The other side of this is that guys have to change too.

No more expecting your girlfriend to cook for you and clean up after you all the time.

You should be able to talk about something interesting, maybe a book you read recently or a great place you traveled, maybe something you saw on the news the day before. I understand there are cases in which you will not know. I know, you’re backpacking, you’re running around trying to see the sights. Hygiene is a big deal in Medellín so if you want to compete with the Colombian guys and other foreigners, shower at least once a day, twice if you had to do something that caused you to sweat throughout the day. Just don’t take it too far and overload the cologne like some paisa guys do. I’ve seen guys go out of their way to prove how much money they have, the way they take out a whole wad of it when they’re paying for something small, just because there are pretty girls around. A former mentor from my journalism days used to take things to the other extreme.

I was hoping I’d never have to write one of these, but due to the increase in nasty comments earlier this year on a famous (infamous?

) story published three years ago, I felt the need to write something that better sums up the whole of women in this growing city, not just one segment of the population.

Just because you’re a foreigner, doesn’t mean they all want to sleep with you. Basic small talk is the best way to go in the beginning. In some cases, this means you have to speak Spanish, and let’s face it, you should be learning the language if you’re living in Medellín, not just to talk to women.

Some guys will actually try lines like, “Q mamasita? Just talk to her like you’re trying to make a new friend. The quality women want to be able to have a conversation with you, a good one. In other words, don’t hit on women who are obviously taken. Maybe a jealous boyfriend won’t kill you, but acid attacks are on the rise here and that would be an unpleasant fate for trying to win the affections of someone in a relationship. “We’re figuring things out right now,” a polite way to say, “Have some respect and don’t interfere.” It could be a serious problem for you if you think you can do whatever you want just because you’re here for just a short time. Dressing comfortably means you’re comfortable with yourself. The casual outfit prevents you from coming off as someone who’s trying to show off as well, something you don’t want to do.

I’m simply going to tell you some of my experiences in nearly three years living here, as well as information I’ve gathered from friends, both Colombian and foreign, men and women, and then you can decide what you want to do with it. I’m not saying it can’t happen, I’m just saying it’s less likely. Now that I think about it, it’s not all that different here. Other people have had success with online dating sites.

If you are planning to meet a woman at a club, a salsa club is probably the best kind of venue. My favorite avenue is through mutual friends, a situation that makes me feel most comfortable.

Sometimes they bring friends to feel safe, sometimes because parents mandate it.

I know this can be annoying, just like paying for a woman’s taxi can seem ridiculous, but you have to decide what’s best for you. That a woman doesn’t bring a friend and pays for her own taxi.

You can usually tell when a woman is interested, either by the way they flirt with you or stare at you, or, in some cases, when they make the first move by telling you directly that they like you, sometimes with a kiss.

Other times, it’s harder to tell, which leads me to…

Not saying either is a deal breaker, but in most cases I’ll move on, and the next section will elaborate. The days of guys always paying for everything are coming to an end. More women are earning degrees and finding good jobs, and might not expect you to pay for everything.