Hello Wild Child, You who have wandered to Argentina for adventure, “to teach English,” and then to break up with your study abroad novio a week after you arrive when his girlfriend informs you he’s spoken for. The chamuyero.
That’s okay. Take a minute. Get some gelato delivered. Order the kilo size. Get a pedicure. Realize that pedicures here are weird and you do not care for it. Go to Rosebar. I’ll come with you. Meet a hot tourist, find out he’s crazy, run away from him. Never go to Rosebar again. Neither will I. Now that you’ve finished the seven Argentine steps of grieving, it’s time to get back on that horse.
Madonna has taught us that there’s no crying here in Argentina (mic drop!) so there’s only one thing to do, get your broken heart on Tinder and start swiping. Your friends want stories about people named Facundo and really, it would be unpatriotic to fail them. Are you a patriot? ARE YOU!?
It’s times like these when I wish you had Kate Middleton, Oprah, and Jesus Christ as your spirit guides. But you don’t so you’ll have to settle for us. The Bubble is here for you. Let us be your fairy godmother. Your fairy godmother of one night stands, Fernet, and boliches. No judgement. Feminism!
Part One: The Basics
First things first. Know the basics. Download Tinder. You swipe right for Jordan Catalano, swipe left for Brian Krakow. Please note, there is no going back on your swipes. You could accidentally swipe left for a diamond in the rough: he was tall, he was dark, he was handsome, he was playing with a puppy. Unless you are willing to pony up $4.99 per month and your pride for Tinder plus, you WILL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.
Part Two: After “It’s a match!”
You’re a girl so let’s assume that 95% of the time it’s a match! Yay! Now what? Time to converse like in olden days!
If you want to start the conversation:
Only do this if he is Ryan Gosling snuggling a flock of golden retrievers in which case you can say: “RYAN, surely you can part with one of those dogs. Also, I really liked your jacket in Drive. Your face I really like too.” Actually, one in three men on Tinder is snuggling a dog, cat or baby against his exposed abs, so the chances of this happening are not impossible. Also there is one in two chance that his name is Facu. #Science.
If he has messaged you:
Write him back girl! Crowd source to at least five of your best friends about which is the most hilarious. YOUR FATE DEPENDS ON IT.
Don’t be afraid if:
He tells you “Beautiful princesa, I want my children to have your eyes,” as an opening line. It’s normal, it’s a thing. And hey, who knows, you probably do have really nice eyes.
Don’t be afraid if:
He texts you over and over. Repeatedly. With no response.
It’s normal, it’s a thing. I’ve heard some girls explain it as “There is no rock bottom for porteño men”. But I wouldn’t, that would be rude….
Don’t be afraid if:
“Tenes Wapp?” is his second question. You might think, “Ummm excuse me sir do I know you?” But don’t be alarmed! It’s normal, it’s a thing. It’s the natural next step. You take your conversation to Whatsapp. That way, you can see when the check marks turn blue and know for certain that yes, he is ignoring you.
Part Three: The actual Conversation
The Language Barrier
You will say something super cute to him like “Yo vivo por tacos y cervezas, son las bombas jaja LOLOL” and he will be like “ummmmm, taco bombs? I’m not down with violence.” Nevertheless, Tinder is an excellent place to practice your casteshhano and lunfardo. It’s downright educational. That’s what I’m telling everyone and I will not waver from my story. I WILL NOT.
If your Spanish is a bit rusty play that up too. Own how bad your Español is. If bad grammar and a couple of well placed emojis don’t work out you can try the international language of love. Off to the telo you go!
Keep in mind that the Argentine conception of language fluency is quite different from most extranjeras’. This after all, is the land of Borges, the hometown of chamuyeros. In the States if you can’t play ball you can’t get the girl, in Colombia if you can’t dance you can’t get the girl, and in Argentina if you can’t talk you better believe there will be no girls. So… with that in mind, I have found that most Argentines can speak far better English than they believe or claim they can because for a boludo, fluency means being able to talk a girl into packing her suitcase for a romantic life on Jupiter with him. As impressive as this is, English sweet talk tends to pale in comparison to flirting in Spanish. So if you happen to be bilingual too, considered yourself warned.
Patience is very important. We are operating on Argentime. You could be talking about your dog for five days before he mentions the idea of meeting up in person. Remember, talking here is part of the game. So he’ll send you voice messages before you’ve even met him. It’ll pop up on your whatsapp, and you’ll be all, “The call is coming from inside the house!” But it is not. It’s just Facu, blowing up your phone with pictures of his evening gelato. You may want to shout “Facundo, my phone storage is limited, I am constantly deleting and re-downloading Tinder just to take a selfie, please keep your voice messages and gelato photos to yourself THANK YOU.” Resist the urge, maybe he’s your husband. Spoiler: He’s not your husband.
Be Patient Part II
And be prepared for a histérico conversation like this:
Him: We should hang out.
You: Okay, what did you wanna do?
Him: Can you do now? Right now?
Me: Ummmm no, tomorrow, any other time?
Him: Oh no I can’t, I have a soccer game/my friends are mean/I’ll be busy for the next seven weeks text me then!
You: *Throws phone across the room*
Once, someone said that he would text me when he was done taking a nap. Poor guy is so tired, he’s still sleeping. It’s been two weeks.
Eventually, at long last, he will ask. Miracles occur. You’ve done it! You have a date with a real place and a real time. You caught the golden snitch! Which leads us to….
Part Four: Getting Drinks
This is the same in Argentina as it is anywhere else. You meet up somewhere. Yay!
Well. If you are fresh off the boat, you may not know that being asked out on a date at 10pm isn’t a booty call, that’s when they eat here. So tranqui, yanqui.
Choosing a location
Go somewhere you know how to walk home from without checking GPS. Maybe a tall drink of water has asked you to go for a bike ride in San Isidro. Never do that. Never go alone for a bike ride in San Isidro. Yes, it’s beautiful and lovely and probably the worst that will happen to you is someone will make fun of your non-designer shoes—but still. Later on he will text you to ask if you want to have three-way but if you’re not into that maybe you would consider babysitting his nephew? Theoretically this could happen.
On the date
Being on a date here isn’t so different from being on a date in the rest of the world, we are all just people dude. That being said, I know that this is a 4th wave feminist world and we are all powerful amazon warriors but… this is Argentina. Women here tend to be beautiful bad bitches and I hear they aren’t really into blowing up the phone of a guy they’ve just met. I’m not certain though, I’m not a Facu. No one recommends playing games or pretending to be someone you are not, but when coming up with your own dating strategy know what the golden standard is and plan accordingly. Also let me know what the golden standard should someone figure that out.
I love Argentina, and that includes the men, despite everything I’ve said. I’ve fallen for hundreds of them. Underneath this sarcastic exterior is… another layer of sarcasm but then after that there is a heart that is easily swayed. Argentines are passionate and romantic. They will brush your hair from your eyes and call you linda, they will say that you are beautiful and that you are smart and you will think to yourself “I KNOW! FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE AGREES WITH ME.” The takeaway here is: be prepared to be swept off your feet.
Romance is off the charts here: your second date will probably be this scene.
And there you have it kiddos. Whether the date ends with you faking a phone call from a friend with an “emergency” or in the Wild West suite of a telo, you did it. You went on a date. Be proud of yourself. We are.
And if all else fails, friend zone him. You’ll have your very own Tinder-terrorizing partner in crime for life. Maybe he’ll be Colombian, maybe he’ll look like he stepped out of “Bring it On”, maybe all he will offer you in terms of being a good wingman is: “I dance like Justin Timberlake on Ambien”. Sorry ladies, but that Tinder bestie is taken so you’ll have to keep swiping for your own.
So above all else, choose your friend and romanctic dates wisely. Don’t settle for anything less than the way Leo DiCaprio gazes at that girl scout cookie. Because remember true love looks a little something like this: