Photo: Pedro Ribeiro Simoes
There’s no language you know that he doesn’t know.
Yes, he speaks Portuguese. But he also understands Spanish, knows some French he learnt at school, reads half of the Italian words in your guide book and speaks pidgin German. And if somehow you speak another language, you can be confident he will learn it, even if it is just to say, “Hey, what are you doing tonight?”
He cooks better than you.
Be aware Portuguese men like their food and often they like cooking. The seduction game will not start in the living room, but in the kitchen with plenty of tomatoes, onions, garlic, coriander and olive oil decorating the worktop. Right next to a wine glass of Monte Velho or a bottle of Muralhas. However, do not feel surprised, if you find out later on that the tasty Bacalhau com Natas was the only recipe he knew how to cook… Or that he had to call his mother to give him step by step instructions. But, hey if that is the case, at least for one night he was way better than you.
Your cholesterol levels will be higher than ever before.
You might have to consider telling him nicely to stop cooking that delicious Carne de Porco à Alentejana and barbeque some sardines instead.
He is not romantic.
Or at least, he will never admit it. Doing so might cause a slight headache, sore throat and some strange form of stomach cramps. Of course, that will not stop him from texting you telling he is off this weekend to see the Benfica-Sporting game in Lisbon. But as you feel the disappointment rising up in the air, you hear the doorbell. Can you guess who is there?
He will tell you do not know how to drive.
All the time! Even if you don’t really agree. He will remind you that, “a mulher ao volante é um perigo constante.” But when you decide to buy a new car, he will be the first to sit down browse Olx to find you the best deal.
He knows everything.
Or in other words, his general knowledge kicks ass. So much that if in the beginning you will wonder why he is not working in politics. But after a while you wouldn’t mind if he knew a little bit less. It’s not because you don’t like him, but it totally ruins your day when you see him at the coffee shop feeling all excited to tell him something you just found out, and he already knows it!
He leaves everything last minute.
Buying groceries, calling a friend, filling the IRS, voting, getting out of the house to go to work. It will drive you crazy! But if you ask him to help a friend moving, or to help you out painting your apartment before your parents come to visit, he will be the first to pick up the brush and paint the walls before you even get changed. He is not a procrastinator; he just happens to know what’s important.
You will think he is a dreamer.
But he sees himself as a fixer. He will fix the expensive fuel issue by creating a new car engine that runs on water, and help you cleaning the toilet by creating a new smart toilet that has never been built before. He will serve his own alcoholic beverage at family dinner and he will sit down to discuss it all passionately with his best friend, sister, uncle or the next-door neighbour. He will temporarily forget you are in the room. See, he is not an idealist, he is pragmatic. He just doesn’t know how to live without a dream, regardless of how big or small. Maybe for others money is the measure of success, but for your Portuguese man, if he cannot dream of it, it’s not success.
He doesn’t care about small talk.
He is up close and personal. Talking about the weather is not a good way of starting a conversation. He will tell you his secrets, share strong opinions about virtually everything from fixing the roads to solving global warming, and expect to hear yours. This is your perfect opportunity to let them out. If you both agree, you will be closer, if you don’t he will spend the next couple of hours either trying to prove you wrong or trying to understand. Either way your horizons can only expand.
His mum will be checking you out.
You know that terrible, scary day when you get to meet his parents: do you feel scared? You should. The older he is, the happier they will be meet you. They will offer the best cheese and wine they can afford, while his mother looks at you carefully trying to figure if you are a good match for her boy — even if she has another two at home. Cooking and cleaning must be second nature to you, or her spidey senses will pick it up. Don’t bother hiding the dust underneath the carpet: if you clean it properly, she will be the first to tell him off whenever he misbehaves.