Greeting and Kissing in Spanish Speaking Countries

Are you heading to Spain in the summer or do you want to travel Latin America this year? Have you ever been wondering if they have different rules for greeting and kissing? Be warned, the interaction between men and women is very different than in most other countries in the world! But don’t worry, with these guidelines you will be prepared for every situation.

In general, physical contact is much more common in Spanish cultures than for example in the Northern countries of Europe or in the United States. People have an open, warm and flirtatious way of conversing.

Spaniards generally stand at a much closer physical distance when they talk to each other than foreigners are used to. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything but if the Spanish culture is completely new to you, you might be confused in the beginning and find it a bit difficult to read the signs of the opposite sex.

In Latin America and Spain men and woman greet each other with “besitos” meaning they briefly touch the cheeks and make a kissing sound with their lips. It doesn’t matter if they are good friends or if they are meeting for the first time, the cheek kissing is a universal form of greeting. These little kisses are purely friendly and have no sexual meaning. In the Spanish culture they are considered more as a formality then an attempt to flirt. Wherever you will go make sure to kiss the right cheek first, as this will help you to not hurting someone accidentally.

Generally both men and women enjoy each other’s company and flirting is a natural way of communicating with each other. This attitude has to be considered as a part of Spanish nature and you can see it within every age group. A couple kissing in public is quite often seen in Spain but less common in some parts of Latin America where you can still find traditional catholic customs. If you want to know more about flirting in Spain you should have a look at some typical phrases that are pretty easy to learn.

When a pretty woman is passing by on the street, men will most likely compliment her or might even whistle at her. These flirtatious comments are called “piropos” and include usually a simple “guapa” (meaning beautiful) or “mi amor” (my love). The woman should not acknowledge the compliment and should try to keep a straight face in order not to encourage the men. These comments are harmless and happen a million times per day on pretty much every street corner in Spain or Latin America. Traditionally known for their macho behavior Spanish men simply express their admiration for women by acting that way.

If offensive flirting isn’t really your thing, we have a classic solution for you: as it is Feburary, the month of LOVE in Babylon, you can win a bouquet of flowers for the person of your choice when you win the competition on our Facebook Page!

Good luck!

Blogger: Marie


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  1. kiliam
    1204 days ago

    Maria!!! Guapa!!! Pichoncito!!! Palomita!!! Gatita!!! Si tus ojos fueran aceitunitas, toda la noche estaría muele que muele!

    Nice article ;)

  2. marie
    1204 days ago

    Thank you Kiliam! I don’t understand why you’re stressing yourself with Master studies of engineering. Become a poet! Success would be guaranteed :-)
    P.S.: So, you, as a Spaniard, would agree with everything in this article?

  3. Kiliam
    1204 days ago

    Yes, yes. In general that’s a good description of the matter. I’d add that cheek-kissing, can sometimes also be “flirtish”, but it’s not so obvious. It depends on the people, whether they consider themselfs to be single or in couple, the reading of the situation, etc… but that’s part of the social abilities of each one of us… : )

  4. jodie
    1204 days ago

    i dated a spanish man last night we been chatting for two month finally met up went for couple drinks chatted for few hours and went to pictures i was hoping for a passionate kiss but i got kisses on cheek instead he has asked to see me again but does he like me ? please help thanks

  5. marie
    1204 days ago

    Hi Jodie! That sounds like you had a nice date! When he asked to see you again he likes you for sure! If you were already chatting for two months until you finally met up it’s obvious that he’s a bit shy so I guess he just didn’t want to rush things. Let me know how your next date is going :) Good luck!!!

  6. sally
    1204 days ago

    what are common ways to greet in Spanish speaking countries?!?!?!?!?!? I NEED to know!!!!!!!

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