Are you good at staring? Are you single? If the answer to these two questions is yes, then you will be successful on the dating scene in Germany or rather, Munich. Dating is definitely different here in more ways than one. I for one, am not adjusting well.
I recently heard a friend describe the UK University 'dating' scene to me like this: "Well, it gets to around midnight and then its as if everyone has been injected with something and is clamouring to get with anyone and everyone, not wanting to go home alone. I mean, they just walk up to someone and grab them!" *cue shock and disgust* Unfortunately, I couldn't really correct her on this. It is for the most part, true. I'm not saying that I am proud of this and I definitely wasn't one of the 'midnight lurchers' (well, maybe excluding nights when I was at Top Banana on a Monday and pints of Purple were only a pound...kidding!), but a milder version of this would be preferable to the German way of doing things.
It all comes back down to their favourite side-activity: staring. When I was in London for one night, I was approached by several guys throughout the night wanting to chat and buy me a drink – *cue reader thinking what a smug and arrogant little wotsit thinking she is God's gift to men* – I can assure you I am most definitely not, but men are more forward from the Isle and at least give it a little bit of effort. They understand the beauty of the chase. They know that if they don't make a move, they are going to miss out. Munich men? They will sit like an unmovable stone and stare at you all night, undressing you with their eyes, and still won't do ANYTHING about it. It's not like I want them to lavish me with drinks and attention, but a simple"Hallo" would make things much less awkward. I once sat opposite some guys with my friends in a bar and they literally stared the whole night – which was more offputting than flattering. They didn't speak for the whole time we were there. Then we leave, 3 hours later, and they say 'Bye girls, shame you are going already!". "Bye"? "Bye"?! How about starting with "Hi!" 3 hours ago when I was vaguely interested, rather than trying to talk when I'm walking out the door. I just don't understand this at all. If this was a wildlife programme, the species would have died out by now: *cue wildlife presenter voice* "The male, intimidated by the female, holds back and watches her from afar, trying to determine her next move. Meanwhile, the female appears to be becoming agitated. This is an exciting moment, it looks like the male is slowly starting to approach and we are going to witness the magical moment of meeting out here in the harsh environment of the German wilderness ...oh...no...wait...the male appears to have been startled and has ran back into the bushes again".
Then you have got the other approach in the club: the 4 hour stare, followed by edging closer bit by bit in a completely obvious way. They though, think they are totally slick and are reeling me in by the second with their sexy smooth moves – they couldn't be more wrong (particularly because a pensioner could bust better moves than they can). As Queen Vic would have said 'We are not amused'. It's like they have taken tips from black and white films – come into the 21st century, pretty please?
Then there is the 'let's be friends' kind of courting (basically staring with a little chatting). One of my friends has been here years and told me this technique: they like to be friends with you for at least 4 years before they will even consider anything else. Didn't they watch Scrubs? Hurry up or you are going to miss the window and be forever in the 'friend zone'!
A few weeks ago though, I was pleasantly surprised. I had left my friend at the bar and then I had come back to find her with a a guy chatting avidly. This, in the Munich world, is shocking. Upon my arrival though, the mystery was soon unravelled. He was Italian and called Mateo (not in any way a cliché...). After struggling to speak to my friend in English, he turned his attention to talking to me in German. Here's the best bit of all though. Pointing at me, my friend and himself he goes on to say: "One, two, three – we could have a good night together yes? *creepy raised eyebrow*".
On second thoughts maybe the German guy staring isn't so bad after all...