Traditions of Mexican Dating Relationships

In Mexico, many traditions guide dating relationships.
A Mexican couple enjoy a sunny day outdoors together.A Mexican couple enjoy a sunny day outdoors together.
While the younger people in large cities may be influenced by the United States, people in more rural areas may hold on to traditions, especially those governed by Catholic values and customs of the traditional Mexican families.

The First Step

A young couple dance together at a party.
As customary in Mexico, all male/female relationships start with the man pursuing.
A woman traditionally waits for the man to pursue her, whether for a dance at a party or club or to go on a date. While young people in larger cities may adopt more modern habits, people in more rural and conservative provinces adhere to this practice.

Romantic Traditions of Men in Mexico

A man takes a woman's hand who is sitting down.
Chivalry is still customary in Mexico.
Men customarily are polite, opening door for women and pulling out chairs. Men are expected to be romantic and well-mannered.

Piropeo

A woman smiles while listening to her partner.
One dating tradition popular in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries is "piropeo," which is a way men show interest in women.
Piropos are flirty comments made to women, sometimes including endearments such as "mi amor," which means "my love," and "guapa," which means beautiful or lovely.

Serenata

A close-up of a man playing a Spanish guitar.
Another Mexican dating tradition is "la serenata," a practice in which a suitor arrives at his love interest's home with a mariachi or guitarist to serenade or sing to her.
The man continues to sing until the woman comes out of her home to meet him. If a woman does not like the suitor, she will not come out to meet him. Traditionally, young women live with their birth families until married. If a family does not like the suitor, the family may toss water on him.

Who Pays El Cuento, The Bill?

In Mexico, a dating man customarily presents his companion with flowers,chocolate, stuffed animals and other tokens of appreciation as part of the courtship process.
Men traditionally pay for dates, as well.

Sexual Relationships

A boyfriend and girlfriend hold hands in the park.
Traditionally, single Mexican women tend to be conservative, waiting for a serious relationship before engaging in sexual activity.
A man risks a woman ending a relationship if he pressures her to have sex, especially in rural provinces and among the young and inexperienced.

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About the Author

Beth Cone is a Los Angeles-based writer and was the style and health, beauty, and fitness columnist for "On The Boulevard Magazine" in the San Fernando Valley-based magazine from 1990 through 1992. She is a publicist and artists representative with clients in Northern and Southern California. A graduate from Vanderbilt University, Cone has a degree in Spanish and fine arts.