Spanish Love – How Lauren Found Her Man In Madrid

Love In Madrid

Our expert on Madrid, Lauren Linzer,  gives us The Scoop on how she found love as an ex-pat.  Better than staying home on Valentine’s Day watching rom-coms by herself, Lauren now does it up for Valentine’s Day with her new boyfriend. She barely spoke Spanish, he could hardly speak English.  And they became a couple!

By Lauren Linzer

Valentine’s Day, or as the Spanish call it, Día de los Enamorados, is celebrated in Spain with traditions quite parallel to other western countries: exchanging flowers, candy, and endearments to their sweethearts. In Madrid, sharing a romantic evening any day of the year is not a challenging task with the many charmingly quaint eateries and awe-inspiring strolls being impossible to avoid.

If you are lucky enough to be in such a naturally romantic city for this lover’s holiday and with your significant other, there is no doubt that you will find your perfect evening, sharing sweet embraces and kisses openly as the Spanish proudly do. But what if you are a single new comer, finding yourself in a strange, unfamiliar setting with few familiar faces (let alone a lover), longing for a taste of romantic Spanish passion? Go no further because finding companionship in this vibrant city with a local Spaniard, exotic foreigner, or fellow expat is easier than you may think.

Language Exchange Groups-maybe a good way to meet a partner!

For me, running into a potential beau during my initial months were limited to random cat calls or being pushed into one during rush hour on the metro. But as I began to get more involved in all that Madrid had to offer, I stumbled upon a common activity called intercambio or “exchange”, which is a night designated to bringing together English and Spanish speakers to exchange languages.

The intention is to practice and improve your second tongue with locals and expats, possibly learning some new terms and establishing friendships. Beyond that, it is a convenient and comfortable way to have a conversation and meet people that speak another language without being picked up at a discoteca (night club) or whistled at on the street.

Almost all of these casual gatherings are held in popular bar on various evenings for a few hours, so the added lubrication of a few beers can help ease nerves of conversing in a new language. It’s a perfect way to spend a free evening, whether the outcome is improved Spanish skills, a new friendship, or securing a date for Dia de los Enamorados.

My first Spanish Valentine’s Day was spent eating pizza and ice cream and watching American romantic comedies in Spanish with my roommates; but it didn’t take long for a certain run in to have me googly-eyed and skipping through the city. Never had I felt so compelled to practice my primitive Spanish skills as we both struggled to express ourselves in the other’s language.

Both of us being at elementary level of Spanish and English respectively presented dating challenges. Each encounter, though, was at an elevated level of excitement, digging out every previously learned vocabulary word and teaching each other constantly.  Normal activities, like seeing a movie or gathering with friends, were more difficult as we translated for one another and encouraged our buddies to communicate in Spanglish.

Another romantic couple, Lauren's parents in Madrid.

But it gave way to me being ushered into new groups of friends, all local Spaniards eager to make this random American a part of the group. And my guy was likewise able to get a taste of America by spending time with my expatriate and visiting nearest and dearest. What grew for us were a strange comfort, a wordless joy, and an inexplicable sense of ease with speaking a new language that we were far from fluent in.

There is not a chance this experience would have been possible back home, and in a city bursting at the seams with young people of various nationalities eager to intermingle, it is only a matter of time before an intriguing encounter materializes, maybe even in time for a certain romantic February day.

The Spain Scoop loves love stories.  How did you meet your love?

Related Spain Scoop: Going out for tapas with your sweetie.  A weekend trip to La Rioja for romance.

Lauren Linzer, from Raleigh, North Carolina, gave up the day to day grind of corporate sales to embrace life in Spain as an English teacher and travel writer in Madrid. She is the author of Eleven Eleven, a travel blog sharing personal accounts of life on the road and living abroad. Read more about her experiences at: http://linzersadventure.blogspot.com/

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7 Comments

  1. Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    My friend invited her friend to my house for a few drinks. When we went to a bar, she slipped out with someone else, forcing me to talk to her friend while we thought she was somewhere dancing. Three hours she hadn’t returned, but there were sparks!

  2. Posted February 12, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    ok, now we get the real Scoop!

  3. Posted February 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, seriously … are we talking about sparks with the now novio?

  4. Sophia Stobbs
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Like Lauren, I met my significant other abroad almost 3 years ago in South Korea teaching English thanks to a mutual friend. Richard and I were living in separate cities at the time and did not exactly hit it off. I was looking for a new school and my friend thought I should email him and ask him about public schools in Korea. We exchanged a few emails but it wasn’t until a chance encounter in June that I knew I found love. A mistaken msn message changed my life. I remember seeing my friend online and I went to click on her name but soon realised that I had clicked on the wrong name. I had clicked on Rich’s name. I went to click the close button but something told me not to. We ended up chatting on the computer/phone for 10 hours that day and 9 hours the following day. We spent my birthday weekend together and in September 2010 I married him, the love of my life.

  5. admin
    Posted February 13, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Hi Sophia, Thanks for sharing your love story. May many of us have that same beautiful ending. Anyone else with love stories to share? So glad you have found the love of your life!

  6. Nasy
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    I found my sweet guy on net,thanks to an italian dating site,in which I was a member for 4 years…
    & there was soon the feeling, we chatted long hours in italian (because i was majored in italian) & this prevented misunderstanding & we soon found out we liked eachother very much.
    Now I’m going to italy to meet him & who knows? we may still get involved in a very serious relationship.

  7. Posted November 7, 2013 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    People want to meet members of the same religious, ethnic, moral or cultural background and here you can. Spanish mature online dating site is your ultimate source for finding like minded mature singles and soul mates.

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