Brazilian relationships and the lack of “carinho” (affection) in many American relationships is probably one reason why Brazilians have labeled Americans as “cold.”
From the start, my Brazilian boyfriend was super “carinhoso” with me, regardless of whether we were alone or in front of his friends and family. His actions made me feel loved and desired – at all times.
However, boyfriends are not the only ones to show affection. Even after just meeting a girl, I've found that the typical Brazilian man will be very touchy-feely with his new love interest. With American guys, the lack of affection has often left me wondering what is going on and whether or not he even likes me.
Don’t get me wrong; I am by no means a needy person. Speaking on behalf of the majority of women, however, it is so much more gratifying to be with a guy who is affectionate and not afraid to display that affection in (gasp!) public.
3. Forget all of this DTR stuff.
Everything is much more relaxed in Brazil, including dating. The pressure to establish and label relationships is not as prevalent as it is in the US.
Think about this: In the US, we have actually invented a word for defining the relationship status (“DTR”). Once again, such a word does not exist in the Portuguese language because Brazilians do not make such a big deal out of dating.
In the US, dating is often a long, drawn-out process that can get pretty messy. In Brazil, it’s so much simpler: If two people like each other and are spending time together, they will normally start to “namorar” (date exclusively) shortly after.
My Brazilian boyfriend and I only waited 10 days after meeting to become an official couple. We both liked each other and did not want to be with anyone else, so we didn’t bother to delay something we both wanted.
When recently talking to a Brazilian friend who lives in the US, she told me she had to make it clear to the American guy she had just started seeing that she was not going to tolerate the typical pre-relationship BS.
If they continued to see one another, she would expect there to be a boyfriend-girlfriend title on their relationship, soon. She was frustrated by the fact that Americans wait for what feels like an eternity to DTR (whoops, there I said it again).
In Brazilian culture, things move along much faster.
4. Be a little spontaneous.
Brazilian guys are a spontaneous bunch, which means that dates are rarely planned in advance and always seem to be last minute.
I, personally, prefer to be asked out at least a few days in advance (it shows that a guy is making time for you in his busy schedule and treating you like a priority, not an option); however, spontaneity in moderation can be nice.
5. Don’t be afraid to introduce a girl to your family.
Familial ties are huge in Brazil, so it makes sense that meeting the parents is nothing close to the hyped-up, stressful ordeal that it is in the US. In Brazil, this sort of thing happens very early in a relationship.
My Brazilian boyfriend was dying to introduce me to his family only a week or so after we met. It made me wonder why we dramatize this so much in the US. It is not as if you have to marry the person you introduce to your parents!
Meeting someone’s family helps you learn more about the person you are dating. Plus, getting a family’s opinion on your partner can help you determine if he or she is a good fit for you.
6. Be forward.
I admire how ballsy Brazilian men are. They’re confident, charming and totally tough to resist. The typical Brazilian guy wastes no time.
If at a bar (or other social setting), here is how it generally works: The guy will approach a girl he has been eying, introduce himself and then wrap his arm around her.
He will shower her with compliments, tell her how beautiful she is and soon after, try to kiss her. One Brazilian guy once told me that five minutes after meeting is a long time to wait to kiss a girl. If the girl refuses to kiss him, he will keep trying until she gives in… or until she gets rude and tells him off.
So guys, take note: Being forward and confident is good, but being intrusive and relentless to the point of obnoxious is not. The bottom line is that if you have your eye on a girl, pursue her and make her feel desired. Never, ever let her question how you feel about her.
It's really as simple as that.
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