Your (mother-in-law) can be your best friend, or conveniently place herself smack-dab in the middle of your relationship with your man. His family is large and you might as well receive a folder filled with documents of his massive family tree to get a grasp of all his relatives’ names…
When Sally, a Brit, arrived in Madrid five years ago she had the rather unrealistic expectation that Javier Bardem lookalikes would be queuing up to sweep her off her feet. Now in her early 30s and a seasoned veteran of the dating scene she tells the Local how to avoid the pitfalls of a Spanish mummy´s boy and the perils of communicating through the language barrier.
6 - Play up your non-crazy side Most Pablitos who have been around the block will have come across their fair share of drama with local señoritas – think Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and you´ll get the picture.
If you seem like a cool chica who is low maintenance and won´t get jealous because they want some time out with the boys, you´ll come across as a breath of fresh air in Spain.
7 - Forget about timekeeping Photo of a woman with clock: Shutterstock Don't expect fixed plans days in advance with a slow build up, or even a clear idea of what you will be doing and when.
If you arrive on time, you´ll be sipping your two euro glass of rueda totally alone for at least 20 minutes to half an hour.
If he´s into you then you can expect him to ask you to meet his mum, cousins and uncle Jose pretty quickly.
Spanish men typically are still living at home until well into their 30s so his mum is likely to be the queen of his world (who irons his pants and gives him a Tupperware to take to the office).
On the one hand you don´t need word reference to send a Whatsapp message to them, on the other hand beware of the immature travelling type who will not only avoid commitment with any woman, but also be incapable of simple tasks like wearing a pair of matching socks or having a bank account.
5 - Don't expect him to keep up Photo of a man passed out on a bench: Shutterstock As a British woman, I can tell you for sure that I can drink any Spanish guy under the table.
Here are Sally´s top ten tips for navigating the perilous path to true love in Spain.
1 - Breaking the apron strings Photo of a man and his mother: Shutterstock If you believe you can move the relationship along at a snail´s pace and build up to meeting the family at around the six- month mark, then think again.
If you survive the dating stage and think about getting serious and moving in together, it can become a battle of the sexes.