It’s been two years since I’ve visited the US. I went to New York City for four days. Boy was that an experience.
I live in Moscow, Russia permanently (although I’m German). The dating scene here is similar because fundamental dating dynamics are the same: you meet, you start to like each other, you have sex and eventually, you begin a relationship (or not). But it’s also different and I am going to show you how. Some things that I’m going to tell you might seem completely normal to you but I would lose my mind if I had to deal with them daily. Overall, I had a blast so buckle up for an unfiltered outsider’s take of the American dating scene.
Everyone is super chatty
To understand this point, you have to know that Russians aren’t the most talkative bunch. There’s no small talk over there. Get to the point or shut up. The only exception is surprise surprisewhen alcohol is involved. That loosens tongues.
Of course, I have been to the US before but I have never paid that much attention to how talkative and outgoing Americans are. You guys like to talk. A lot!
With that in mind, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that most guys seemed terrified to approach women. Blame my irresistible European charm but everyone was super friendly and open. Striking up a conversation is easy and never met with a blunt response. In Russia, a woman can be harsh in her rejection if you aren’t her type. I wish the women in Moscow were as responsive as New York City women. But there was very little flirting and everyone seemed to mind their own business.
I still had a grand time, even in places like Brooklyn, that aren’t my regular scene.
Here's a bit of truth: Hookups are easy.
Speaking about being open, here’s some unfiltered truth for you: Hooking up is stupidly easy. Let me illustrate with a little story…
My group (I was the only European) was out in Manhattan at a bar. We met a few very friendly and “open” girls early in the night, around 11 PM. After a bit of back and forth, my group left to a club, and we tentatively agreed with them to meet there. Which, of course, never happened.
I never thought that taking the party “somewhere private” was on the table. But a very experienced gentleman that caught us up later commented my story with a hearty laugh. It was not only on the table, but I could also have grabbed it and ran away with it.
In Eastern Europe hookups happen as well. But leaving the party with a woman doesn’t happen that easily and definitely not that early in the night. My anecdotal experience is that casual flings are becoming more common but they aren’t quite as accepted as in Western countries just yet. I expected this but I was still surprised by how easy it was.
Women crave masculinity
My family is from Croatia. My roots are Mediterranean and Eastern European. Both of these regions still have traditional images of masculinity. Gender roles over there are alive and well. The renowned Levada center backs me up on this: domesticity and attractiveness are the most important qualities in a woman, as are intelligence and financial stability in a man. Being a masculine man is the norm and still very much accepted and expected by society. It’s a natural part of my personality and I’m proud of that.
Open masculinity gets a bit of a bad rap these days in the US, at least based on what you can see in the media (like that infamous Gillette commercial). Still, the women in New York City loved communicating with an unapologetically masculine man. They also responded very well to the little gestures women in Eastern Europe take for granted:
– Giving them occasional little compliments.
– Being a gentleman that holds the doors open.
– Picking up the tab without making a fuss out of it.
I heard “wow you’re such a MAN” more than once. And every single time it was meant as a compliment.
Take this as a mere observation from an outsider and draw your own conclusions. But I found that women in the US crave masculinity.
Being European helps
I know that New York City is hardly representative of the US as a whole. The scene was much more diverse than what I'm used to. There were White girls, Black girls, Latinas, Asians, Europeans, tourists…I must’ve talked to at least 20 different nationalities in those few days.
Americans loved the fact that I’m European. They could tell by my accent and probably also by my style that I’m not a local. That made them very curious (which brings me back to everyone being so open).
It also helped a ton that I speak a few different languages. You wouldn’t believe how often I got to speak German and Russian and even Croatian in those few days. In Western Europe, two languages are the minimum for most young people so you won’t wow anyone with this. In New York, people seemed genuinely impressed and I’m never one to turn down an opportunity to boost my ego so…
The spark is missing, there’s no courting process
I’ll close this with an observation that put me off a great deal.
I didn’t go on a real date per se although the meeting with my Airbnb host was quite similar to a date.
From the interactions that I had, dating felt very “business-like” to me. There was very little genuine flirting and no “mating dance” so to speak. Again, especially in Eastern Europe, classic dates are still very much a thing. There is a real courting process, where you feel out the other person and get to know each other.
In New York, I never really felt like this. The women were open and chatty but never seemed to take a genuine interest in getting to know me better. It’s quite telling that the most intimate connection I had was with a Ukrainian-Russian girl that was living in New York (we spoke Russian for the most part).
If you want to know more about dating in Russia, I write about this over at my site here: www.moscownightguide.com
My content is not for the easily-offended so don’t complain I didn’t warn you before…