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A guide to dating the Germans
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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.
German Dating Customs | Synonym
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. 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. 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.
The written word, mostly good.
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?
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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.
Which is, to say the least, stressful for both parties involved. I'm sure I can get used to this simpler, more organic way of being: I guess the "not talking and being in grey areas" part is why there are so many romantic comedies coming out of Hollywood, which revolve around one or more misunderstandings concerning the state or non-state of a relationship.
So you just refuse to accept "dating culture " is an american thing? I guess you want to hear "jeeesus, these germans are so weird, you are totally right"? It is just not as formalized as in the US, I guess you need to get used to it. I didn't refuse to accept anything. Why would I make this thread if I were just going to refuse to consider what other people are telling me? The guy I replied to asked me some questions about the American perspective on dating or maybe just this American's perspective , and I tried to answer his questions as best I could.
As an American guy, a date is when you ask to do something with a girl together and you wanna try and see if anything will come from it. It's the intention of it, you're looking for it to spark a potential romance. If not, it's just hanging out. It's not unheard of for a guy and a girl to hang out and one maybe think it was a date and the other just think it was hanging out as friends. Also, of course friendships can become relationships.
I was friends with my wife for about 5 years before I asked her on a date to go for more. But you still felt the need to submit "form 43b Well I didn't say "Let's go on a romantic date", I just started asking to hang out with just her, dping things together and seeing how we were together and how she reacted to it all. We did have a conversation after a little while about being exclusive together and being a " Facebook official" couple. The American way of "Dating" sounds to me like putting the wagon before the horse.
I would say accquaintances get used to the more restricted use of "friend" in german do not compliment each other without some good reason i. I think you will only get a positive reaction to a compliment if the person themselves is proud of whatever it is you are complimenting on. If it is something they don't actually like about themselves or if it is something they don't actually think is important, they will propably not seem very flattered or even find it weird that you would compliment them on something like that.
But even if they feel you are right in complimenting them on something, many people here will have the feeling you are buttering them up and might think you have some sort of agenda. Sometime I think about how insanely rude and cold we must seem to Americans and conversely how fake they seem to us when both sides actually only mean well.
Tips for socialising with Germans
If it is something they don't actually like about themselves or if it is something they don't actually think is important, they will probably not seem very flattered or even find it weird that you would compliment them on something like that. Oh my god, I do that! I never even noticed until recently. When women try to compliment me on something random my reaction ends up being "ummm ok. It throws me off guard.