Dating in Germany as a Foreigner: Guide Based on Personal Experience
When talking about dating, we can’t be completely non-stereotypical. In the end, it comes to the particular person and not a nation. In Germany, between one-third and one-quarter of the inhabitants are single. So there is a great chance you can meet your future partner pretty soon.
Germans approach dating slightly differently from other nations. They take their time to get to know a person, and the relationship develops over the years. Marriage usually happens after several years of dating, yet many couples decide to live in unofficial partnerships all their lives.
Dating a German is still, to some degree, different than dating, for example, an American or Italian. How people interact with each other, stages of the relationships, behavior, and norms might vary from what you are used to.
In this article, we try not to be stereotypical and describe what to expect when going into a relationship with someone from Germany.
Dating in Germany as a Foreigner
Maybe you are single and living in Germany or recently met a German man/woman and want to know more about dating a local?
German dating culture
Generally, you need to learn a German mentality first since it’s a foundation for dating a German.
Yet, dating and relationships in Germany can be comparable with European dating culture, especially in countries like the Netherlands, Switzerland, or Austria.
Nonetheless, dating someone from another country is always an exciting experience. Germans are pretty international regarding dating, relationships, or marriage with foreign nationals.
Germany, in fact, is one of the most diverse countries in the world when it comes to multicultural relationships and marriages.
According to the statistics, there are around 1,5 million international partnerships in Germany, of which 1,2 million are married.
Plus, statistics say that 60% of the German population is in a relationship. Hence, your future husband or wife can come from another 40% or 32 million people.
Firstly, don’t expect a whirlwind romance when you date a Germany. They tend to be reasonably calculated and patient at the start of a new relationship.
Like friendships, romantic relationships are formed over time through personal contacts. Yes, people here get married quite late. Germany is currently in place 8 among other European countries for the average age at first marriage.
Despite that factor, marriage has become more and more popular. Couples like to make relationships official rather than just have an unregistered partner.
What should you expect when dating a German?
The first date with a German will look like a regular first date in any other country. They might ask you out for a coffee, a drink, or a walk. Germans like to socialize by drinking alcohol, so be ready for some beers.
Yet, Germans are creative when it comes to further dates. For example, hiking, biking, or going on a day trip together are some common activities to do on a date.
Also, they might invite you to some festival, concert or party, since they can be found in any city all year round.
Equality in genders is above everything
If you want an equal partnership – Germany is the right place. Here, a woman is treated equally in any situation. Gender equality is strong in Germany.
Consequently, don’t expect any relaxation as a female in Germany. Everything from rent to restaurant bills is split by half between women and men.
You’ll seldom see doors held open for women. Besides, a man rarely offers you the last seat on public transport. Yes, forget about all this chivalry. It’s all about equality.
But it also means they just expect you to be an adult who is able to do everything on their own (as it’s supposed to be). Hence, German men expect a woman to care about herself on her own in all aspects of life.
Furthermore, Germans love their independence. Also, feminism is strongly encouraged in Germany. Men and women put their freedom and privacy above everything, and you should be prepared to do so as well.
On the other hand, German women have strong personalities and characters, even sometimes seeming to be tougher and more brutal than German men.
You will be exclusive
Unlike some other countries, Germans prefer to dedicate their time to only one person when dating. They would expect the same from the other person.
But they won’t put labels on you
Germans aren’t into labeling. In comparison with American culture, where there’s almost the entire dictionary that can be written on dating, including everything from “hooking up” to “seeing each other” to “dating” to “exclusive,” – in Germany, human interactions are simple.
Germans rather don’t overanalyze the situation. They go with their feelings and see how things are happening.
There are, of course, natural stages of dating and relationships, but nothing like you used to in the US.
What are the differences between dating German and American men? Read in this article.
It’s definitely more organic, and instead of defining the relationship in order to know how to act, they let the relationship unfold, and the label of boyfriend/girlfriend just naturally develops in the process.
No ghosting behavior
German people don’t “ghost.” It’s again something we know from the US, which isn’t common in Europe. Instead of dismissing someone by disappearing, Germans will explain the situation.
It might be brief, but at least they don’t disappear. It comes down to the respect and manners people have in Germany.
No mind games
Furthermore, German men aren’t those guys who play games. They are too honest folk for this. Romance is a pretty straightforward thing for Germans.
They are also confident when it comes to serious conversations. Germans instead make it clear than build a wall of mystery, misunderstanding, and confusion.
Unlike Italians, Germans aren’t famous for flirting, in fact, they are well-known to be quite bad at it. Small talk isn’t their strong side, either.
As you might know, German people are all about directness and honesty. If you start to flirt with them instead, they might not even realize your attempts. So you want to be clear and direct with your messages.
And the best friend of relaxed conversation is alcohol. That’s why it’s better to meet someone when going out. So hopefully, with the power of the beer, a German guy can crank out a couple of funny jokes.
On the other hand, German women often might not be able to handle compliments correctly. They will be confused about whether the guy means it or whether he is messing with her.
So men in Germany are rarely making compliments nowadays, afraid of being politically incorrect, confusing, or offending women.
Icebreaker – small talk
Regarding conversation, Germans value deeper discussions with a purpose far more than pointless chit-chat. Therefore, small talk won’t hold their attention.
When chatting with someone, it’s all about getting to know the other person, their thoughts, opinions, and values instead of fluff.
What are the differences between dating German and American men? Read in this article.
Importance of planning
Planning comes above everything in Germany, spontaneously isn’t encouraged and can be shocking for Germans. So please don’t call them out for a coffee the very same day.
Being German means being a planner in every aspect, including dating and relationships. They plan dates, days, and even weeks ahead. When dating a German, you better start planning and keep your word to what you are going to do.
Moreover, when Germans ask or invite you to attend some event, they 100% mean it and expect you to be there (when agreeing).
People in Germany don’t say something just out of politeness like it’s in the US. They keep their words. And if for some reason, they can’t make it, you will be informed ahead of time.
Money and savings
Germans LOVE to save money and hate to spend, especially if it’s more than expected. German folk will never make emotional purchases.
So flowers and luxury items are considered a waste of money and aren’t common among presents for women or men.
So, don’t expect to get spoilt by lavish presents just for the sake of it. Gifts in Germany are meant to be thoughtful, usually very inexpensive, and have real sentimental value.
Thus, you will get some very practical and cute gifts. Even a simple, cheap item can be a great present in Germany – it’s all about the attention and care that they give you!
Moreover, saving and frugality are fundamental parts of the German mentality. They like to rationalize purchases and think throughout. They are not big money wasters. They know how to count money better than anyone else.
Indeed, German households save about 10% of their disposable income, twice as much as the average EU or American.
Furthermore, German men appreciate women’s money management and spending skills. They are also big on savings. Hence, a financially broken person won’t be much of an attraction for German men.
Germans are sincere and direct people by nature. They speak their minds, also when it comes to dating and relationships. Germans surely will let you know how they feel and whether you are their type or not.
Meaning if a German says something, you most likely can believe them. When they say they don’t like parties but will go with you anyway, it means they like you.
On the other hand, if things aren’t going in the right direction, they will also be brutally honest about why they are ending it.
Paying the bill
Thanks to the strong gender equality in Germany, it’s very typical to split the bill. Everyone pays for their share in Germany. It’s a common practice among couples, friends, colleagues, etc.
Hence, all your dinners, drinks, movies, etc., with German will be paid half or according to how much each person spent. Don’t expect them to pay, and don’t insist on paying yourself.
You can even see large companies of people splitting bills into pennies. Everyone pays only for their share.
Staying equal in the partnership, which also includes finances, is an essential part of the dating culture in Germany. Couples split their rent bill as well.
Nonetheless, sometimes Germans invite each other by saying “Ich lade dich ein”, which automatically means they want to pay for you.
With that said, it’s common for men and women to invite each other in exchange. Staying equal is the most essential thing; thus, keep it balanced.
Don’t over-dress and over make up
Foreigners from non-European countries might get surprised when going out in Germany. Germans don’t dress up much, you might even think they don’t dress up at all.
Yes, they like it to be comfortable. That means casual style in clothing and makeup. For example, most women wear pants or jeans rather than skirts or dresses. Hence, keep everything moderate too.
How difficult is it to find a partner in Germany as a foreigner?
With the number of singles in Germany, which count to one-third of the population or 32 million, you indeed have a high chance of meeting a German partner.
Furthermore, as a foreigner, you can date other foreigners and expats, which are plentiful. In fact, about 11,2 million people living in Germany are foreign nationals.
Approximately every fourth inhabitant in Germany has a migration background, hence, comes from abroad.
Where to meet people in Germany?
Germans still prefer to date within their trusted circles. Maybe one friend introduces someone, or they date someone they already knew before. On the other hand, dating among colleagues is a no-go.
Apart from this, it’s common to meet people by going out. Bars and clubs can be counted as such. However, Germans prefer to go to such places with groups of friends. Hence it can be hard to break through the crowd.
Besides, privacy is above everything in Germany. For that reason, Germans might hesitate to approach you at the party.
Nowadays, online dating is becoming more and more popular. It’s easier to chat with someone via a dating app and have a date afterward. For instance, Tinder and OkCupid are widely used in Germany.
Dating apps are especially convenient for foreigners, where you can describe your situation. Thus, only interested in you people will respond.