Since I started to get back into the dating scene, I get asked quite often what my ‘type’ is. I usually have never really considered myself as having a ‘type’. But as I began to look at men, I started to notice I was attracted to a certain ‘type.’ I noticed I was mostly attracted to men who had Latin features: the tan-like skin, the dark hair, the brown eyes, and the sexy accent. I would almost melt when I ran into one of them…I said almost! It’s like if I had some sort of weakness, a kryptonite of sorts, that impaired by vision, and I could only see them and no one else. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of very attractive Anglo men and men from all parts of the world, but when it comes to the Latin men, my eyes become dreamy, and I’m like a Japanese school girl giggling with her hands covering her mouth, bating her eyes. I can’t resist them.
I am also a Latin man; however, I have none of those features which I have described. I look Anglo and often am mistaken for one. I have colored eyes, light brown hair, never tan and have my very American accent despite growing up in Mexico. I do not find myself attractive at all! But recently, after dating a Latin man, not of the same Latin culture, who turned out to be a complete douche for lack of a better word, I have vowed, to much laughter of my friends, to date outside of the ‘box’ as the cliché goes. I have stepped away from my comfort zone and began to look at other non-Latin guys. Don’t get me wrong, I have always appreciated attractive men regardless of culture but I have always been drawn to Latin men. Besides the features I’ve mentioned thus far, I think a big and probably more important reason for my attraction has been the connection I have made with them. It has more to do with how I connected with them on a cultural level and not just the mere physical attraction of those dark eyes that I can let my mind wonder for hours…There are certain cultural values such as family, religion and speaking the language, which has made the attraction and connection deeper.
As I’ve tried to date more non-Latin men, I’ve noticed that I don’t connect with them on those same levels as I did with the Latin men. The attraction is there. A guy with a cute smile is a guy with a cute smile. There is no denying that. But when it comes to connecting on the same cultural aspects, I find it that as much as I would like to share certain stories about my family or even to try to speak in Spanish, their interpretation or understanding of these things are based on stereotypical knowledge of how the Latin culture is characterized and perceived in society. Even after explaining why family and certain things of my culture are important, I felt the connection was mostly on the surface. For me, speaking in Spanish feels homey; it feels warm. When I speak Spanish, it feels like I am back at home and not being able to say ‘te amo’ and not have it reciprocated in the same language, it feels alien. Or even the simple things like not being able to joke around in Spanish with someone you care about, it feels like something is missing.
As I go out on these dates, I often find myself wondering if they feel the same way about me. Even with my very Anglo features, I am not Anglo and I am very proud of my Latin heritage. But maybe they also feel the same way and even possibly think I don’t understand or connect with them on the same level as someone coming from the same or similar background to theirs. I find it beautiful when two people from different cultures have a connection that stretches beyond race. But at the same time we are all human and sometimes where we come from plays a factor on whom we chose to be with.