Welcome to "The Romance Zone"
Where thousands of single Latin women eagerly await you.
Most are only a short 3 - 4 hour plane ride away.
Trouble at Home ?
You can pick up almost any magazine
that carries ads for international introduction services and you will
find quite a few advertisements for companies specializing in various
Asian countries, Eastern Europe, Russia, the Caribbean, and Latin
America. Why the demand?
I've talked with hundreds of men who
were clients of my own company, or some whom I simply met on the street
in Latin America, or who participated in T.L.C. tours, and the now
predictable answer to my question about why they prefer Latin women
is that they simply cannot tolerate the American woman's behavior
and attitude anymore, and that they don't have these problems with
Latinas. I believe that there is a lot of truth to this, but I also
suspect that it is a simple answer to a much more complex issue.
Lets deal with that particular issue
for a moment. There really have been some major shake-ups in American
family structure and sex role behavior during the last 30 years. The
stable family of the 1950's largely became a relic of the past as
American women entered the job market and found that they could be
economically independent and responsible for themselves and not have
to depend on a man to take care of those things. The wide-spread women's
liberation movement of the 1980's demanded a change in men's behavior
at home, at work, in the street, and everywhere else that men and
women had contact with each other. Men had to step back, take a deep
collective breath, and try to figure out what to do next.
Different men have dealt with the situation
in different ways. Most have adapted a great deal, and many are, in
fact, finding that not having to consistently play the traditional
male role a bit of a relief. I wonder, though, if perhaps the baby
wasn't accidentally dumped along with the bath water as the women's
liberation movement changed the patterns of relationships between
the sexes. Those men who have been willing to discuss with me the
issue of American women, beyond a superficial level, generally express
a kind of sadness that comes from missing something important in life;
as if the hopes they had nourished earlier for intimacy, sharing,
and building a future with someone they could depend upon, had been
dashed with no chance of recovery.
About the Men
A Woman's Day article published in 1984
reported the results of a sociological study conducted with some 250
men who had utilized an Asian introduction service to attempt to locate
a wife. The average age was 37, the majority had at least two years
of college, they had been married at least once, most were white,
and 63% earned over $20,000 (1983 dollars) per year. It would have
been simple enough to have kept my own records, because quite a lot
of this information was provided on my application forms. But I didn't,
and I no longer have the forms. The above describes fairly well the
clients I did have, however, and I think also fairly closely fits
the general profile of T.L.C. clients that participate in tours. I
would estimate, however, that the average age is a bit higher, probably
closer to 40-45. Clients have ranged from their early twenties to
mid-sixties, and most are successful in locating mates if they make
the effort to do so.
Aside from the fact that men who are
looking for a Latin American wife feel pretty empty inside when they
contemplate life with an American woman, what are the other motivations?
* A YOUNGER PRETTIER WOMAN
Bruce and I have sat around and discussed this issue many times, and
it has also been a topic of discussion with a number of clients. The
truth is that Latin American women are frequently willing to marry
a man 10 to 30 years older than she is. And, other than in Latin America
or Asia, where can a man marry a beautiful lady that many years younger
than he? The immediate temptation is to suggest that a young woman
is looking to an older man for financial security (please see next
section), but there really is a lot more to it than that. Maturity
is highly respected in Latin America, and a woman realizes that she
can have a more stable marriage with a mature man. Most of my applications
from the ladies stressed their desire for a stable and mature man.
[Do not assume that I am recommending
a wide age spread. I am not. You will, as you read further, discover
that I recommend common sense].
*MARRIAGE STABILITY The
United States has an extraordinarily high divorce rate: approximately
50% of all marriages end in divorce (higher in some areas and lower
in others). It's not only expensive, but it is bad for the morale.
I do not know what the divorce rate in Latin America is as a whole,
but it's a lot less than that, and not only because of the strength
of the Catholic Church. Marriages between Latin American women and
North American men have the low divorce rate of only about 12%. That's
a major improvement. Latin American women are reared to see marriage
as a permanent thing, and they will go to great lengths to see that
the bonds remain strong. Interestingly enough, by the time an introduction
service's clients get to them, the men are ready for a stable marriage,
too. They have either been through a divorce or two or have enough
mature insight to know that a growing and lasting marriage is the
only kind of marriage worth having.
*MARITAL FIDELITY Over
the years I have read a number of surveys published by both women's
and men's magazines showing the percentages of married women who have
had affairs during their marriage. These include Woman's Day, Cosmopolitan,
Playboy, and a number of others. The percentages of infidelity among
American Women ranged from about 35% to about 60%, with the readers
of the more racy magazines having a higher rate of infidelity. Several
years ago I read a survey, done by a government agency, and published
in a national Costa Rican newspaper. The survey reported infidelity
rates between lovers, married people, by ages, etc., but the analysis
comparable to those published by the American magazines showed a marital
infidelity rate of 14%. And Costa Rica, incidentally, is reputed to
have the most flexible moral standards regarding sexual behavior,
in all of Latin America. Latin American women sincerely believe in
*TRADITIONAL ROLE BEHAVIOR
Quite a few American men have had problems because their wives have
chosen to work outside the home. I think that it's not generally because
they want a submissive and dependent wife, but that when two married
people pursue two separate careers a number of conflicts can arise,
including the ever-present specter of infidelity. Most of the women
that you will be meeting through an introduction service are middle-class
girls and will, in all probability be employed because of the necessity
of earning an income. Some will be professionals who have spent a
number of years preparing for their careers. In general, though, the
absolutely most important goal for a Latin American woman is to have
a husband, family, and her own home. I have yet to receive an application
that didn't express this ultimate desire. She wants to be a wife and
all that is implied by the term, provided that she is treated well.
If she is already involved in a professional career and wants to continue
it, it will probably be considered less important than her role in
About the Women
Most are middle-class girls, most are
in their 20's and 30's, most have never been married, and most do
not have children. Those who have gone to the trouble of having a
photograph made (and they are expensive in Latin America), filling
out an application form and mailing it in, are specifically interested
in meeting a North American man. Some very few are looking only for
a pen pal or friendship, but the vast majority want a husband. Why
do they want a foreign husband?
*A MORE RELIABLE HUSBAND
A common theme running through applications from the girls is that
American men are considered to make better husbands, and that they
are sick and tired of Latin American Don Juans who don't know the
Spanish word for responsibility. The problems usually revolve around
drinking and infidelity. Unfortunately, heavy weekend drinking is
a favorite male pastime in Latin America, especially within the lower
class, but also common in the middle class. The complaint is that
money spent in bars could be better spent if used for the family.
Sexual infidelity has long been part of the Latin American male's
culture, who frequently have mistresses (middle and upper classes)
or who visit prostitutes (lower class). Although women accepted it
in the past, they never liked it, and the more modern Latin American
woman simply won't put up with it.
*ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL GAIN
It would amount to ignoring reality if I were to say that most didn't
hope to improve their situation in life. Every Latin American country
is third world, and no matter how hard someone works, it is very difficult
to earn enough money to make any real gains. But is there anything
wrong with wanting to make some net gains in life? Don't you yourself
do whatever you can to improve your situation in life? Doesn't an
American woman also hope to marry well? Why, then, should it be any
different with a Latin American woman? The truth is that there is
an economic component, but I do not believe that it is as important
as other considerations.
*MORE SEXUAL EQUALITY
As they are in Spain, Latin American women have always been second
class citizens and they still are...both at home and on the job (although
this is gradually changing). Latin American women don't want to be
like American women, but they are aware that American men will treat
them more as equals, and they do most definitely want their basic
humanity to be recognized. Married Latin American women are frequently
confined to the home, allowed out only for shopping or to visit her
relatives. Physical abuse is common. The modern Latin American woman
is tired of it. She wants to be respected, and she believes that the
American man will respect her.
Examining the above, it doesn't require
a genius to recognize that American men generally represent what the
women are looking for and vice-versa. This isn't to say that every
Latina will be good for every American man, but the needs are there
on both sides, and there seems to be an adequate supply on both sides.
I hope to see more and more of you getting together. - James N. McLeod