Dating International Men in America

By Greygirl

Greygirl

During the exploration phase of my 20s I wanted to expand my dating experiences from American men to international men. Those men were so intriguing in my imagination- cultured, worldly, and most of all exotic. These weren’t the guys that were taking you to Applebees for drinks but men that chained smoked Marlboro Reds while talking about world politics. As I ventured out of my box I encountered Polish, Russian, German, and briefly Middle Eastern men. While my social research did not yield consistent findings across all cultures, there were some significant differences I noticed dating international men.

In two words: GENDER ROLES. The international men were men with a capital M. Even if the European ones were metrosexual, nevertheless the men were fully immersed in being a gentleman and treating you like a woman. These men opened doors, put on your coat, paid the bill 98% of time and lit your cigarettes (don’t smoke, it’s bad for you). I felt like a dainty princess in their company and there was an implied appreciation of my feminine ways from the manicured hand to the perfectly applied lipstick. This went double for the Middle Eastern and Eastern European cultures were men are certainly more dominant and aggressive and expect the woman to be behind the man.

Another interesting paradigm I’ve found is the different expectations on cheating with international men. In one word, cheating was blatant. It was expected that a high SMV value international man was going to have multiple affairs while the woman had to be an example of virtue and chastity. A particularly troubling incident happened to me when I was living with an heir to a large Eastern European business fortune and he was a perfect example of an Alpha 1.0.

While he was hitting on girls and sneaking girls in when I would leave our house, one time as I came back from going out with my girlfriends he stuck his hand down my pants to “make sure” that I had not cheated on him while out at the bars. Yes, this insane violation of my privacy and decency actually happened because he was intent of asserting his dominance and ownership over me. And by the way looking back on it, it wasn’t cool at all.

Overall, there are innate differences between international cultures and American culture on sex. Just turn on Fox New for half an hour and notice that, as a culture, Americans are puritanical and shameful about sex. This was not the case with international counterparts. The German guy I dated reminisced extensively about the wild times he had in Ibiza and Brazil, and how in Germany the woman are less reserved and more comfortable with their bodies than American women.

Perhaps it is a more “French” attitude towards sex where the President publicly has a girlfriend living with him and a mistress. From what I’ve observed the international set seems to understand human sexuality better and that as sexual creatures were are fallible and tend to not live up to our societal expectations all the time. However, it must be noted that in Eastern European as well as Middle Eastern countries the marriage age is significantly younger than in the US so the model there is different.

Finally, I am glad that I got to experience dating men of other cultures. It broadened my perspective on American dating and men and gave me a taste of the world. While as any other girl, I can certainly appreciate a gentleman, though I would say that dating international men is not for the faint of heart because you have to be ready to stand your ground and know when the cultural differences are not working in favor of your relationship and happiness.

~Greygirl

Greygirl

9 comments

  1. Interesting. I haven’t really dated any international men. I have slept with a few, but they were all one night stands. I admit, that as an American, I tend to feel uncomfortable with men from other countries and there is actually an element of fear involved.
    Now, my ex husband spent the first 10 years of his life in Europe but his parents were American missionaries. He was affected by the culture in some ways but definitely not in the ways you describe. I do see similarities in your description though, to black American men, which is what I usually date.
    It makes me wonder if white American men are really the only ones who DON’T demonstrate the typical Alpha 1.0 attitude. It would be an interesting sociological study. I’m not sure I’d want to be the one to undertake it though, as I ENJOY being treated like a lady by a very dominant man. My only issue is that I also tend to enjoy sleeping around. He’d have to be an absolutely amazing man to keep me faithful while he was running the streets. :p

  2. I think that would be an interesting sociological study, Lovergirl. My hypothesis is that in the culture of political correctness and the effeminization of American men there is less incentive to display Alpha 1.0 characteristics for they are not social rewarded in the American dating market.

  3. Canadian and UK white men are even worse than US men, significantly so. No offense to the Brits, because I’m sure the few alpha Brits probably do amazing with women given the weakness of their competition, but last time I went to London, most of the hetero couples you see have a woman who looks like not only does she dominate emotionally/mentally, but also like she could physically beat up her man. American guys look like macho men on steroids compared to your average London guy who looks like he could be knocked over with a feather. It was rather amazing. The UK guys are witty, I’ll give them that, but so are the women. I don’t think anything has ever made me appreciate American men more than traveling to London.

    OTOH, Australian and New Zealand guys…yes please! Super manly. My theory is that all the physically healthy, muscular, vigorous, adventurous, brash, aggressive dudes in the UK migrated out of that country and left (or got sent to) the US, Australia, and NZ….while the more cautious, reserved, submissive, socially-oriented, cooperative people stayed in the UK, which ended up leaving a bunch of nice, witty, but weak people behind.

    Funny because I always thought British people were superior to Americans, given that they sound so much more intelligent with their accents (and they probably are more intelligent), but it was visiting the UK that made me more patriotic than anything…I was practically chanting USA! USA! by the time I got home. 🙂

    I think you’re brave venturing into this territory. I feel like LG, something about foreign men makes me scared and uncomfortable, though only if they’re from non-English speaking countries. I’d love to visit Australia someday, every Aussie I’ve ever met has been fantastic.

    I can’t imagine ever dating a guy who wasn’t a native of an English-speaking country or didn’t speak English as a first language.

  4. “While he was hitting on girls and sneaking girls in when I would leave our house, one time as I came back from going out with my girlfriends he stuck his hand down my pants to “make sure” that I had not cheated on him while out at the bars. Yes, this insane violation of my privacy and decency actually happened because he was intent of asserting his dominance and ownership over me. And by the way looking back on it, it wasn’t cool at all.”
    @greygirl
    You said looking back….but in the moment, was your body turned on when he did that? Was it an adrenaline rush? OR did your body go on complete lockdown because it was such a violation? You seem tough as nails, I’m sorry if this is addressed in other articles but I’m curious, why do you think we rationalize and justify these behaviors? To try and fit into a mold or is it NRE?
    I’ve got limited exposure to traveling but it’s now a very real goal

  5. Those are insightful observations Kryptokate and though I’ve never been to London something about the goofiness of Prince William and Charles has been a perpetual turn off. I do think dating international men is an acquired taste and is outside the comfort zone of most American women. I would imagine some level of exposure to international culture during formative years like studying abroad or extensively traveling would make an American woman more receptive to a non-English native.

  6. @ greygirl Though if he looked anything like the photo, you can bet I’d make an exception even if he didn’t speak English at all, lol. 😉

  7. @Amber Well, there was an immense adrenaline rush and I think a part of me was flattered by such an obnoxious and primal display of control and obsession. I was his woman and no one else’s! In our society it is politically correct to say that I felt violated and shocked, which another part of me did as well. So to answer your question the incident spurred an ambivalent mixture of feelings. Does that make sense?

  8. Oh, international men. Bring them on. I am into film, art, culture, philosophy and what not, so I have my eyes set on Germany. I see myself living there, extensively. My true cause is to ventilate after living my life in Puritan USA.

    “…Americans are puritanical and shameful about sex.”
    The more Americans admit this the better off we will be. I roll my eyes at American raunch culture telling me this and that is “sexy” when our sex education is in shambles and new laws are passed every year punishing people for being sexual.

    In film is where I see the difference most. US films about sex are some of the most unsexy films I have seen. The ones that are sexy get threatened with an NC-17 rating and become cult hits. They rarely recieve widespread circulation in American. Compare the recent US film
    Diary of a Teenage Girl with Germany’s Feuchtgebiete–two movies about teen
    girls exploring their sexuality with older men. One has sex scenes that make
    you want to grab the nearest hot 30+-year-old (I am 25) and get to it. The other has sex scenes that make you want to grab the nearest bottle of Summer’s Eve.

    It is why I am thankful for blogs like this and BD’s. If there is anything truly sex-positive in the US, you guys definitely fit the bill. To me, mainstream US “sex positive” media is lip service and a childish game women play called “Anything men can do I can do better!” (except when it comes to being with younger folks. Only women can do that, apparently!)

    So I can’t learn German fast enough, but–luckily for me–Germans learned English in primary school.

  9. There seems to be a fun crowd. Mediterranean man here, and I confirm most of is being said.
    More than just Puritanical, I see the culture as having two faces between what happens in public and what happens in private. The culture in the States in highly sexualized, I can sleep with a girl within half an hour from meeting her, yet she has problem showing PDA.
    On the other hand, back home the culture is more conservative, yet you see couples having full make out session every where. So I think it’s more about consistency between private and public life (less hypocritical standards?) Even our Prime minister has been married a couple of times.
    I definitely appreciate femininity, as I was raised surrounded by it. And I’m having a hard time finding feminine enough women in the States, as most of them have this “Strong and Independent” attitude.

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