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Polish Man being with English Woman - he insists on paying for EVERYTHING

2 Oct 2018 #31
Hi all. I would like some advice. I am an English woman, I have just started dating a Polish man. He is really lovely and I would love it to work out with him, we are both country people, I am a bit of an old fashioned girl, I do have older values and morals. I would love to know if there is anything I need to know to try and make this work with him? Also I am a bit afraid of letting myself go because of being really hurt and let down in the past.
Atch 16 | 3,255
2 Oct 2018 #32
Gosh it's hard to say really. People are individuals, regardless of nationality or culture and age, social class, rural/urban divide plays a part in it too. I'll just give you my observations as an Irish woman but bear in mind that it's my own personal view. I'm married to a Polish man and he has some traits that I would consider typically Polish but he's quite different in some respects and over the years he's picked up a lot of Irish ways :) So my observations are more my general view of Polish men and Polish people in general.

The UK is a highly individualistic culture and there's a lot of tolerance for 'difference'. People have very different lifestyles to each other. Polish society appears much more conformist to me. There are ways of doing things and conventions which people rarely break with. Young adults often remain very close to their parents and spend a surprising amount of time with them. That carries on after marriage and can be quite intrusive. Also depending on the financial circumstances of the family, there is a definite expectation that a successful member will subsidize the less well off members, regardless of whether they're deserving of it or not. So there can be requests for money for Cousin So-and-So who drinks like a fish to get parts for his car, or for Auntie So-and-So to pay her gas bill or whatever. There is really no social welfare support in Poland to speak of so the earners in the family are expected to fill that void.

Men and women don't really have casual, platonic friendships as they do in the UK. Outward apperances of respectability are still quite important in Polish society. Men can have expectations of how a woman will behave in public when she's in his company. She mustn't be too chatty or animated with other men for example.

Quite young men can have surprisingly conservative attitudes towards women and there are still marriages where the man is head of the house and the woman pretty much does as she's told. I've seen that amongst well educated, professional people under forty. Bascially, with a Polish man, especially if he's from the country, he may have lovely, old fashioned, chivalrous manners, carry your shopping, hold your coat for you when you put it on and all that but the marriage can be like something out of the 1950s.

Now there are people who will disagree strongly with me but like I say, that's just what I've observed and how it seems to me. The best thing you can do is simply be yourself and see how it goes. Also just bear in mind that if the relationship works out and you end up getting married, you might also end up living in rural Poland and that's a huge cultural difference even if you're a country girl. Rural Poland is a very, very different society to the English countryside.
mafketis 24 | 9,126
2 Oct 2018 #33
Polish society appears much more conformist to me

Yes and no. 45 years of socialism strengthened that aspect of Polish society but there is some tradition of tolerated oddballs (manifesting as fussy pedants). And those born after 1995 are a good deal less rigid.

Outward apperances of respectability are still quite important in Polish society

During late communism and well into the 1990s and early 2000s discreet adultery was probably more socially acceptable than public platonic fraternization.

Do not, I repeat, do not get married until you've spent time around the prospective spouse's family and find them (and where they live) to be mostly tolerable....
Ziemowit 13 | 4,235
2 Oct 2018 #34
you might also end up living in rural Poland and that's a huge cultural difference even if you're a country girl.

Even as a Polish "urban" man, I would have never wished myself to end up living in rural Poland!
Atch 16 | 3,255
2 Oct 2018 #35
there is some tradition of tolerated oddballs

I think the tolerating eccentrics thing exists in almost every society to some degree but I'm talking more about things like not eating carp on Wigilia :) Many British families still sit down to turkey and plum pudding on Christmas Day but equally you're quite likely to be served roast beef or salmon and a raspberry mousse instead of the pudding and it won't be considered 'odd', just different. British society, despite its long established traditions and respect for its own history, is much more diverse than Polish. And however much the post 1995 generation are different, I think they are still more family oriented and conformist than their British counterparts. They like to keep their parents happy as a rule.

a Polish "urban" man,

Well Mr Atch says he wouldn't live anywhere in Poland except Warsaw :) He loves it.
Atch 16 | 3,255
2 Oct 2018 #36
Well it depends. I think that while one should be thoughtful and try not to hurt one's parents, at the same time, you are an individual with your own path to follow in life which may not always fit in with what your parents like. It can be a difficult balance to strike sometimes.

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