Why I Don’t Have Any Argentine Girl Friends

Posted on March 3, 2011 by Vivi in VIVI'S VIEW

While I really like boys, I have to say that my female friendships have been very significant and important in my life. From my childhood playmates, to my girl scout troop to my college sorority – my friendships with women have been hugely significant and positive in my life. When I moved to Buenos Aires I made new girl friends, some through my TEFL course, and some study abroad students like Clare.

I was hoping to meet and make friendships with Argentine women, but for whatever reason, they were much more difficult to meet than Argentine men. None of my other expat girl friends seemed to have Argentine girl friends either. I heard the nastiest stereotypes about them: that they were crazy, that they steal boys from each other, and that they don’t respect relationships.

After months of not having Argentine girl friends, I finally made one. Her name was Rosa, and she was the girlfriend of my boyfriend’s best friend Javier. Rosa didn’t speak any English, but she was always patient with my Spanish. We would go out for coffee and go shopping, talk on facebook chat and double date with our boyfriends. I was happy to have a local girl friend.

The only problem was Javier. When Lucas and I first started dating, he would take me out with all of his friends. We would go dancing or maybe go to a bar. I was always the only girl, and I witnessed a lot of bad behavior. Lucas’s friends were like a pack of wolves on the prowl. Their nightly mission was to kiss as many girls as possible, and Javier was the worst. On the nights when my American girl friends would come out with us, he made a pass at every single one of them. My classy friends rejected him, it isn’t hard to know a sleazy guy when you see one.

Of course this was all months before I finally met Rosa. I discovered that Rosa and Javier had been dating for several years, so when Javier was out at the clubs hitting on girls, he was doing so without his girlfriend’s knowledge. I started hating Javier so passionately. I wanted to tell Rosa what kind man she was dating. I was advised to mind my own business and not meddle by Lucas.  Other Argentine friends told me I was better off not telling her and that it could possibly put my own relationship in jeopardy should I be a tattle tale.

So I didn’t tell her. I don’t know which was harder: to tell her or not to tell her.  Keeping this secret drove me crazy. I was baffled at how she had no idea what a liar her boyfriend was. I began to dread the days when we would hang out in groups; I felt like I was part of Javier’s disgusting behavior. I felt as if I was lying to her just like him. The worst part was how insecure it made me feel. Was Rosa partaking in the same lie of omission about my boyfriend? Had she witnessed him kissing other girls and decided not to tell me? Was I being fooled too?  I started to act jealous and insecure in my own relationship.  I finally understood how Argentine’s get their reputation as jealous companions.

Finally, Rosa and Javier broke up. I thanked God. Javier had three new girlfriends that week. Rosa was devastated, but I didn’t tell her how she was so much better off without Javier.

After experiencing this ordeal, I started to understand a little better why friendships with Argentine women were harder to come by. Can a friendship really be true if one friend is lying, or not telling the other friend something that they deserve to know? I believe trust is a big part of any relationship. Rosa couldn’t really trust me to tell her the truth, and my guilt lead me to feel like I also couldn’t trust her to tell me the truth. It is a vicious, vicious cycle.

There is hope. Argentine women could stop this destructive cycle if they started trusting each other. Of course that would mean that they couldn’t steal boys from each other, and would have to hold their actions accountable to other women, but in the end, I’m sure they would find that the satisfaction of strong female friendships based in trust would be well worth that.

Every day that I am here, I am extra thankful for all of my girl friends who I love and trust.


  1. Hmmm, a woman being bitchy is something that’s pretty much universal, restricting it to just one country, culture or place is perhaps a little narrow-minded?
    Maybe I didn’t get the point of your post at all but all I’m saying is, I don’t know what enviroment you were raised in, but I’m quite positive that this kind of attitudes also exists in the States.

    And perhaps related to this interesting article, there are two famous spanish language quotes:
    “de la muerte y de los cuernos nadie se salva” is the first
    “ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente” bieng thesecond
    Anyway, nice blog, keep it up.
    Peace out ^^

  2. You’ll notice that many Argentine female relationships stem back from school, or some strong family connection. Its clear that the trust aspect is very difficult to overcome, so the response with most girls is to build super strong ‘life friendships’ that are unbreakable, with everyone else being outsiders. This contributes to the clicky culture that goes on.

    There are some cool girls out there, but I find foreign girls are intimidated by the stand offishness that Argentines initially give out. For the best results, I’d try girls who are groupies to foreign guys, they seem to be the most open.

  3. I had a very similar experience when I lived in Peru and it was a regular topic of conversation at ex-pat ladies night. The machismo culture breeds so much insecurity, jealously, and distrust! I found the whole situation foreign and was grateful to connect with some amazing ex-pat women.
    Luckily I eventually also befriended some amazing Peruanas and loved getting to know them and their country through their eyes.

  4. i like to read expats blogs and i have to say it’s like i’m not from here. i never identify with anything expats write about argentines.
    i have girlfriends till kindergaten and i keep making new friends, (at work, friends of friends, etc) .the ones that “steal boys from each other” are everywhere. it’s not a cultural thing.
    i know machismo ruins everything and that the relationships between men and women are different here than in USA, but also from what i read in blogs i see that many expats sometimes have relationships (friends, lovers etc) with people who are the complete opposite in a lot of cultural aspects. then the difference of points of view about life in general are not because you are from a USA and your friend is from Argentina. for example: you are a left wing liberal and you meet
    a guy who is rich and plays polo and his family is from opus dei.
    and then you are horrified because they are homophobic and maybe racist.
    BUT is not that all argentines are homophobic and racist.
    and if you like to date guys who could be characters in a woody allen movie (intelectual type) why came to argentina and date guys who could be characters in “my name is earl” show?
    obviously you will be upset and shock.

    • haha very good points. BA is a large city and you can find any variety of people here. Although I have yet to meet any opus-dei. I was just speaking of my experiences only. This experience that I wrote about was something that had never happened to me before, and it happened here, so it is very connected with Argentina in my mind, but I’m sure situations like this happen everywhere.
      And I should have specified that I definitely WANT Argentine girl friends. The Argentine girls I know are great – its just that they have been much harder to make friendships with than I could have imagined.

  5. I think is funny that you talk about how hard it is to make friends with argentine women and how argentine women are not honest with each other and etc., but YOU were the one keeping the truth from your so-called friend. You were the one creating the “vicious cycle” and maybe if you had risked telling her the truth you would have had a much better experience.

    • oh, i think .my.beautiful.air. knows that and if you read carefully her article you can sense a trace of remorse and shame that she did not stand up to a higher level of friendship with “Rosa”. but hey, life is complicated and im sure that as we live we learn. so mery, dont be so tough!:)

  6. I would not generalize on Argentine woman. I would point out that in this case, you were a very bad friend that never told your ” friend ” the truth. You can go all day long talking about machismo, and Argentine woman, but you are not Argentine and were a horrible friend my dear.

    • I wasn’t generalizing Argentine women. You’re very quick to judge, but I’d like to see how you would have acted in my situation. I certainly wanted to tell her, and felt guilty for not doing so. But meddling in another couple’s relationship isn’t a good idea either. This situation was traumatic for me and caused me a lot of emotional distress, so I don’t appreciate your condemnation.

      • “i dont appreciate your condemnation” ahhhaha i can tell that you re a good american girl! even when she wants to say “andate a a la mierda” she keeps her calm under nice words:)))

      • Im argentinian and I dont apply to any of that. I have a lot of female friends, I met most of them back in school, some in kinder garden! so we have a 15 or maybe 17-year friendship! (im 20). I also have male friends and i know how men are… but it’s not just here, i’ve been to some other countries (south america, Usa and Europe) and it happens everywhere. You can say it might happen more here and i agree with that, cause i think at least 7 of my friends were cheated on.
        The point is, there’s no way i couldnt tell my friends if i knew. Even if it wasnt a close friend, a workpartner, a girl i just say hi to in uni! Where are your codes? I wouldnt like everyone knowing im being cheated on and not being told… especialy from my friends! That’s not protecting her… is letting them go away with it!
        Don’t expect men to respect you by themselves, they won’t know how jerks they can be until you argue with them and show them what’s ok and what’s not. My bf is german and he is so proper, i know i can trust him. But i still have to tell him some little things im not cool with.
        And in that case, you just assumed she wouldnt tell u either…
        And i don’t get those comments talking about women being bitchy? Rosa wasn’t being bitchy here? If her bf is a cheater and goes out trying to get with girls he is so not telling that he has a girlfriend!
        So you are not explaining how it’s argentinian women fault that u can’t be friends with them but how YOU couldn’t talk to Rosa without feeling guilty for not telling her…
        The name of this article should be “How Im not saying something and thinking all other argentinian girls do the same”.

    • I liked the article and I identify. I have been living in Buenos Aires for four years and still do not have any real female Argentine friends, and never truly did. The closest I´ve come is students I´ve gotten along well with, or co-workers who I would consider friends if we weren´t obligated to see each other every day for work, which makes it a little different than a friendship. It´s hard to break into the cliquey friend culture here.

      I also understand your dilemma. Your boyfriend told you not to meddle, and you of course didn´t want to hurt your relationship. At the same time I think I would have told her, but I suppose if my boyfriend told me to hide it from her, I would had gotten angry with my boyfriend and done just the opposite. Any guy who condones that kind of behavior and and doesn´t defend the person who is being hurt is not worth my time, personally. But I understand that it´s a hard decision to make.

      • honestly, my boyfriend and I fight about this often, even though the couple broke up 6 months ago. neither one of us can really understand the other. its frustrating, because we see eye to eye on almost everything else.

  7. I understand the point of your article, and I liked it. I’ve gone through pretty much the exact same thing, though sometimes witnessing my boyfriend’s friends (girls) partaking in some bad behavior themselves. It also made me feel pretty insecure, as everyone I work with seems to want to talk about how flirtatious and wandering many Argentines seem to be — but you do get both ends of the spectrum. You get the great ones, and you get the naughty ones — it feels a little bit more like home since this dynamic definitely exists everywhere.

    Anyways, I think making friends anywhere is a simple matter of two things — mutual understanding and communication. Because my spanish isn’t great, I often get pretty intimidated by it. But there are some girls who do seem like they’ve got a genuine interest in making you feel more at home whether you are on their level of spanish or not. Trust me, they’re out there 🙂

  8. You have some cranky commenters on here! I think it’s a shame any of it happened in the first place. Come back up for a visit and you can recharge your favorite female frienship – with your lovely sister of course!

  9. I’m sure glad to hear that these Argentine girls are ignoring the American men and women jajajaja. Americans are sexualy repressed and have all these discusting and boring relationship rules, that’s why they ignore all you ass holes

  10. Woof what a load of comments! As a fellow expat, I’ve got to agree that I’ve found it hard to make or maintain Argentine girlfriends. There are a few girls that I know and love, but many that I’d love to know better but can’t seem to get closer to. Whether this is a lack of effort on my part or interest on theirs’, I can’t say. What I can say is that I recently had a beautiful and encouraging experience where several girls I had just met very clearly demonstrated that they were there for me if I needed them, especially because I’m not from BA, and I really REALLY appreciated it. So thanks, ladies! Hope to get a cafe sometime and get to know them better… I’ll keep you updated 🙂

  11. What an interesting article! You have highlighted how complicated human relationships can be. I’m Argentinian and ever since I started secondary school I had to deal with this kind of things, that’s why I don’t have many many female friends either haha. My best female friends and I have witnessed a lot of people being double-faced and lying… so we have a policy: don’t let any guy interfere in our friendship, friends come first and if we meet a guy and someone finds out he’s cheating on one of us, that person should tell, and of course no messing with each other’s boyfriend/guy/whatever. We call it “códigos” (that unfortunately have been disappearing throughout the years in our society). Well.. whatever… my point is that you shouldn’t be discouraged from meeting Argentinian girls/women and, if you find the right person, they can be supportive and trustful. Lamentably, you’ve had this difficult experience and that kinda affected you when making friends with Argentinians, but my advice is: be optimistic because there are people worth meeting out there. I hope you’re lucky to find them n_n

    • Aww Belen! Q buena q sos! Thanks for inspiring hope and for your nice comments! I will update – I have met some new Argentine girls who are wonderful. Trying to hang out with them more. I love all your blog comments! Your English is flawless!

  12. I have been thinking about this recently so even though I read this post a while ago, I had to comment! First of all, I had SUCH a similar experience…one of my boyfriend’s good friends is an incurable womanizer, and for years he would literally drop off his novia at her house and go on to meet up with his amante in the same night..and I knew this about the novia, who we would meet up with all the time as couples, but when I told my boyfriend it made me sort of uncomfortable he told me not to get in the middle of it. I think it would be different if she were a good friend from before, but because I only know her through him I guess I have to respect the fact that it’s their issue to deal with. Secondly, about meeting girl friends (or not meeting, but getting close to), it’s definitely a challenge. My boyfriend has a sister pretty close to me in age, but she barely talks to me, and I get a cold vibe from her, despite the fact that I’ve seen her be sweet and friendly. He told me the other day it’s because she has really intense jealousy, especially with her family and boyfriend…she doesn’t like anyone else getting close to the people she loves. And I wonder how many other women feel like this. Family and connections run so deep here that maybe I could understand this initial distrust of an outsider. On the other hand, I find the girls I have gotten close to a little clingy and immature (haha, all two of them). For whatever reason, it’s the middle aged and older ladies who are far more interested and open. So I don’t want to generalize (there should be some kind of abbreviation disclaimer button: no generalization, haha) but just to share these experiences.

  13. p.s. this is such an explosive topic! to be continued : )

  14. Hey, very interesting topic. I live in London and I happened to meet Argentinian guy. We met a couple of times and he seems to be very friendly. I like him very much however I my friends are saying that Argentinian men has womanizer’s reputation. Is it true? Any comments on it? Share your experience, please.

    • I think there are bad guys no matter where you live, but the machista culture in Argentina certainly breeds a lot of them. The truth is that it is easy to tell what kind of guy he is just by his actions. If an Argentine man is really into you and wants to be your boyfriend, he will not be shy about it, he will stop at nothing to make it happen. If he just wants a fling, he will kind of string you along….let me know what happens!!!

  15. As an Argentine woman I agree that is really hard to make local female friends here. Frienships are usually made in school and last a lifetime, so if you didnt make many friends at school, or if you moved a lot like me, or if they moved, or if you no longer have anything in common with your school friends… then its hard to make new real friendships. I have never encountered the situation you mentioned though but I do find the level of sexism and competition amongst the women here to be unbearable. To have friends you have to look the absolute worst you possibly can and have to have some sort of missfortune that makes you non-threatning.

    • epa! that’s quite the depressing world view! I’m sure in such a big city we can find any variety of people…if someone is really your friend, they wont be threatened by you, right?

      • Exactly, which is why its hard to make friends in this city, because women feel threatened by each other. Of course, my previous comment was a generalization and there will always be exceptions, but I find that it is the tendency and it is largely due to the insecurity that comes with the attitude men have towards women, and the attitude women have towards themselves, since their sense of self worth seems to be largely determined by having a man by their side.

    • Camila, I’ve moved a lot as well – I’ve been living in BA for 6 years now – and although I agree that sometimes is hard to make new friends around here, and it appears everyone knows everyone since forever, in my experience is possible to meet new & cool people. You just need to go to the right places 😉
      Perhaps, learn a new language, take a course about an interesting topic – such as films in the 50s or great painters of the end of the century or to learn how to do bonsai – and I bet you’ll meet cool people. It doesn’t fail. But you need to go out, be social, and give people an opportunity!

  16. do you still have any room for a new boy friend?

  17. When I was growing up – mainly in my teen years – it was very hard for me to have female friends. All my friends were boys: they were easy to talk to, they didn’t compete with me, they didn’t talk to me about uninteresting stuff like make up and they didn’t back stab me. Having a female friend was an odyssey.

    I met my first good female friend – we’re still friends almost 15 years later – in theater class. She’s open, sincere, nice, non judgmental, non competitive, a feminist. We got along right away. The in university, I also found other women alike, and I am still close friends with some of them.

    In the last years I’ve been meeting great women, awesome women, but basically, all these women that are now very close friends, friends or just good acquaintances, are all feminists. Why I remark this?

    Because I think that friendship between 2 women – true friendship, that is – is possible if the two women are independent, honest and has conscience of class/gender. Women that don’t feel the need to compete with other women for “a man” have all the tools to find great people (men or women, doesn’t care).

    So, if you want to have Argentine female friends, try to get together with this kind of wonderful women, because friendship between women is great, even in Argentina 🙂

  18. Well me I think some guys are assholes no matter what country you live in…. and not telling the truth hurts relationships no matter where you live or who you are… that is just human nature…I think covering up for someone who is doing wrong against a friend is not good..but you were doing it out of good motives and cannot be blaimed….Anyway good luck, hope you meet some lovely people and make genuine friends

  19. I am so sorry you had bad experiences with argentinian girls, but there are good girls as well. I am an argentinian girl. Well, I am an argentinian woman living in USA now…

    • Hey Julia – did you read the post? I think Argentine women are great – there are loads of good ones. It is the unfortunate cultural norm of cheating and competition between women and dishonesty that keeps friendships from forming. My bad experience was with cheating men, and my own reaction to it. I have since made some Argentine amigas, and had good experiences. 🙂

  20. hahaha great article!! my boyfriend is argentine and there is a handful of his female friends that would loooove to see me leave their country. some are completely disrespectful to our relationship regardless of how my presence has made him a happier and better man. HOWEVER i’ve also met some dope ass argentine chicks, mostly girlfriends of his friends. but the shiesty ones, i’d love nothing more than to give them a big smack in the face and chop off their long coveted hair. Drinks sometime!

  21. Sorry, I did not get to the end of the post, but you are right. I agree with you. Let me add something. I think the reason why so many women are difficult to make friends with in Argentina is because the culture in Buenos Aires pushes girls to be a certain way in terms of physical appearance. I was raised in Argentina so I know this very well. Girls are not accepted the way they are so they become competitive (there is a misogynist trend in that society where male chauvinism is always there in some way). But I do have excellent friends (very few) and I have not met them in high school.

  22.  need a lovely girl and beautiful

  23. It’s kinda true, the destructive cycle sucks, but also, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell a friend that her boyfriend had cheated on her. Im not judging you anyway.

    To have american friends is not easy. I lived in EEUU for almost two years and I had friends from all over the world but eeuu, and I was living there!!! People it’s kind but the friendship there is a lot of different than here…xoxo

  24. That you call a guy sleazy because he picks up other girls when he has a girlfriend is a joke, girlfriend don’t mean shit in argentina. Some girls will “Date” a guy forface time and never fuck or kiss him, Argentinian women come up with every excuse to not fuck lots of times, can’t blame men for getting it elsewhere. If the foot were on the other shoe, and your bf was not banging you, and you were sexless in years, most women would be slutting it up as well

  25. I think that doesn’t happen just in Argentina, with Argentinian girls. That happens, saddly, all over the world. There always exceptions too. I live in Buenos Aires, I’m argentinian! I have many friends that are wonderful friends, we can trust each other and we would NEVER steal a boyfriend from each other. Of course, it’s harder to get to meet those kind of people, but it’s not impossible. There’s always hope and good people all around the world too! I hope you can find a good Argentinian friend 🙂

    • You’re totally right. This didn’t have much to do with the country, it was where I was in my life and the people I was attracting. Things changed a lot, and I made some amazing amigas and I feel very lucky. Lesson learned. 🙂

  26. Sorry for my grammar mistakes! hehe

  27. Hi. Great post! BUT… while I agree with most of it, there might be some sort of sexist approach to the problem.

    Girls and boys -here and anywhere else- assume preestablished social roles. Such roles entail several things, including expected behaviour in romance, friendship and sexual relationships that go with certain labels. If Argentine girls are jealous, insecure, whimsical and unstable, it could be not an attribute of sex but an attribute of our “society” that translates into sexualized labels. Whenever they switch minita mode on… BLAM!

  28. Como ente social la pareja se comporta como una unidad y es
    reconocido de esta forma por los que los rodean.

  29. I’m not satisfyied with this post, for several reasons. First: I’m Argentinian, and male, and I don’t think myself as a machista at all, as I always keep open relationships with my girlfriends, and they usually had intercourse with other people, while I don’t because I did not want to hurt feelings (first) and I’m actually satisfied, emotionally and sexually, with my partner, so I don’t “go out” to “chase females*”. None of my male friends nor relatives behaves differently, as they don’t cheat no one. As a society, also, we Argentinians have one of the most sexually progresive societies all over the world: Argentina was the first country in Latin America, the second in the Americas, and the second in the Southern Hemisphere to allow same-sex marriage nationwide.It was the tenth country worldwide to allow same-sex marriage, and we have laws that define gender as a non-biological identity construction, integrating transgender in the whole society and recognizing their identities. And also, whe had two female presidents to the date, far more than in the US could expect.

    Second: The only guys who actually go to bars at night to “dance” are desperate single men, or “party boys”: that last group is specially narrow in our society, where most men don’t enjoy at all go to a disco “de levante”, because is an awkward and painful experience (loud bad music, smoke, expensive drinks, expected rejection). If a girl is dating such a guy, she must expect a certain degree of machism from him, and be aware of that. But this is a gross overgeneralization.

    Social life is very, very important in Argentina, and we have several customs attached to it, and I realize that we have different customs than other countries: here, a loud vocal fight is nothing to be feared of, and we are pretty blunt and expansive when we argue. But an argue is not a friendship-ender at all, sometimes it even is considered as a “proof” of how strong a friendship is. I don’t know how your social context is, but keep in mind that we are a very diverse culture, not based on race as much as on social class, and universitary people tend to behave in two manners: those from private universities tend to be more like the people you described, but they are (again) a narrow spectrum of our reality, and we tend to think of them as “chantas” or traditionally rich boys with no brain, that pay for their titles. State universities have a lot more prestige, and the people attending to them are more diverse and populous (the UBA has no less than 350000 students, whereas UNLP -where our president has graduated- has above 120000), and are generally more progressive and friendlier. The uneducated workers (people who finish high school but never attend to college) are very diverse, again regarding class, but somewhat friendlier as a lot. People are people, and when you realize that, no matter at all if the friend is girl or boy or transgender, and the same values apply: no lies, no cheat, open discussion.

  30. What I’ve tried to say is: don’t put excuses, if you have not girl friends in Argentina, it means it’s your fault, not everyone else in our society. Maybe you are too cocky to be trusted, maybe you don’t took the job of understanding our culture, or maybe you are moving on the wrong circles.


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