Dating 101

In Canada, if you like a girl, you might add her on Facebook and creep around until you know enough about her that a face-to-face conversation won’t be riddled with awkward silence. Or you might take the safe route and “just be friends” until one day you happen to fall madly in love with each other. If you’re really confident, or perhaps just a man, you may even walk up to her and ask her on a date, setting yourself up for potential rejection or champion acceptance.

In Bolivia, if you like a cholita—a traditional lady—you walk over to her and hit her hat off onto the ground. She will then turn around and, if she thinks you’re drop-dead gorgeous, she’ll smile and the two of you can go elope. Further to that, the height of the hat cholitas wear tells you how much money they have, so it’s easy to find yourself a sugar mama.

In Karina, a small village in Peru, if you like a girl, you throw 3 pebbles at her. Upon turning around, she will either chuck a rock back at you if she likes you or cover her head with her shawl if she’s not into it. The rest, as they say, is history.

I used to think dating in North America made sense. It wasn’t until I left that I realized North American dating rituals only make sense in North America.

Leaving my comfort zone taught me that I’ve been living in a constrictive bubble that prohibited me from seeing how unique and weirdly beautiful each and every culture around me truly is.

I encourage you to get uncomfortable.

Or you can keep walking through life convinced that you’re normal. Whatever your “normal” is.