When it comes to relationships, the Portuguese might not initially seem as open and verbose as their next-door neighbors, those Flamenco-dancing and football crazy Spaniards, but it never takes long for any formal exterior to give way to hospitality and fun. Like many Southern European nations, Portugal is a predominantly Roman Catholic country, traditionally associated with conservative ideas surrounding family values, with older Portuguese frowning on sex before marriage, affairs, or same-sex relationships. But with the continuing displacement of religious beliefs to make way for more open and secular viewpoints, in parallel with the all-pervading influence of social media, your average Portuguese individual is liable to be making the most of 21st-century personal freedoms. In a nation where 95% of the population is comprised of the Portuguese ethnic group, how do the locals feel about dating people from different races? Let’s examine some of the prevailing attitudes towards interracial dating amongst Portuguese people.

Prevalence of interracial relationships

Portugal may not be a melting pot to the same extent that countries like the USA are (the latter having experienced waves of immigration over recent decades), it is still a nation where a variety of people from disparate backgrounds work and live together in harmony. Although the current Prime Minister, António Costa, is Lisbon-born, his father is of Goan (Indian) descent. The most decorated member of the Portuguese military, Lieutenant Colonel Marcelino da Mata, who sadly died from COVID aged 80, was from Guinea in West Africa.

These are but two examples of the way no one bats an eyelid about the ethnic background of Portuguese people today. Because Portugal once had colonial possessions in Africa, the Americas, and Asia, there has been a lot of immigration from the days when countries like Mozambique, Angola, Brazil, and Cape Verde, flew the Portuguese flag and spoke the language. In more recent years, there has been an influx from Eastern Europe.

Subsequent generations who have become Portuguese citizens have been assimilated, and are only too happy to form relationships with other natives of their country, regardless of their ethnic heritage.

How interracial love is kindled in Portugal

This country has a lively social scene, with meeting places in its big cities and towns that are popular with people of all ages, especially those who are single and looking for partners. Clubs like LuxFrágil and Club Noir are examples of nightclubs in the capital city of Lisbon that host regular DJ events, where partygoers - locals, immigrants, and tourists alike - can get to know each other, against the backdrop of pulsating music. There are many holiday resorts in the Algarve region on Portugal’s southern coast where social life is thriving. Because the pandemic has restricted contact, many of the favorite places where singles of all races were used to congregating have closed. But this provides individuals with an excuse to dabble in online matchmaking.

Virtual romance

More and more Portuguese are being tempted to pop ‘dating sites’ into their search engines, and checking out the results they receive. There are many sites and apps to choose from, but one of the many relationship topics guaranteed to attract attention in this cosmopolitan nation is ‘interracial dating.’ If you have specific aspirations to connect with black, Latino, or Asian singles, this would be easily accomplished. All you would have to do would be sign up to a site, then navigate through their web pages looking for links covering the relevant topics.

You also have the option of tailoring your search forms when you are putting it out there that you are a single seeking like-minded individuals for love and romance. Simply specify that you are keen to interact with black singles, or whatever, and you can control how your relationship pans out. Interracial liaisons are always popular because of their ‘exotic’ nature – they allow individuals to mix with a variety of singles.

So, it’s plain to see that the Portuguese are no different from any other forward-thinking and progressive culture when it comes to interacting with people from different ethnic backgrounds. Because their country is such a popular tourist destination, with visitors being drawn to the beautiful architecture of Lisbon, the vineyards and olive groves of the Portuguese interior, or the bustling holiday resorts of the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, locals are used to mingling with people from every corner of the world.