But when you’re surrounded by American media, filled with Barbie dolls, waif skinny models and Baywatch breasts, the idea of what ‘beauty’ is becomes skewed. European men have a quiet confidence, a demeanor that doesn’t need to scream out loud to prove themselves. The dating culture involves trying out many different options at the same time.
The American way is loud and even arrogant at times. Call it the revolving door or hedging – there’s the idea in the American approach to dating that there’s always something better around the corner.
I met this American guy in Paris, last year, random situation, friend of friend. I am not saying this kind of casual encounter is representative of the whole population, but talking with friends from here made it seem something common.
The consequence of this is a lack of understanding of women, a lack of comfort and often, a lack of respect. There is a courtesy, consideration, chivalry and thoughtfulness in how they act, behave and engage with others.
They are also raised with strong family and community values, so there is a sense of responsibility and accountability for others, not just for the self.
There are a set of ritualized rules that are abided by in American dating culture, and if you don’t play within them, you are labeled as desperate or needy or undesirable.
So does this mean the only hope for a happy, committed relationship is to move to another country? As mentioned above, the observations summarized above are not really about where one is born, but rather a mentality that is influenced by societal and cultural values.
What I got from pop culture is that American people call “dating” the process of seeing someone that one is currently sexually attracted to and officially romantically involved with.