international lov(age)

traveling as a blond single woman alone to whatever country, but especially to a south american country, can be very “interesting” (for the lack of a better word) in love matters.

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how love works in each country is a thing you have to learn and get adjusted to, too, when you’re there permanently. if you’re not getting there, it definitely makes you aware of the differences in the love process in each country.

knowing italy very well I can say that there you get “engaged” very easily and quickly. as soon as you have had a date and you let people know about it, all they perceive and talk about is your “fiancé“. you don’t just have a date, you don’t “just” have a boyfriend. no, you’re stuck with him from the very beginning until you get married, at least in the people’s mind, haha!
however this works, it is common in italy to live with your parents until you get married. that way you have all the procedure even when being labeled as engaged from the very beginning. you need the dates, the late sex (only if it is a modern family, because that also usually only comes with the marriage and not before that!), the engagement and finally the wedding along with moving in together. (at this point there often is the shocking surprise: he expects you to do all the things his mother did for him. cleaning, cooking, taking care in any way. italian men are the typical patriarc – there’s the jealousy and the expectation that you as his wife take care of the house and the kids all on your own. if not, you will definitely feel how spoiled he is by his mother in any other way). when all this is done, it’s time for the kids

in germany it’s totally the opposite. based on my personal experience (I can be very wrong, of course) german men are very slow getting involved with a woman. we can even smell their fear of commitment… there are no such thing as “dates”, they are just “going out” having fun with you. maybe it’s comparable with the english way of saying “I’m seeing someone” instead of saying “I’m dating someone”. women have to be very careful about what and when they say something to him, because it can scare him away in a second and you’ve never heard from or seen him ever again! IF everything goes well, from the dating process to moving in together, it still doesn’t mean anything. the reason for men moving in with a woman can be caused by very practical thinking: saving money by sharing the rent, no “effort” organizing the dates anymore, and of course having sex on a regular basis. whether to marry this woman or not becomes only certain when the topic about kids comes up.
this way there are many looooong relationships in a stage of “cohabitation” that fall apart after realizing that their visions of a future together is totally different. and in the end it feels horribly like a divorce, a whole world crumbling…
(however, unlike italian women, german women are not that obsessed with getting married and have kids.)

from one extreme to another: in india no one asks you about your vision of the future. it is all programmed. you HAVE to get married and have kids, being a humble wife taking care of everything (house, kids, the family’s social life and husband). in fact it is still common in conservative families to get married to someone your family chooses for you. until the wedding you might not even have met him, and of course not even kissed him once. it is all set, there’s no way out (unless you want to embarrass the family and get expulsed by them). on the other hand, it’s kind of easy having others taking care of it… but of course it’s not imaginable at all for us europeans or other western people.
(I’ve been to two weddings in india. one was arranged (and i was close to tears of pity for the girl), the other wedding was by free will.)

brazilians on the other hand take it very easy… it’s not a big deal kissing someone immediately if you like him/her. like during oktoberfest in munich, germany, in brazil it’s the carnival period where it is extremely common to stop in the street party when someone requests your kiss. this is how it worked during the world cup in the crowded streets of “Vila Madalena” (or “Vila Madness” as I love to call it): trying to get through, you hear “um beijo!” (“a kiss”), “um beijo, por favor!!”. there’s no time to talk first before you get to the point. they pull you towards them and just do it. “don’t talk just kiss”… you kiss for a couple of minutes, and go on (to the next one). by the end of the night you’d probably find someone who wants more than a kiss, and you go for it. ++ I know, this is an extreme generalization, I realize that! of course there are some exceptions!! but it just kind of shocked me how I SAW it works here in brazil++. and believe me, carnival is not just in february. any occasion is used for this kind of pleasure. the good side of this attitude is that they just do what they like with whom they like. there’s no judgement. and if they like it, they do it again and again. there’s no such thing as the overthinking in germany. if they like the kiss, they date! and it can also lead to a beautiful and serious relationship. maybe this way the chances for a success of that kind are even bigger than in germany?
but women, be careful. I’ve been told that most (again, not all) brazilian men are no good because they are extreme cheaters. talking a lot about it with several women (telling me that I should have a brazilian guy only for fun. for serious stories i should look for european men preferably), their explanation is the following. in brazil there are way more women than men. men don’t have to put any effort into finding a girlfriend. on one man there are maybe 3 women or more aggressively trying to get them involved with them. aggressively of course because women know that there is a big competition out there. this also influences the dating behaviour. men don’t ask for dates, they don’t ask for anything, don’t call or text you unless you text them, don’t organize dinners or night outs, because they don’t have to when women are that aware of their rivals. this way men in brazil are very lazy in working on relationships, knowing about the available choices…
but once you get into a serious relationship and live together, labeling this relationship gets pretty serious. you are called “married” even without the wedding. it was confusing for me when people told me about their “husbands” even though they aren’t married to them (yet). this also is way of not taking it too seriously (in a good way). because, who in germany would wear a wedding ring before getting officially married?

whatever the motivations are for getting involved with someone, there are situations that can change all this “strategic” behavior, whether it exists in your country or not. once you meet the special one, there’s no overthinking, no pretending of being cooler than you already are, there are no doubts. everything is pretty easy then. there’s no pressure, nothing feels like an effort, and there even is no need to label the connection these two people feel.
I guess that’s when you know that he/she is special for you.

So, surrender. it’s best to let it all be, just be yourself and train your patience. it will all fall into place. let time do the work.

P.S.: writing about this I don’t intend to offend anybody or any culture. All this is based on personal experience and maybe some of it here is portrayed in an exaggerate way. I am aware that there are exceptions anywhere. feel free to comment, criticize or teach me better. until then enjoy sharing good times with whomever you’re with right now.

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