Are you an expat who didn't move to Germany for love but wants to find your love in Germany? This Germany dating guide is for you as we dive into German dating culture, etiquette and the do's and don'ts.
This is a very personal article in which I present you with some stereotypical dating rules and my own experiences with German and foreign men and women. Do you agree that this allows me to give you valuable "survival guide" advice on finding a partner in Germany? 😄
Where can you meet people in Germany?
Of course, before going on a date, the biggest challenge is finding someone worthy of a date, especially as an expat.
Related guide: How do I find friends in Germany?
Let's look at some numbers from the last onemarriage studyMade in Germany.
Germans like to meet up in their social environment. They listen and, more importantly, trust their friends' judgment. So it's not surprising that the #1 answer in the survey was that 26% met their partner through friends. followed byOnline Dating Sites and Apps(23%) and meeting at a party, bar or disco (14%).
When it comes to same-sex couples meeting through friends, it's only #2 and #1 at 29%Dating-Sites und Appswith 39%. The third most popular way to find a same-sex partner is through social clubs and hobbies.
I met my German friends through boyfriends and my German girlfriends through an online dating site. Jen, my wife from Guatemala, and I met through a sports club. Looks like I ticked all the boxes.
How is dating in Germany?
Compared to other nations famous for their dating culture, like Italy and France, Germans are much more rational than emotional. This can be exhausting but also refreshing, depending on what you are used to and what you are looking for. Here you areThe 13 most common factors in German dating culture.
1. A date with a German is not necessarily romantic at first
If you agree to meet a German alone, you can consider it a romantic date. The German, on the other hand, will see it as getting to know each other better without having already decided whether there is a love relationship in common.
2. Dating a German means exclusivity
When you're dating a German, the worst thing you can do is start dating other people at the same time. Germans don't mess around, and when they give you their valuable time and energy, they wholeheartedly expect the same from the other person.
Dating other people at the same time is like cheating and conveying that you're not seriously interested. Dating is exclusive; However, this does not mean that you are already in a relationship.
3. You must be on time for appointments
The Germans are punctual. Germans are punctual in almost everything, including dating. Being late is rude and will end your potential relationship before it even begins. Instead, arrive five to ten minutes early to make a good impression.
4. It's hard to flirt with Germans
Germans aren't good at small talk, and when it comes to dating, or worse, flirting, Germans can easily become embarrassed when approached with small talk. Instead, Germans like to engage in long, detailed conversations. They're not always the most romantic type, as it's all about getting to know the other person, their thoughts, opinions, and values.
5. Be ready for an honest and direct conversation
The Germans are very direct. They speak their mind, even when it comes to dating. They will let you know how they feel and if you are their type or not. Protecting your feelings is not the top priority when dating. On the other hand, the Germans mean and do what they say. So when a German says he likes you, he really likes you. If they say they'll call you tomorrow, you'd better have your phone nearby.
6. Dress well, but not too well
Germans like to take care of their appearance. That said, they like to look decent but not overdone. They expect the same from their date.
7. Gender Equality in German Dating
Gender equality is very pronounced in Germany. A man's expectation that a German woman becomes a housewife when courting is a slap in the face. A man who has problems with a woman who earns more should reconsider looking for a partner in Germany. German women criticize machismo, which does not mean that German women do not appreciate a gentleman.
On the other hand, German women may not be able to handle compliments with confidence. You will be confused if the guy is serious or if he is toying with her.
8. Who pays the bill on a first date in Germany?
'Do Germans pay for dates?' is one of the most common questions expats ask. The answer is no. Due to strong gender equality, it is common in Germany to split the bill on the first date. Inviting a woman on a first date would be taken as a sign of disrespect. At the end of the line, Germans like to talk about finances and come up with a rule of thumb on how to go about it. It is also quite common for men and women to invite each other out to dinner. Staying the same, both in the partnership and in finances, is essential when dating in Germany.
9. Love your independence
In addition to the desire to be seen as equals, Germans love their independence. Don't be surprised to take things slowly. Just because you think you've met your significant other doesn't mean he or she will drop everything, spend every minute with you, and court you all the time. On the contrary, Germans keep their normal lifestyle, attend their sports groups, hang out with their friends and adapt.
That moment a German puts you above normal habit is a big sign I'm in forever.
10. There are no written rules
There are no rules on how to proceed at the first, second or third meeting in Germany. When to kiss, when to have sex, and when to say "I love you." Germans do all that when they see fit, and they mean business, at least when they're looking for a serious relationship and not just a fling.
11. Holidays together - yes or no?
Germans like to travel and expect you to travel with them. At the same time, they also expect you to respect them when they travel with friends without you. Be it to go to a party'Ballermann'in Mallorca with your best friends or on a weekend city trip with the family. Don't be jealous - remember the importance of independence.
A German takes you seriously when he visits his home country with you. Jen asked me if I would like to take her to visit Guatemala during our first year together. Four years later we brought my sister and her husband to Guatemala and the following year my parents. That says it all.
12. Be ready to plan your life
Basically, being German means being a planner in all walks of life. If you're dating a German, you better start keeping a calendar, as Germans plan weeks, months, sometimes even years. Furthermore, when Germans commit to an event or accept an invitation, they mean business and expect everyone involved to deliver. Germans would never say yes to something out of politeness if they know they won't do it.
Jen has had to learn the German "No" several times and appreciates it very much, because a German "Ja" means that you will not be disappointed, but that you can trust this person.
13. The role of the family in finding a partner with a German
When a German introduces you to his family, that is a sign of serious commitment. You'd better learn some German, because not all parents of Germans speak English. The rest is up to you, just like any other country in the world, the relationship with your potential in-laws can be complicated. Some accept you as part of the family and stay in touch with you long after your relationship has ended; others will trouble you and see you as a threat.
Enter into a relationship with a German
Be ready to put some patience into German dating – you have to be there to win. Just like there are no rules about when to kiss, when to have sex, etc., there are also no rules about how many dates it takes to be officially in a relationship.
When you have reached the relationship level, the next step and test for the relationship is to move to a new apartment. It is relatively uncommon for one person to move in for another.
Do you remember the planning part? Well, a relationship with a German is nothing more than a planned life. Dinners alone, dinners with friends, sports, jobs, vacations, weddings, kids, retirement. Don't be afraid now; Germans just don't like to leave things to chance.
Marry a German
When it comes to marriage, the Germans are reserved. like the latestmarriage studyConcerts, 36% of all proposals take place at home and 29% during holidays. Well, and 18% of German couples get married without a real proposal – tell me what?! Perhaps it is the same couples who get married for tax reasons (24%). No need to panic, but for 96% of Germans the most important reason for getting married is love.
Wondering who usually proposes? In the case of heterosexual couples, it is still traditionally the man (75%) and only 3% of German women take gender equality to the next level.
Related guides: how to get married in germany&15 German Wedding Traditions and Customs
Stereotypes are just that
Everything you read above about dating in Germany is heavily stereotyped. It can be the absolute truth or the furthest from the only German that will surprise you. And isn't that the beauty of it all? Be prepared for Germanness and surprises. When Jen started kissing me I exclaimed in a very stereotypical way "I don't date Latinas" and look where that got me - I married a 😅.
I hope you are ready and excited to start your dating adventure in Germany. Don't push yourself too hard though, the best things happen when you least expect them, including meeting that special someone. Much luck! ❤️