Cultural Musings

The differences between American men and Polish men 

Cross-cultural relationships are always complicated, but I’ve found my relationships with Polish men to be much simpler than with their American counterparts. Is it possible that men in Poland and men in America are strikingly different in terms of dating and relationships? Men are men everywhere, aren’t they? What differences does it make if they live here, in Australia, or in Argentina? Let’s get straight down to business: Polish guys just don’t play games like Americans guys do.

Ok, ok I’m aware that there are a few factors leading to this opinion. Firstly, I started dating Polish men after college. Maybe in high school and university all guys are the same but I was 22 when I came here so… it wasn’t like we were that mature. Also, I stand out, so maybe that’s why I didn’t have trouble finding dates in Poland. Or perhaps it’s just the guys I’ve dated. But let’s lay those aside for a minute so I can tell you what I really think.

For me, Polish men overall seem to be more down to earth. I barely dated in college (I went to the University of Florida) Why is that? I almost never got asked out. Guys were pretentious. It was like they wanted you to come to them or they thought they were too good for you. And when they did show interest, it was short-lived or you had to hunt them down for another date. The games were maddening. Granted, there weren’t a lot of great options for women so the guys had their pick and knew they could easily find someone else, especially if they were good-looking. Basically, I always felt like guys were keeping you at arm’s length just in case something better came along.

Anyway, here’s how it worked for me here in Poland. I met a guy when I first moved here and we immediately started dating. When we broke up 3 years later, my husband-then-student, asked me out one week later. So I haven’t been single much since I moved to Poland. I went from not dating much for 3-4 years to that. A dramatic turn for the better if you ask me.  So why is it exactly? Like I said, maybe it’s because I’m different, or is it that Polish men are more mature?

Not only that, I know a lot of couples in America who have been or were together for years and years before getting married. I mean like 6-7 years in college and after and just couldn’t commit. I’m not sure why. I’m not saying that marriage is necessary. Even I think it’s a little old fashioned nowadays. You need it if you’re in a binational relationship but, otherwise, I get why people don’t get married. However, it does show that you’re committed to one another.

In Poland, it doesn’t seem like the majority of people have commitment problems, another sign of maturity. It’s rather the opposite here. It’s more like they avoid changing partners. Not that I would ever condone this, but the number of high school/college sweethearts I’ve met is like astronomical. Is it because Poland is a more religious and traditional country? Possibly. People feel the pressure to get married early from their family or society? Could be. Generally, Poles seem to get married earlier than Americans, even right after college around 24 or 25. Does that make Poles more relationship-oriented? Less… skeezy? Maybe they prefer the security and the *cough* hygiene one partner provides. Are Poles really more willing to commit than Americans? It certainly seems so. Or maybe just the men in Poland just aren’t afraid to show that they love and need their women.

Like I said, maybe I’m just overanalyzing and men are the same everywhere… or maybe there’s something in it? Am I the only one who sees it? Has anyone had a similar experience?

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27 Comments

  • Reply Ada 11 April 2016 at 19:25

    Hi, I’m Ada and I can say that I experience something similar. In my country (Poland) I was barely asked out, boys weren’t interested in me. I’m learning french and I was many times in France. And there I’ve met a lot of boys who were interested in me and my current boyfriend is french. In my opinion it is something about upbringing and culture. It’s like people are choosing things they prefer more then their own culture which influence our characters. I don’t know if I’m right but I think that must be something in it. 🙂

    • Reply Leah Southers 11 April 2016 at 20:11

      Ada – I was thinking something similar like maybe it’s just the fact that I’m different here and you were different there and that’s why?

      • Reply Ada 11 April 2016 at 22:15

        I thought about it too. It’s like you’re something exceptional. But this make me think about another thing which I forgot before. Charlemagne, one of french king’s, said that when you’re speaking another language you have second soul. So maybe it’s too?

  • Reply fff 11 April 2016 at 22:51

    All the things you wrote about the Americans I would apply to Polish men (my nation)… So maybe that its SOMETHING in being different?

    • Reply Leah Southers 12 April 2016 at 06:24

      hah maybe you’re right! it’s very possible

    • Reply xxxx 11 June 2018 at 10:57

      Or maybe you dint look in your own country for love enought? and when it comes to foreigners you fear to make mistakes?

  • Reply Magdelena 12 April 2016 at 06:39

    Well, I travel a lot and love to observe people and their habits. One thing I noted very often is the huge difference between behaviours, specially dating behaviour here in Poland and abroad. On the one hand, Poles are generally more catholic nation, more traditional, willing to find job, get marry and stabilize their life as soon as possible. There’s certainly nothing more what they need to be happy (ah… except good food;) ). But on the other hand, in my opinion, we are very cold and closed nation. We are not so open, sometimes very intolerant and treat others with respect. Did you notice that? I really dislike this side of polish nature.

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 19 April 2016 at 11:31

      Well honestly I find Poles to be quite open in a lot of senses. Maybe not always about themselves but I’ve always been welcomed and felt like people were truly interested in getting to know me. So I guess I’ve had a quite positive experience 🙂

      • Reply Khoi An 18 August 2016 at 19:12

        Hi guys,
        My name is An. I am from Vietnam and getting in a distant relationship with a Polish guy. We are both 22, and used to do Erasmus in Italy. My boyfriend is abit cold and arrogant, that was my first impression about him. He was really closed to students in Erasmus group but I didnt hang out with them so much. Then we barely talk with each other. One day, we talked a bit at a party, after that he texted me to invite me for dinner. I was so defending, thought he wanted one night stand. I did play game with him that time, I didnt come to have dinner which annoys him so much. We didnt talk after that night. 2 weeks after, I met him on trip, we were with others Erasmus. We both tried to ignored each other. I thought he hate me much because he acted that way. 2 weeks after he came back Poland, I stayed in Italy. I tried to pretend that I dont care, but actually I have a crush on him at the beginning. I sent him a message after he left Italy and we started talk everyday. When we chatted, and I have decided to come to poland to find out more about this guy. It was a very nice time with him and his family. We had a deal that I will not fall for him and he has to promise me he will not fall for me…At the beginning, I thought he just want to try Asian girl in the sense of sex…But then days by days, thing started to chance. One time, when we kissed, suddenly he asked me about this relationship, he said: do we reall need to end this when I leave. He asked twice, But I always try to ignore it, I havent trust him yet! His family thought we were a real couple…and things started changing in this way. He is not so cold as I though. He told me about his future plan, destination to travel and his dream house with his love and kids. I was brethless when he said he wanted to have somebody waiting for him at the end of the day. I started falling deeply for him, but I never admited it, because I still think that he wants to play game with me. Oneday before I leave Poland, he hold me so tight and said he doesn’t want me to leave. I didnt want to…I was so scared of saying goodbye, I started crying…and For one second I saw tears in his eyes too! I was so surprised… That night he said he wanted to have a relationship with me…and I said yes. I came back Italy and one week after I flied to vietnam. After leaving, I find it really difficult to share and to have conversation with him. He was so cold on the chat and totally uncaring…That annoy me so much. I feel totally lost right now…I dont know what to do! I dont understand him…Sometimes I feel so doubtful… Please help me.

        • Reply Leah Morawiec 19 August 2016 at 14:05

          Hi An, I’m sorry to hear that that happened. I’m not sure there’s much advice I can give you except that well if someone treats you poorly, then they’re not worth your time, trouble, and feelings. You deserve to be treated well. If it continues in the same way, I say you dump him. Again, I’m sorry you’re hurting but it will work out in the end for sure!

  • Reply Gosia 16 April 2016 at 12:50

    Hi, I’m Gosia.
    (Sorry for my English but I haven’t used it recently so much) I’m Polish, 22 and in happy relationship since 7years.

    I can just tell you about my and my closest friends experience, but I think that we’re looking for soulmate – that’s why we’re not changing partners so often.

    There is something in being attracted by ‘different looking’ person – for example, when I lived in Spain, I just went out to buy some stuff and been asked for a date 🙂 when I go to party with my friends (here) I’m always asked out by guys from Norwegia/Sweden and France/Spain. Don’t know why 🙂

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 16 April 2016 at 17:13

      Gosia – maybe you’re right about the being different thing. People are always intrigued by someone exotic 🙂

  • Reply Patrycja 20 April 2016 at 13:03

    I agree that it’s all about beeing different, somehow “exotic”. In Poland I used to be just a nice girl, while here, in Spain, I have met a lot of guys who were really into me. And I met my boyfriend the very day I came here, now we have been together for over 3,5 years!

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 20 April 2016 at 13:05

      It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it?

  • Reply Monika 26 April 2016 at 14:55

    haha how cool is that! It’s often about being exotic to them 🙂

  • Reply Papuga z Ameryki 29 April 2016 at 04:20

    So … now I know why all of those guys were just watching me and not asking for a date 😉

  • Reply Angelika 30 April 2016 at 06:39

    That’s funny because I am polish girl who is with American :d he is one year younger then me and more mature then any boy I’ve ever dating with in Poland :d

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 1 May 2016 at 20:00

      hah well I guess everyone has their own experiences 🙂 congrats!

  • Reply Julia 13 May 2016 at 08:28

    I’m 19 and I’m in relationship since over 3,5 years. I was 15 when I met my love and I knew that he is the one and only and I don’t want someone else. He is older but he always was very mature. You show in this note a characterization of ‘typical’ polish men. And I think that it could be true. I don’t know american men but I have an experience with one from Poland 🙂
    In times when divorces are so popular people are looking for someone who will be forever.

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 13 May 2016 at 09:22

      Julia – Congratulations! It’s nice to hear when someone is happy 🙂

  • Reply Karolina Hamlet 20 May 2016 at 23:24

    I am Polish and I am married to the American who is way more mature than any Polish guy I’ve ever met. I am not sure if we are different from this stereotype but the person who really wanted to get married was my husband not me 🙂 Maybe it is connected to that I am an atheist (as my all family) but my husband is too. Though, I really need to agree that being different makes people curious so much and it is just attractive.

    I am really happy that I found your blog. I am really interested in this how you see Poland and what you think about our culture. I think it can help me understand my husband’s perception better.
    I am sorry for any mistake and I hope to read more about your experience!

    KH

  • Reply Ema 18 September 2016 at 21:02

    Hi I’m Ema, I’m from indonesia but I have polish friend. In the first impression he’s totally arrogant and not really friendly. Day by day it’s changing now we are a friend. He’s nice, cute and totally funny! He’s a lil bit crazy but I like him! Because we have the different culture and daily life so I decided to keep my behavior. And I have a question, What the things polish guy like and dislike about ? 😀

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 19 September 2016 at 08:43

      Hey Ema – you mean what do Polish guys like about women? Well I guess they’re all different but perhaps they like girls who are open to having fun, trying new things, girls who are in good shape and like sports – that kind of thing. I mean that’s a generalisation but as far as I can see it’s true. Good luck!

    • Reply Konrad 14 November 2016 at 02:47

      “He’s a lil bit crazy but I like him!” Why did I read that with Tevye’s voice? 😛

  • Reply Rere 15 December 2016 at 08:43

    Hi! My name is Rere and I’m from Indonesia. If there’s someone here who can help me, I would be very thankful. 🙂 I have a Polish friend , we never met in real life but we’ve been chatting everyday for a month. He is very cute, funny, and gentle even though he’s younger than me (I’m 28 and he’s 22). I never have a Polish friend before so I wonder, is it common to say “Ja lubie Cie bardzo” to someone you just knew for a month? I know what it means but in my country, we don’t say that to a friend and that’s why I am curious if he’s saying it because the sweet culture of Poland or he’s really into me? Couple of times he mentioned me as his “Guardian Angel” and told me he will come next year. Please help, I know nothing about Polish men..

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 15 December 2016 at 15:22

      Hi Rere – well I suppose, based on what you told me, that he likes you in a romantic way. We/they probably also wouldn’t say “I really like you” to someone who we considered just a friend. Good luck!

  • Reply Alex 2 August 2018 at 00:50

    People from same countries often accumulate negative biases towards their compatriots. Ignore biases and simply have fun.

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