After being rejected by three Chilean men in a very short space of time I decided it was time to arm myself with a bottle of wine and find out why.
Upon arrival in Chile, one of the first things you’ll notice is the sheer quantity of people who are coupled-up. Everyone is pololeando, and they always seem keen to express their love for each other loudly and enthusiastically. So, I figured I’d join their ranks and get in on the fun too. However, this is something easier said than done when everyone already has a girlfriend. And unfortunately, whenever I did find a suitable guy, it always went horribly wrong.
For example, at a party recently I met a charming young man. He was friendly, well-educated, good-looking and single! Praise be! We talked for a while and he educated me on the folklore of Chile. I could have sworn there was flirting (he was telling me about the trauco- is that flirting?) We exchanged numbers and then... Nada. I waited four days before texting him, inviting him for coffee. No reply.
I was left pretty confused, but I struggled on in my quest for a genuine Chilean pololo. The next guy I met was a magician. He wowed me with a pretty darn impressive repertoire of tricks, which included lit cigarettes.
Like the last guy, he also seemed keen and was especially happy to hear I didn’t live with a family in Chile. We exchanged numbers and then he proceeded to message me on Facebook for around two weeks before it fizzled out completely.
My final Chilean was the most confusing. He was all over me the whole night, flirting with me, telling me how he wanted a casual relationship and making jokes about the necklace I was wearing (it’s a cornet, which means oral sex out here- who knew?). However, like the previous two, come crunch time he wussed out.
My Chilean friends told me I was too forward with him, but that doesn't help explain the behavior of the other two. For my own peace of mind I contacted them and asked them for interviews, under the pretext of “article research,” and I was pleasantly surprised.
It turned out the Cornet Guy didn’t go for it because he had previously had a thing with the girl I was living with, and he thought it would just be too complicated, which is fair enough.
After several goblets of wine, the magician admitted he didn’t go for me because he thought I was too conservative. Oh the irony! I proved him wrong later that evening.
The first guy, who I had written off as a posh git, told me that relationships out here aren’t as based on sex as relationships in Europe or the States, because people live with their parents until a much later age, or hell, sometimes until they get married.
Obviously Chileans do have sex, but their relationships are much more family-focused and that means that they often don’t know how to react when they are offered casual sex, because they just aren't expecting it.
And not only that, apparently my cuico friend went to Argentina immediately after meeting me, and so he didn’t get my text. The “interview” cleared the air and also made me realize I was right about him.
He is a nice guy, and now he is also my Chilean pololo. So I guess it all worked out in the end.
The moral of this story is that there was clearly not enough communication. I made the mistake of assuming that interaction with a Chilean would be the same as starting something up with someone from back home. But things are very different out here and before I started talking openly there were a lot of misunderstandings.
So, if you are struggling with Chilean men, don’t be put off if their behavior seems a bit erratic. It’s probably best to ask them straight out what the problem is. I admit it is harder to “conquer” Chile than other countries, but keep on plugging--it's well worth the effort.