‘Which demonstration did you attend last?’ – According to a current Bumble survey, this could well be one of the first questions you face dating in Germany nowadays.

Political conscience, honesty, as well as a healthy dose of vulnerability, are high on the scale, closely followed by sensitivity and self-care. There seems to be a general fatigue of online fake-ism and shallowness, and a wish of being allowed to be you.

But let’s take a look at the current German dating trends, one by one:

What to know when dating in Germany

Gen(erational)-Blend Romance: Age gap – no gap

At the end of the day, ticking the same age box is not a paramount factor in dating in Germany. In fact, a whopping 79% of German singles do not consider age a decisive factor in Germany. Older, younger – people are willing to give it a try as long as the chemistry is right. 63% of women are open to a relationship with a younger partner.

What to know when dating in Germany

Val-Core Dating: Values at heart

The much-cited term “val-core” asks for your core values, literally. Are you engaging in political and social activity? If taking a plunge at dating in Germany, better be prepared for this one, and ideally have a recent example at the ready. Especially German women clicked on this aspect as important during the survey. 37% even call it unattractive if the potential partner does not engage in any topical issues. And every 4th person would prefer their date to be actively engaged in politics and social matters.

What to know when dating in Germany

Betterment Burnout: It’s OK to be You

Rise early! Have a cleansing drink the colour of seaweed, instead of the coffee you are craving! Take a sprint-like morning run, or work out before work! Thin lips, stress lines and a constant look of disapproval – these can be unwanted results of too strict a self-improvement regime. Honestly, who wants to meet for a coffee or a glass of Chardonnay, just to be told that maybe you should look after your health a little more? Over the past years, very possibly resulting from the endless health-related navel-gazing of the pandemic years, there is now a trend towards exhaling and turning our backs on the betterment regime. It seems that many Germans are done with being ruled by slogans and do not want their date to be ruled by them either. 67% of German women now strive to be OK with what and who they are, and would like their partner to be OK with their own self-image as well – surely a healthy recipe for future couple happiness.

What to know when dating in Germany

Intuitive Intimacy: Winning Combinations

The obvious physical advantages of dating nowadays are overruled by a trend toward more emotional intimacy. A third of the Germans asked in the survey ticked security and mutual understanding as increasingly more important than sex. A whopping three-quarters of women in Germany expect an awareness of the understanding needed to build both emotional and physical intimacy (a close runner-up to the 78% worldwide). Again, it is very possible that the aftermath of the pandemic years is playing a role here – when many discovered the value of a long walk and talk.

What to know when dating in Germany

Open-Hearted Masculinity: “Just” Ken?

Marlene Dietrich once sang: “Einen Mann, einen richtigen Mann…” – In a song on the much-disputed question of what makes a man a (real) man. Well, it is still all relative. In Marlene’s song, it doesn’t really matter what he looks like, as long as he is ‘not a boy’. This does not bring much of a clue either, especially since the song was written by – a man. Fast forwarding from the 30ies to 2024, the role of manhood remains in heated discussion. Fueled by Greta Gerwig’s 2023 ‘Barbie’, quoting the charming yet at times somewhat unreliable “Ken-ergy”, this discussion is a worldwide one, and we may not ever see the end of it. Here are the 5 cents that German men have put into the discussion: Emotional Openness remains top of the list. Every 4th German man states that they have developed more openness and vulnerability in their behaviour. 35% of German men consider the possibility of showing emotions in a relationship important.

What to know when dating in Germany

Timeline Decline: Eleventh hour no more

Finally, the ticking clock syndrome is in the past. “A&B, Sitting in the tree – K-I-S-S-I-N-G”, the old taunting children’s rhyme of ‘engaged, married, baby’ and the German equivalent ‘verliebt, verlobt, verheiratet’ foster a rather traditional model of relationship. Well, these societal cobwebs are definitively overcome. According to every third German woman questioned in the survey, it is up to the people in a relationship how to conduct and frame it – as opposed to relenting to any pressure from the outside. Even though 67% of German women in the survey envision a long-term relationship, only every tenth has an interest in marriage.

Most Valuable Partner: Game Changers

As much as Germans consider being OK with yourself and your body as attractive, 42% of German singles still view an interest in sport as paramount. With regard to the upcoming Olympics and women’s sports on the rise, this can also simply mean watching a tournament or game together, or sharing an interest in the results. For 25% of Germans, active participation is a definitive plus.

What to know when dating in Germany

Consider-Dates: Rules of (Self)-Care

Remember Speed-Dating? Well, nobody seems to see any possible value in that concept anymore. Nowadays, quality tops quantity – German women especially are big fans of the new Slow-Dating trend and look for partners, who know how to prioritize self-care and afford themselves and others the required time to practice mental health. In general, every second German regards mental health and self-care as a vital part of dating in Germany, including an openness to talk about psychological or emotional problems.

What to know when dating in Germany kaylee-garrett-GaprWyIw66o-unsplash

If you look at the big picture, you can still detect the many things we have learned – had to learn – during the pandemic years. There is a seismic shift happening in dating in Germany as well as worldwide – and it points in the direction of values, sensitivity and emotional openness. Long-term relationships should be based on mutual understanding and a considerate approach which helps guard self-care and mental health, starting with the dating process itself. According to Bumble, Germany is not far off the general trend: The world has moved on from times when speed dating forced you to pick immediately between 20 people in a room, after having been granted a mere few minutes of introduction. Today, Slow-Dating for many tops everything else – and in the end may well be the more time-efficient way to find the right partner.

Speaking of time: Timelines are in the past, as well as ticking clocks. Extra hours, if at work or at the gym, are not considered attractive anymore. Emotional openness, however – well, now we’re talking! – literally.

Or, to put it in ‘Ken speech’: “I wanna know what’s like to love, to be the real thing. – Is it a crime? Am I not hot when I’m in my feelings?” According to German Dating, Ken has it right: Being in one’s feelings is hot, definitively.

What to know when dating in Germany

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