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The role of the family in dating

The role of the family in dating

How a relationship might typically progress in Spain is really down to the individuals involved. That said, there are certain cultural factors that come into play and these can seem rather contradictory. For instance, even though a couple might form a relationship at lightning speed, this doesn’t necessarily mean it will progress to the next level anytime soon; in terms of living together or tying the knot.

Getting intimate

Despite being a Catholic country, the Spanish are not shy about matters of sexuality and will likely make their intentions clear from the start. Just like they are comfortable showing their affection in public, they are not timid when it comes to discussing when to get intimate; this goes for men and women. If you come from a more conservative country, this might take a little getting used to. But on the flip side, it could feel quite liberating. Because the Spanish have a ‘live and let live’ attitude towards sexuality, they are particularly progressive in their attitudes towards LGBT rights.

Meeting the family

Given that Spanish men and women are very upfront and vocal when it comes to their feelings and intentions, it might not be long before they are ily. If they really like someone, they will waste no time when it comes to romance. And given that most men live at home well into their 30s, you can expect to meet your partner’s parents fairly early.

Living together and getting married

In urban areas of Spain, couples often live together for years before getting married, while some choose not to marry at all. In fact, figures from online portal Statista show that the marriage rate in Spain has been slowly to just 163,000 in 2018. Furthermore, Spain’s age at first marriage is one of the highest in Europe, with a national average of 38 years for men and 35 years for women.

Interestingly, e-sex couples either. In fact, since same-sex , the number of marriages has remained significantly lower than that of opposite-sex couples; there were approximately 4,600 nuptials in 2018.

Spain is a very family-oriented society and people tend to rely heavily on their relatives for support throughout their entire lives. This was the case during the financial crisis in 2008 when many people lost their jobs and had to move back in with their parents after years of independent living.

Today, many people still live with their parents until they meet a long-term partner and move into their own place. When people do eventually move out of their family home, they generally choose to live in close proximity to their parents and siblings and meet up regularly. Therefore, as the partner of a Spanish man or woman, you can expect to spend a significant amount of time with your in-laws.

Raising children in Spain

When it comes to parenting, the Spanish take a very laid-back approach. Children are encouraged to be sociable and fit in with their parents’ social lives; which is great news if you are an outgoing expat. As a result of this, they rarely have set bedtimes and are usually allowed to stay up late past when they are out with their parents and family friends. They are also encouraged to play with other children while their parents mingle.

Gender roles in the family home

Despite men and women being on an equal playing field when it comes to dating, Spain remains fairly old-fashioned in terms of gender roles. This is particularly true in more rural areas where men are considered the primary income earners; while women are responsible for raising children and taking care of the home.

June 2, 2022

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