Whenever I meet someone new, I get asked the same questions about being Latina. It's pretty rare to find a Guatemalan American, and the conversations usually go a little something like this:
“Are the tacos and empanadas different in your country?”
“Aren't all Latinos the same?”
“So, do you really like listening to reggaeton?”
“I've heard that Latinos eat beans and rice with everything. Why?”
OK, not all foods in Latin countries are the same. People keep thinking all Latinos are like Mexicans, which we aren't. Fun fact: A traditional dish in Guatemala is tostadas. They are fried tortillas with refried beans, veggies and shredded cheese on top. They're delicious, and they're not like your average taco.
People also have this misconception that all Latinos are all the same, and to an extent, this is true. When dating a Latina, I promise you will find five of the following traits in the women you come across. Whether she's from the Caribbean, Central America or South America, Latinas have a lot more in common than you may think.
1. Latinas love to eat.
Latinas are by far the hungriest women I have come across, and this also applies to my own eating habits. If you want to impress a Latina, be prepared to come with an empty stomach everywhere you go, especially if you ever get to meet her grandmother. Not only is it considered rude to a Latin family if you go inside a house without eating, but you'll probably never see her again after that.
2. She's never late. You're just early.
Latinas live in a world where time runs on Latino Standard Time. If she tells you she'll be ready at 8 pm, she really means she'll be ready at 9 pm. On the upside, if you show up early, she'll probably invite you up for some pre-dinner snacks and/or drinks.
3. She is not your "mamacita," and you shouldn't refer to her as "caliente."
I cannot stress this enough: We do not like to be called stereotypical names. If you're a gringo who doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, we'll probably poke fun at you for trying to use a language you don't know. But, stay on the safe side. Don't use stereotypical phrases for us, and we won't call you a gringo.
It might seem cute to talk to her in Spanish, but if you don't know what you're saying in the first place, you'll look stupid. If there is one thing Latina women don't like, it is oblivious men.
4. Equality is key.
Now, this might be the most important truth I will tell you. Latinas tend to get the most heat for cooking every night and being clean freaks. However, don't expect her to have a home-cooked meal every night for you, and don't expect her to clean up after you.
Latinas have always been given the housewife role. Most Latin countries teach their women to cook, clean and look after the men and children. Is it too much to ask for her man to help out every once in a while? There are two people in the relationship, after all.
5. Her family will always be in the picture.
This means she will always have her family around, and not just physically. Dating her also means you'll be dating her family.
Latino families love — and I mean love — to gossip. They are the true meaning of keeping it in the family. If there's ever something you don't want anyone to know about, do not tell her. Of course, we can keep a secret if need be, but most of the time, we gossip. Even though Latino families are huge gossipers, they also have the most secrets among themselves.
When dating a Latina, keep these things in mind. In addition to all of this, make sure you take the time to learn about and truly appreciate her culture. It's a rich, loving one that you don't want to miss out on.