Dominican Dating

28 Sep

I recently tried my hand at dating in my campo (town). Mostly this stemmed from boredom and curiosity and the fact that everyone in my town asks me on a daily basis why I don’t have a boyfriend.

So… I’ve been scoping the dating scene in La Lima over the past couple of weeks to see what my options are. There are three:

  • Pimpo: My neighbor who has been in love with me since the day I moved in. Super shy but he builds me things (like a fence in my backyard).
  • Leo: The adopted son of one of the women in my Hogares Saludables He is a total tiguere (one of the cool kids) but super suave.
  • Elias: The older brother to one of the youths in Escojo Mi Vida. Still seems to be the cutest boy in town even though he rocks a mullet and he works at the casabe factory (free yucca bread, what??).

My “dating” went a little like this…

Day 1: I went to a local discoteca (club) to watch the youth in my Escojo Mi Vida group present dances and dramas that they choreographed. (They made me so proud dancing to Rankitanki.) To prove that I too know how to dance, I danced merengue and bachata all night with Pimpo, Leo and a few other boys.

Day 2: I woke up the next day with two new boyfriends—Pimpo and Leo. Both stopped by throughout the day to check in on me and then later on in the night, came over to hang out. Both sat in my den, in silence, out-waiting each other to see who could win me over before I kicked both of them out for night.

Day 3: I went to the colmado to buy food for the day and came back to a freshly weeded and fertilized garden and Pimpo asking if he could buy me anything from the pueblo (a “city”). Like clockwork, at 7pm Pimpo showed up with a box of cherry cordials in hand and I knew I had to break the news to him. I bluntly (but nicely) told him that we were never going to be anything more than friends and that he couldn’t visit me as often, especially at night. He said he understood and quickly left. At 7:30, Leo showed up to my house with a bag full of chocolate bars and I knew my second break up was in the works. I gave Leo a similar spiel about how he is a lot of fun but that it was never going to work out. He then got caught in a rainstorm and was awkwardly stuck at my house for the next hour.

Day 4: Early in the morning, my favorite doña Elcida came over with a big glass of freshly made papaya juice to chat with me and warn me about Leo. She claimed that he wasn’t good boyfriend material because he is from a city (still not sure how that is relevant) but I know that she was secretly hoping that her son, Pimpo, was still in the running. I then had to break the news to Elcida that I wasn’t interested in either one of them.

My Dominican relationships started and ended fairly quickly and I’m not sure I have the heart to try again. Like many Peace Corps volunteers, I crave affection and even though I haven’t given all of the boys in my campo a chance (remember option 3?), I wonder how realistic dating in the DR actually is. My standards in this country have significantly dropped. The things that I now find important in men are whether they have a job, no kids (sadly, not even a deal breaker), no wife and all of their teeth. But even if they meet all of these “criteria”, can you ever really move past the vast cultural differences or be ok dating someone who treats you well but with whom you will never have an intellectually stimulating conversation? Or even more importantly, trust that a boy likes you for you and isn’t just trying to mangar (get) a visa? Maybe other volunteers have better advice. Afterall, I only made it 48 hours in the dating world here. But on the bright side, I do still have a lot of chocolate…


One Response to “Dominican Dating”

  1. Lauren September 29, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    most hysterical dating experience.

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