Within a short time, it's easy to learn the ropes of many things about living in a foreign country: conversation, food choices, public transport, tipping... but one thing I'm STILL learning, 1.5 years later, is how to date. Although there's no shortage of people wanting to step in and meddle. When I solicit advice, it's appreciated, but I feel completely confused when others give unsolicited help.
"Who cares if a twenty-two year old hits on you? Just sleep with him for the sex!" YOU'RE NOT HELPING ME.
"I have a friend for you...you're okay with people over 50, right?" YOU'RE NOT HELPING ME.
"Next time you walk home with a guy, just say, 'Listen, let's go back to my house, and have a roll in the hay.' Women in Spain are more aggressive." YOU'RE NOT HELPING ME (although you're helping me sound like a whore).
Lots of people, mostly people I barely know (like my hairdresser) ask me almost every time, "Do you have a boyfriend yet?" Talk about pressure. I don't think any Olympic athlete would appreciate being asked, "Do you have a gold medal yet?" Or any musician, being asked, "Do you have a Grammy yet?"
I don't mind being asked for my opinions about the dating scene, because I have many. I have learned a lot, but feel like I have many more lessons to go. Trying to convey what I mean in Spanish, along with the nuances of body language, make every beer with a stranger feel like I'm taking a final exam in a Foreign Culture course. I better study hard to get that A.