Every culture has a different way of expressing love. A small squeeze of the cheek, a love tap on the booty, a kiss on the forehead. Physical touch isn’t even necessary all the time, even a coo of sweet words or a cute nickname is an expression of love.
Costa Ricans love to express love. And it doesn’t always necessarily have to be romantic love. Their culture is incredibly warm and friendly as they show endearment to even strangers. If you’re a baby or toddler, the treatment is even better
Culture greatly influences the different perspectives of love language on top of personal preference. In some countries it may not be acceptable to be physically warm towards the opposite gender or what one culture views as love, others may not.
Costa Rican Expressions of Love
For me, this one doesn’t exactly strike me as loving or sweet. Maybe it’s just a lost in translation thing and definitely a cultural thing. For Costa Ricans, it’s normal to call your boyfriend or girlfriend gordo or gorda which means fat in Spanish. Gordito or Gordita is even better which is like little fatty. So cutesy!
They don’t see it as a mean or offensive term. You’ll hear them call each other or describe one another that way and they don’t get insulted by it. One day Yeison ran into someone who lived in his old neighborhood and he asked them about another friend they had in common. Como esta Michael el gordo? Yep he asked him how is Michael, the fat one.
Another cute nickname is cosita/cosito which means little thing. Hey little thing, come here and give me a kiss!
Ever wonder why Costa Ricans are nicknamed “Ticos?” It’s because they absolutely adore putting ito or ita at the end of words which means little. Venga mi perrito! Que preciosa chiquiita! Mi princesita linda!
In the beginning, Yeison had one main nickname for me: cachetona. It essentially means chubby cheeks. He loved teasing me for my rounder cheeks but it’s also a nickname for girls with a bit more… junk in the trunk if you know what I mean!
Costa Ricans do love to tease (all in good fun) and usually about your most obvious assets and if it has anything to do with chubbiness, even better.
PDA Is OK!
In the States, PDA is so not OK. If you do as much as a kiss on the lips for more than 2 seconds in public, people stare at you, cover their children’s eyes and tell you to get a room.
Here in Costa Rica, PDA is perfectly acceptable! It’s so normal to go out and see couples sitting together on the bench, holding hands, arms around each other, staring into each other’s eyes or locking lips.
For me I was not that used to seeing such public displays of affection but I love it. I don’t need to worry about showing physical affection when I’m out and about so from time to time I can give Yeison a little lovetap on the butt or smooch whenever I want!
There’s no harm in seeing a little bit more love in the world.
It’s not quite as common with the younger generations but when Yeison was growing up, he was taught that when walking on the street with a girl, the girl must always walk on the inside.
This is to protect the girl and since they are the men, they need to be the ones walking closer to the cars. They do this for not just their girlfriends but for all women, especially their older female family members to show love and respect.
Take the Heavy Stuff
Yeison always finds it weird when I grab shopping bags and insist on carrying my own backpack. He’s used to always carrying things for the girl which for me, is odd because I’m used to carrying my own things. Although I don’t protest when the item is especially heavy.
It took him a little bit of time for him to get used to the fact that I like to wear the backpack or I don’t mind lifting things. I’m not the kind of girl to just sit around expecting the man to do it all!
A Very Loving Culture
Costa Rican culture is incredibly loving. When Yeison is on the phone with customer service or at a restaurant, he calls the girl linda or amor, which doesn’t bother me since I know it’s a cultural thing. It’s especially apparent in people from San Jose, I see they are much more sweet and loving than some of the Guanacastecos and still have that attitude more than others.
So when you come to Costa Rica with your significant other, don’t be afraid to express your love in public! Snuggle with each other at the beach, embrace each other laying on the hammock and don’t forget kisses here and there.
When you meet a Costa Rican, give one kiss on the cheek (not one on each cheek) to greet them. Women kiss women and men, men just kiss the women.
Costa Rica is a warm and touching country where everybody wants to show and share the love. Besos!
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