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The Harsh Realities: Men’s Dating Experiences in Medellin (Part 2 of 4)

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In the last part, I covered some of the talking points that came directly from the Paisa people I interviewed. After I posted the article there was a bit of backlash from men, I want to address this before I go into talking about a few of the stories of the men who reached out to me. 

First, there is a huge difference between dating for sex/fun and dating to find a relationship. If you are looking for sex and fun, there is plenty of information about this on the internet about how you can do this in Medellin, I’m talking directly to those looking for a relationship here. If you date someone who is outside the half your age plus seven for sex/fun, that’s perfectly ok, AS LONG AS THEY ARE OVER 18, however if you are looking to date seriously, you know that is not going to work. Be honest with yourself here. The second was what makes me an expert? Nothing. I interviewed high value Paisas, both men and women who are dating someone from another country and that was what they said. 

It’s a Man’s World…

James Brown sang the iconic line, “It’s a Man’s World!”, and in many facets of life James was right. But something tells me James never tried to date in Medellin. In this article I want to highlight the stories of 3 men, who asked to remain anonymous, and I have changed their names. They represent 3 distinct types of men that are in the dating scene here in Medellin. 

The one constant with all of them is that they all have said one thing – getting first dates is relatively easy, however getting to a second and third date is incrementally more difficult, the more dates you go on. Two of the men who I am about to tell you about date women, one dates men, but they have such similar experiences that it leads me to believe that the cultural divide is bigger than the gender divide. 

Erick

Erick is a day trader and crypto trader. He’s in his 30s and from a major metropolitan area in the US. His first trip to Medellin was in 2019. He came here for his friend’s bachelor party, and fell in love with the city, and with a beautiful Paisa woman. When he went home, he dreamt of coming back and making Medellin his home, even if only for a while. He stayed in touch with the beautiful Paisa woman he fell for while here, and when he shared his dream with her, she liked the idea of them creating a home here. Erick thought this was a perfect time to have her find an apartment and he would apply for a visa to stay long term in Medellin. She found an apartment in a beautiful building and then her task was to buy appliances and other things for the apartment and he would wire her money for it. To him it was a small amount of money, roughly $1000-1500 monthly. 

However COVID had different ideas. So, Erick dedicated himself to working and made a substantial nest egg for this life he wanted and started to plan for the post-COVID border opening. Once he was approved for the Digital Nomad Visa, he planned his trip to be with his woman in Medellin. He sold pretty much everything he had, except the essentials, and shipped it to Colombia. He got on his flight expecting to see her at the airport as they had discussed, but she was not at Rionegro to pick him up. He went to message her on Whatsapp and there was the dreaded one check. She had blocked him. After sending roughly $22,000 USD to this woman, she blocked him. This perplexed him and he scrambled to rent an Airbnb, since he had no place to stay. When he got to the AirBnb, he frantically tried to contact her and anyone who may have known her. He found that he was blocked on all social media, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.

Erick was devastated, scared, angry and most of all embarrassed. He contacted the Police, who told him that there is no evidence that this is a fraud case, and advised him to wait for her to contact him. He hired a private investigator to find her, but there was no luck. He pointed out that the photos she was sharing to him were of model homes she must have been touring and taking pictures of to appease him and continue the scam. 

After this, he decided to lay low and live out his time here, and enjoy the life he wanted to have here. He dated casually, but the moment that a woman would ask him for money, he ended it. They all tried to shame him to try and get money or lavish gifts, but the more they tried to get him to pay for rent, or an iPhone or even a motorcycle, the more it brought him into his trauma, and his mind went into fight or flight mode and he pushed them away.

When the time came to renew his visa, he almost packed up and went home, but he wanted to give Medellin 3 months to redeem itself, and it has in the best way possible. He met his now fiance at a language exchange, they went out for coffee after and the rest is history. They have been together for almost 2 years and she is now pregnant. His visa is coming up for renewal soon and he is happily going to renew it this time. 

What is different between the two women in this example? The first woman was using Erick’s love of Medellin to lead him into a financial catfish situation. She identified his passion for Medellin and used that against him for her financial gain. His fiance has a professional career, never made things easy for him in pursuit of her, and never asked him for money. When he recounted the first woman, he was enamored with her physical beauty and it showed in the language he used to describe her. When talking about his fiance, it was a deeper love he spoke of, it was mostly about the connection they have and how well they fit into each other’s lives. 

Barry

Barry is a man in his 60s from Texas who had a financial windfall early in life thanks to a company that is no longer in business for manipulating energy prices and cooking the books to hide it. He made a fortune there and grew it thanks to shrewd business decisions. While Barry made more money his marriage crumbled, ending in his wife divorcing him and splitting custody of their children. In 2011, Barry started working closely with an oil company here in Colombia, and eventually came to see their operation. His contact at the oil company told him that he was going to take him to Medellin because it was a great city to party in. All Barry knew of Medellin was its sordid past and the psychopath that caused the city to be known for drugs and violence. 

He came and was floored by how beautiful it was here. Even at that time it was metropolitan enough, but also still had a bit more of a small town charm to make him love the city.. The man who brought Barry here wanted him to enjoy his time, and took him to a strip club. What this man failed to mention was that Medellin strip clubs are thinly veiled brothels. They went with the rest of their coworkers to the strip club and made sure Barry picked a woman of his liking and off they went to the back. 

In his heart he knew she was a prepago, but none of that mattered at the moment. He felt alive and like he was a 19 year old again. He covertly got the number of the girl and she came to visit him in their hotel for the rest of the trip. He even flew her to Barranquilla where he was working so that they could continue their entanglement. When the trip ended, they went their separate ways, but Barry couldn’t stop thinking about how he felt while in Medellin. He associated Medellin with feeling young, virile and most importantly desired once again. 

Over the next 10 years, Barry made quarterly trips to Medellin, finding any excuse to come here. He would go to different strip clubs, find a woman he was attracted to and while there he would get what is called the “Girlfriend Experience”, where he would pay the girl to stay with him for his entire trip and when he went home, that would be the end of their time together. Every trip he would repeat this process, but he noticed that the trips started becoming more and more frequent. In 2021 after the country reopened, he came 9 times in one year. He opted for early retirement and started the process of moving here. 

When he got here he felt like a young man, he started going out every other day. He started to feel so comfortable, he elected to stop visiting prepagos and date regular girls. He started looking on dating sites and set his age filters from 18-24 and started swiping. After being here for one month on his retirement visa, he went out on a Tinder date with a young woman calling herself “Teffy” who was a gorgeous 22 year old. She had many obvious operations, but Barry ignored every red flag. When I asked him why he didn’t see what was coming, he said that horny men are dreamers. He wanted to believe the delusion that this 22 year old wanted him for a night with no strings attached. He was sadly proven very wrong. 

They went out for dinner, drinks and dancing. They had a great night together, and she played the role of a happy date well. She kissed him, made him feel good, and then made it seem like she wanted to have sex with him. He got a hotel and off they went. Barry mitigated his risk by carrying a burner phone, and only having a low limit credit card. He carried his expired Texas drivers license, and that’s all. No keys to his apartment, or anything else. As you may have guessed, she drugged and robbed him. She was not happy with what he had with him and tried to get him to go to his apartment to further clean him out, but he could not remember where he lived. Noticing this the taxi driver threatened to drive them to the police station and she quickly left the situation. The taxi driver took him to the hospital, where he woke up hours later. 

This should have been a wakeup call, but it wasn’t. Barry was drugged one more time and almost a third time, at which point he knew he could not live here. He constantly told his neighbors and friends he was looking for a good girlfriend, but the truth is that he was enjoying the ego boost that the sex with these younger women provided to him. The moment that he said he knew he was on the wrong path was when one of his neighbors saw Barry with one of the girls he claimed to be ‘dating’ and the next time the neighbor ran into Barry, she had said that he should introduce her to his daughter next time. This comment made him feel like a scumbag and he knew it was time to leave. He left Medellin shortly after and has moved to another country where he claims to be looking to settle down and find a good girlfriend.

Kevin

Kevin’s story is a bit different than the other 2, but the foundation is the same. Kevin is a gay man from California in his 20s, and ended up here for work. He works in the tech industry and his company has a presence here and in Bogota. He visited Bogota and the climate as well as the LGBT community here in Medellin suited him better, so his choice of where to live during his assignment here was simple. 

When Kevin got here he expected to escape some of the racism and homophobia he had experienced in life, but didn’t feel in Colombia. The culture embraced him and he felt more comfortable being openly gay here in Medellin than he ever had, even in a liberal state like California. He said he never felt the undercurrent of racism he had felt either, so he felt like he may have found his place in this world. 

Shortly into his time, he started to go to the party spots to let loose after a long day of work. While out he gravitated towards the gay discos, and while he has a fairly strong grasp on Spanish, he speaks with an accent, and this made him the Belle of the ball. This fed his ego and he kept going back over and over. It became an addiction to him. Working all day, partying until the bars closed, then home to have sex with whoever he wanted. 

Two things happened after, his work started to suffer from his long nights and he was starting to get bored of the party scene. In addition to flirting with men in the bars, he also started flirting with Colombia’s favorite party drug, 2CB – aka Tussi. His epiphany moment was when he invited several friends over for a party to his apartment, and thought perhaps a few grams of tussi will be the best social lubricant. One of his friends from the clubs gave him the number of a “reliable” drug dealer who delivers. He arranged to meet Kevin on the corner a block away from his apartment, which is where Kevin was waiting. A moto pulled up and robbed him of his cash at gunpoint. Within a minute the drug dealer pulled up and was irate that he didn’t have the money to pay him. He demanded that he take Kevin to an ATM to withdraw the 300.000cop that he was due. Scared and confused, he complied, but that was the moment he decided that the party life here was too dangerous. 

He cut off partying cold turkey. No more discotecas, no more drugs, no more drinking and most importantly, no more sex with random men. His resolve on the first three stood strong, but he could not shake the desire for sex. The longer he went without sex the more he wanted it. He was getting to the point where he was about to give in and go to the bars just to scratch the itch, but he held off because even though he desired sex, he wanted the connection to another person just as much if not more. 

He decided that it was time to start looking for a potential mate. Since he had heard about all of the issues with Tinder, Grindr felt like it was the best option for him. He found several matches close and started going out on dates. He felt like this was the more responsible option, and even connected with several men. He wanted to go about choosing the right partner, so he had sex with all three and ended up choosing the one that was the overall best. He remained friends with all of them, and things seemed well on their way to a peaceful ending.

This seems like the fairy tale ending, right? It was not. The other three men started somehow finding themselves in unfortunate situations, their moto was stolen, mom is in the hospital, they lost their jobs, etc. Since Kevin is a good person and the amounts they were asking for him to loan them was so small, he acquiesced. But the demands kept coming. It got to the point where it caused friction in Kevin’s relationship and ended up destroying their relationship. Kevin was hiding that he sent money to the other men. Kevin to this day said it is unfair because it was his money, but also said that it was a boundary his ex set that he crossed. 

Must Be The Money

What Kevin’s ex-boyfriend knew is that the men he met were using him. They didn’t see him as a friend but as an ATM. However with this ATM, you insert sob stories to extract cash. All three of these stories have one thing in common, the people they were “dating” did not respect them. There were massive red flags in all of these stories, but they overlooked them, and all three paid for it, and not only in money. 

I interviewed 16 men for this article, and these three were the best cross section of men to present to you. All of the stories I heard from these men have the common theme of being seen as a cash cow. Some are more direct than others, but if you date in these unrealistic scenarios, this is bound to happen. If you are 45 and want to go out with an 18 year old, you will be more prone to be Barry than you are to having a lasting relationship. I interviewed several men who continue to be used by their partners here, but are happy with their situation. 

How Do We Search For Love Safely?

There is one universal force at play here; there is a loneliness epidemic with men in the world, specifically in the US, Canada and Europe. When men feel isolated and lonely, they tend to become less social, which ironically leads to them being more isolated. Dating apps make the world smaller, and YouTube/Instagram/Tik Tok show the party life of somewhere like Medellin, and these lonely men are told that there are thousands of sexy singles but in another country, they see the light at the end of the tunnel. Grab their passports, book a flight and head off to Medellin. 

The image I see here is like a farmer tricking a hungry pig to his slaughter with the promise of a delicious meal. These lonely men arrive at the airport and see beautiful women everywhere. It boosts their confidence and they head down into Medellin like that pig about to get slaughtered. These guys think that they are going to be the kings, and they might even feel like that until the manipulation starts. The bad thing I noticed was that the manipulation doesn’t end with their exit flight home. Many, many men are still paying a woman in the hopes of keeping the dream alive, but they’re just throwing their money into a bottomless pit.

Is this me saying all hope is lost? Not at all. I’m a romantic at heart, and genuinely believe that there is someone here for everyone. The thing is, that “Baddie” you came here to meet is probably not your girl, it’s just your turn, and can be an expensive one. I know people, especially lonely ones want to have that dream of the sexy partner, that validation from others, or to themselves that they scored the sexy person, even if for a night. 

If you are mentally prepared and looking for a relationship, look at the core values of a potential partner, instead of just what they look like. There is no BBL for a personality, and the more you try and force connection with the wrong person, the more likely you are to end up like our three examples today. 
Don’t fret ladies, your turn is next. I have heard from many incredible ladies on this one, both locals and extranjeras. If you have any questions or want to comment on this, please feel free to leave a comment below. You can also email me at [email protected] if you want to yell at me privately. 

6 Responses

  1. Very great article. Very heartbreaking too. Thank you for humanizing the men we so often look down upon as stupid for thinking that a girl young enough to be their granddaughter really loves them for them.

    My husband’s and my story, I feel, is very unique. I was the foreigner that fell in love with Medellin. Tried dating here with no luck. Until I finally met my husband, who was visiting a friend here and I volunteered to give him some tips on Medellin (I refused to date tourists). 5 years later, he left US, moved here (2020), we got married (2023) and now are expecting our first child (2024). We both believe it was a complete miracle that we have found each other in a country strange for us both, yet we are making our home here for the next couple of years.

    1. This makes me feel like there is hope for everyone.

      I will admit that it’s been difficult to interview the guys in this. I would like to talk to you about the ‘happily ever after” stories, I will be ending the mini-series with something positive.

  2. I also have a happily ever after story that would love to share. I met my husband in the US while visiting to study English, we dated long distance for 2.5 years until he moved to Medellin for a few months. After that, we moved to Chicago, got married in 2021, had a big wedding in Medellin in 2023, bought our first property there the same year and last month welcomed our first baby.
    Maybe it’s far from the context of the party life and craziness some people find in my city but since I was born and raised there, I want to share hope about a beautiful foreign relationship for those with a love interest or even dating long distance.

    1. I’m so happy to hear this story. There have been many good stories I’ve heard like yours and I will be covering these in the final chapter of this 4 part series. We want to highlight the other things in this beautiful city other than partying and the craziness. Congrats on the baby as well! I hope you’re sleeping well.

      – Steve

  3. Great job!
    Maybe in the USA it is normal, but in Medellín, girls date men of similar age when they want a serious relationship. When they date men older more than 10 years, it’s for money. Obviously there are exceptions, but as a Paisa woman, I know, it is our culture and education, so if you are 60 years old, don’t expect a 22-year-old girl to love you. If you are 60, maybe a woman 48 or older will be your best option.

    1. Hi Sofia,

      It’s not terribly normal in the US either. Just like here, does it happen? Sure. However, just like here, in the US the young women who date older men tend to do so for financial gain. It’s more obvious here because of the economic disparity that exists. This is why I was clear in the first part of the series, that if you are an older man and expect a woman who is 22 to love you, it is incredibly likely that she loves what you can provide her. If it’s fun you’re after, if it’s wanting to feel young again, there you go, but this is a bad idea to have a LTR with a person who you are double the age of. I stated that there is a rule of thumb that as a man you shouldn’t date anyone half your age plus seven years, because the generational gap is too large. Many guys got upset about this one, but it’s an accurate thing.

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