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Venting to the World

Advice for Brazilian women dating American men

I had several requests for writing this post. I could just say: “read the post with advice to American men dating Brazilian women and reverse it”, but I decided to write it anyhow. The reason I write in English (as anyone can see English is not my native language)  is to make it more accessible to a greater number of readers. So even though I risk sliding into gender and ethnic generalizations, here are some pointers that Brazilian women (maybe all Latin women) should take into consideration before engaging in a relationship with an Anglo American (and possibly African Americans too):

1) The USA is a do-it-yourself country. Most men learned to be practical and fix the things around the house and in the yard. Many American men like to work in their cars, wash it, mow the lawn and do other housekeeping actitivities themselves. After all, labor in the USA is very expensive compared to other countries.

What does that mean to you, their girlfriend or wife? Hours of loneliness. Of course a guy who likes to fix things around the house is every woman’s dream, but some of them like to tinker with things even when they can afford to pay someone to do it. And some like to spend the whole weekend doing that, much to the chagrin of their Brazilian wife who would rather visit relatives or relax with her husband. The guy probably will not go stroll the malls with you. He probably will not go sightseeing with you on a beautiful Fall Sunday, or just rest by the pool in the summer. Now if your man is a metrossexual you won’t have that problem. Artistic and intellectual types often have more “feminine” interests.

2) The “Buddies” mentality. American men in a way never leave their teenage years. They have this “hanging out with the boys” mentality until they’re middle aged men. For some reason, American men seem to feel more comfortable with other guys instead of a mix of men and women.  Again, I am not talking about the intellectual types, or the more cosmopolitan type of man, but the average American Joe. Therefore, some men think it’s  cool to leave you alone at home while they do things with the “boys”: the boys meaning 30 something year old men! Whether it is sports or drinking beer or traveling, they seem to prefer and need the company of men instead of men AND women alike, which is more common in the Brazilian and European cultures. My advice: don’t be mad. When they say they are going to be hanging out with the boys, tell them: “Have fun!”. That will make them suspicous why you don’t care and what will YOU be doing-and might make them want to cut their manly thing short-and spend more leisure time with you.

Now, if they insist in going to strip joints and other places where there is heavy flirting or paid sex and that makes you uncomfortable, just say NO. Anything that makes us uncomfortable in relationships should not have to be tolerated. I am sure these same guys wouldn’t be too glad if you were the one leaving them alone at home to go stare at other men’s penises up close, while slipping them money :)

3) Many American men don’t have a sense of style. Their uniform usually consists of baggy khaki pants, jeans and a loose shirt. As a Brazilian with a sense of style, perhaps you can help them in that arena.

4) Anglo American men are not as affectionate as Brazilian men, and they don’t show their emotions as much. Again, there are exceptions, but I have heard that from many Brazilian women in relationships with American men. Once they have you, they get lazy. The romance stops. The sexual desire wanes and they prefer the computer to you.  Some even dare forget your wedding anniversary and even your birthday. Some are horrible gift givers. What can you do? Tell them exactly what you want. Tell them you need more physical affection such as more hugs and kisses and more romantic acts. Don’t be shy about expressing how you feel, or you will be very frustrated. And if they refuse to improve, it’s time to shake things up.  Unfortunately, I can’t say this is a trait of American men in particular. I suspect many married men around the world fall into the “take their wives for granted” mode. 

Men complain that women let themselves go after marriage (they gain wait, cut their hair short, stop wearing make up and cute clothes), and that is indeed very common. However, Brazilian women traditionally take more care of their appearance while married and well into their mature years.

5) Some American men (in particular white men) are not as adventurous in bed. It’s part of their historic puritanical upbringing. It’s hard to change it sometimes. See what you can live without. Hopefully you won’t compare your American man with your former “good-in-bed” Brazilian boyfriend..:)

6) Many American men were raised with working mothers and see women as complete equals. Brazilian men are more protective of women, since historically women have been the weaker link in Brazilian society. Most of the time, when Brazilians get a divorce, the woman keeps the main house. I have been surprised by seeing some men in America some men keeping the family home while their wives had to go live in a small apartment. Brazilian men don’t do that. The woman always come first.

Brazilian men also support their ex-wives when there are children involved, without complaining. In the US some men seem to resent women a lot. I hear and read a lot of bitterness against ex-wives and women in general, while statistics show that women have a loss of income and lifestyle after divorce, while men’s have an increase! It seems some men tend to forget that women have babies and raises them,  therefore sacrificing their career much more than they do.

7) In Brazil couples pool their resources together. It’s OUR money. They build together towards the future. American men, even the ones starting their lives, seem to prefer separate accounts and separate savings. I don’t see the point of being married and not building a future together. It is odd that one person in the couple may have money to do this or that and the other doesn’t. If you are going to be that selfish, why get married?

9) Brazilian men usually live with their parents until they get married. They are closer to their family, and they will be more of  a family man than an American will ever be (exceptions are Brazilians who like to cheat or drink). Some American men may put work and their hobbies before you. That can cause a lot of conflict with a Brazilian wife. Try to find a guy who has a lot of interests in common with you so you can prevent that from happening.

Lastly, these are just impressions from what I see and hear. It doesn’t apply to everyone, since men in America come in all shapes, forms, ethnicities, backgrounds and personalities :)

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November 13, 2010 - Posted by | Difference between cultures, Relationships

29 Comments »

  1. I think this is a great guide for American women dating American men too haha because we don’t know a thing about them either! Love it.
    -Gizzy

    Comment by cocktailsattiffanys | November 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. I don’t know…

    I’m an American woman married to a Brazilian man, and we have most of the same issues. I think the problems you’re having with your husband (or whatever inspired you to write this) are pretty typical of all marriages.

    The reason Brazilian men give more to their divorcing wives is because it’s required by law, not because they respect the mother of their children more than American men do.

    My husband and I have our own accounts, and it saves a lot of fights. My Brazilian in-laws also have their own accounts. On the contrary, almost all of my married American friends share bank accounts. Having separate accounts is just kind of a logistical formality and it doesn’t mean that the couple doesn’t support each other financially or that one spouse wouldn’t help the other if there was a problem.

    So there are a lot of good sides to these things that you mention (like the fact that some American men are more willing to help around the house– that’s a bad thing?!).

    I just worry that your readers will get too generalized of an idea. But I think it’s cool that you put it up and can generate interesting discussions.

    Also, your English is perfect, don’t worry!

    Comment by danielle | November 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Danielle, it doesn’t apply to every case, but these observations come from the various Brazilian-American couples I know. Actually, couples where the man is Brazilian and the woman is American are rarer. In that case, I think many of these rules don’t apply. As for having separate money, that is fine as long as the couple has the same goals and don’t use money as a power tool. I have heard of cases where one will not help the other financially. And cases where there are constant reminders of “I paid for this, I paid for that”. Remember my post with the story of the guy whose wife had just had a baby and was feeling cold? She then raised the heat in their house, only to hear him complain that he was the one paying for the gas bill? Nasty…

      I look forward to more input from you about the combo Brazilian man-American woman. Thanks for writing.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | November 17, 2010 | Reply

    • I have been married to an American man for 19 years.
      My answer to you is yes American man helping around the house is not viewed as a good thing by Brazilians.
      Maids do the work around the house…I hate to sound so elitist but that is how we view it. A help here and there is very nice but the ” help” American women want and need around the house is daily and a lot.
      Brazilian women don’t find it sexy while American women is turned on by a man helping with cooking, cleaning, kids, laundry and so on.

      Comment by Sage | October 4, 2011 | Reply

  3. I understand your generalizing. There are many of my friends who generalize what my Brazilian wife must be like. (It must be so cool to be married to a hot Brazilian, etc).

    And while yes, she is incredible, the truth is, she could not be lumped unto the “Brazilian Wife” category anymore than I could be lumped into the “Gringo Husband” one.

    I could toss out general stereotypes of the Brazilian men I know; how they are controlling and impulsive, and jealous while flirting with women (married or otherwise) as a sort of sport. There are examples of course, but painting a broad picture wouldn’t be fair.

    People are people. I actually thought the advice you were going to give to Brazilian women dating American men would deal more with making sure they get past the whole exotic foreign girlfriend thing. I know my wife gets tired of it. Maybe add how to bridge the sometimes uncomfortable culture gap with family (his and hers).

    I love your blog, but this was a little disappointing.

    -Pete

    Comment by Pete Dwyer | November 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Answer to your first suggestion: the way a Latin woman can break the stereotype of “hot, slightly crazy & emotional Latina” is by behaving in a professional way in a business setting, dressing appropriately for different occasions, being cultured and well read, have good manners & try to assimilate some American traditions. It also helps to have American friends. Some Brazilian women tend to surround themselves only with other Brazilian women, thus not really learning the mindset of typical Americans. Once you behave in a way that garners respect, no one will remember the hot latina stereotype. I know a Brazilian female researcher at a University who is the antithesis of that stereotype. As for dealing with your spouses’ family, that’s something that can be challenging, but really is related to the kind of upbringing or ethnicity of the family. Everyone’s heard about Jewish mothers…Share your experience please Pete. Thanks for writing!

      Comment by Brasilmagic | November 26, 2010 | Reply

      • Emotional? Really? I hadn’t noticed (LOL!)

        Thanks for the reply! I know that my relationship with my wife is different from the relationships with our other mixed-marriage friends. Everyone is different. That’s the point.

        She, by the way, points out that the different perspective of time, as in being on time, is the biggest cultural rub that our relationship feels. I will actually tell her we need to be there an hour before we do in order to keep the stress low for both of us. This is, of course, unnecessary whe we are attending a Brazilian function since time is fuzzy with those events anyway. (*chuckle*)

        Everyone does fine with the family thing. Her’s is more touchy, but both sides have met in the middle.

        I also took exception to #5, but I’ll just say that things are just fine I think you are just talking about people from Ohio ;-)

        -Pete

        Comment by Pete Dwyer | November 26, 2010

      • One more thing…… wife giving more input after I made the post. She suggests listing the ADVANTAGES to marrying an American guy versus a Brazilian instead of the challenges. She lists; actually helping around the house, not flirting with all her friends, and treating her as an actual equal. She may just be saying this to be nice to me, but I pass it along anyways ;-)

        Comment by Pete Dwyer | November 26, 2010

  4. Hi,

    As a few others said, I think it’s tough to generalize, though you do make some good general points, but perhaps I say generalizations are tough because I don’t consider myself as a ‘typical’ guy. Also, while I can safely say I’ve never been with a guy, lol, I doubt all American men are bad/not adventurous in bed and all Brazilian men are good in bed. I’d like to point out my own observation with gringo/brasileira couplings in the US. They don’t work (now that’s a generalization!). Let’s put it this way, I’ve never seen it work if the gringo wasn’t into Brazilian culture and/or didn’t learn Portuguese…and I’ve been witness to 15+ couples like this.

    I’ve got a few views on Braziilian women and dating. I’ll leave the links below.

    http://eyesonbrazil.com/2010/02/23/beijo-se-da-nao-se-pede%E2%80%9D-observations/

    http://eyesonbrazil.com/2009/09/13/nightclub-differences-what-you-should-know/

    Comment by Adam | December 6, 2010 | Reply

  5. Where is the article about American women dating Brazilian men?

    I am one of those. We are newly committed so I would love to hear the view on this one..haha

    Thankfully, he is not your typical Brazilian carioca. I am lucky for that. So tell me..what am I in for? LOL

    Comment by Shay | December 8, 2010 | Reply

    • This is an interesting blog!!!!!! Many true things about differeces in culture. It is hard to generalize but I can tell you I know 20+ couples here in California (NOT IN OHIO), none of them work out except two and that is with the woman is Brazilian and the American man is really nice guy who worship her because he could never get a woman like this is US!!!! I do not know if they experiment in bed hahaha. The other “cases” the guys all married for papers to stay in the US and not for love so of course they were cheating and when they finish their time they are out!!!!!!
      These are good signs a Brazilian man will NOT CHEAT on you:
      1. you are better looking then he is and he wants to show you off to all his friends (espeially if he is Carioca!)
      2. you are better looking then all his ex girlfriends, you have to be better or more exotic then what he can get in Brazil!!!! Brazilian women are very feminine and sweet, looks are also very important in Brazil
      3. his family loves you!!!! sometimes Brazilian mothers and sisters act like guys’ wife and he takes their side you should ask why!!!!!!
      4. he doesn’t need a Green Card stay in the US all these men I know married like this are very unhappy they have a girlfriend and go to be with her the girl is always Brazilian or from Europe never American!!!!!
      5. if you get married he wants the wedding in Brazil
      6. he is crazy in love with you remember a kiss does not lie!!!!!! Brazilian men are very clingy and jealous and passionate when we are in love this is true. I am like this with my second wife who is Czech I follow her to the restroom she is best looking woman I ever had!!!! my first wife was American I was with her for less then a year she hated my family and I hated my life with her so I was always working. With my wife now I am blessed by God I can’t stop kissing we have been together seven years. my mother came to visit from Brazil for six months and stayed in our apartment and my wife was so happy to spend time with her! No American women would tolerate this. My wife will never have to worry I will leave her because she is MINHA VIDA!!!

      Comment by fernandinho (carioca) | December 27, 2010 | Reply

  6. Hey Grace, I think you should write this blog in Portuguese too…so I can share it with my Brasilian female friends on Facebook..:)

    Comment by Andrao Williamosa | January 8, 2011 | Reply

  7. If you hadn’t told me English wasn’t your native language, I never would have known. It is better than that of at least half the college students I teach!

    Comment by Serginho | January 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Thank you Serginho. Eu sou brasileira! I try my best to write without mistakes, but it’s never the same as being native. On many of my posts I didn’t even use spellcheck. I don’t mind if my American readers correct some of the stuff. My daughters who have perfect English sometimes correct my accent :)

      Comment by Brasilmagic | January 17, 2011 | Reply

  8. My daughter plans to marry a Brazil man and move to Brazil. I think if thats were they start they will never move back to Minnesota. They think he will have better work opportunities there. I am very sad about this and jealous because I will not know my grand kids when they have them.

    Comment by yolanda Nelson | February 1, 2011 | Reply

    • Yolanda, I totally sympathize with you. I live in fear my daughters will live in a place that is too far for me to see them with frequence. Family is so important! I left my parents hometown when I was 23 and I think I paid a price. I hope you at least can spend extended periods of time there. With this constant coming and goings between countries in the world, there are so many kids living far away. And a lot more cases of international parental child abduction too, which is very sad.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | February 1, 2011 | Reply

  9. America promotes fixing things yourself and I have to admit I got used to doing it too much. HomeDepot commercials anyone? Once you get into that mindset it is hard to get out of it if you don’t hear alternative ideas.

    Comment by ed | February 23, 2011 | Reply

  10. I know an American woman who is divorced from a Brazlian doctor who will not pay child support his kids. She lives in the US now.

    Comment by ed | February 23, 2011 | Reply

  11. wow, i thought you said americans were more racist? white men aren’t as adventurous in bed? really?

    Comment by idioso | June 13, 2011 | Reply

  12. Its like you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I believe that you just can do with a few p.c. to power the message home a bit, however other than that, that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

    Comment by oasis dating site review | September 29, 2011 | Reply

  13. I was wondering about cultural differences between Brazilian men and American women. I’ve been dating a Brazilian. We’re both college-aged. He tends to tell me every time another woman flirts with him or if he spends time with other women. Sometimes I suspect he does it on purpose to make me jealous, and other times, I suspect he is just an open person and doesn’t realize that it rubs me the wrong way. Also, he is not very good at immediately planning follow-up dates. In the U.S., I feel like the social norm is to ask a woman on another date at the end of a date, which expresses continued interest. But we part ways, and he just kind of eventually “gets around” to asking me at some point during the next week. I realize this could just be a sign of lack of interest, but he tells me he really likes me, thinks I’m beautiful, and he wants to keep dating. I’ve come to the point where I’m realizing that these little things that sometimes upset me may be cultural differences and not personality “flaws.” So am I right in thinking this might indicate a difference in cultural values? And is it acceptable to discuss cultural differences or expectations in a casual dating setting? We’ve been good friends for two years, but we’re only casually dating at this point, so I thought it might be forward or presumptuous of me to talk about it so soon. In any case, your blogs are very insightful. Would you consider writing a blog about social norms in Brazil or something about Brazilian men? I learned a lot from the posts you already have, so thank you!

    Comment by E.H. | October 16, 2011 | Reply

  14. Ok, As an American man, some of the principal tennants you put down here are indeed correct, But the motive is a little off…. But In good taste, I’ll try to help out :-)

    1. Yes we are a culture that values independence. “Do it yourself” is second nature to us. We actually like some of these things because we were raised to “take care of your family when you have your own”, and knowing how to do these things (like fix cars and houses) is an attractive quality for a man to have in our culture because it shows that he can give the girl peace of mind in some day-to-day tasks. (We really like to be “the rock” of the family).

    2. Yeah we don’t ever totally grow up. I still play video games :-D. BUT, we hang out with our friends into our late years because it is a widely held belief in our country that you MUST spend some time away from your spouse, girlfriend, or the romance and the spark will fade. Which, in a way, can be true. I for one prefer the company of my partner, and only like to “hang with the boys” on special occasions. I let my gf know ahead of time so she can plan girls-night-out…. which will also happen well into your late years… and why not? You have to have friends too!

    3. Yep no style. Totally agree. Help Us! (If you get a man to change his clothes/style for you, he’s interested in you.)

    4. We are just as affectionate, and love truly, but we don’t show it as much… too much PDA is rude in our culture. (Hand holding hugging and some kissing is ok, just not heavy stuff).

    Also, American Men are REQUIRED to be “tough”. Not “Macho”, but “tough”- Don’t cry, be strong and stand proud. Be sure of yourself and be confident But CHIVALROUS. – again, this goes back to #1 where we are expected to be the rock of the family.

    We don’t all get lazy. If I have a beautiful girl, I make sure I Stay good-looking, or someone could come sweep her away from me… remember, divorce rates are high in our country, so marriage is not the end all for a relationship… if your man starts getting thick around the middle, point it out, like: “Awww my pudgey little man!” He’ll think your are being cute, but not making fun of him, and in the back of his mind, he will think… crap, I’m getting fat.

    I agree, express how you feel always… or you will get frustrated.

    5. Yep the bedroom thing is true… but secretly, we really want to be adventurous, we just need to feel comfortable. Besides, for good sex you need good communication- so tell us.

    6. Yeah, um. Till you get a divorce in America, you can’t really judge there. First: The man often Loses his home or has to sell it to pay for legal fees. Second, the man often has to pay money to his ex-wife for the rest of his life for doing nothing (alimony). Lastly, he also only can see his children on certain days or when the mother says it is ok (that’s called visitation laws).

    And yes, Brazillian Men get resentful after divorce just like women and everyone else in the world. I’ve seen it first hand. Please be fair.

    Yes. We see women as complete equals on paper, but we still want to feel like “a man”.

    7. Yep. We value independence, and again, divorce rates are high. So when a woman and man get divorced, and share an account- guess who gets that money? Often ALL or Most of it? The woman. Which, if she needs to move or anything that’s fine, but for us, we treat each other as equals… you are as capable of working and providing as I am, so why is it that you get the money I earned for Us?…. shouldn’t it be 50/50?

    9. Yeah we’re not as family orientated (again, independent)… but then again we also move out in our early 20′s, and can then have a career, a home, and support a family sooner. because of it. We also typically are having sex before marriage (I wouldn’t think of marriage without having sex first, what if we aren’t compatible?), so we don’t want to do that much in our parents home- that is part of it, the other part again, is independence.

    5.

    4.

    Comment by J | January 15, 2012 | Reply

    • I see you repeat some urban legends such as that women get so much money out of divorce. I don’t know where you’ve seen that (Hollywood)? Women always have a big reduction in lifestyle when they divorce. Life alimony? Don’t see that anymore (maybe for women who sacrificed their career for a man/family, who ate older and who’ve been married forever). Fathers don’t see their kids? Most couples have joint custody nowadays. Assets are not divided 50/50? Yes they are. And sometimes the wife gets nothing in short marriages. Women work as hard or harder than men nowadays. Some women pay alimony. The picture you paint Of a lazy woman “taking all of a guy’s money” is non-existent in real life. 50/50 is what happens to assets, but marriage is a partnership. One helps the other.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | January 16, 2012 | Reply

  15. hey J you were right on your discription, I think the good qualities of American men outweights the negative, I am Braziliam and havE had a Few American BF. I think they are very considerate and loving.

    I.S

    Comment by IS | February 16, 2012 | Reply

  16. As an asian woman, (filipino) reading this article make me think that Brazilian share the same values as a filipino. 2 – 6 applies to my American BF. I kept getting mad of him going out with his buddies. At the back of my mind I was thinking ok he just wanted to have his own life, and maybe he’s sort of bored( we are in a long distance relationship). And he’s got this hobby which is playing computer/online games, which sometimes irritates me because it’s stealing time away from me(this happens once a week, so I try to understand it). I am not sure if I am being too strict to him or not, but now that I have read this article, it makes me understand how americans are, I couldn’t generalize all, but it maybe because of culture too. There are also some americans, that I know of, who are romantic. After all, this is not about race, but it’s because we’re all human beings :)

    Comment by marina | April 4, 2012 | Reply

    • Marina, don’t filipinos have some Spanish blood on them? Latin women seem to be more jealous from my superficial everyday life observation, but I think you are totally right. It is not about race (since Brazilians also come from different races), but about individual personality and perhaps a cultural aspect. The cultural element in Brazil is that for centuries women have had the short end of the stick, and were always dependant on men. If a man is your meal ticket and your chance of surviving, you don’t want other women to take that away, right?

      Comment by Brasilmagic | April 4, 2012 | Reply

      • yes we do have spanish blood( I actually have japanese blood too), and i admit we are also jealous :). This is also true in some filipino women, they depend on men. Some women, like me, are ashamed to do that, so we do our best to have a good job to depend only on ourselves. i agree that it is too selfish that a woman will make a man her meal ticket. i feel sorry for those people

        Comment by marina | April 4, 2012

  17. Well the thing about not being adventurous in sexual matters can cause alot of problems indeed!Why might you ask?Brazilian women love and crave sex and it takes a semi- quasi sex machine to please one etc.Most american men are not up to bat in being sex machines period!I personally for the life of me can never understand gringo(american men)and brazilian women couples being together at all!Especially if it’s a german man/brazilian woman couple shit…I ask myself how did that happen???Folks let’s be realistic about one thing….These realtionships just do not work out at all and if they do marry they will end up divorced within five years guranteed!!!

    Comment by Savy Gringo | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  18. No all women are the same you know? Some women are cold but some are hot. That’s right. I don’t think every woman is the same as men. Brazilian women are the most stunning women on this planet. There are no ugly Brazilian women, you know? I mean, Brazilian women are tall and in excellent shape. What else do you need from a girl? Brazilian ladies are just so lovely and appealing. There are many Brazilian women seeking men oversea these days, which is normal.

    Comment by Anny Lam | December 1, 2013 | Reply


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