A Guide to Dating in Portugal: What to Expect when Looking for Love

Ever wondered what it’s like to date a Portuguese person?

Want to know what the customs are for dating in Portugal?

What about Valentine’s Day? What are you supposed to do?

I have some answers right here to help you look for love in Portugal.

The two sides of dating in Portugal

Portuguese people can be a bit difficult. You can find two types of them here: the very conservative ones and the more “open to it” kind.

Bearing this in mind, I am going to tell you more about the wonders of dating in Portugal and also the downsides you can expect.

How is dating in Portugal?

Well, it truly depends on the person you’re seeing – and I know that that sounds like something you hear in every possible country. But let me tell you why it is not the same case here: people in Portugal can be very shy and cautious, which really is a pity.

I already know, or can guess, that when “Portugal” comes to your mind you immediately think about one of two things: food and beaches in Portugal. Indeed, my country is a marvellous scene that appears to come out of a movie, but not all the characters are open to love.

However, you can expect to find very friendly and “ready to help” people on every other corner, which is one of our main visitor drawcards. But as they seem so available, they are not very good with words with their significant other half.

And why is that?

Traditionally, we are very sheepish and not very good with expressing our emotions, so that is one of the reasons why dating in Portugal can be hard. For example, if you are American, or even English, you have no problem in saying “I love you” a gazillion times a day.

That is because you are in your essence, but also because you hear that all the time in movies, TV shows and other types of media. And that is really helpful in languages like you can learn or teach English in Portugal. However, the same does not happen in Portuguese.

We seem to be very afraid of using words, of saying how much we care for the person we’re with and how important he or she is to us. And that has always been like that, which is why we can seem a bit cold – which we aren’t, trust me.

“I love you” or “Eu amo-te”

You guessed it: “eu amo-te” means “I love you” in Portuguese, which is something you will rarely hear while dating in Portugal. It really depends on the person, but if I were to guess, only one in five people are able to say that to their girlfriend or boyfriend.

You are more likely to hear “I like you” or “I adore you”, which in Portuguese is “weaker” than saying “Eu amo-te”, or only “Amo-te”. We are kind and loving people, but we do not often express how we feel – like, hardly ever.

You might like to read: 10 Things You Should Not Say to a Portuguese Person… Ever!

Dating in Portugal’s different cities

Portugal has big cosmopolitan cities such as Porto, Lisbon, Braga or Faro in the Algarve which naturally means a bigger dating scene. But in the more rural areas of Portugal you may find it to be more difficult to date someone. People tend to be more conservative in those areas – not meaning they are less loveable.

It is just different, I mean in big cities you have more knowledge of places to go (like restaurants or bars) and are at ease with things like dating apps. In smaller towns, people are a bit more shy, but are probably the most kind.

Is Tinder good in Portugal?

It’s as good as you would expect for what it is. A bit vague, I know, but if you are a woman, Tinder is really a good place to start because you can chat for a while before setting a date.

Portuguese men tend to like arranging a date quickly at a club or a bar so chatting for days on Tinder before meeting up is not likely to happen.

Portuguese people are still quite traditional so online dating is not as huge as it is in the US and some other countries. Saying that though, for Millennials… that’s another story. Most young people try to find love on such platforms as they are much more used to online socialising.

Nowadays, it seems impossible to live without your smartphone, so finding a date on platforms like Tinder is becoming more common.

Dating in Portugal can be difficult, but it is indeed possible.

Here is a list of sites which you can use in Portugal to find that special someone:

There are also a few Reddit groups you can join which will help you connect with people near you:

What it’s like to date a Portuguese woman

Well, speaking of Portuguese women… we may seem very tough, we’re extremely proud (in every single thing) and are always right (of course). We run the world, right? That is no different in Portugal, but here we have some of the most beautiful women of them all.

And I do not mean a stereotype kind of beauty, but honestly, Portuguese women are so very beautiful – in shape, size, hair colour… you name it.

Portuguese women tend to appear more serious and have difficulty in admitting they need someone to take care of them – whether it is a man or a woman. But, when they give themselves to someone, prepare yourself, because they will give it all.

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couple Lisbon Portugal

What about Portuguese men?

Such gentlemen! They are kind, yet mysterious. They are very needy, but only show it while dating. Portuguese men also tend to appear very tough, but there are some who can shed tears whenever they feel like it.

They are also quite chivalrous on dates and will usually insist on paying for the meal. That’s not so bad, is it?

Portuguese men are generally very helpful and interested (sometimes!) and really care about their partner. So, if you are wondering what it is like dating a man in Portugal, don’t worry, they can seem tough, but they’re really softies at heart.

You might like to Learn Essential Phrases in Portuguese.

Valentine’s Day in Portugal

Dating in Portugal, as in other European cities, can be stressful and some people get really anxious about Valentine’s Day. And since it is just around the corner, I can tell you it is a big deal here in Portugal.

All the restaurants have special menus, you will see heart balloons every now and then and everyone seems to be so in love.

It is a funny day, because single people always tend to say they will be “forever alone” and go out with their friends. They tend to watch movies and eat tons of ice cream while lovers make the day special and give each other big bouquets of roses, boxes of chocolates and dine in good restaurants.

It is also common to take some time off and enjoy a little vacation in other cities of the world.

Valentines day Portugal

Looking for something special to do in Lisbon for Valentine’s Day? How about a 2-hour sunset boat cruise with a glass of sparkling wine? Very romantic! Check out this amazing Get Your Guide deal here.

We hope you enjoyed learning about dating in Portugal and wish you the best of luck in your search for love.

If you have any experiences about dating in Portugal you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment below.