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These 20 Pieces of Dating Advice from my Latina Mother Shaped My Love Life

Navigating the dating world is tough on your own. Thank the Lord for our Latina moms that shower us with (mostly) sound advice. The trick to this advice is following it without becoming a mojigato. I  remember my mom singing the praises of Bibaporu whenever we felt ill as kids. Now, when my boyfriend is sick I take care of him with this magical formula. Maybe my mom was on to something. Here are some other tidbits of advice I’ve received over the years from my beloved mama.

Leave the Pursuing to Him

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It is true that women are equal to men. However, there’s something honorable in the old-fashioned nature of a man asking you out. As much as you may like him, don’t ask him out. Cojetocon take it easy. Show your interest in subtle ways and let him handle the rest. This could set the tone for the entire relationship.

Embrace Your Sexuality, but Maintain Your Modesty

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Ask anyone to describe Latina women and the most common word you may hear is “sexy”. My mom taught me that every Latina women has a fiery vixen(her words, not mine) inside of them. The secret of embracing this power lies in reigning the beast. You should strive to catch a man’s attention without letting it all hang out. Show him a hint of skin without ruining the impression that he can take you home to mom.

Always Wear High Heels

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High heels will forever be a Latina’s best friend. My mom practically taught me to walk as a toddler in heels. In her opinion, they are the finishing touch on the perfect date night outfit.  My mom also told me to never date a man who ended up shorter than me while wearing my heels–or, at the very least, never date a man who has a PROBLEM with being shorter than me in my heels.

Highlight Your Coqueta Side–but Don’t Go Overboard

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Men love a woman with confidence. However, there is a fine line between confident and cocky. My mom taught me to never hold myself above others. We are all equals. With this in mind, you should know your strengths and play them to your advantage. Show off your assets(but never your ass).

Give Your Fierce Love Only to Those that Deserve It

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I learned from my mom that part of being Latina is loving deeply with a burning passion. There’s no doubt this keeps things interesting, but it’s important to slow down these instincts in the beginning stages of a relationship. You don’t want to drive them away, or worse–allow them to take advantage of your love. It is something that should be cherished and given away only when you determine the person is worth it. How do you determine this? By judging what their actions tell you.

Contain Your Crazy

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Along with a Latina’s fiery, passionate love, comes a trait some may refer to as… crazy(Hey, there is such a thing as a good kind of crazy!). Every Latina has a slightly loco side. The trick is to contain it in order to nail a great first impression. If you let it out too soon, your man may end up running for the hills.

Wear Makeup, But Not Too Much

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Makeup is a first date essential, but it’s important to not go overboard. Sure, you want him to see your bombshell self, but my momma taught me to think about the first morning spent together (“After the wedding, right nina?” she’d say). The last thing you want your man to be is shocked by your au natural face. A little correction and enhancement here and there never hurt, but make sure you’re recognizable.

Brush Up On Your Salsa Skills

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This advice could apply to both men and women. Dancing is such an important part of courtship for Latinos. Practice your skills regularly to avoid embarrassment and impress your date.  In my experience it is a fantastic way to bond with your partner and get back in touch with your Spanish roots. Time to hit up that salsa club!

Practice Your Cooking Skills

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My mom taught me everything she knows in the kitchen(once I was an adult and could appreciate it). Even though I believe cooking is in my blood, I had to practice regularly to enhance my skill set. What better motivation to practice than the opportunity to eat delicious food? My mom taught me to never be the type of woman who just serves confle for a meal(THE HORROR). There’s no better music to a Latina’s ears than hearing her man say, “Estay full.”

Always Keep a Clean House

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My mother remains infamous in my mind as the only person I know who hates candles. In her opinion, the singular way to make a home smell good is to keep it clean. Cooking and cleaning go hand in hand in proving you are “wife” material. Plus, keeping your house tidy relieves any stress of unannounced boyfriend or family visits.

Impress His Family

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It’s commonly known when you date a Latino, you are dating his family. Don’t shy away from them and do your best to make a good first impression when you are introduced. Smile often and be genuine. If you happen to get a stamp of approval from his mom, well, the rest of the relationship will be smooth sailing.

Show Off Your Partner

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Your boyfriend may see your fiery, passionate side, but does the rest of the world? While I’m not advising for a public make-out session at every opportunity, it’s important the world sees how lucky you are. Show your boyfriend you are proud to be with him.

Embrace Your Faith

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Having common religious goals is important in any long term relationship. It provides an important foundation to build values on. The religion talk is not one to have on the first date, but it is important to discuss before things turn serious.

Speak Your Mind…

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There are few and far between Latinas that have trouble expressing how they feel. Don’t shy away from your feelings. The right partner especially will honor them and do everything to make you happy.

…But Don’t Be Afraid to Compromise.

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It is one of the most important parts of any relationship. Be careful to control your stubborn attitude and bend on any minor disagreements that won’t matter in the long run. Your relationship will strengthen from these tests.

Balance Your Relationship and Your Friends

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My mom always stressed the importance of never dumping friends for a guy. During the initial phase, of course, you and your man are going to be slightly obsessed with each other and wanting to spend every waking moment together, but resist the urge. You may need your friends later on(of course, you will need them anyway where you get married or not–

Growing up, I also heard some advice from my mom to my brothers about dating.

Don’t Let Your Machismo Take Over

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Sure, it’s important for men to protect their loved ones–but never to the point it becomes degrading. My mom used to say, “Be sure you are thinking with the head that is ON YOUR SHOULDERS.”

Take Care of Your Car

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A Latino’s car is the chariot for his dates, and he will forever be judged by the look of it. Keep it clean and working well so it doesn’t give you a bad name.

Treat Her Like a Princesa 

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Don’t be afraid to show your girl how you truly feel about her. Any woman loves to be spoiled, whether it be through gifts, attention, or acts of service. Don’t ever let her stop feeling appreciated.

Finally, the last piece of advice is one I think we should all hold dear:

Be Proud of Your Heritage

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Embrace your Latina side and never let anyone dull your pride. They are eternally lucky to be dating you!

This Is How Latinos Pronounce Names In English

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This Is How Latinos Pronounce Names In English

There are many situations where older generation Latinos that live in the US mispronounce words. This YouTube video about Abuela Pronounces GRINGO Names showcases some of the common names that Latinos find hard to pronounce like Alex, Alistair, Alison, Aidan, Catherine, Scott, Jonathan, Jenny, Sean, Dorothy, Savanna, Clifford, Ruth, Faith, Jenna, Cameron, Wendy, Bruce, Stephanie, Jack, Jessica, Janet, and Michael.

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English is indeed a difficult language to pronounce of it is not your native language. There are concepts of English pronunciation that are challenging for some native Spanish language speakers.

“Y” Instead of “J”

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In Spanish, the sound for the English letter s “j” and “y” are allophones, which means it is easy for them to be substituted for each other. As a result, it may be hard for Spanish-talkers to know how to differentiate between those particular sounds. Most individuals who talk in Spanish tend to pronounce “j” as “y” or vice versa. “Jonathan” may be pronounced as “Yonathan”, “Jenna” may be pronounced as “Yenna”, etc.

Omission of “t” and “k”

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The word “breakfast” is simple to pronounce for native English speakers, but for those who speak Spanish most of the time, it is a struggle. Spanish speakers will usually leave out the “k” and the “t” as those two are connected to another constant. In the end they say “brefas”. As for English names like “Janet” in Abuela Pronounces GRINGO Names video, the word may be mispronounced as “Yanet”

Failure to Pronounce the “th” Sound

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At times, pronouncing words that have the “th” sound may be difficult for native Spanish speakers. From a fun point of view, it is really hilarious uttering “teet” instead of “teeth”, “Rut” in place of “Ruth” or “Fait” for “Faith”. Speaking English is harder than it seems, actually any foreign language takes time to master.

Lengthening Vowel Sounds

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People who speak Spanish usually make short vowel sounds tense or long, and thus they confuse word like “ship” with “sheep”, by replacing the relaxed “i” with a long “e”. Examples of English names that are also fit in this category are “Jessica” and “Aidan”. “Jessica may be mispronounced as “Yesseeca”.

“Uh” Instead of the Long “o”

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In English, letter “o” is a diphthong /oʊ/. To pronounce it rightly, the “o” should be long, within the speaker’s lips closing downwards while saying the sound. However, non-native speakers may substitute the long “o” with “uh”. Therefore, a name like “Dorothy” might come out as “Duhruhty” or “Jonathan” as “Juhnathan”.

Problem with Final Consonant Clusters

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Spanish-speakers may find themselves adding some syllables to the final consonant clusters in English. Like saying “fiss” in place of “fifths”, or “Aless” in place of “Alex”. Try saying those words out loud and see how it sounds. Quite humorous, isn’t it?

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The Spanish language features 5 pure vowels and five diphthongs. Here, the length of the vowel is not important in differentiating between phrases. On the other hand, English has twelve pure vowels and eight diphthongs. The vowel sound length is significant. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Spanish native language speakers may find it really hard to pronounce some English vowel sounds.

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