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For, as it turns out, every girl I know in this city has suffered the same disinterest. After all, my standards are based on the charming yet mostly hopeless British / Irish culture, where flirting mostly consists of clumsily sidling up to a girl at the bar and stuttering something incomprehensible, or later on, perhaps, drunkenly lunging at her on the dance floor.Fiona*, who’s been living here for 2 years, wasn’t at all surprised when I suggested that it was difficult to get to know men in Berlin: “Oh absolutely, you have to be really pushy here – German men never make the first move.” And Carola told me that in all her life, she had never once been chatted up by a German man: she is a native Berliner. My flirtatious encounters to date have been mostly unmemorable and rarely romantic.
Not that you'll be slapped right away, but your would-be quarry will no-doubt be thinking to herself, "Meinemutterhatmichschonimmervorsolchentypengewarnt." German chicks are simply wary of aggressive flirting. On their turf, the type of aggressive flirting practiced by the semi-desperate the world over will shake German women. Instinct kicks in and directness -- that silver bullet which vanquishes all well-intentioned flirts -- takes over.
If you've met German women outside of Germany, you may be tempted to dispute the above characterization of the German flirt. Theyll look at you with furrowed brow, and some apprehension. They'll turn away or let your sentences drop -- and with them your self-esteem -- into a heavy silence.
In a German-on-German flirt, the power rests solidly with the Fräulein.
Which means that when we swashbuckling foreigners show up and actually flash our pearly whites and -- gasp -- say "hi" to a German woman, it comes across as overly forward.
Of course, I’d be willing to accept that the problem lies with me – I’m no Angelina Jolie, after all, and I don’t even own a push-up bra.