In Latino Love the Family Comes With the Territory
So you’re dating a Latina and it seems to be getting serious. One thing you have to realize is that family is very important. But before you get scared and start thinking about having to buy strollers and staying up all night trying to stop a little one from crying, the family we’re referring to is hers. Her mom, her dad and her siblings. And her tias (aunts) and tios (uncles) and ninos (short for padrinos or godparents), abuelitos (grandparents), her cousins, etc. Please note that if you’re dating a first generation Latina, or one who moved here from another country, this family bond is serious stuff.
One thing to keep in mind, for example, is that while distant cousins may be a far fetched memory for you, for your new Latina love they are as important as your morning coffee. Expect to meet them at the weekend’s barbecue. You see, as part of the culture, the Latino people have a strong family bond. If you cross the border and head south, you’ll find offspring living at home well into adulthood. This is part of life in the Latino culture which is very different than in the U.S where offspring are sent packing on their eighteenth birthday. While living at home is seen as a bad thing in the U.S., in Latin America it’s perfectly normal and expected.
Grandparents are also important. Expect to meet them too. In many Latino families there is a grandparent or two living with the family. They’re usually revered and the younger family members always try to ensure their comfort. Respect for the elders is an unwritten law that is frowned upon if not followed.
But while this tight family stuff may seem so out of the norm for you, it actually makes for great bonding. If you can convince a cousin, or a grandparent that you’re a good guy, you’ll get a better shot at fitting in with the family, which by now, you have hopefully learned is an important step in the relationship. We’re not saying for you to try to convince or fool her kin into liking you. We’re just saying that you should be yourself, which hopefully is charming and personable. By behaving properly it’s a guarantee that family members will be whispering in your loved one’s ears how good of a catch you are if you pass their tests.
You should look forward to meeting your loved one’s family. Usually Latino family gatherings are fun anyway. Often they can be loud and they’re usually filled with lots of good food. Music and dancing are part of the gatherings as well. But these types of settings make it easier for everyone to put their guards down and allow people to really get to know each other. It’s also here when you’ll find out what your loved one was all about when she was a child because grandparents love embarrassing their grandchildren with cute stories of their childhood. So throw any nervousness you have away and enjoy the family ride.