S., in their country the first kiss tends to occur later in a relationship.I’m sure there are exceptions to this tendency and I’m sure there are differences between every couple, just like every relationship in the U. is different, but it was interesting for me to learn that there are even cultural differences attached to the first kiss.The vast array of cultural differences between Germany and the U. extend to every part of life, and learning about and experiencing these cultural differences has been a large part of my last six months abroad.The thoughts expressed are those of the writer, and not necessarily those of The Torch. Rise'n Roll Bakery, 1320 Lincolnway, Valparaiso, cut the ribbon for it’s grand opening on Tuesday.One difference that I found particularly interesting is that young, college-age people in German tend to stay in a relationship for a longer period of time as compared to what I have observed in the U. During the orientation class I took in September, our teacher told us that many young Germans will date their significant others for quite a long time, often up to four or five years, or more. who have been dating the same person for an extended period of time, I would say that I know more people whose relationships last a few months, or sometimes even just weeks, rather than several years.Our teacher also mentioned that at the University of Tuebingen, the university where I am studying, most students are involved in a long-term relationship. So I was somewhat skeptical to hear that the norm in Germany is to be in a long-term relationship lasting for multiple years.They grow up developing friendships with the opposite sex and in turn, develop more empathy and understanding of the opposite sex.In American culture, there is a clear segregation of the sexes, boys play with boys and do boy things and girls do the same.
For example, in the Netherlands, comprehensive sexuality education starts at age four. Instead of cruelly dismissing someone by disappearing, they communicate that they are not interested. As the media in Europe is a lot more heavily monitored, Europeans grow up surrounded by media and images of women who are curvy, comfortable in their own skin, and sensual (versus overly sexualized).They are also raised with strong family and community values, so there is a sense of responsibility and accountability for others, not just for the self.American culture raises children to be fiercely independent and to look out for ‘number one’.American men will rush to get you in bed as quick as possible, while European men don’t appear to have the same rush (or desperation). European men don’t ‘date’ – in the formal way that Americans are used to.The types of dates seen in movies – the formal ask, the fancy dinner and the entire dance that ensues simply doesn’t exist in the European mindset, in fact, the word “dating” isn’t even a part of their lexicon. Unlike American culture, where there’s almost a rite of passage which takes two people from “hooking up” to “seeing each other” to “dating” to “exclusive”, these labels just aren’t a focus or concern for European men. Rather, the mentality is, “I like you, I want to see you, and if it’s enjoyable, let’s keep seeing each other”.