German dating customs
For instance, a German guy asked me to go to the Christmas market with him. I said "sure", then asked if a mutual friend could come along. He said that wasn't what he had in mind and he'd rather just hang out with me among other signs of interest. So how do you know you're on a "date"? This all started because he's a friendly acquaintance. We were in a seminar together and since I hadn't seen him in a month I asked if he wanted to grab dinner and catch up. I've also been told that unlike Americans, Germans don't generally "date around".
Which made me pause, as that's exactly what I'd been doing up to that point. So if you don't generally date around, and then you go out with an American who does, do you consider that cheating? I told the aforementioned guy at one point I'd seen four guys at once-nonsexually, but still, he looked mortified. Do you find that some Americans send the wrong social signals? I've been taught to always be friendly and accommodating, and to give compliments whenever I see the opportunity to guys and girls alike. But I swear complimented a German guy and weirdness ensued.
- online dating coventry.
- no interest in dating after break up.
- deutsche dating portale.
Please enlighten this poor ignorant American plus introverted. I think I've made enough mistakes here already.
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I'm not replying here to be defensive As it happens learning different cultures and norms is highly fascinating to me, so just sharing a bit of my own cultural assumptions. You have to think of it the other way around. It's not that Germans don't "do dates", it's that the whole dating ritual is a uniquely American idea. In other countries, people who get along spend time together, and if chemistry happens, chemistry happens.
There are no rules about what to call it, who pays, where you go or what you do: Incidentally, don't be afraid to make about half the moves yourself. Here in Germany, it's not about the boy trying to impress the girl until she falls for him: If you think he's made a move but then nothing much happens, he may be waiting for you to make the next move -- he needs to know you're as interested in him and he is in you.
Germans see that as fake, and it's one aspect of American culture they find hard to deal with. It's not that Germans spend all their time being unfriendly and rude to people; but to them, being overly friendly and complimentary to people for no obvious reason is fundamentally dishonest. Of course you shouldn't be rude to people: If you tell somebody their new hairstyle is breathtakingly beautiful and all-round awesome, they'll interpret that literally and know you're lying, and start to wonder why.
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Instead, you tell them that you think it suits them, or looks good on them. If you think it's hideous, you tell them you think it will take some time for you to get used to it. Or you say nothing at all. I see about the compliments. I don't give false compliments; if someone looks good, I tell them so. As a matter of fact, the compliment I gave was: In Midwestern America, it's not uncommon for strangers esp. Women to give me non-sexual compliments about random things, like if I wore a nice dress or a cute hat.
I don't even know them. Then I thank them and go about my day. I can see why it would come off as fake to Germans although I have my own justifications as to why complimenting people is good. But that's another topic. Well, this is basic culture shock. Americans are brought up to make people feel good about themselves; Germans are brought up to tell the truth nicely, but without embellishment.
Ah, now, the problem here is that he wasn't looking for a compliment about his shirt: When he asked you if he should turn the collar up, he was literally asking you if he should turn the collar up -- yes or no.
Down, it looks really cool. Up, it gives you a raffish air. Either way, it looks good on you. This isn't easy, I know: It's unlikely you'll get it so wrong people will actually hold it against you; but if you approach it less like "In my country, we do it this way" and more like "Ah, so in this country, they do it that way," it might be a little easier to get a handle on it.
He thought I was either lying to him or coming onto him. He later asked me if I had meant it, then I had to explain how girls are socialized to be "nice" girls compliment guys and other girls all the time where I'm from, but the guys don't do that as much , and thus compliment people, but in my particular case I don't know how many people give false compliments , I never give a compliment that isn't true.
And that if I compliment someone, it's just a compliment, and nothing deeper should be read into it. Thanks for clarifying, though.
14 Dating Culture in Germany (Etiquette and Custom)
Now I see where the confusion arose. I think to be on the safe side I just won't compliment people anymore, unless I know them very well: P Growing up I never liked doing it anyway- always felt disingenuous to me, but at some point I conformed to cultural expectations. What differentiates a "date" from a "non-date"? Can a meetup, which is not labelled as a "date" before, never result in becoming something more involved later? Maybe those questions shed a bit of light on the matter and why there is no really specific "dating culture" in Germany as such. At least not in the way you are accustomed to it.
Five reasons to date a German (and five not to)
Americans tend to have broader, if substantially shallower, social circles than Germans. There's a broad spectrum of people that we can hang out with, from mere acquaintances to hangout buddies to causal friends to close friends. It's a real mess, on multiple levels, but when it comes to developing a relationship romantically, there's an expectation in America to be clear with your intentions and agenda. That's where "dating" comes into play. It's a more formal courtship process than you'd expect, but given the lack of formality and rigidity in the overall social structure, it's helpful to have the clarity and transparency.
It's also likely a throwback to the more Puritanical religious background of American culture which placed a lot of emphasis on the formal courtship process. Of course, this creates a whole host of other problems, but, well, that's my opinion on the subject. Conventional wisdom has it this does vary from region to region, and from people to people, but this is the one I hear most often that unless your companion formalizes it in some way, it's not a date.
If the guy dresses up, pays or at least offers, it's definitely on. Basically, if you want it to be a date, make it unequivocal that it's not platonic in any way, shape or form. I eat meals alone with my friends all the time, male or female. If you the general you, male or female don't make it clear, then the other party ofttimes takes it as a sign of disinterest, or interest solely in friendship. As RichardSaunders mentions, not every American dates, or starts relationships by dating. My American friend explicitly doesn't do dates, and only "hangs out" with girls until he's certain.
Although this does get harder once we get out of school and meeting new potential partners is significantly harder- he also works in a male dominated field, so he's considering dating. I didn't start "dating" until I left college, really. Even many "dates", if the word of more experienced daters than I can be relied upon, don't turn into anything in the end again, older people date more. Younger people usually find relationships within their social circle , so non-dates are even more of a crapshoot. But in my case, all of my relationships have resulted from non-dates, so I've become pretty cynical about the whole "dating" concept but evidently that didn't stop me from trying.
I think you fall in love easier when you're not trying to. This sounds awfully formal to me, with special rules, verbal and non-verbal signs, etc. My first ok, second thought was "Now, do I need to fill out a special form to request a date? The idea that after meeting someone new like at a new years party you then formalize on a "First Date", which seemingly brings all the awkward social expectations with it do we kiss at the end?
So, no, Germans normally don't do this formal dating thing. Which of course makes things harder, because you never really know the interest the other has in you. But I consider this a part of the game of life ;. Haha trust me, the rules don't make things any easier. If anything, the internet is full of questions about who should pay on a date, what it means if he won't pay, WAS it even a date, etc. One can overanalyze these things forever. At least you never have to wonder whether its a date; its just not!
My German friend told me that once you kiss or have sex you can have the relationship talk. He seemed astounded that Americans can ambiguously kiss and cuddle and sleep together and enter all sorts of relationship gray areas without feeling compelled to talk about it.
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Five reasons to date a German (and five not to) - The Local
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