Dating German Men
Dating can be confusing as it is, so when you add dating someone from a different culture it can get downright crazy. There are, of course, ways to navigate the waters, communication being the main one. Below you will find some cultural differences that may pop up when dating German men and also some general advice on how to deal with cultural differences.
He May Not Chat You Up
In America it’s common to walk up to someone and start talking randomly, in Germany less so. It’s not that the Germans don’t talk, but they tend to stick to themselves unless they are at a party or some other social gathering where the purpose is to meet new and old friends. So if you spot a hot guy in the supermarket and want to make contact, you will most likely have to do the talking and he may even get confused as to why you are talking to him.
Because of this you might find German men to be a bit shy as they are not as used to randomly talking to strangers. However, it’s not so much about being shy as it’s about it simply not being a custom. They don’t usually know how to walk up to strangers and start conversations as they haven’t witnessed it happening around them. This may also be why they like getting drunk and partying…
Chit Chatting Isn’t the Norm
In America it’s more common to approach people randomly and also to talk about random things. Everyone here tends to ask how you are doing and have a little chat with you without for that matter actually wanting to make friends with you. In Germany people tend to talk to make friends. This means they get into much deeper discussions and they will reply with a lot more candor to your questions. If you ask them how they are doing they will assume you ask as you want to know, not to be polite. Likewise, if you talk to them they will assume you do so because you want to get to know them, not because you are being polite (unless you are left alone with them in an uncomfortable situation, of course). They will also most likely end the conversation if they aren’t enjoying it.
Because they don’t chit chat as much, Germans might come across as more reserved. However, if you take the time to get to know them, they will open up to you.
If You Ask Their Opinion, Chances Are You Will Get It
Whilst Americans like glossing things over, Germans are much more to the point. So if you ask if that dress looks good on you, they will answer.
Dating Isn’t the Same Concept as in America
In America there are general rules for dating – you meet someone, you ask for their number or Facebook, or ask them out. Then you go for a couple of dates, eventually kiss and by the third to fifth date sex enters the picture, unless you express you want to wait further, but are still interested. Sex doesn’t mean you are in a relationship with them though, it doesn’t even mean you are exclusive. In Germany on the other hand, you don’t really date. You hang out with someone if you like them and if you get romantically involved you become a couple by default, which means you are pretty exclusive. It’s not necessarily a serious relationship , but you are trying out what it’s like being a couple, as opposed to trying out dating five different people simultaneously.
If you want to see others and not get exclusive, you have to talk to the guy about this from get-go or he will think you are messing around with him, unless, of course, he lives in America and is used to the scene over here.
Paying the Bill
Women in Germany often have careers of their own and don’t expect a man to pay the bill for them, nor do the guys expect to have to pay. Of course, some men are a bit more old-fashioned, but chances are he will expect you split the bill. If he is a student or has a job that doesn’t pay very much, he might even count on it.
Likewise, don’t expect him t pay for drinks at the bar if you meet him when out and about.
What to Bear in Mind
There are, of course, always exceptions to the norm and you might meet a German guy in America who is totally into the dating scene here, or he might have different views on dating and relationship than most Germans. The best thing to do is to ask.
In general, you have to talk in a friendly (not accusing) manner about things you find peculiar, or things you expect to happen that aren’t happening. Relationships are give and take and you will have to learn to adjust to how you both see dating.
Most cultural differences between Americans and Germans are minor and not big deal breakers (though the exclusivity thing might be), but it’s important to keep an open dialogue and build a relationship founded on trust where you feel free to share your thoughts with one another.
By Maria Montgomery – Maria is a freelance writer, director and social entrepreneur. She’s also the spokesperson for The Little Angels Community Center and an avid blogger. You can find her somewhere between Cape Town, London and L.A., where you will most likely find her in the hills, looking out over the city she loves. @OhMyMontgomery