9 Things you need to know about dating an Austrian
Dating an Austrian? You need to know this
9 Things you need to know about dating an Austrian
So you came to Austria and you fell in love with an Austrian.
First of all, I'm sorry.
While our country is beautiful, we're a highly complicated bunch and if you haven't been raised here, half the time you won't know what we want or how we feel. I'm dead serious. It's not because we don't like you or love you. It's just the way we are. However, if you can make it past that, we're also the most reliable, responsible and loyal partners you'll find.
Keep in mind that this post is VERY general - every person is different, and you might not encounter all of these traits in your Austrian Bae. However, these are what I have found to be the most common situations you might find yourself in when dating an Austrian. I just hope it can help you understand your Bae a little bit better.
1. We'll Cover Our Bases
While the "let's see how it goes" is becoming more popular here as well, if it's getting serious, we're covering our bases. We NEED security in our lives. This means you'll talk about long-term life goals, your expectations, his expectations, marriage, kids and growing old together, if he/ she likes you, potentially on the first or second date. This does NOT mean we want to do all that tomorrow. BUT, if we're taking it further, we need to know that there's the possibility. So when your date asks you whether you want to get married or have kids, (s)he's asking about your opinion on marriage - this is NOT actually a proposal.
2. We Are Not Romantic
Well, we actually are, but how you imagine romance might GREATLY differ from how we're imagining romance.
Have you ever heard an Austrian say "I love you" in German? It sounds like we're cursing you out. We'll never tell you that you're the love of our lives, that we can't live without you, that our heart is empty without you (see, I can't even come up with any more examples!). Us telling you that we love you or we miss you is as far as it gets. And that is a HUGE deal!
Like, you know how in English, there are a LOT of different pet names? We have two that are actually used. Check out these pictures of the variety of English translations for our two pet names. Others that exist are diminutives of cute-ish animals (Hasi, Mausi, Bärli) - but if people hear anybody actually use these they'll be like "Baaah, you're sooo cheesy, how can anybody use those?!"
3. We'll Tell You Things Once. I mean, then you know, right?
Once we've told you that we're happy about you doing a certain thing, we assume that you know that a month later we're still happy about you doing that same thing. We told you we love you? We still do two weeks later. Why would you need us to tell you again? (S)He hasn't told you he loves you in a while? Should you be worried? Did (s)he find somebody else? No. (S)HE STILL LOVES YOU. I'll bet you anything.
4. We're Quiet When We're Sad
Don't expect us to be crying, wailing around on the floor, telling you how much we love you when we're saying goodbye at the airport. We're the strong & silent kind. Again - this does NOT mean that (s)he doesn't love you. We want to be strong for YOU. When I lived in Peru for a year, I didn't shed a single tear in front of the people who came to the airport to say goodbye. This doesn't mean that I wasn't sad! I just didn't want to make it worse for everyone else!
5. Controversial Topic? Oh no no no.
While it's considered a popular sport to complain about politics, religion, etc., we will NEVER ask anybody who they voted for. Or how much money they earn. Or what their religion and core beliefs are. For us to talk about those things we need to be VERY comfortable with you. Just to be sure you won’t judge us and will keep it confidential. This avoidance of controversial topics originates in our history, particularly in relation to the second world war. It is a history too complex and multilayered to go into detail here, but it's also why we won't find it funny when you joke about Hitler or concentration camps or the Holocaust. Just don't.
6. We're having a hard time texting
From my observation, this is more common among the guys than it is among Austrian girls, but either way, don't expect a 100 texts everyday showering you with love and affection. A prime example of this is my little brother. When he goes on a trip, this is literally our conversation:
Me: Hey! Did you arrive safely? How's it going? How's the hotel?
Me: How's the weather? Are the people nice?
Me *scrambling for more questions to ask*: Did you do something fun today? Where did you go?
Him: The city. Yeah, was fun.
Everyday conversations are no better. Boyfriends are no better. Again - this doesn't mean we don't love you. We do! This also does not mean that we're not thinking about you! We do! We'd just rather keep all that stuff to tell you in person and see your reaction.
7. Who's paying?
In Austria, this VERY MUCH depends on the couple. There's no established norm like the guy has to pay for the girl - every couple decides this for themselves. Most couples handle it either with "Everybody pays for their own shit" or with "Today I pay, tomorrow you pay". Generally, Austrian girls are quite "emancipated" and will want to pay their part, while Austrian men have enough pride to pay for your stuff at least every now and then.
Austrian families talk. A LOT. I tell you - Austrian grandmas' communication system is quicker than Social Media. I don't know how they do it! So your Bae introducing you to his family is a big deal because within an hour after, the whole extended family will know about you and everybody will want pictures and your picture will be on the family calendar for next year. If you're getting to know the family, that means (s)he cares about you A LOT. So while it may take a little while until you meet the whole family, once you met them, you're dating all of them. They'll get you Christmas presents, even if you don't celebrate Christmas and they'll add you to the Family Whatsapp Group. They'll love you as deeply as they love their own child.
9. Sex & Sleeping over is totally normal
This is something that in my experience particularly South Americans are really surprised by: Austrian families are quite liberal when it comes to your Bae sleeping over. As long as you guys are 16 or 17, families don't mind you sleeping over and in the same room/ bed as your Bae. It's kind of a "you'll do it anyway, better do it here than in a car somewhere" attitude. People are generally not conservative. Also, as soon as you’ve made some Austrian friends and established trust, we’ll talk about our sex life and bowel movements over dinner. You’ve been warned.
While all these things can be slightly problematic in a relationship with someone who didn't grow up in our culture, dating an Austrian is not all bad. If you stick with us through all the awkwardness, in the beginning, we're the most responsible, loyal and reliable partners you'll find. We'll always be on time. Literally always - my Grandpa taught me "It's better to be an hour early than a minute late" and that's what most Austrians live by. We're very direct in saying what we want and we'll ask you what you want. If we make a promise or say we'll do something, we'll come through and actually do it. Every. Single. Time.
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