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I never thought that the cultural background of a dating prospect would make much of a difference when it came to relationships.

However, since living in New York, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many different people from various backgrounds and it’s become clear that there are definite cultural norms specific to European men versus American men (especially New Yorkers).

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Now, when I discuss the differences between European and American, I’m referring to a mindset. American men on the other hand, tend to be goal oriented, with the aim of getting laid.

You can very well be born in America but have a more “European” mindset and vice versa. Perhaps this ‘score mentality’ is for bragging rights, perhaps it’s for validation so they can feel wanted and desired, or perhaps it’s a pure ego play.

American men will rush to get you in bed as quick as possible, while European men don’t appear to have the same rush (or desperation). European men don’t ‘date’ – in the formal way that Americans are used to.

The types of dates seen in movies – the formal ask, the fancy dinner and the entire dance that ensues simply doesn’t exist in the European mindset, in fact, the word “dating” isn’t even a part of their lexicon. Unlike American culture, where there’s almost a rite of passage which takes two people from “hooking up” to “seeing each other” to “dating” to “exclusive”, these labels just aren’t a focus or concern for European men. Rather, the mentality is, “I like you, I want to see you, and if it’s enjoyable, let’s keep seeing each other”.

Sure, they will go out for dinner and do fun activities, but it’s not packaged up in a formal and contrived manner. It’s more organic and instead of defining the relationship in order to know how to act, they let the relationship unfold and the label of boyfriend/girlfriend just naturally develops in the process. European men are comfortable with women, which leads to respect for women.

Perhaps this has to do with their upbringing, where it’s very normal for boys and girls to play and intermingle together.They grow up developing friendships with the opposite sex and in turn, develop more empathy and understanding of the opposite sex.In American culture, there is a clear segregation of the sexes, boys play with boys and do boy things and girls do the same.Then these boys grow up and are exposed to the opposite sex in an abrupt, often sexualized way. This is definitely seen in how they treat not only women, but everyone around them.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.

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