Flirting in Cold Blood: Love and Dating in Berlin experienced by an exchange student

According to the author, Germans have a colder and way more practical approach to relationships compared to lovers in Latin America.
According to the author, Germans have a colder and way more practical approach to relationships compared to lovers in Latin America. (Photo: Sweet Ice Cream Photography/

Love is universal, but we experience it in different ways in every country. Let us take a funny look at how some Germans profess their feelings as opposed to a Colombian student Latin ways. By Cristian Bustos.

My male German friends and I went to the Karneval der Kulturen last May in Berlin. It was fabulous: food, parades, loud music, beer. Johannes hooked-up with these two random girls, just like picking cobs from a shelf at Lidl: “Möchtet ihr ein Bier mit uns trinken?” “Ja!” they said. Out the blue, after a few minutes, Johannes turned to one of them, grabbed her face and just deep French-kissed her in the mouth. Easy. My jaw was at toes level: “If you try that one on any girl in Colombia, you’ll end up in jail!” I said. “Well, not here in Berlin my friend!”

As September is the month of love in Colombia, and romantic autumn is about to hit Deutschland, why not delving into some love and dating differences between Germany and my wild, passionate home country?

Autobahn love in Germany

Before coming to Germany, never in my life had I witnessed that sturdy forthrightness between two casual lovers; it really was like flirting in cold blood: “I like you, you like me, let’s get down to business.” I was already digging the grave to my “Latin-lover” paradigms of chatting up, buying the drinks and utilising sensual dancing skills, as love here in Berlin looked like a completely different thing.

In Colombia, whilst women love to play hard-to-get, and men concoct plans to approach them, think of corky words to whisper in their ear and always try to be gallant, matters amongst Germans seem to be as clear and direct as the Autobahn.

This is evident as, with regard to Colombian women, you are a million times more likely to mutually flirt the whole night without getting a single kiss out of them, whereas, as my friend Anja at Uni Potsdam tells me, “A German prospect won’t watch horror movies in your bed unless she really is up to something with you.”

So, courting in Colombia becomes an art; whilst in my homeland women are flaky and men behave like cunning, strutting peacocks, in Germany it tends to be a bit more like a Volkswagen Group board of directors planning meeting.

Meine Damen

Women are way more opened to compliments in Kolumbien than their Deutsche counterparts. Whilst the former will glee up when you say things like, “You look amazingly pretty today,” the latter will rebuff your comment as a cheap trick to get into their breeches, when in reality, as utter admirers of psychical beauty, we do mean it!

Also, if you want to invite eine Frau to a restaurant and pay the bill, it can mean a kick in her most feminist parts. They often seem to misinterpret thoughtfulness for condescendence, revealing a constant necessity for self-assertion.

Last semester at Uni Potsdam, for instance, I swapped sections of a presentation with a girl in my group, and asked whether she felt comfortable with the sudden change. She nearly bit my head off: “Do you think I’m THAT stupid and cannot do your part!?” Fair enough.

In Colombia, in stark contrast, a woman will divide the bill but very often she will expect you to spill the pennies if you took her out. She also thinks of assistance as a sign of kindness, and will be always thankful for a good man’s help.

However, one downside is that they usually are highly skilled teasers as they will give you their number and then fob you off the next day with things like “mmmh, it’s rainy today”–when it isn’t–or “let’s talk next week.” So don’t hold your breath: If they’re stalling, you’d better to cut your loses and walk away.

Meine Herren

As for men, Johannes tells me that there is a tendency for them to be on the cold side, and less on the flirty side, as opposed to most Latin Americans, who usually dispatch smiles and smart one-liners to connect with the opposite sex.

So, as reported by the Spiegel Online, “It is perfectly possible for an attractive woman–who in most countries wouldn’t have a second to powder her nose from so much flirting–to stand in the corner alone at a German party and not be approached a single time.” In Colombia, your own male friends would crucify you for that on a mango tree.

This is because we are industrious lovers, generally boast tons of charisma and gallantry, and we would certainly do everything to get the woman we like or love. German men are just, you know, different.

I wish things had been easier, but…

So, when my friend Moritz broke up with a hot Brazilian a few months ago, I was expecting him to roll off his tongue for 2 hours on how bad he felt. His longest answer was “Well, that’s bad” before moving on to German politics.

But in summary, as a Latin guy already engaged to a beautiful German woman, I wish things in Colombia had been easier for me and my comrades when it came down to love and dating; that is, having a straightforward approach like my friend Johannes at the Karneval der Kulturen. Or maybe not. Maybe that would have prevented me from being the lover I am, which is the one my German woman likes and appreciates!

2 Replies to “Flirting in Cold Blood: Love and Dating in Berlin experienced by an exchange student

  1. Dude, Colombian woman here.
    Congrats on your engagement! Although I am sure you are already happily married. You are welcome for the harsh training 😉 Just kidding, you know how we are. I agree with you in many things about our culture and sometimes as a woman I wish it was easier too. Although, I dont know if it is in fact cultural differences, but your friend sounds like a complete dick.
    I like the way you write and it is funny how the German oversteps the english sometimes. It happens lol
    Best wishes! And I hope your woman gets to meet your country as well.

  2. Yea so many Latina women think they mare gods gift to society. They can be the most stuck women. European women are so much more beautiful and sweet. Plus Latina women can be very controlling and they are drama queens. I’m a Hispanic male who will settle down with a woman from Europe.

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