After my adventures in Belgium, I’m continuing my study abroad adventure in Spain. I’m living in student housing in the heart of Madrid — the pool on the roof is already proving to be a wonderful place to hang out — and I’m ready to take on this country. The chilly weather in Belgium was no match for bikini season. I waste no time, because I immediately want to see what Spanish dating life has to offer. I open up Tinder and get started.
Wednesday, 3:13 p.m.
I am having too much fun. I must have Liked everyone I saw in the last two-ish hours— they’re all just too good looking. I match with Alonso*, and he asks to go out for drinks. We only arrived in Madrid earlier this morning, so I’m a bit tired from navigating through the enormous airport and unpacking. I leave him on read and take a much-needed nap.
Wednesday, 7:55 p.m.
I wake up from my travel-induced snooze to a few messages from Alonso asking what I’m doing in Madrid. I tell him I’m taking classes, and he responds “same.” He double texts to tell me he’s heading to a bar to watch a soccer (but here, football) game and asks if I would like to join him. I don’t have anything else to do, so I tell him I’ll be there at 10 o’clock.
Wednesday, 9:55 p.m.
I start walking to the bar, and I’m so grateful it’s right around the corner. A few minutes after I arrive, the most beautiful, tan, tall, muscular man walks in. I think I start drooling. Alonso has a thick accent, and I wish my Spanish was better so I could impress him a little bit. I took French — not very useful in Spain. Our conversation is interesting, nonetheless, and he tells me he’s pursuing a degree in business administration and finance at a university in Madrid. We talk about the classes we’re taking and totally forget that we came to watch football. Before I know it, it’s 1:30 a.m. and I have orientation tomorrow. I tell him I’ll meet him out somewhere this weekend, and he kisses me goodbye. YUM.
Thursday, 8:20 a.m.
I wake up to a WhatsApp message from Alonso. He tells me he had a great time talking to me and can’t wait to see me this weekend. I respond with a winky face and head to orientation. Today is busy, so I don’t have much time to talk.
Friday, 11:44 a.m.
I match with Tony*, a finance major and econ minor. After some small talk, he asks how long I’m in Madrid for and if we can get together. I reply with “maybe” — I like to keep them on their toes. Our conversation isn’t really going anywhere, and I find myself asking most of the questions. I leave him on read in search of a better match.
A few minutes later, Alonso messages me and asks if I want to meet up. I tell him I’m going out tonight with a few friends if he wants to meet us at the club. He responds with “YES!!!!!” I smile to myself and give him the details.
Saturday, 1:33 a.m.
I am exhausted. The going-out scene here is intense — clubs don’t open until midnight, and they stay open and full until 6:00 a.m. I meet Alonso, and we dance at a bar that plays music from a record player. It’s a bit touristy, but we go along with it. My group meets up with people from another program at our university, and we bar-hop until we end up at a club. Alonso and I dance until 5:30 a.m., at which point I am way too tired to continue hanging with him. I tell him I’ll catch up with him later, go home, and pass out.
Saturday, 2:33 p.m.
I wake up late due to our long night at the club. Thank god for shutters because I slept through breakfast and lunch. Alonso messages me “hope to see you later,” and I’m still too tired to answer. I fall back asleep for another hour before I respond and tell him he’s a great dancer.
Saturday, 8:12 p.m.
I am mentally preparing myself to go out again tonight when I match with Marcos*. He starts off with a compliment, and I tell him I’m going to Kapital, one of the largest clubs in Europe. I’m feeling bold, so I invite him along. My friends and I pregame for what feels like forever, and we finally go out around midnight. My friend got us a table, and when we walk inside my jaw drops because this place is so humongous.
Sunday, 12:38 a.m.
This club isn’t just huge. It’s loud. And crowded. We get to our table, and they put pink wristbands on each of us. We take numerous shots of tequila. My professional opinion is that it tastes better in Spain but still, overall, not great. Marcos messages me that he’s on the fifth floor. I walk upstairs, where it’s a bit quieter, to meet him. We talk about his degree in political science and my time in Madrid. Then we go to the bottom floor to get closer to the DJ and stage and start dancing. A bit later, Marcos and I go to find my friends. The club is so big that we get lost and can’t find our table, but we do find a karaoke room, belt out a few songs, and continue our search. Alonso messages me and asks me about my plans, but I ignore him — I’m fixated on Marcos and our journey to my crew. By the time we make it back, only a few people from my group are still there, so Marcos and I go back to my residence.
Sunday, 4:22 a.m.
By the time we get back, it’s late. I go to unlock the sliding glass door into my building with my keycard, but the doorman doesn’t let us in. He claims it’s too late for visitors. Ugh! We walk outside to devise a plan to get inside. We wait for the doorman to go on a smoke break and then run inside. After sprinting upstairs, our adrenaline is high. Marcos puts on a reggaeton playlist. We don’t go to sleep until around 7 a.m. At around 9:30 a.m., Marcos heads out to catch the metro home and kisses me goodbye. The night was so good that I’ve decided I’m going to move to Spain at some point in my life.
Sunday, 3:33 p.m.
I wake up, swear off tequila, and sleep the rest of the day.
Monday, 9:52 a.m.
I get messages from Alonso and Marcos, but I’m more interested in my new match, James*. He’s a bit older and looks like he has refined taste. We talk for a bit about his work at the stock market in Madrid and how finance can be so interesting. He asks to get drinks later tonight and as long as it’s not tequila, I’m down. He also asks for my Insta handle, and I wait for his follow request.
Monday, 3:56 p.m.
I accept James’ request and cringe immediately. He quotes Machiavelli in his bio. Automatic red flag. Against my better judgment, I call him out for it, and he responds, “yes why?” Just clueless. I get out while I still can.
Tuesday, 7:22 p.m.
I have become extremely bored since ghosting Alonso and Marcos. Time for my next indulgence. I match with Tobias*, and we talk for a little bit. I’m not really interested in the conversation, but I want company. I invite him over to watch a movie, and he responds with “leaving now!” We get into my room, and he puts on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” A classic man. I’m intrigued. In the middle of the movie, he leans over and grabs my hand and starts doing that cute thumb thing. The rest is history.
Spain is a beautiful country with beautiful boys everywhere you look. In just the beginning of my time there, I’ve made great memories and danced until the sun came up. And true to my word, following my adventure with Marcos, I put Spain on my “places to live” list. I’m excited for the rest of my trip and ¡No quiero marcharme nunca! (translation: I don’t want to leave!). My Spanish is improving already.
*Names have been changed to protect innocent daters everywhere.