How to win over, date and keep a Romanian woman
Here's a short collection of things to keep in mind when trying to win over, date and then build a relationship with a Romanian woman. Remember these are generalities and may not be applicable to the woman you like, but you should be aware of them and find out what's her stand on these.
First off, if you're a foreigner trying to get a Romanian woman fall in love with you, and you both live in Romania, the good news is you stand more chances than any potential Romanian male racing to win over the same woman. The truth is Romanians like foreigners, and Romanian women in general will give more attention to foreigners trying to win them over. This is not to say they'd always go for the foreigner, but you definitely have an advantage from the start. If you try to start a relationship with a Romanian woman while in another country – perhaps even your home country – then you have to try your best, as competition is everywhere; make sure you tackle the topics below. Before we begin, let's go beyond the myth that Romanian women are 'hot and easy'; you have to know most Romanian women are very intelligent, are not looking for a 'sugar daddy', are not easy, and many are spiritual/religious and very connected to their families, or to the idea of family. Keep all these in mind while trying to win her, date and build a relationship with her; she will most likely figure out your agenda if you plan otherwise.
Exchange cultural identity stories.
If you're a foreigner in Romania, make sure you use the somehow increased attention you get to your own advantage. Romanians like to learn about other countries and about foreigners in general, and women love it when a potential partner has new information to share with them, and when they can teach them something (without patronizing them!). So a very good starting idea would be to share thoughts about your country and fellow countrymen, while at the same time asking for the same kind of information about Romania. A very good ice breaker, and an excellent discussion topic for your first dates. Tell her stories from your home country, and ask for stories to help you understand Romania better.
Get some Romanian language classes.
Most Romanians usually speak one or more foreign languages, so chances are high the woman you like speaks at least English. In general, from a practical point of view, foreigners don't need to learn Romanian as they will get along just fine by speaking English. But if you want to impress, and if you want to better integrate and learn your way around Romania anyway, start learning the language. Take some classes, or even better, ask the woman you like if she wants to teach you some of the basics, and offer to teach her the basics of your language too. This will be a great foundation for what you're trying to build.
Watch out for what you wear.
If you've been in Romania for a while, you probably already know most Romanian women like to dress up for many occasions, and the level of 'dressing up' varies with the occasion, and of course, with the woman's personality. But in general, appearance is important for Romanian women, and many like to have impeccable outfits. So better make sure you try to match her style, or at least avoid being in a totally different ballpark than her. This means don't be much overdressed – you will make her feel uncomfortable that she chose the wrong outfit or that she is too poor for you, but don't be under-dressed either, as she will see it as a negative point for you. If you're unsure of how she will dress for your first date, best bet is to wear something smart – casual (it will also depend on your personality and dress style, and of course, on the venue of your date, or the event's dress code. (If you go to the Opera, she will most likely dress in style, so you'd better suit up!)
Sometimes it is just best to ask, blaming it on your lack of cultural knowledge about Romania – ask her, for example: How should I dress for this restaurant, what would you recommend? This will tell her you're not only interested in your looks, but interested in her opinion and in looking great together as a couple. Multiple points won! If she doesn't like to dress up, try to find a style which is close to hers, without imitating it. When unsure, ask her! Play the foreigner card.
Compliment, compliment, compliment!
This works with every woman, but it will work magic on Romanians. As they like to dress up (see point above), they also want to know they've impressed you, and potentially everyone else to. Ideally, you should really be impressed, and tell the truth when complimenting her. But don't over do it. Romanians have a tendency to see conspiracies around them sometimes, so if the compliment sounds too good, or fake, she will figure it out quite rapidly, and add another negative point to your book. Yes, women keep track of the good and the bad about you, and often speak about these to their friends!
Be generous and thoughtful when making gifts, but don't turn the gift shower tap to the max.
A Romanian woman will almost never refuse a gift (then again, what woman would? ), and she will be very happy to receive it. She will be even happier when it is something she can brag about a little to her friends, and will certainly be super excited when she will see you put some thought into it and made it personal. Delivery of the gift also matters, especially when you start dating. While dating her, learn what are her favorite flowers, and send her a bouquet to the office, where co-workers can also see it. You can send flowers for no reason, of course, just to tell her how beautiful she is, or to celebrate a name day or another occasion (Martisor – March 1 and 8), but be aware – this sets the tone for her future expectations. She will not dump you, of course, if you don't send or give her flowers regularly for the rest of your relationship, but she will always remember the beginning and will secretly think she had to lower her standards when the relationship settled in. She might never admit it and always say she loves you with or without flowers (and actually mean it), but try giving her flowers every month or so, and you will see the difference! Don't fall into the trap of showering her with too many gifts however, as she will think you're trying to buy her love. Romanian women are very proud that way, so always make sure you keep a balance, and read the signs she sends you.
Learn name days and other holidays when small gifts are expected.
As a foreigner, you might be overwhelmed by the many name days in Romania. These are usually Orthodox saint celebrations, and many Romanians are named after saints. Some people make a big case out of it – similarly to their birthday, even throwing dinner parties – while others are not very keen on celebrating. Always assume the former, it is the safe route. Make sure you ask from the beginning if her name has a certain meaning and if there is a saint she is named after, and then on your own find out when that saint is celebrated. Then make sure you wish her “La multi ani! “ (the Romanian version for Happy Birthday, which is also used to say Happy name day!) and bring her flowers on that day, even a small gift if you want (really small, perhaps symbolic). Two name days you will probably learn the hard way – Florii (the Sunday before orthodox Easter) is the name day for anyone named Florin (male name), Florina, Florentina, Florenta, Flora (women names), and anyone with flower names. So make sure you ask if and what her name means in Romanian. For example, Brandusa is a flower name and it means 'Meadow saffron', so women named Brandusa will celebrate their name day on Florii. Even if she is not keen on celebrating, she will be thrilled you tell her La multi ani!, especially if she realizes you made an effort to learn the information. Narcisa is again a flower name – it means daffodil, and Lili is a Romanian name deriving from the flower lilac. The other name day celebration not many people will tell you about is Christmas. On Christmas, Romanian women named Cristina, Cris, Chris, and men named Cristi and Cristian also celebrate their name days. While for men it's enough to say La multi ani! (together with the seasonal Merry Christmas – Craciun fericit in Romanian), for women you should also make sure you bring flowers for the name day, and a small (or big, your choice really) gift for Christmas. The same applies for mothers; if you happen to visit her family on her mother's name day celebration, bring her flowers. Ask your girlfriend what's her mother's name and if she celebrates a name day. Then don't forget the Martisor - trinket - on March 1 and 8. That week is a celebration of women in Romania, and men give trinkets (or often just flowers) as gifts to women colleagues, co-workers, business partners. Make sure you get the lady you're interested in something better/nicer/more thoughtful that what you give all other women on this occasion.
Cook together, learn to enjoy Romanian food and dinner parties.
In general Romanian women like to cook, they learn it at home at early ages (there will be exceptions, of course), so if they have time, they will cook often. Impress her by learning to cook a Romanian dish, or by teaching her a dish from your own country, and cook it together. Prepare yourself for the possibility of cooking for your – or her – friends, and of hosting dinner parties. You should also learn to cope with attending dinner parties, including family dinner parties, especially if it's not in your culture to attend home parties.
Impress her family (and friends).
Many Romanian women are independent and strong, so you would be tempted to think they could not care less about what their families think of their boyfriend. But you'd be wrong. The Romanian society is centered on the family, and even if a woman seems to be less connected to her family, somewhere deep, they are at the center of her heart. So making sure her family likes you is an important stepping point, even if she will not openly admit it. Be aware that meeting her family might happen sooner than you'd expect, and this is where being a foreigner might not come to your advantage. She might want you to meet her family early on to see if they like you, mainly because you're a foreigner. Even if Romanians like and accept very well foreigners in general, some families have a hard time accepting a foreigner in, so Romanian women try to make sure you could fit it, even before things get serious. Even if she will not take you to meet the parents, she will make sure you meet a sibling or a very good friend, quite early on, but probably after the two of you have been dating a bit. When you go to visit her family for the first time, bring flowers for all the women in the family (learn before hand how many they are and what are their ages, so you can buy appropriate flowers. Don't be shy in asking her what are their favorite flowers, she will like this little 'cheating' and you will impress the women in her family). For men (her father, brother), usually a nice bottle of wine will do. In many cases the parents might not speak English, so your Romanian language lessons could come in handy. Be ready to like the food her family serves you - and eat lots of it, the lady of the house will think you don't like her cooking if you refuse the second portion - and get ready to enjoy the wine/plum brandy they will serve you. Show the family you respect their daughter and try to speak about small plans you have together - trips, etc. Speak about your family too, and about your country - her family will want to know what are your roots, what your parents do for a living. Speak about yourself and what you've done in life, but avoid bragging too much, especially if her family is on a modest income. There is of course also the case where she has you meeting the family late, or very late into your relationship, and in this case you should try to find out – subtly! – what's causing this. She could have a tough relationship with her parents, or simply believe she should introduce you when things are serious enough, like she'd do with a boyfriend of Romanian nationality.
Take her to your home country.
Romanians like to travel and discover new countries, new people. Your home country might not seem much to you now that you've traveled the world, and taking her home to see your family, and the places where you grew up might not be such a big thing for you, but these will definitely be important for her. If you're serious about her, organize a holiday to your home country. This could include meeting your parents or not, it will be up to you, depending on how young your relationship is, and how she feels about meeting your folks. But if you've already met her parents and you organize a trip to your home country, you should take her home too to meet mum and dad, or else she will think you're trying to hide her, or are ashamed of her being Romanian (Romanians do not have a great image abroad in some countries, you've all read the news).
Take her out, go on holidays, organize activities.
Romanians are in general very sociable and like to do things; apply that to a woman, and you can figure out the result. In general, Romanian woman would like their partners to organize various activities for the couple. Make sure you involve your Romanian girlfriend into the decision process (you don't want her to feel like eye candy trapped to your arm at events she will hate, no? ), but make the first step as often as you can. Propose activities, either for the two of you, or involving your and her friends. Try to take her to the restaurant now and then (perhaps avoid fast foods if you really want to impress). Traditionally Romanians cook at home and stay at home, so she most likely saw that in her family, and would like to experience something different too, like eating out from time to time. This activity is anyway increasingly popular among the younger generation in Romania, so she will have friends who do it, and will want to do it too. When you start dating, make sure you foot the bill, even if it's in your culture to split the bill. A Romanian woman will be negatively impressed if her date asked her to cover half of the bill. She will expect you to cover the wining and dining budget. If you have money issues and still want to take her out, it is better to be honest about it before going out. Don't make a big deal out of it, just tell her you'd like to see her but that you'd prefer to go to the park, or do something indoors, as you're on a low budget these days. She will understand and possibly suggest she'd pay the bill this time, or suggest you cook dinner at home together. Don't make it a habit though.
Have your friends meet her friends.
A group meeting involving your friends – possibly of the same nationality as you – and her friends (most likely Romanian) will be like an enforcement of your relationship on a bigger level, by emphasizing the mix between the two cultures. Plus, she will feel the center of it all, as she will be proud to have put her Romanian friends in contact with your group of foreign friends. It may sound shallow, and of course may not be applicable to all Romanians, but they love to brag about foreign friends, or friends and family who live abroad - anything related to 'foreign'. Something to do with the many years they were under Communism, where anything foreign was rare and valuable. So secretly she will always love it that others envy her for being in a relationship with you. Don't take that for granted, though, or believe it plays a bigger role than it does. You still have to put time and effort into the relationship, if you really care about her. Have you learned the hard way the do's and don't when it comes to being in a relationship with a Romanian woman? Share your ideas in the comment box below! firstname.lastname@example.org