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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  • 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 Kathy 1 June 2019 at 21:29

      Thank you for sharing your experience and your impression of polish men.
      I some how have fallen into a lovely relationship with a polish young man, 20 years younger i am afraid,
      however it has and is a wonderful connection that we have. I am in the middle of a divorce and never even thought I wanted to date let alone a much younger gentelman. But some how it naturally occurred and I agree with many of your assessments. Based on my limited 1 young relationship I do find him to be mature, for loving and vunerable, senstitve and thoughtful , and feels confident and comfortable in his own skin. I feel so blessesd
      I agree that there is no game playing or guessing , which is the only way I can be in a healthy relationship.
      I trust him and love being around him. What a nice surprise to be dating such a nice polish man.

      • Reply Leah Morawiec 5 July 2019 at 07:43

        That’s lovely to hear! 20 years is a big difference and I’m sure that will be hard to overcome in terms of social acceptance, etc., but if you’re both happy then I’m sure you can make it work.

  • 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 nina night 30 July 2020 at 03:10

      you are gay and incorrect. my man is polish as hell! my parents hate him help me bitch!

  • 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!


  • 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 Iwona 6 June 2020 at 06:00

      Well, I am a Polish woman and I can tell you that saying to someone: “Bardzo Cię lubię” means just that. He likes you. We say that to people who are our friends and those who we do not know too well but start liking. I am not saying that he does not have stronger feelings for you deep inside, but those words are nothing special really in Poland. I say “I like you a lot” to many people, friends or acquaintances.

      • Reply Leah Morawiec 22 June 2020 at 21:39

        Well in English the phrase “I like you” means “I want to be in a romantic relationship with you”, so be careful people!

  • 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.

  • Reply Chat Dla Dorosłych - Victoria Milan 22 December 2018 at 05:33

    Great Post about dating. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Rara 3 April 2019 at 01:28

    Iam dating away younger polish guy now for 5 month I just think his the most best guys I ever date attention very detailed, his young 27 but his acting so mature better than 40 y old men , he spoild their women , I don’t know and Iam asian but his so jealous ? I mean very jealous but other than that his the best an they good looking men too

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 6 April 2019 at 17:06

      Hi Rara – I’m very glad you found someone nice from Poland 🙂 Hope it works out for you guys!

    • Reply Jazzy H 25 May 2020 at 17:00

      We love to see it!!

  • Reply Honor 28 May 2019 at 00:01

    I am American and met a Polish man at his job. He is a restaurant General Manager. He behaves as though he likes me. Never ignores and tells me personal things that he seems not to tell other people. I went to the restaurant after a few months and he wasn’t there. The girls woking told me to write him a message to give to him. I left my new phone number and asked him to call me. It has been 3 days and he hasn’t called me. He gave me his number years ago but I am terrified to text or call him on it. I wonder if he is mad that I left a message at his job. I adore him. I drive a Porsche and he loves it and said he wanted to go out with me in it. Is he only being nice because he has to be at his job. He has spoken with me privately like a million times
    Can someone please tell me what to expect from a Polish man?

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 5 July 2019 at 07:45

      Hey Honor – unfortunately I don’t think anyone can give you great advice on this – you’ll just have to see how it works out. What ended up happening?

  • Reply Lex 28 June 2019 at 17:34

    I am American & have been dating a Polish guy here in the US for a few months. I have not been having a pleasant experience like everyone else has described lol. He is very possessive and can be very demanding and rude. He is also super jealous and immature and pushy. He is very polite when he needs to be and can be very kind and sweet. But it is not easy dating someone when there is a language and cultural barrier. Im hoping once all the misunderstandings stop there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 5 July 2019 at 07:42

      Hey Lex – well of course everyone is different 🙂 It just depends on their personality also, probably more so than the culture. The culture just influences people in small ways, but for sure who you are is the most significant factor. Perhaps you’d be better off with someone else?

    • Reply vbt 12 January 2020 at 03:08

      I am in the exact same situation as you and I am hoping for the same…

  • Reply Jow 28 September 2019 at 10:46

    I am a Filipina and I’ve met my Polish boyfriend just recently. We’ve been chatting for 6 months when we both planned to visit Philippines so we could meet and see if there is real chemistry between us. We’ve only spent 2 weeks together and it felt like we’ve known each other for a long time (my soulmate). About his attitude towards me I can say that he is matured enough to deal with my childishness sometimes, he knows what he wants and he is a straight forward man which is I think good in building a relationship. I don’t know why but I liked it whenever he would share his opinion about how I look, the way I dress and his comments about my problems. I could feel it that he wanted to feel that he is the man in the relationship and that he should lead both of us and I will stand by his side as long as I know that its healthy to our relationship. I am happy with him and he was telling me that he feels the same. Now we are planning our second meeting and hopefully it’d be for a lifetime. Never ever felt so secured before but now I am confident that he is my one and if he will ask me the magic question I wouldn’t hesitate to say yes.

    But don’t get me wrong not all fingers are the same, so if I just got lucky to found someone like my boyfriend it wouldn’t apply to everyone. We all have our differences so sometimes you need to find the match that will perfectly fits to you.

    • Reply Jazzy H 25 May 2020 at 16:58

      That is so awesome to hear!!! I’ve met my love recently and I can tell he knows what he wants too. I hope you’re still going strong <3

  • Reply Delordinho 15 November 2019 at 16:31

    It’s really weird too se an American woman with a Polish man. It’s (nearly) always the other way around – a foreigner and a Polish woman. Kinda doesn’t make sense since you know how Poles are seen, and Polish women are thought to be beautiful.

  • Reply Jaz H 25 May 2020 at 16:56

    Great article! I very much enjoyed reading it. I have searched for info on dating a Polish man and your piece is very consistent with what I’ve read others observe. I’m in love with a Polish man and vice versa. He plays no games and is very consistent and loving. We are in an interracial relationship. I’m black and he is well, Polish. Sometimes I wonder if that will be a problem with his family. My family’s philosophy: If you like him, we love him. He is very very different than American men! Its wonderful, refreshing and I hope this is a start of something beautiful.

    • Reply Robin 22 October 2021 at 03:32

      Jaz H,

      Your post is over a year old, but I would love to hear what happened between you and your Polish boyfriend! Quite a number of years ago, I had an interesting experience with a Polish co worker. Due to a conflict with a cantankerous co worker, my team leader moved me to another work area. I was so mad, because most of my friends were there, and we’d talk and laugh about all sorts of things, which made the day go by faster. Anyway, at the new work area, I worked with a Polish guy named Paul. Paul hadn’t been there very long. I was coming upon my 1 year anniversary in a few months. At first, I found Paul to be a bit bossy, telling me how to do my job. After a few days, I mentioned something about school, and he shared with me that he was living with relatives in Lake Forest, IL while attending school at Lake Forest College. He introduced himself to me. “My name is Paul.” “I’m Robin.” We shook hands, and then after that, things were cool. We talked a lot about spiritual things, and it got to the point that when I felt I did more talking than work and said maybe I should get back to work, Paul would say, “Oh, don’t worry about that! Give it to me,” and he would do my work! “Go on, I’d like to hear more about what you were saying about Jesus healing the Irish nun and giving her the gift of healing,” or whatever I may have been talking about. He talked about how in the past, the Catholic Church in Poland was suppressed by the government, and there was not the same level of freedom there that existed in the U.S. I found him delightful, thoughtful, intelligent, and easy to talk to. Another thing I found interesting is Paul would always ask me to smile! I would smile quickly, and he would say, “No, that’s not a real smile. Come on now,” I would smile again, and he would say, ” Now that’s a real smile!” Paul had the funniest laugh! I would have a laughing fit at him. He laughed like the character Arnold Horshack from the 1970s tv comedy, ‘Welcome Back Kotter’. Before the work shift started, he would always find me and we’d chat, or during our 2 15 minute breaks, he would always find me and we would talk. I saw Paul as a nice person who was very interested in spiritual matters, nothing more. However, one particular day, during one of the 15 minute breaks, Paul found me, and we talked about the weather and some sort of meeting that was going to be held later in the day. We waited near an empty workstation for the announcement about the meeting. Paul went to his locker to put his thermos of coffee away, then returned to where I was standing. Paul was looking towards the area where staff was preparing to make their announcement about the meeting. I looked at Paul, and suddenly, I felt different about him. I was “checking him out”, as we say, lol! He was solidly built, strong looking, just the right height, and he had the most beautiful steely gray eyes. Wait a minute!! How did this feeling come about? I don’t remember the announcement or anything after that! All I know is that day, I realized I was in love with Paul. We interacted as before, but I soon left my job after deciding to return to college to pursue a 2nd degree. I never saw Paul again, and I often wonder where he is and how he is doing.

  • Reply Jane 26 May 2020 at 20:50

    I tried dating polish guys but if doesn’t seem to work. Im kinda sad because I really like the culture.(? Sorry if my english is bad I’m from Norway) They seem so nice but i cant seem to find anyone who is mature. I now got blocked for no reason and I’m trying to understand what I did wrong in this. Him having problems is understandable and ill give him space as he told me too.. but really im disappointed that this didnt work out and didnt even try to talk why he did this… maybe one day ill find someone who tries and not just toss their feelings out.. Also sad he lead me on to just being nothing at all.

  • Reply Samm 12 June 2020 at 06:36

    Hello I’m Sam. I met a polish guy in dating app. He is pretty nice, cute and decent and he told me right away that he likes me and asked if i’m looking for serious relationship. So he asked for my number then continue talking to different app. Wasn’t really interested with him at first and I ghosted him for 5 weeks and he asked why. Now that we’re back talking he then asked me if I would move to Europe and live with him also asked “Can I marry you?”. I need adviceee, do you think he’s serious? Or just bored? Both of us is 25 and I am a filipina by the way 🙂

    • Reply Leah Morawiec 22 June 2020 at 21:37

      Hi Sam! Sure I think he could be serious. Maybe you should give it a shot! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Reply Kaczynski 9 November 2020 at 18:55

    “In Poland, it doesn’t seem like the majority of people have commitment problems, another sign of maturity. ”

    you look for a commitment when you want and it does not have anything to do with maturity. There are lots of needy people out there who have low levels of maturity looking for this commitment.

    In the US men/women are looking for fun until their 25-30’s (and the tendency is going older) Poland is not about fun. In Poland society is much more judgemental and girls can ask for a relationship to an unknown dude they meet a few ago because they have social pressure. I have seen some case where the girl goes with ‘the first’ man who accepts a marriage without developing a relationship.

    In western world, first you meet the target person, then you become friends, then its a trial period and then they go in to a relationship after sometime.

    Commitment is not that important in the 20’s in the US basically they do not care about people. they are in their business and fun, in Poland people love to control and judge more, probably because the communist system is somehow still alive socially.
    so its normal if come from Poland to see a big jump on the social norms, but its always a good experience after all.

  • Reply jerry 1 March 2024 at 14:14

    yes in US they like to have fun lots of fun till late 30’s somtimes too much lots of young people have not right decitions lots of young getting older without kids . merrage is late can not handle pressure then lots of devorcees
    in young age there is no feeling comitment wrong friends some of them all kind of addictions by age 30-40 back fire from effect of having fun . and sud but real some of them end up dead from overdose by age 30
    this is USA country of freedom and fun . I got lots of experiance working with ypung people .
    eastern countries are more regulated by perents but families are more stable .

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