German men: Handsome but painfully shy

I stumbled upon this Spiegel article and couldn’t help but laugh my heart out after reading. This article is called  German Men: Hunky, Handsome, Wimpy and Weak–a bit outdated but nonetheless entertaining. From the first few lines, it makes one big generalization that German men are beautiful but with beauty, comes pain. Of course every individual is different, but there are certain elements of this generalization I’d like to point out.

At first glance, the blond six-foot hunks populating Germany make the place seem like a heaven for women. Until you start dating. German men are much more difficult than you might think.

The articles makes the assumption that German men are:

  1. Impressively tall
  2. Many are blond
  3. Extremely handsome with the bodies of Adonis
  4. Dress well and smell of expensive eau de Cologne
  5. Intelligent

I only agree with #1 (maybe because I am a short Vietnamese girl). To be completely honest, I see more brunettes in Germany than blonde but I think it’s 50/50 in reality. Handsome is in the eye of the beholder but my observations, I think Berlin doesn’t have as many good looking men as Munich. (I’m excluding other German cities since I’ve only lived in Berlin and Munich.) What qualifies as “good looking” in my eye is to be well dressed and to smell nice, and obviously, a masculine face and athletic physique. From my experience, Munich men care more about their appearance and hygiene than Berlin men. Berlin wins my award for the most smelly people I’ve ever encountered. But hey, who actually knows if these are actually “real Berliners” since so many outsiders flux to this city.

Now, intelligence is difficult to define since one could be book smart but also incredibly stupid in the art of common sense. I don’t think German men have the potential to be any more or less smarter than any other men in the world, but I do think there is a tendency in the Germans to be more “critical” about everything (self, country, and America). If you combine that with the German rational mentality, then you will realize while having dinner or at a party that German men relatively enjoys furthering their knowledge in politics, history, arts, or whatever, in order to “seek the truth/moral way.”

Besides his looks and intelligence, what about his ability to woo you? Is he a capable lover as a French or Spanish man? Well, if you’re looking for an alpha male that takes the initiative to win you then I think it will be quite a challenge to find that in German men. The article uses the term “painfully shy.” I chuckle at this term because I come from a country where I think men are sometimes too arrogant, dominating, and aggressive. Now I am in a country where the full extent of expressing attraction is through a staring contest. Women are hit on and cat called so often in America that I think is quite a huge problem. In Germany, standing by oneself in any social surrounding without being approached by any men is quite the reverse, but very much the reality.

You could entertain yourself with the argument that maybe German men are typically shy but I think not. I suggest that there actually exists a very subtle “German way of flirting.” The German band, Wir Sind Helden, would agree with me. Their song “Aurėlie” describes a pretty French girl in Germany who wonders why she never falls in love. The lesson goes that she expects too much from German men.

“Aurélie die Männer mögen dich hier sehr
Schau auf der Straße schaut dir jeder hinterher
Doch du merkst nichts weil sie nicht pfeiffen
Und pfeiffst du selbst die Flucht ergreifen
Du musst wissen hier ist weniger oft mehr”

These lyrics translates to:

Aurélie the men here like you very much
Look in the streets everyboda gazes after you
But you don’t notice it because they don’t whistle
And if you whistle at them they run away
You’ve got to know here is less often more

Less is often more here in Germany. Just because a German man does not shower you with compliments and kisses immediately, doesn’t mean he’s cold or not attracted to you. Actually I think it’s an honorable sign of respect to women.

Ach Aurelie in Deutschland braucht die Liebe Zeit
Hier ist man nach Tagen erst zum ersten Schritt bereit
Die nächsten Wochen wird gesprochen
Sich auf’s Gründlichste berochen
Und erst dann trifft man sich irgendwo zu zweit

These lyrics translates to:

Oh Aurélie love takes time in Germany
We aren’t ready for the first step before some days are bygone
The next weeks we talk
And get to know each other thoroughly
And only then can you meet somewhere for two

If you’re looking for a hook up or a short fling, then maybe Germany won’t live up to your expectations. I think the most attractive quality seen in many German men is their honesty and dedication when finding love. As the song goes, love is taken seriously here in Germany. Stereotypes about Germans being cold and heartless arise because we let our lust for physical affection dominate our sensibility in evaluating a person’s character and value first and foremost. On the contrary, I think Germans are very warm and loving once they are in love and they will continue to work hard to sustain that love.

I guess as women, we are socially and culturally programmed to depend on the men do all the work when it comes to art of courting so it’s understandable to be frustrated in Germany if most guys do not start the conversation. You will have to do a bit more work than what you’re used to. But all is fair in love and war 🙂




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