Looking for love
When it comes to finding a second half in life, I have found the Slovenians to be the shiest, the Swedes the most open-minded, Finns and Estonians the least `sticky` and the Britons the least careful about getting pregnant. The Poles in many ways compare to the Italians. Both nationalities want love to be passionate, they can be quite jealous and have a lot of arguments, but they are also the ones who buy each other more presents than couples in other countries do. What else is there to know about Polish love life?
Most couples get to know each other in pubs or discos, while school or university takes up a second place. Jastine (26) thinks that the strategy is quite similar: boy and girl have eye contact, boy asks girl for a drink and hears either `yes` or `go away`, they dance together and, if the girl agrees, they go somewhere afterwards or decide on a second date. `It has to be the girl who proposes the second meeting`, Jastine says, adding that in Poland, it`s the girl who decides what will and will not happen.`
Maciej (22) and Monika (22):
`Polish girls are usually more grown-up than Polish guys`
Polish Boys and girls, or men and women, are very different from each other. No Swedish-type metrosexuals here, and definitely no homosexuals. Men are men and behave as such. Women are women and behave as such. The differences are quite apparent, first of all because of the way the girls dress. Every piece of cloth they were, or lack of it, seems to be targeted to impress men. Whether they have just given birth to a baby or not, many of them will stick to high heels, a lot of make-up and sexy dress. Guys look strong, powerful and usually bald. They pretend to be in charge, even though it`s oftentimes the girls who speak foreign languages. On average, as I noticed so far, it`s also the girls who have the best conversation skills and the widest choices of subjects to talk about.
Most of the Poles I meet today agree that girls are more intelligent and responsible than the guys. When I ask Maciej (22) and Monika (22, both in photo) about the differences, Maciej characterizes Polish women as beautiful, smart, happy, sociable and responsible yet jealous. Monika thinks of Polish men as handsome and caring, but she also mentions that they smoke and drink too much and can be quite annoying when they are drunk. `Girls are smarter`, Monika says. `They think about life and about the future, while the guys only think about today and maybe tomorrow.`
Maciej explains that boys and girls also behave different depending on who they`re with. `If I am with friends, I talk about football and girls. I am going to marry Monika next month, but when I am with friends I will still talk about girls most of the time. In the same way girls talk about shopping and clothes when they are with their girlfriends.`
Jakub (20) has a girlfriend but is still willing to tell me what he finds important in a girl: `She has to have a beautiful ass, a good smile and she has to be ambitious.` Izabela (21) thinks that the first criteria for women is whether the guy is willing and able to dance when they first meet. `After that, other things quickly become more important. Does he like children, will he be a good dad? A typical good husband further needs to be tidy, patient, responsible, have a good job and if possible a lot of money. And he obviously needs to love his wife a lot.`
Most Polish girls are fond of Polish guys and vice versa. Internationally mixed couples exist happens but are not very common. Kamil (18) thinks that Polish girls are better than girls from other countries, partly by confirming what I have been told a few days ago by a young drunk fellow in Katowice: Polish girls are open to just about anything when it comes to sex.
Poles are eager to find company in life and they are easily annoyed when they don`t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Marek (18) says that it`s hard for people to be alone, so it`s only natural that they will look for a second half. `I think many young people are scared not to be in a relationship. It`s hard to be alone. There`s only one negative side effect: some people get together without knowing each other and they end up having a lot of arguments. But no matter how many arguments they have, they will in many cases prefer to stay together because having to look for someone new would be too much of a risk.`
Weronika (20) agrees that Poles, especially women, are quick to call somebody a boyfriend or girlfriend. `Maybe not at the second date, but at least within a month. And when I call somebody my boyfriend, I will also want to introduce him to my parents. I think many men are a bit scared of that, because fathers of daughters always look very grumpy when they get introduced to their potential future son-in-law.`
Pawel (20) thinks that Polish girls can often be too quick to define mutual affection as a relationship. `If you sleep with a Polish girl, you sort of grant her have all the rights to claim that you are her boyfriend. That happened to me once and the girl got very angry when I didn`t return her phone calls.`
Gosia (21) explains that society is teaching Polish people to avoid being alone. `It`s within our traditions and it`s also the Catholic Church who encourages people to get together and bring up families. The concept of family is very important in Poland. The impatience of some people to get into a relationship is caused by the fear of them ending up alone.` Anna (20) adds that a 30-year-old single would have a very hard time still finding somebody to marry. `Which means: no emotional support and nobody to rely on, which is a situation well worth avoiding.`
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