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Cultural Differences

I’ve been a bit apprehensive about dating in Colombia after being in Berlin for the better part of two years. The cultures are very different and while I’m comfortable in both, the personal growth around consent, my sexuality, agency, autonomy, and relationships that I experienced in Europe made me worry about how I’d feel back in the “dating pool” in Medellin.

Past Messaging & Consent

After he left, I started to feel guilty. Did I lead him on? Did I do something that gave him the message to try harder? Why are women conditioned to worry about the ways we might cause men to ‘misbehave?’ My mom always told me things like ‘Don’t wear low-cut shirts or you’ll be tempting the boys.’ But she never talked to me about consent.

Now What?

Since then I’ve had full on discussions about consent with two men, and a full discussion about sexual health practices with another. At this point, I’m not even sure I’ll meet these particular men, but it felt good to find the words (both in my head and in my Spanish) to express my concerns. It felt even better that they listened, validated these concerns, and agreed that their understanding of consent was the same as mine.

Written by

World traveler, memoir writer, lover of all things relationship- especially non-traditional! Follow me on Twitter: @ELByrne1

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