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.