Dating in Mexico: What to Expect, Written by a Local

Dating in Mexico is slightly more traditional when compared to dating in the US, Canada, or elsewhere in the world. You might be interested in understanding what the Mexican dating scene is like if you are moving to Mexico or you spend any amount of time travelling through the country. 

While different cultures and traditions exist in Latin America, you might be surprised by just how similar dating here is to your own country – both in terms of the good and the bad. 

This article has been written by a British Travel Writer who has been living in Mexico for the last few years. (Me!) I also live here with my Mexican boyfriend who has helpfully shouted information across the living room to me for the completion of this article. 

We have found a lot of garbage information online about dating in Mexico and we wanted to share a more realistic view of what it is actually like here. 

Dating in Mexico 

When it comes to dating in Mexico, local people tend to meet people in one of three ways. They may reach out to someone they have already met – through mutual friends, at school, at work, or at a party (aka they slide into their DMs), they may meet someone organically and approach them at a bar or in a public place, or they might use dating apps. 

People in Mexico are often a lot friendlier than in a lot of other countries and striking up a conversation with a random stranger on a bus, at a street food market, etc is not considered strange. It is very common to make friends and acquaintances this way and I have gotten to know a lot of people here just by chatting to them when I eat in their cafes, etc. 

I would say that Mexicans are slightly more open to socialising and chatting with strangers than people in the US and Canada, and for me as a British person, it is completely different from what I am used to. (We Brits tend to be more reserved and awkward and it is absolutely not normal to just start chatting to a random person on the street). 

You will find a lot of people active on dating apps, both locals and other expats/travellers so you will have no shortage of people to swipe on there. My partner tells me that dating apps are mostly used by Mexicans who have moved from their hometown to work in another part of the country where they don’t know anyone or those in tourist areas (like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, etc) who are interested in meeting foreigners.  

Dating in Mexico: My Mexican partner and I
Dating in Mexico: My Mexican partner and I

Dating apps in Mexico 

Facebook Marketplace is arguably the most popular dating app in Mexico, although it is mostly used by locals rather than gringos. If you spend any amount of time here, you will note that people like to do everything via Facebook. 

If people are looking for a house to buy or rent, they often start their search on the Facebook Marketplace. The same goes if they are looking for a car or some furniture. 

While in a lot of countries, it is only really the older generations that still use Facebook, that definitely isnt the case in Mexico where it is still the preferred social media app over Instagram. If you want to meet local people who are serious about meeting someone, Facebook is a good place to start.

The good thing is that at least a person’s online dating profile is linked to their actual Facebook profile so there is less chance of them being a catfish. 

Tinder is also quite popular here, and like anywhere in the world, some people might be using it purely for hookups while others may be looking for something a little more serious. Badoo is another app that is often used in Mexico but the annoying thing is that anyone can message you on the app, even whether you match with them or not, and the app shows people that are in your area so you get a lot of weird messages and messages from people with no photos. 

Bumble isnt really used here. The only people you will really find on it are Americans and other Western tourists who think that they can use Bumble the same way in Mexico as they can at home.

After a few swipes, you have usually run out of matches completely. 

A lot of Mexicans are open to intercultural dating 

A lot of Mexicans are quite open to dating outside of their race and culture and getting to know a foreigner is interesting to them. (I guess what is different is often “exotic”, right?) 

I have found it refreshing that many Mexicans would consider seriously dating a foreigner and do not see them as a “fun experiment” which is what I have found in other countries I have lived in where I felt almost fetishised. (Namely when I lived in Greece and in South Korea). 

My Mexican partner’s parents had no issues with him being with a non-Mexican but of course, in every country, there may always be people from older generations that are not thrilled about their son/daughter being with an outsider. (However, it is not something that I have ever seen or experienced). 

Ultimately, you are in a relationship with your partner and not their family, so as long as they are happy with you and stand up for you, that’s all that matters. 

People often use old or outdated photos 

When dating in Mexico, you will often find that people on dating apps use photos that can be as much as 5-10 years old. This seems especially true of men who, perhaps don’t really take many selfies or photos of themselves. 

So often you see a person’s age and their photos just don’t seem to match up. 30-year-old men will look like children (okay slight exaggeration but you know what I mean!) because they are using photos of themselves from back when they were 19-20. 

In Mexico, I honestly don’t think this is people trying to trick you with inaccurate photos or to be a catfish, it’s just that they didn’t think to take more recent photos or don’t see what the issue is. But it’s worth keeping in mind if someone’s photos look grainy and old or weird because you might rock up to your date and find that the person looks completely different now. 

Some things are quite traditional 

Many things are quite traditional when it comes to dating in Mexico and although things are slowly changing, this is still a very patriarchal country. Men are typically expected to take the lead in the early stages and to reach out to the woman first, to invite her out, and to plan and pay for the dates. 

(So if you are male and you are looking to date a Mexican woman, you need to take the initiative. If she seems like she isnt making a lot of effort, she is probably waiting for you to make a move).

Mexican men are expected to pay for everything on dates and for a woman to pay half or offer to pay for the date in full would be considered emasculating by many. This is very different for me as someone who comes from a European culture where men and women “go Dutch” on dates and split the bills in half. 

At the very least, it is still polite for women to offer to help out with the bill or to pick one up from time to time. Even if the guy rejects it, the offer is still appreciated. 

When I first met my partner, he refused to let me pay for anything whatsoever, and I felt bad because he always wanted to take me to really fancy places. Now we have been together for two years and we have shifted a bit, as an intercultural couple. 

As the higher earner in my relationship, I often pick up the bill or we split things in a way that is fair to us. For example, we might take a trip to visit Queretaro and I pay for the accommodation and he pays for the food. 

People tend to move faster when organising dates 

In the US, Canada and the UK, you might be chatting with someone on a dating app for weeks on end before you finally find the time to plan a date together. In Mexico, that doesn’t happen. 

If you match with someone at lunchtime, they might ask you what you are doing that evening or the following day. In many ways, this is nice, as it means you can see straight off the bat whether you have a connection in real life or not and if you dont, you haven’t wasted your time.

People’s upbringings shape their views and expectations 

People often have closed-minded and stereotypical views about dating in Mexico and there are a lot of assumptions that sexism and machismo are big issues, or that people believe strongly in traditional gender roles. Even a quick Google search about Mexican dating culture will bring up nonsense that suggests that all men exude toxic masculinity and that women are expected to stay at home in the kitchen or look after children.

The reality is that everyone is an individual, regardless of their country or culture. Their views on gender roles, relationship expectations, etc are often shaped by their upbringing and their surroundings. (Nature versus nurture and all that). 

If someone has been to university, travelled a lot, and visited countries outside of Mexico, they are more likely to have more liberal and open-minded views than someone who has grown up in a really rural area and seen their parents follow traditional gender roles. It is a good idea to broach different topics of conversation early on to see what kind of views a person has in terms of gender roles, etc so that you can make sure that you are compatible. 

Things are slowly changing in Mexico and the ever-increasing costs of living here means that households often need two incomes.

Women in Mexico are also being increasingly empowered to follow their own dreams and ambitions. In my relationship, my partner does all of the cooking and most of the domestic chores and I work constantly.

We are the complete opposite of Mexican cultural stereotypes and I have never felt that I had to behave a certain way here as a woman, that I was not respected or taken seriously, or that I felt that expectations were placed on me because of my gender. 

English is not that widely spoken 

Things will be a lot easier for you in Mexico if you can speak at least some Spanish or you are open to learning it. Obviously becoming conversational or fluent in any language takes time but it is definitely easier when you are exposed to the language every day and forced to learn a little as nobody speaks English. 

(I say that as someone who is terrible with languages and could not speak a word of Spanish when I arrived here two years ago but can now speak it fairly fluently!) Outside of tourist areas like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Tulum, etc, you will find far fewer English speakers. 

Sometimes you might find that people who speak to you in English are actually using Google Translate and when you meet them in person, they cannot speak a word! When my partner and I first met, we could barely communicate with each other so we used Google Translate on our date and it was honestly quite cute. 

Some people are open to dating in this way whereas others find it a little strange to have to talk with the use of an app. Regardless, it is helpful to always have it downloaded on your phone. 

Where do Mexicans go on dates? 

Planning early dates with Mexicans is really not that different from planning dates anywhere else. People often like to go for dinner or for drinks, to go to the movies or to the beach, etc. 

Casual dating is less common here 

While there are definitely people of all genders just looking for hookups and fun in Mexico, it is less common than in the West. Here, apps like Tinder are seen as a way to make friends and meet new people and not solely as a hookup app. 

It is less normal to try and reach out to a stranger and see if they want to “Netflix and chill” for example. 

The difference in people’s economic situations can be shocking  

I think that a lot of people who come to Mexico and look to date locals are sometimes oblivious and unaware of what the differences in people’s economic situations can be between Mexico and the US/Canada and elsewhere. There are definitely people who don’t have hot water, or who live in very modest accommodations and have leaks, or constant problems with their water and electricity. 

Many live in very small spaces with their multiple kids from a former partner, or in parts of town that are somewhat rough around the edges. I am not telling you this in a judgemental or snooty way. 

I can acknowledge that to find this “different” is coming from a place of privilege. However, it is worth mentioning because a lot of people come here and just assume that everyone lives the same way as they do and that they have the same views as people back at home and well, that is far from the truth. 

Many people in Mexico live below the poverty line and there are people without qualifications that are getting by on 5,000-8,000 pesos a month. I have met people working super long hours in tourism roles like tour guiding, boat tours, etc, that make around 14,000 pesos a month. 

Dating in Mexico is inclusive for everyone 

I think that a lot of us are aware of how Mexican and Latina women have been fetishised by white men and the Western media for years but at the very least, there does not appear to be a creepy, seedy scene of Western men seeking out a Mexican girlfriend here as is the case in other Latin countries.

For example, in Colombia, many Western men head to places like Medellin specifically to try and find a Colombian girlfriend and many people on dating apps are not interested in meeting Western women or women from other countries because they fetishise Colombianas and speak negatively about women from their own country. 

(Obviously, you are attracted to who you are attracted to, it just becomes a problem when someone is objectified as is definitely the case in some parts of Latin America). 

This is not so much of an issue in Mexico and whatever your age, gender, etc, you will likely find interesting people to date. 

FAQs about Dating in Mexico

Do you have any further questions about dating in Mexico? The answers to some FAQs are detailed below. 

Hopefully, you will find the details you are looking for there. If not, please do not hesitate to reach out to me! 

What is the dating culture in Mexico?

The dating culture in Mexico is much more traditional than in the US, Canada, the UK and many other countries around the globe. Men are expected to be chivalrous gentlemen and to open car doors for women, pull out their chairs, plan the dates, and pick up the checks. 

Like in many other countries, the early stages of dating in Mexico are very much about getting to know each other and seeing if you click. After a certain number of dates or weeks together, it is usually assumed that you are seeing each other. 

(Mexicans will often assume this automatically and would be upset and offended if they discovered you were also seeing other people, which is somewhat different in the US or the UK for example, where you are expected to have a talk about exclusivity. 

How do Mexicans express their love?

Mexicans are often big on public displays of affection and on hugging, kissing and holding hands in public. Like people everywhere, Mexican people will often try to show their partners how much they care by cooking for them, buying them a gift, or planning a nice day together. 

Do Mexicans use dating apps?

Yes, there are a lot of Mexican dating sites and apps that are popular here. Facebook dating, Tinder, Badoo and Mexican Cupid are all often used. 

How to find singles in Mexico?

You can easily find single people in Mexico at bars and clubs, or at events that are organised for foreigners and locals (e.g. bars and cantinas often host weekly salsa nights or chess competitions). You can of course, also find potential matches on dating platforms like Tinder and Facebook dating. 

Final thoughts on dating in Mexico

While Mexican culture may be a lot different from what you are used to, dating here can be a fun and interesting experience that allows you to learn more about Mexico and meet some interesting people along the way. Many people on online dating sites here have serious intentions and are seeking a long-term relationship, which is good news if you are too.

Like dating anywhere, you should keep an open mind, not pay attention to negative Mexican stereotypes, and treat everyone as an individual. I have been in a stable relationship with my Mexican partner for several years now and despite coming from opposite ends of the world, we make it work very well and it has been one of the healthiest and most fulfilling relationships I have ever had.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you need something. Safe travels and enjoy Mexico! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer based in Merida, Mexico and the Editor-in-Chief of Mexico Travel Secrets. She has over seven years worth of experience in working in travel media and has travelled to 57 countries, mostly solo. Throughout her career, Melissa has produced written content for several high-profile publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, the Huffington Post, Rough Guides, and Matador Network.

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