Fun for some, or an indescribable fear for others, you don’t have to be a Don Juan to have fun in the DR. For many dating can be a nightmare and add to this the fact that you are in a different country, with a different language and some of you might be spending many a Saturday night cuddle up with a tub of ice cream watching horrible Spanish language television. But this doesn’t have to be case. For you brave souls who are up for having a good time, experiencing new people and new things and have no problems with putting yourselves out there a bit, the “dating” scene in the DR can be a fun experience. Before putting on your Sunday’s best and trying to pick up the first hottie you see the best tip you could receive is: leave your misconceptions and prejudices at immigration, as it could save you much trouble. What does this mean? It’s simple. For many who travel or decide to live in the DR they settle down in their new home and bring with them their perspectives which stiffle their ability to fully integrate into their new home.
“Newbies” constantly preface everything by saying, “at home….” Well remember, you aren’t at home and though those lame pick up lines might have worked at that two dollar butt bar where you used to hang out “God must be missing one his angels,” is not going to work here. Though dating strategies change from city to city and person to person, there are a few tips that can help you as you navigate through the dating scene. But you must remember that in any dating venture you will have your swings and misses and the best bet is to pick yourself up and keep moving.
Decide what you want ahead of time
This tip can hold true in any city, but knowing what you want ahead of time will help you weed out many potential dates. You must decide if you want a long term relationship that could end up being serious, or would you like something more casual leaning on the side of FwB (for you older folks this means friends with benefits) Though Dominican culture is still somewhat conservative, the FwB concept is fairly popular as is keeping things on the DL (down low), so keep your cool and learn where San Isidro is, especially if you are a bachelor/ette for life.
Sex on the first date
Now this one is a doosie to explain, but unless you’ve really, but really really, hit it off, you’re going to have to keep your jimmy in your pants, for at least a few more dates. Yeah you might meet a hot girl and things might get hot and steamy, but unless she’s got access to your bank account, you’ll have to get that cold shower ready pronto!
Understand the double standard
Some people, for whatever reason don’t understand that the double standard still exists and will affect your day to day lives. Though women in the US have gone through the sexual revolution and can potentially have multiple partners in the DR this is relatively non-existent. Women here have unfortunately not found the lighters for their bras. We don’t make the rules, we just warn you about them. If your neighbors see you with more than one guy, you might be hearing Santa chanting a bit earlier than usual. So be weary of that before your Sanky Jose takes a stroll through your neighborhood in his undershirt and aviator glasses.
Don’t get sucked in too early
Now some may come to the DR and fall in love with this wonderful country, just don’t fall in lust, at least not right away. And yes, I did say “fall in lust.” Truth be told is that if you meet someone while visiting and they say “I lub yu” within the first three days, turn around and run, fast! Now love can happen that fast, especially if the Brugal is free flowing and you are still a bit dizzy from all that sun, but the odds of it happening at a resort or the local bar are slim to none. Once again, careful with that Sanky Jose.
Jealousy and the ramifications
Not the jealous type? Not one to check emails and phone messages behind your lovers back? Well get used to it because with any luck you’ll find out what that’s like while feeling out the dating scene in the DR. Yeah, we could be wrong about this one, but I couldn’t ask any of my female friends for their opinions, because my girlfriend won’t let me talk to them anymore.
Age doesn’t matter
Yeah, you heard me right. Age really doesn’t matter here, so all you older gentlemen get your Viagra ready. Maybe you’d get a double look in Kansas, but walking down the streets with a girl who could be your daughter is old news here. Just make sure she has a cedula, or can spell cedula, and you’ll be all set.
You are a foreigner (that’s why they like you)
Now, you might be a Harrison Ford type of gentleman, but from what we’ve seen in terms of visitors and travelers to the DR you are more like a Monty Python, so the girl might not really be into your looks, more your passport and your bank account. Yeah, I know you are thinking “I am different.” Right, and I look like Denzel Washington. Ok, ok, all joking a side, you are a foreigner and that is why you are attractive. You are a different choice and are intriguing for potential suitors, so use that to your advantage and enjoy it.
Love does exist
The reason we’ve felt the need to include this is because before reading this article you might have breezed through our message board and wondered to yourself, “does love exist in the DR?” First off, throw yourself off a cliff if you’ve asked this foolish question. It does exist, it just takes time and patience, as it would in any case. Now, don’t come to the DR looking for love. That’s how you end up with a Sankie and a child, but know that you might be one of the lucky ones that finds a wonderful person.
A simple hello does the trick
“Hey baby, do your feet hurt, because you have been running through my mind all night!” That line has never worked on anyone. Ever! So if it never worked for you at Joe’s bar, what makes you think it will work at Retro Café? Listen, the truth is that a simple “Hello” will work. If she’s into you the “Hello” will work and if not, move on.
Be aware of the social class
This one is the toughest to explain without sounding elitist or terrorizing you to death. But in trying to make your dating experience easier you might want to stick to a girl more or less in your class range. I can hear the boos now. Go ahead start writing your PM’s and emails to the Admin. Ok, but before you hit the send button, let me explain. Dating someone from a different culture is tough enough, and add the language differences and personal outlook and you have a doosie on your hands. And now add on top of that class differences and you might have an uphill battle on you. Now we aren’t saying it couldn’t happen, because it has, we’re just saying it might not be as easy as the fairytales tell you.
Be careful with the Ho’s
Yes, be careful with the garden tools too. See, we at DR1 care about your safety. But, as you venture out to the clubs at night and start pounding back a few Johnnies on the Rocks be aware that there are working girls on the prowl. Yeah you might see a “church girl” dressed in black leather suits wearing see through high heels and a lot of make up, but if one of these “church girls” comes after you, either pull out your wallet or run.
Distance from where you live
Gas is almost US$6 in the DR. Yes, US$6! so driving is a killer on the expenses. After you’ve met a girl do what a good friend of ours does. Pull out a map and put a red pin on where you live. Then, draw a red circle representing a five mile radius around where you live. Next, ask your newest sweetheart where she lives, and put a blue pin there. If your sweetie lives outside the 5 mile radius keep it moving. (Note: Tip number 12 is nullified if you A) work for the government B) She’s rich C) Your rich D) She has a car or E) All of the above.
Don’t forget your wallet
This whole chauvinism thing is overrated. Men and women should be equal. It’s great if a woman makes more than a man and I wouldn’t mind if my honey paid for dinner and the movie. Heck, pay for gas, my shoes, my haircut and anything your pretty little heart desires. Too bad this isn’t the US, where women sometimes pay, because as a guy you’ll be stuck paying for everything. Unfortunately because of cultural norms and a lack of employment opportunities more likely than not (especially if you disregarded points 3, 7, 10, 11, 12) you’ll be stuck looking at the bill always. Now I’m not a cheap guy. Ok I lied, but, my wallet, and probably yours, can only handle so many Saturday nights at Sophia’s and Mix.
So there you have it. A few tips to get you started on your dating experience in the DR. Remember, keep it cool and make sure you wear deodorant. The ladies and gentleman in the DR are ready to meet you. Have your shirt nice and ironed, keep the Birkenstocks at the hotel and don’t use too much Old Spice and we think you’ll be just fine.
Disclaimer: If these tips didn’t work for you it’s not our fault, most likely you are a bad date.