Expat Travel Blog, Recife, Brazil
Expat Travel Blog, Recife, Brazil

Dating in Brazil as an Expat


Date posted: Jul, 08, 2023

Key Takeaways:

This blog post compares my dating experience in 2001 (22yrs ago) to Now (2023)

Age matters more in places like the developed areas of Rio.

The video at the bottom of the page includes a map: most girls you date will not be from the wealthy south of Rio.

Without an Established Social Circle Most Takers Will Be From North of Rio (ie Poor Areas)

Being socially "LinkedIn" to Brazilian Society is Very Important For Middle and Upper Class Women

When I first came to Brazil I spent a good year or so in Rio de Janeiro That was in 2001 and 2002, about 20 years ago.  In those days I had a sort of “social circle”: my two Brazilian friends from Seattle and my buddy from Texas who was also “linkedIn” to among the locals here. That circle can NOT work now for a number of reasons, but the main one being that my main friend is married and is much older now. I am a man in my early 50's who wants to date women in their early 30s. How would that work with my friend who is also about 50 years old now? It won't. Further, my buddy from Texas is now nowhere near Brazil, and I have lost touch with most of our mutual friends. And, again, I would be going out to parties and events etc. with people/women who are in their fifties. That won't meet my goals.

These Days I am Meeting a Different Class of Girl Through the Apps (Badoo, BrazilCupid.com etc.)

In the olden days we did not have all these apps and websites. There were virtually none and nobody would really meet each other for dating using that method. So, in one sense the world has really opened up when it comes to dating in Brazil. However, in the past I would go to bars in Ipanema and Copacabana and meet girls from the south of Rio (ie the "Zona Sul", nice part of Rio de Janeiro), but now I am meeting girls who are in the North of Rio de Janeiro (the poor areas). 

I am not necessarily against this. I am not an elitist or anything like that. However, it is worth mentioning and it is a stark reality I am noticing. When I was 31 years old and with good buddies who were Brazilian going out to bars and parties I met 25 year old Brazilian girls who would look, act, and speak mainly like me (in Portuguese however!). They were university-educated and often had educated parents. Those days are gone now, or at least until I get "connected locally."  The key is that upper middle class chicks here don't take risks on men they can't "verify", ie someone whose status and position in society can't be genuinely confirmed. 

As a Foreigner, the Assumption is You Are Something Temorary

Here today, Gone tomorrow. That is what many girls will think of you as an expat "tourist" here. This applies anywhere: women are usually looking for something long-term, and your very status screams short-term, your visa even is temporary. The girls in the north of Rio are noticeably more willing to take a chance on you (me). It is important to let them know that you are NOT just a temporary tourist. Which raises another point: nothing I am suggesting in this article regarding dating in Brazil is for people who think they can just come for two weeks and find a wife. That will never, ever work. If you do not have a way to stay long-term in the country for at least say, 3-4 months continuously, then you should forget it. I would suggest no less than five (5) month stretches of time. If you are retired, an online/remote worker, or have a business or source of income that allows you this kind of flexibility: great. If not, you need to seriously consider whether you can date girls in Brazil for marriage or an otherwise serious relationship.

Badoo, Bumble, BrazilCupid.com etc. Open the Door to Rio's 13 Million Person Population

The way the dating apps and websites these days open up such a larger swath of people these days is amazing. I really wish we had them back when I was 32 years old. The range of people you can meet instantly is far larger than it was before. That is part of why I am in Rio right now: I want to have a look at how the numbers play out in the dating game. Recently (2022) I spent six months in Fortaleza, Brazil and dated through the apps quite a bit. However, the population of Rio de Janeiro is about five times larger than Rio, so, logically, that should mean five times more eligible women to date. And they're all within a moderate Uber ride of your location if you live in Copacabana or Ipanema (as I write this I'm located in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood but tomorrow go back into Copacabana to an apartment I've rented for a longer time period). 

Nearly all the girls who I am matching with on the apps and websites are from the northern (more "poor") areas of Rio. Note that the "north" or Rio in fact is about 75% of Rio: most of Rio is part of what they call the "zona norte."  If you come here as an older expat, and/or are not socially connected in some meaningful way, this will probably be the types of girls you end up dating.

The "Barrio" Girls Are Much more "Brave" and Willing to Take a Risk on a Gringo

Don't expect the girls from the zona norte (north areas of Rio) to be very well-spoken or educated: they are not. However, I'm more interested in a girl's overall moral character and personality that is reasonable than I am on their ability to relate their travel experiences in Paris.

Rio Still Has a "Youth" Culture: Age Matters More Here than in North Brazil

This has not changed in the last twenty years. People here tend to place more value on looks and outward appearance. I think this also affects the girls in the zona sul (wealthier south area of the city). The girls want a fit young-looking guy more than in other parts of Brazil. I don't think this requires too much explanation, Rio de Janeiro has a beach and fitness culture that is present the same way it was twenty years ago.

Rob in Brazil Expat Blog Copacabana Rio, Brazil 22011-040