Friday, March 30, 2007

Episode 1: Ten Characteristics of German Men

I live in Germany for almost half a year now. Since I moved here (apart from other things), I have been studying these amazing creatures, called “German men”. Though the results of my “scientific” research are preliminary, they are definitely worth reporting. Ten characteristics, identified below are, of course, generalizations (there are exceptions from every rule), however, I think that they more or less accurately describe the overwhelming majority of German guys. Enjoy!

Ten Characteristics of German Men (with explanations):

1. Beer-worshiping. For every German guy beer is his best friend, his mother and father, his sense of living. Beer may replace anything and anyone. German guys can drink an enormous…, unthinkable…, unbelievable… amount of beer. I have a friend, who sleeps with a bottle of Spaten München (a brand of Bavarian beer for those of us, who do not know what it is) instead of a girlfriend. Isn’t that amazing? No further comment…

2. Greed. Unless they are buying beer (for their private consumption!!!!) spending money makes German guys positively hysterical. Especially when they have to spend money on women (they think that nowadays women make enough money to afford buying a drink in a bar, so why bother making a good impression?) I am not saying that men should buy us diamonds and Ferraris, but treating us every once in a while with little things is actually very pleasant. But you can pretty much forget about anything when you are dating a German guy. Another thing that I don’t get is that they never tip these poor waitresses. Once I went out with a couple of German (male) friends and they thought that 20-cent tip on an almost 80-euro bill was way too generous. DISGUSTING!!!! As a matter of fact, they always look at me as if I have just got out of the mental sanatorium when they see me tipping 10%. Let me give you another example from my own experience. Once I was down with the flu and had to stay put at home over the weekend (don’t we all just love when it happens?). When I was back to work on Monday one of my colleagues (instead of asking me how I was feeling or at least if I was all right) said: “You should have gone out with us on Saturday. We bought a bottle of Whisky and had to split the cost among 3 people. Had you come along we could have split the cost among 4”. – You can see, they really missed me:)))! Finally, the most notorious case of greed (get ready – this one is really shocking). I have a German friend (the guy is far from being poor), who did not even get an engagement ring for his fiancée (though, for some reason she was totally OK with that). Now, this is serious, don’t you think? One of my friends says that German guys always try to maximize their utility. I actually disagree. I think they minimize costs (and this is not the same).

3. Extreme underconfidence. One of my British friends said once: “I love English guys because they act before they think, if they ever think. I love German guys because they think before they act, if they ever act.” I do not know much about English men (though I would really like to find out more) but the second part of this genius phrase is actually very true. German guys never make a move before they are 100% (ok, 99.9%) sure that this action will cause the reaction they want. This concerns both their job and their private life. They prefer to “talk to the right guy” before they (for example) apply for a grant, so that their efforts are not in vain. In any case, for German guys risk seeking is synonymous to suicide. I wonder why they have these casinos in Germany? They all must have gone bankrupt by now. I guess they keep them for some weirders and foreigners:))… In their communication with women this “special feature” called “extreme underconfidence” is even more apparent. For illustration, consider the following example from my own experience. Every day I go for lunch with my colleagues (who are mostly men). For the last 3 months there was one guy (we actually do not work together, but he is a friend of one of my co-workers) who was coming with us every day. Last week we had an office party and for some reason he was invited there too. After consuming quite a few bottles of “the sense of living” from #1, he walked up to me and told me that he really liked me and was coming for lunches with us just to have an opportunity to see me and talk to me. Flattered by this unexpected confession, I left him my cell number. And guess what – it has been a week and he still never called me. I guess I have to wait for another 3 months until he gathers enough courage to do this.

4. Hilarious outfits. When you look at the way German guys dress today, you start to doubt that Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg. Even though he once said: "I don't like standard beauty – there is no beauty without strangeness.", I think he would agree with me that there is a big gap between being “strange” and being “hilarious”. In part this is probably the result of #3. I think that they have problems with combining things. Just one example – there is a guy, whose office is next to mine and I see him more or less every day. His usual outfit is the following: baggy pants of bright orange color (too short in length), white socks, sticking out from bright greenish keds, long sweater in black and blue color (hard to tell when he washed it last time). Plus, a very important accessory – dirty hair (I am not going to say anything about shaving – make your own bets). Obviously, this is an extreme example, but on average, I think German guys dress funny (unless, of course, they work in Frankfurt and wear nice suits).

5. (Very) bad taste in women. I think that this stems directly from #3 and partially from #2. I can write pages and pages about this particular trait of German men (may be I will tell you several stories later on). It is just every time I am taking a walk, I see men with really ugly women (I am not sure – may be beautiful women are hiding behind the metal and glass of the cars with their men – and that is why you cannot see them in the streets?). Anyway, it is a mystery where German guys meet these ugly women (may be there is a special secret school or a fabric, which produces these practically deformed creatures). On the other hand, beautiful (and smart) German women seem to stay single for a very long time. One of my friends, who is a real knock-out, had to go through all this hell of internet dating to get herself a boyfriend. The reason I think is obvious. When German guys see a beautiful woman in a bar, they try to find any excuse not to go over and talk to her due to their huge inferiority complex. And if they have the guts to do that, they try to find any excuse to end the conversation asap. I think this is a real travesty. As a result, best German women either stay single or get matched with generous Italians or better-mannered French.

6. Bad manners. German people in general and German men in particular are very formal and polite at work (no doubt about that). However, what German men have at the work space, they completely lack in private life (especially when they drink). Again, the real world example. One of my friends was really lusting over one guy. Since (like all German guys) he was very underconfident and shy my friend (knowing for a fact that he was single and interested) decided to make a first step and asked him out. And you know what was his reply? You would never guess! He said: “Thank you very much, Fairy Godmother, but I would rather watch TV with my friends instead”. I would never say something like that even to a person that I really hate!

7. German guys take everything personally (even friendly jokes). Do not even think about joking with a German guy. The problem is they take everything literary and very personally. Not only that they do not have a sense of humor, they also do not have a feeling that they do not have a sense of humor. I have one friend, who told me once that he was going to the gym three times a week. Jokingly, I said that he did not look like he was working out that often. What can I say – he would not talk to me ever since…

8. Soccer mania. This is a very important attribute in the life of every German guy (almost as important as beer). German men are addicted to soccer. Not only do they watch all these matches live, they also buy DVDs with the matches they saw in the past. Do you know any American guy, who would buy a Super Bowl DVD after it is over? Well, unless he is a coach or a collector, this is very hard to imagine… Miraculously, what German men completely lack with women, they gain in their fan endeavors – they seem to become quite aggressive when they are cheering for their favorite teams.

9. Lack of imagination. It is my belief that German guys do not have a capacity to invent and surprise. It probably follows from their rationality. For them it is better to simply follow the scheme of behavior, created by someone else than to find their own, unique way. The main problem is that as a rule this lack of imagination is often coupled with an extreme attention to details, which seriously inhibits the capacity of German men to reach their goals.

10. Hypercapacity to complain. German men in my experience complain more than women. Let me rephrase that. German guys complain all the time. An interesting thing is – they often take too many responsibilities or tasks on themselves and then they do not know how to deal with all these problems. It is like this line from the famous movie. First they create this rainy weather and then they stand in the rain going like: “Shit, it is raining!”.

Having said all that, German guys are actually very lovely creatures. They are quite friendly (if you do not try to take their beer or their money from them) and charming (if you meet them in the office).

That’s all for now!



P. S.

If someone knows other important characteristics of German guys or if you strongly disagree with one (or more) of their features crafted by me here, I will be more than glad to read your thoughts on this issue.


Dominik said...

Sorry, but you write complete bullshit! Why do you publish such an ironical crap?!
It seems that you don't really know much about Germans. Maybe you just know a small social circle of Germans - but they don't represent a whole nation.
Some things may be right. But me, for example, do not drink any alcohol nor I like football matches - therefore I must hold a mirror up to you.
And football maniacs you can find in England as well. Indeed, they are well-known for making a racket.

So don't generalize in such an aggressive way, please.


D. H.

MOMO said...


I don't mean to be offensive to German men. I like them and I have German male friends.
But the comment from Mr. D.H. shows exactly "mentality of German male"...

Please don't take it personal....

An American Girl said...

Seriously this is amazing! I have lots of German friends and currently have a German boyfriend who is pretty much on the dot with your accusations. I find it hilarious and couldn't stop laughing. A few of my German friends warned me about dating him, but then I fell in love and kinda got stuck! Lol will be the last German I ever date :-)

Brett Brett said...

That is interesting and contradictory to my experience. Perhaps it is because of region or that you are more old.

German said...

This is total crap. Perhaps you attract these types of guys because most Germans are not like this. This almost seems cartoonish in portrayal.

nathanpdx said...
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nathan_usa said...

I worked for a German company and have German relatives and at least half of this blog post is spot on consistent with my observations. The poor taste in women and the beer thing stands out.

The Quiet Storm said...

I have been dating a German man for 6 years and I have to agree with the writer of this post. LOL.

The Quiet Storm said...

I have been dating a German man for 6 years and most of the traits are spot on LOL

Maria Ofelia Charmion Olbes said...

Hahaha ... I had been dating my German bf a year now plus my 2 cousins have had their German husbands. YOU GOT IT RIGHT GIRL !!

claw said...

I am 44 and was raised in the swabian part of Germany AND THEY BEHAVE(D) LIKE THIS!!!
I never had a german boyfriend and my gorgeous female friends are married to Brits, Dutch and Spanish.
I think the younger men are different, my nephews are. ;)

Kurt Stull said...

I was looking for something on the web about the character traits of German women when I found your blog. Very interesting (& funny!) stuff. Thank you for the insight.

Kurt Stull said...

Pray tell please, where is a good website to find a good Protestant Christian German woman? And can I order one with dark features;)!

Ayu R said...
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Ayu R said...

I can relate some of these!! Such typically german man in general, I have been close to a german guy but what I can say....... he made me confused about his behaviors. He said that he like me but as you mentioned in number #3 he will stop contacting me for more than a week and then he talked to me like nothing happened. Still difficult to understand him since he doesn't want to open up >. <

Ayu R said...

I can relate some of these!! Such typically german man in general, I have been close to a german guy but what I can say....... he made me confused about his behaviors. He said that he like me but as you mentioned in number #3 he will stop contacting me for more than a week and then he talked to me like nothing happened. Still difficult to understand him since he doesn't want to open up >. <

mercedette toling said...

hahah now i know what they are like.. i had the observation only i was not able to connect what i think, with what I say! thanks!

Pat Stegmaier said...

You think she is wrong!!!! I am 72 my husband 81 German, first "man" in my life at 19, married 50 rotten years , no obvious abuse, ust uninteresting, lives in a box, does not want to explore conversations, As i grew, me being Canadian, negative background, thought i had me a man. Little did i know i married a boy who did not want his boat rocked. Was not of any support, like living with a zombie, 0h he had his moments few and very far between I feel i missed out on life so much. He has a way getting his own way so sneaky, I matured but had 2 daughters, and no confidence to leave, and no where to go, and if i do say so myself I was a very very good looking woman Never say they are sorry when it right under their nose, better stop You all get the picture, but, other people only saw the gentelman

AJ Tiger said...
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AJ Tiger said...

Stubborness. I’ve been reading blogs about German males to get inspiration for a book I’m writing and one common trait mentioned in most of them is that German men are stubborn/traditional. I have no personal experience in this area, but I find German guys attractive.

Mary Youngblood said...

Finally! Someone gets it! My only concerns are items 5 and 8. I'm not ugly Well....maybe he thinks I am. Wait..maybe I am! I don't know. I've been married to a German for 22 years, so I'm confused. As for item 8, delete soccer and just say MANIA. Anything a German does, like putting things back in a box just the way they found it in the store, usually involves an extraordinary amount of endless WORK (which will set US free). My mother told me years ago marrying a German would be unpleasant because they are not funny. And when they think they are, their audience (hostages) stare blankly, waiting for a punchline. The only way one can discern they are telling a joke is because they simply stop talking. Sometimes for weeks until the next funny thing happens. Lucky for me my husband is half Italian, which means he has a warm, sentimental side, weeps when not complaining over design glitches, and likes tomatoes and Sophia Loren.

Veronica GABRIEL said...

Tara you have scored 98.9% with this update

Let me share my experience

I met this German guy and within splits of minutes a chemistry began

We couldn't control it and the spark actually extinguished those core German traits at least for a few days

But alas the typical traits are irrepressible

He works as a teacher in Baden wutterburg and I live in Frankfurt

So one day we were skyping and I said to him

"Oh how I wish you were working in Frankfurt so we could optimise our affection and closeness" - ( I mean a casual remark made jokingly ) . Would you believe he was crossed at this statement but managed to conceal his irritation

Another time he was ill , had a flu and had to rest for a week at hone
During that week , I tried minimising my interruptions on him because he really needed to rest

So on one of the occasions , I said to him
I only called you to find out how you are doing

He picked an offence with the phrase "I only called you "

So few weeks after shortly after a girlfriend of mine gave him some unbalanced details about me ( which instead of confronting me to get the full story or hear my own side) wrote me a long epistle and included the reasons I've cited above as reasons to terminate an intimate interaction which he had openly admitted he never had such before
Pin fact he told me I made him have a good laugh in many years
Phenomenal wept when we were parting but still had to part with me because he must play it according to the stereotypical German men rules

I'm still cringing and coupled with what I've been reading
Other new German interested men are having a hard time convincing me otherwise

I tell them point blank I would rather date a French guy

f said...

Your post is very interesting and informative, thank you! I need some insights/help.

I have been talking to a German guy for almost two months and we finally went out. Things were going very well and we met every week consistently for three weeks and he expressed his interest for me throughout. He also actively texted me when he was traveling out of town for work. However we are not big fans of texting so we don't exchange texts every other minute but would text everyday just to say our greetings. I like him a lot as he is always genuine and kind. But after the third date (after he tried to crack a really dry joke to inform me that he is back in town and I replied with sarcasm because he unknowingly offended me), he stopped texting me actively.

I asked when he wanted to hang out again and he told me he was busy over the weekend. He did explain in details what exactly he was busy with, with smileys and the mention of my name in his text replies. I found his replies to be sincere but however not sure if that is because he was just being polite in rejection. Would appreciate any form of insights from fellow readers. Thank you.

Lavidaeswunderba said...

I'd like to offer my thought. I think you should tell him directly what you are thinking and ask him if what you understand is right because at the beginning of a relationship we shouldn't assume, I think, and fro what I know German are straightforward.

Everyone's German men seem to have no problem with committing in a relationship but this guy I like does not want a relationship at this time and prefers to be friends, which I agree because we live in two different countries and he has been on his own since 18, surviving by himself in a big city (this is also why I like him, he is capable and can cook =D ).He probably cant afford a gf right now and also wants to know more about me. We knew each other for only 3 days, met abroad but have been in touch ever since. I like how he seems to care and be mean at the same time. Sometimes he is super cute like this author mentions about the rain. He ate tabasco sauce and complained why it was too spicy. The thing that annoys me the most is like what Pat mentions there about how they hardly say sorry and even when they do it sounds mean. They don't say sorry for what they have done, they only say sorry for things they don't want to do or cant help you with.

Solange Powers said...

All of these comments I can relate to, having been married for many years to a German and pre-and post-divorce dating experiences with them. The lack of easygoingness, perfectionism, taking things too literally and having a sense of humor particularl only to their culture, makes dating/being romantically-involved with Germans very difficult. I would say there is lots of passive-aggressive behavior which will not be understood out of their cultural context, and as a foreigner you are unlikely to ever truly understand the family dynamics as well as the rigidity with which people grow up in Germany. There are so many nuances that one will never be able to understand!

Oxana Khalikova said...

OMG girl this is just great! I love your post because i was dating exactly the same type you described here! Complaining, greedy, absolutely not self confident, trying to compare me to him, asked me to share his expenses and pay him some money... No comments, when i asked why he is doing it, he said that this is the way he is. Hah oh well bad experience is an experience too. I still believe though that not every German guy is like this but will be very careful next time.