Mexican men are raised not to feel, to be stoic, strong and reserved. To hide their feelings and emotions. Add to that what the media says about men and stereotyping of the male species. You find yourself at a real challenge if you want to break through the masculinity of Mexican men and have them confess or show true feelings.
When you read the fora, dating sites and advise website on dating Mexican men, you find plenty of stories of women struggling with her Mexican partner after the honeymoon phase has lifted and daily life sets in. And some even before that, because we women love and want to succeed in love we want to understand, so we search for answers that go beyond culture and character.
Not all Mexican men are happy with their Macho status
Mexican men and dating sites will try and convince you it’s true that men don’t show emotions and men in Mexico are macho as hell. Yet the truth is men here were handed a mask and told to be what they are not.
And although some like their role, others struggle to break free of the act they must play and they are punished with shame by fellow countrymen and society when the mask is loosed.
These men are hard to find, for they glued that mask to their skin. But they are findable and alive, longing for a different life under their masks. They feel misunderstood and yet, society rewards them for keeping up appearances and therefore they hold on to that unrecognisably twisted person they have become.
All men feel, even Mexican men it is just a matter of breaking through the walls
The truth is that Mexican feel, they feel a lot, this is a passionate country so how can they not feel? Yet they do not show it in relationships, for they are raised to believe that their role is different. They are raised to be the protectors, the providers and the pillars of strength. And Mexican women somehow through their upbringing, help to keep that masculinity alive.
Mexican men, more so than any other culture, feel bound by their feelings to act, to solve, to resolve. That is what marks them as different from women and gives them a feeling of control over women.
For most Mexican men feelings are problems which need to be overcome and to be solved.
That is the way they were raised. That is the way of their culture, the way they breathe and live by.
The hormonal cocktail they feel has to be controlled, sorted out and overcome. balancing it is not an option, because balancing is a way you might lose control and end up making emotional decisions, and those equal weakness. Even when they grow older and testosterone levels drop they feel like they need to take risks, to take initiative and to dominate for their strong cultural and social upbringing seems to be embedded in their genes.
Western Women dating Mexican Men
Than that Mexican man meets a foreign woman from a different culture. A culture where men and women are more equal, where men are more easily allowed to show their “feminine side” without being called a pussy. And all of a sudden that man is asked to show his feelings.
Because we women like romance, we like excitement, mystery and feeling special, not only when we are dating, but also after dating. And men act in a way they understand by buying, by taking action. Not showing feelings, but acting upon our needs for feelings. So we sit in the restaurant with our flowers and we try to feel special but we miss that look, that touch, those words whit which he opens his heart to us. He talks dirty to us tells us how much he desires us, but we miss that intimacy and think it is way too soon for sex since we want to get to know HIM.
Western women lose a Mexican man so easily in the dating process
And Mexican men are lost. They think we are not interested, for we do not coquet over his actions, we demand more. And we become difficult for them.
We want our men to focus solely on us, being there for us and placing us in the centre of his feelings, not only his attention.
Mexican women love the attention but Mexican men get confused when that same attention does not arouse us, non-Mexican women.
So the Western woman cries, pleads, nags even although she knows that is not wise, she talks and talks it dead. The Mexican man leaves, confused, totally lost in the demand and the cultural difference he gives up. Wow, western women are not easy!
Leave the drama, be wise, show some skills woman, you will be surprised
And so the Western women continues her search until she finds a man with cracks in his Machismo, cracks through which emotions seep into our world. And we have learned from the past experience, for that is what we Western women are thaught to do, we contemplate, find our learning curve and improve. (Well at least I do) So we adjust a little towards them, maybe we even call him Papi, getting over our daddy issues while we date. And we wait for the right moment to correct.
No drama, no drama this time, but a simple announcement before we resume the natural course, in the hope the words sink in and change will come.
For we know that some men might see our hurt, understand our need, especially those Mexican men that are willing to change and turn away from that extreme macho behaviour and upbringing. That man that has grown tired of being the provider and problem solver, only to receive a “no” in the bed.
And if you handle this well, instead of wanting to be strong, he turns on his ways. He becomes soft in his strongness. Not a softy!! God forbid! But he shows emotions, he shows when he is tired, not by shutting you out and demanding your service, but by communicating that he is tired and he needs to be alone for a while.
Or he tells you he misses you genuinely not in so many words but in a tone of voice, without sexual innuendo.
And he starts asking about your day, with real interest and not in search for the first opportunity to turn it into a sex talk.
And he gives you a hug, without trying to solve your problem with flowers and solutions that never work for women.
What Mexican men need to show emotions is trust
Mexican men are capable of showing feelings. But there must be trust. Trust that there will be no drama, that there will be no repercussions and no nagging. They need to trust they will not lose social standing with us Western women. And that we will not use their feelings against them like Mexican women tend to do often. They need to know that they can be vulnerable around you without you losing respect. That you will not see them as weak. But that you love them even deeper for whom they really are underneath all those inherited layers of Mexican upbringing.
And it is not the Mexican men that need strength, it is the Western women dating them. The strength to find the right man that will not be abusive, the strength that will be able to handle those feelings shown to us in trust. Strength to handle the conflict they will feel in the beginning between “what is normally accepted” or the “normal outcome of being weak” and the desire to become a fully balanced person.
If a Western woman does not have the strength to face the fears of a Mexican man, of his insecurities, of his pain and grieve he will keep them buried deep inside him. And you two will never get intimate in a way that a Western woman is accustomed to.
For when you ask your Mexican man to show his feelings when you ask him what he is feeling, you ask him to lose control. You aks him to let go of decades of cultural inheritance. You aks him to not be in control but to release control, and a Mexican man can not do that unless they can trust you to bring them back from that vulnerable place into his new normality.
Mexican men have many years of cultural upbringing under the belt to be a certain way, they cannot let that go simply because you want him to show his feelings. That takes time. That takes trust.
So you need to prove to him that you are stronger than he is. And you prove that by guiding him in the path where it is easy to open up.
I give you an example:
My (now ex)boyfriend does not tell me he had a bad day at work, he shuts me out. I see his struggle, he does not want to shut me out, for he loves me and he needs me, but he will not show me his weakness. For having a hard day at work, being tired, having to deal with conflict and maybe even insecurities and being stressed by that is not macho, to suffer in silence to regain yourself that is the best solution. To him. he leaves me behind in total confusion, wishing I had a glass sphere to read or the gift of mind-reading. And he hurts me by shutting me out.
Now, I can act upon that hurt, or I can be supportive and tell him to tell me what he needs when he is in a mood like that.
And tell him (since we are most of the time in a long-distance relationship) that is okay to say: I need some alone time, I cannot talk to you right now.
Him admitting that for me is half the battle won. if I tell him that in a non-judgmental way, and with the correct choice of words, I also tell him that I do not like what he does, that shutting me out is not acceptable for me. So, I address wishful behaviour and boundaries at the same time.
At first, this did not work too well, now little further in the relationship, it starts to work. After he shut me out, he makes sure we talk, and I get a chance to confirm again that without any drama it is okay for me to have some time alone, that he should not feel obliged to talk to me all the time, that it is okay to take a break, as long as I know why.
Bend like bamboo, be vulnerable around him, show him how it is done
This is the way to handle machismo behaviour. You do not change generations of upbringing by having a stiff foot, you change it by being strong, setting gentle boundaries, but boundaries nonetheless, and by showing compassion with patience.
Be vulnerable yourself to show him how it is done, be open, do not be afraid to be hurt. Break down your own defences so he knows how a defenceless heart looks like in a relationship. learn him to put up the defence again when he needs it, without being macho, but in a balanced way. And in the meanwhile: respect his upbringing and his culture. Never be judgemental. Respect the way he wishes to treat family and friends. For he has roots, respect his roots.
You bend, like bamboo bends. You are strong, you are wise and willful. You are able to adjust as much as it needs to open your Mexican macho up, without losing yourself in the process. If there is ever a moment you feel you are losing yourself, just walk away. Not one relationship is worth it to hurt yourself, so make sure you take good care and do not overlook your own needs.
Do you want to talk about your relationship with me?
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.