Red/Green Flags
RED FLAGS / GREEN FLAGS
WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND WATCH OUT FOR, IN THE LATINA RELATIONSHIP PROCESS*
*Based on the Cases We Have Seen Where Things Didn’t Work Out

By: Gary G. Bala, USA Immigration Attorney, Completed Hundreds of Visas and Consultations for Latinas

FAMILY
Look for whether the Latina wishes you to meet her family, and whether the family accepts you as a potential member freely and openly. Spend sufficient time with her family and significant others, including her children, if any, and her mother. We are all a product of our history and family. It reveals a lot.

AGE
Age is usually a critical measure of a person’s experience and maturity. Most people will say that you should limit the age difference with your potential mate. Some say your age difference should be no more than 12 years. Others say take your age, divide by 2 and add 7, which should be the minimum age of your potential mate.

MONEY
Watch out for a Latina who constantly asks for money and cash for one reason or another. Watch out for a Latina whose expectation is that you will later send large sums of money home to support her family.

ENGLISH AND COMMUNICATION
Look for a Latina who has the potential to learn and speak English. Most know more English than they let on. But they are embarrassed to pronounce English words. They believe this because in Spanish (or Brazilian Portuguese) mis-pronounced words are sources of painful embarrassment, and they assume that the same is true in English. Pay the English teacher or provider directly for English lessons per class, and monitor her progress. If you find that your Latina is enthusiastic about learning English and is progressing, you have a winner. On your side, learning some of her language goes a long way. Couples who are better at communicating problems and resolving them, stand a better chance to succeed.

ADJUSTMENT POTENTIAL
Look for a Latina with “adaptive” intelligence: the capability to adjust and change to a new country and culture, namely our American society. Does she have cross-over work skills? Can she adapt to weather and climate change? Can she and will she go to school in the U.S.? Can she manage the stress of homesickness? Another example of a significant cultural difference between Latin America and the U.S.: cost of labor - very low in L.A. but high in U.S. For instance, with our costs here, she won’t be able to visit the manicure salon daily as in her country.

IMMIGRATION HISTORY
Take a hard second look if the Latina has many family members in the U.S., and has an extensive immigration history in the U.S. such as past visas, past travel, protests filed at the Embassy, many previous U.S. boyfriends and visits, and so on.

SWEETNESS FACTOR
Look for a Latina who is centered and focused on you as a man in terms of love, caring and intimacy. Most U.S. gentlemen are looking for a Latina who is fresh, unspoiled, innocent, loving and not corrupted in mind – what some call the “sweetness factor”. You need to develop people-reading skills and look for non-verbal clues to her true feelings for you and motivations to travel and start a new life. A good question to ask her at the right time: If you found the right man you are searching for in your life, what would you bring to the relationship or do for him to make him happy?

COMPATIBLE & REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Look at your own expectations and hers for the relationship and about each other. Be realistic and flexible.

Take your time. Slow is better than fast. Be patient. Be yourself. Be a gentleman. Smile. Be positive in attitude. Keep looking for non-verbal clues in her behavior which reveal motivation and character. Our experience is that the couples who are successful in the long run share these traits:
  1. COMMON EXPECTATIONS about the marriage and about each other's role in it;
  2. SHARED LIFE VALUES, GOALS AND INTERESTS;
  3. RELATIVE INTELLECTUAL PARITY.
Above all, communicate and learn her language and compromise. Many people say that, in the end, deciding on a life-partner is really about a "special feeling" about another person, a "magical connection", or an irresistible and shared "inner essence" joining you to another human being. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR QUEST!
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