How to Succeed Dating in Panama: Uses, Customs, and Threats

Whenever people talk about finding love in Latin America, Colombia and Venezuela are the usual places that get in the mind of many foreigners. Unknown to many, however, Panamanian people are equally as beautiful as their neighbors. More importantly, however, they are more adoring and devoted compared to other Latin Americans. 

Finding love in Panama is one of the most fulfilling ways to experience and love Panama. Panamanians are one of the most affectionate and caring partners in the world. They are also very family-oriented hence nurturing children and raising a family will be very gratifying.

What Are Panamanians Like?

Before embarking on finding love in Panama, you should have a general idea of the people, especially their general culture. This is not intended to lump together the nature or character of the people but to give you a hint of the more prevalent traits of Panamanians.

They are mestizo/mestiza. In terms of appearance, Panamanians embody the archetype Latino or Latina – they are generally tan-skinned with European facial features. They are generally a mix of Africans and Europeans (Spanish). People in the city have lighter complexion while those in coastal towns are often darker.

They are happy people. Panamanians have the knack of conquering their problems in life. Instead of caving-in to their worries in life, they have learned how to take things easy in life. This is one of the great attributes of the people in this laid-back country. 

They are family-oriented. Like most people in Latin countries, they are family-oriented. They are not individualistic. They are usually close and inclined to look after their parents, siblings and other relatives. Once they have their own families, they are especially caring about their children but never forget their original family.

families on the panama beach

They are passionate. Passionate love is the idyllic type of love among Panamanians. Once they fall in love, they sacrifice everything in the name of love. They want to satisfy their partners. The stark side of being passionate is their being possessive. They want their partners to always be faithful. They can easily get jealous for the most trivial reasons. 

They are independent. Both men and women are raised to learn how to be independent and not depend on other people. This is why Panamanians value work so that they can have the means to support and sustain themselves and not rely on their partners.

They value marriage. Most Panamanians are Christian Catholics. Despite their liberal or broad-minded behaviors especially depicted by movies and social media, they deem marriage as a sacred bond that cannot be broken. This is why Panamanians are very loyal and are inclined to save their marriage at all costs. 

Where to Find Dates?

man and woman loves each other

Now that you have a general background of what Panamanians are, the next step is to know where to find men and women for dates.

Panama City. The most obvious place to find men and women in Panama is in its capital city, where half of the country’s population lives. Panama City is the most cosmopolitan city in Central America. Here, you can find Panamanians from all over the country, and many tourists and expats. The city is also frequented by tourists from other Latin American nations like Venezuela and Colombia, who may also be in the hunt for love. Many Venezuelans and Colombians are actually flocking Panama to find a better life because of the crises that their countries are currently experiencing.

Other Cities: Aside from Panama City, other cities where you can find beautiful men and women in Panama included David, which is a city near the beach; Colon, which is a port city and Bocas del Toro, which is another beach town and a popular tourist destination.

So, where exactly in the city? You can find dates practically anywhere – in the neighborhood where you stay, store or shopping malls where you buy things, office where you work, or any tourist destination that you go to. These are places you can meet potential dates during the day. Your ability to strike a conversation and get a date ultimately depends on you. 

During the night, the best way to meet single locals would be going to the bars and nightclubs. There are countless bars in Panama such as Teatro, Relic, Casa Casco, La Buat, Bling, Alejandros, Zaza Lounge, Tantalo, Platea, La Tana and a lot more.

These are some of the places where you can find single men and women who are most probably also looking for partners. Incidentally, most young Panamanians are night owls. People go out at night even during weekdays probably because it is hot during the day. 

Quick Tip: Sex tourism is common in Panama. There are plenty of hustlers including foreign women from Venezuela and Colombia. Women who are unescorted in bars are usually “call girls” because it is not normal for single Panamanian women to go the night clubs alone. Local women normally come in groups of friends. It also would be prudent to ask someone you meet where they work or study. If that someone has no straight answer, you are most likely hooking up with a prostitute.

Online Dating sites. The easiest and most practical way to find a date in Panama is through online dating sites like Tinder, Latin American Cupid, Amo Latina, Badoo, Loveawake and other local sites. The use of online dating has gradually become well-accepted in Panama. Note, however, that most locals using these sites are usually looking for foreigners as well. Many bawds are also using these sites. 

You can use a dating site to find an actual date or as a springboard to meet locals and create a network of friends from where you can find a more ideal man or woman that you are looking for. Once you establish a network of friends, you can now easily get invited to night outs and parties where you can meet more potential mates in person.

What Are the Basic Tips in Dating in Panama?

tips and advice with explenation
  • Learn some Spanish. Communication is the bedrock for any relationship. You should learn to speak the language of the locals if you sincerely want a relationship. Not knowing any Spanish is a tell-tale sign that you are a sex tourist and you will most probably end up with a hooker. 

The more you can speak Spanish, the greater chances for you to meet Panamanian locals. Middle class and educated Panamanians can speak English. However, you will be more appreciated if you show an effort and willingness to speak their language. Most importantly, you will need to learn to speak Spanish to be able to engage in more serious and meaningful conversation with your date.

Quick Tip: If you are not good at Spanish, download the app Duo Lingo or Google translate. This will help facilitate communication. 

  • Bring money. If you initiate the date, you are expected to pay for the date. It is the unwritten rule. Because of that, you should have ready cash or credit to pay for the cost of the date. The budget for the date would ultimately depend on where you are going or what are you doing. It can be as low as $100 to as high as $1000. Dating in Panama does not have to be expensive. The city has plenty of great inexpensive restaurants that won’t bleed your wallet dry. Among the best restaurants to take your date include La Posta, Santa Rita, Caliope and Siete Mares. You can also take your date to a picnic or to a local park such as the Metro park, Causeway Amador and Mirador de Las Américas, to name a few.
hand holding money

If you are a tourist in Panama, the locals would think that you have plenty of dough. After all, who travels outside their country for leisure if they don’t have greenbacks? You may not be very wealthy but you are deemed to be richer than the average local, who earns around $500 per month. Because of this, you are expected to be a little generous in spending money, especially on a date.

Quick Tip. Panamanians are taught to be independent. They want to create the impression that they are self-reliant. Some of them, especially those who are working will offer sharing expenses of the date. This is also one great way to tell the difference between call girls from nice girls. You should nevertheless pay for the date to make a good impression. If you are spending so much money on a first time date, you are most likely dating a hustler. 

  • Dress properly. You should make the effort to dress up nice especially on a date. You need to dress to impress. Panamanians put high regard to hygiene and appearance. Despite the hot and humid weather and their laid-back lifestyle, they wear a dress or put on a suit to look good at formal settings like the office or occasions like weddings. Wearing shorts and sandals are great in beaches. For dates, however, you should have more casual wear instead of simply coming out in a shirt and sneakers.

Quick Tip. It would also be great if you wear cologne or perfume because smelling good would work wonders especially because foreigners sweat a lot because they are not used to the warm climate.

  • Be a gentleman. Chivalry is not dead in Panama especially when it comes to dating. Men are expected to open doors, carry their date’s belongings, walk on the danger side of the street, pull out a chair and give gifts no matter how small or inexpensive. Being a gentleman is not an obligation or a requisite but they help create a good impression.
patience man waiting for a date
  • Refrain from touching. If you are on your first date or are in the getting to know the stage of dating, you should avoid touching your date. It is not normal for locals especially among strangers to touch each other when talking. Panamanians only have physical contact with family, friends, and people they are comfortable with.

Quick Tip. If you find your date to be aggressively touching you especially on your first meeting, then you are most probably dating a hustler. 

  • Learn how to dance. Dancing is part of the Panamanian culture. People love to dance and party. This is demonstrated by the frequency of the festivities and parades that they celebrate every year where dancing is almost always an integral part.

Men and women who don’t know how to dance is a big let-down to Panamanians. If you don’t dance your date, someone else might dance with her. Panamanian locals have a knack of stealing your date if you can keep up with what they want. Locals who are interested in your date will brazenly ask him or her for a dance without ado. 

Quick Tip: The great thing about dancing in Panama is that you don’t really need to be a good dancer. It doesn’t even matter if don’t know how to dance. As long as you know how to move with the beat of the music whether it’s a reggaeton (Spanish hip-hop), techno, salsa or tipico, then that is considered dancing.

  • Be patient. If you want to get laid in Panama, you can easily do so by hooking up with a prostitute. But if you are seeking for a serious relationship with a serious partner, then, you should understand not to rush things up. 
  • Show that you care. If you already found a Panamanian partner, it is alright to be showy with your feelings. Panamanians are passionate lovers. They hold each other’s hands and cuddle each other in public. If you show your love to your partner, they will usually reciprocate this twice as much. Panamanians believe that expressing one’s emotions openly is an indication of one’s sincere and genuine love. This provides your partner with a sense of assurance and confidence. It also helps in deflecting suspicion and jealousy. However, getting into more passionate deeds should be left in private. 
boy and girl kissing
  • Avoid looking at other men or women. Panamanians are very possessive. They can easily get jealous if you are caught checking out another person. This is because staring at another man or woman is a common way for locals to show interest to another person. Men and some women openly gaze at a person whom they like to show interest. While this may be rude in some countries, this practice is part of the culture in Panama. Love is a competition. 

Quick Tip. You should learn how to be strong and confident else someone will steal your date away from you. Note that looking at someone else’s date however does not necessarily mean it is alright. You may get in trouble or get into a fight if you are staring at someone else’s partner. The best way to stare at someone is to do it discreetly from others but in a way that the person you are looking at will notice.

  • Listen attentively. This is especially true if you can’t speak Spanish very well. If you can’t talk too much during conversations, then at least, listen attentively to show your effort to communicate. Not talking however is off beam. You should try to initiate a conversation by asking general questions that are not too personally intrusive. 
  • Be ready to meet parents/family. Many Panamanians who are single usually live and stay with their parents until they get married. Thus, if you are picking up your date home, you would most likely meet your date’s father, mother or some family members. That being the case, you should be prepared for a polite casual talk with them if that calls for it. As a family-oriented country, make sure that you are respectful and courteous of your date’s family.

Quick Tip: Although not necessary, it would be a great plus if you bring a gift to the parents just to show your good intentions. With your date most probably staying with her family in the house, do not expect to be invited at the end of the date. If it’s their first time to see you, some family members would most likely be waiting for your date (especially a woman) to come home safe. 

  • Communicate Online. Practically everyone in Panama, the young and old folks alike, is plugged into the Internet. Online messaging and chatting is a popular habit for everyone. This is also the primary way to get in constant touch with your friends or your date for that matter when you are not together. 
online chat for meeting in panama

Quick Tip: The most popular app used for communication in Panama is “WhatsApp Messanger” and “Facebook Messenger”. Make sure to download these free apps ahead of time and get into the habit of texting over the phone. In many cases, you will end up chatting online with your date over the phone rather than speaking to them personally.

  • It’s ok to be late. With all due respect to Panama, part of the country’s mañana culture is tardiness. If you say 7:00, that does not necessarily mean 7:00 sharp. It could be 7:15 or 7:30. If you invite friends to a party at 7:00, people would show up at 8:00. Similarly when it comes to dates, if you tell your date to be ready by 7:00, your date will be ready after 7:00. Being late on a date meant no disrespect or disinterest to you. This should not also frustrate you. It’s just the way things are in Panama’s laid-back culture. 

Quick Tip: While it is ok to be late, men are still expected to come earlier than women during dates. Unless you have a good reason to be late, being an hour late to date does not apply to men. In which case, you should call or notify your date in advance that you are going to be a little late. 

  • Know Push Buttons. If things heat up and you get lucky on your successive dates, then you should know where to take your date to consummate things. Because your date’s house or the crowded hostel where you stay is not ready options, you need to know push-button motels in the area where you can have better privacy. Simply termed as “push” by the locals, these are love motels where couples can rent by the hour to enjoy some private moments. They are called “push” because guests literally push a button, insert in payment through a slip, and take their key to a rented room in the motel. The idea is to maintain the anonymity of guests. Among the more popular push hotels include Paris, El Puente, Royal Garden Suites, Las Flores, among others.
  • Wear Protection. Wearing condoms when engaging in sex is not very common in Panama, but that does not mean that you should follow what the Romans do. You should use protection for your own safety and the safety of your partner unless of course, you plan of getting your partner pregnant. That being said, you should always carry a handy one in your pocket because you’ll never know when you can get lucky. 

Ready to Date a Panamanian?

Panama is a great place to find beautiful and loving people for companionship, love or marriage. Panamanians are passionate lovers and are very much family-oriented. Panama is a great place to find true love or find a lasting spouse to raise a family with.

Matt Romero

I’m Matthew Romero, one of the guys behind PanamaLifeInsider.com I am incredibly passionate about Panama, its beautiful territory, and all the incredible opportunities which offer to people coming here from all over the world both either visiting and settling. In this blog, I decided to share my passion with you!

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