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Dating in Lithuania

In Lithuania, dating is less accentuated than in some Western societies, as the number of lifetime partners (including sexual partners) is much lower among the Lithuanians. However, with no "arranged marriages", Lithuania has more dating than most Eastern societies.

The majority of Lithuanian couples and families are formed through a rather slow relationship transformation from that of classmates, co-workers, friends or otherwise into that of a boyfriend and girlfriend. However, there is also an active "dating scene" where casual relations are practiced.

Dating practices in Lithuania

Traditionally, nightclubs were the most popular place to purposefully seek for a person to date, especially for one night stands and short-term affairs. However, the majority of families in Lithuania are made by people who met their spouse somewhere in their lives, e.g. school, university or workplace.

Recently, dating somebody met online became a common practice. In the 2000s, this was still something acceptable just to some people, while by 2010s most of the youth (and some middle-aged people) have accepted it as a possible alternative. Initially, the meetings would be arranged through Lithuanian "friend-finding" websites, which were somewhat out-competed by "Tinder" in the mid-2010s. Unlike in some Western countries, such services are often dominated by those seeking long-term or "serious" relationships rather than casual sex (for that, there are special websites).

With a lifetime average of just 3 sexual partners, the majority of Lithuanians actually spend their lives outside the "dating scene" altogether. So much so, that the concept "(s)he is dating somebody" had no translation into the Lithuanian language until some 2000s, when the journalists who translated English articles about the American film and music stars came up with a direct translation susitikinėti su kuo nors.

For those who do date, it is common for a man to pay for the woman during a date. However, the prevalence of such practice decreases as the seriousness of the woman increases. Women who are into one-night stands far more often accept (or even demand) such arrangements (and also gifts) than women who are into serious relationships.

In some cases, this "payment for a woman" is a thinly-veiled form of prostitution. In Lithuanian dating websites, one may find women profiles where sex is listed among the interests and "gifts", "richness" or "sponsorship" are among the preferred "qualities" of a man. Often, the "price" such women expect is high and, on the higher tiers, may include demands for gifted cars and expensive jewelry. The women who effectively "sell themselves" long-term this way, are known in Lithuanian as "barracudas", usually a derogatory term. Their boyfriends (and sometimes even husbands) are, typically, rich men who seek a pretty (and often younger) girl beside them. Foreigners are a common target of the barracudas as well, as they are believed to have wages high enough to satisfy their tastes.

If a long-term relationship is a goal and "barracudas" are to be avoided, it may be advisable to avoid the situation where a man pays for a woman altogether.

Foreigner dating in Lithuania

Lithuanian men like to say that Lithuanian girls are the prettiest in the world. Indeed their looks are not that far away from the Hollywood-inspired global ideal: their skin is fair and merely a few are overweight. Furthermore, a significant part of Lithuanian girls and younger women follow the so-called fyfa style that emphasizes their femininity (high heels, heavy makeup even for Saturday shopping).

All this together made Lithuania a popular destination for foreign men to seek dates.

That said, it is no longer the early 1990s when many Lithuanian girls believed every foreigner to be rich and famous. There have been many sad public stories about Lithuanian girls who discovered something very different than they expected after moving abroad (suffering abuse and losing their children after divorce due to laws preferring local citizens in custody battles). While a stereotype of "fiery southerner" (e.g. an Italian or a Spaniard) may have prevailed among Lithuanian women in the 1990s, currently such sad stories have likely outweighed it.

Furthermore, Lithuania itself is now richer (even if lagging behind the West somewhat) thus a British or American working-class salary no longer seems to be miraculous to the Lithuanian girls.

If one would like to date a Lithuanian girl for the aforementioned stereotypes, he would perhaps have more luck somewhere further east instead, where economic conditions are worse (e.g. Ukraine).

For foreign women, dating a Lithuanian man may often be difficult. The expectations for a female beauty, dressing style and attention to girlfriend's looks a "regular" Lithuanian man would have may be unattainable for somebody overweight or unwilling to regularly dress up. Likewise, to a Western girl, some of the qualities some Lithuanian guys are so proud to possess may seem rather dull. Their "great cars" will likely be "just regular" by the Western standards and the same would go for their salaries. While the overprotectiveness could get to the nerve of a Western girl.

For such reasons, the couples with a foreign man and a Lithuanian woman are much more common than those with a foreign woman and a Lithuanian man.

Of course, all these are just stereotypes that only work for some half of the population (however, this half is disproportionately represented in the dating scene, for example, nightclubs and "Tinder"). If one's expectations and qualities are different from the stereotypes, finding a right person may be harder, although, if you do, the probability of a successful long-term relationship is higher.

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  1. Very interesting!

  2. In the foreign women section I would have just added that despite it is expected of them to follow certain beauty patterns this expectation doesn’t go both ways, hence while the woman would go meet her date/boyfriend looking like a “princess”, the man would go with the “adidas and sweatpants” look, barely trying to look groomed. This for Western women can be highly frustrating. The balance of beauty is completely disproportionate. For the rest nice article.

    • Indeed, you are right.

      However, it should be noted that in a stereotypical Lithuanian couple relationship (which is common in the “dating scene”), beauty is simply not regarded to be important for a man. In such a relationship, an ideal woman is expected to be pretty and excel in certain “female fields” (e.g. making tasty meals and keeping the home tidy), whereas the ideal man is expected to be rich/strong and excel in certain “male fields” (e.g. repairing cars or household appliances). In such relationships, men are not expected to be handsome or dress up, while women, in turn, are not expected to have careers as good as those of Lithuanian men nor do physically difficult tasks.

      That said, to a Western woman, the qualities of Lithuanian men often do not seem to be much of qualities (“why should a husband be a good repairman when you can just drive the car to a service these days”, for example).

      As for male beauty, a man who “looks after himself” in Lithuania may be believed by peers to seek homosexual rather than heterosexual relations (as gays are one group of Lithuanian males that considers beauty a quality of a man in dating). That also may discourage some Lithuanian heterosexual men from “grooming themselves” as they don’t want to send the wrong signals.

      I think, however, in this sense the traditional dating practices in the West and Lithuania are somewhat similar: typically, Western men looking for heterosexual relations put less attention to their looks than Western homosexual-relations-oriented men or a heterosexual woman. It’s just that in Lithuania the difference is more pronounced.

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      • ‘As for male beauty, a man who “looks after himself” in Lithuania may be believed by peers to seek homosexual rather than heterosexual relations (as gays are one group of Lithuanian males that considers beauty a quality of a man in dating). That also may discourage some Lithuanian heterosexual men from “grooming themselves” as they don’t want to send the wrong signals.”

        That’s the most ancient thought progress i’ve ever heard in the 21st century

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  11. I would like to say something also about the Lithuanian guy that im dating right now for 3 yrs. I find its so difficult to communicate with him because his not talky, his not sweet at all most of the time they are also very cold. Im Asian, most Asian are romantic, we are so expressive of what we feel, which i feel like its opposite of Lithuanian men. So, i don’t know what to do with him… I loved him but also i want him to adjust my culture, and my problem is he don’t like to talk about love much and relationship. He said that he loves me that’s all..

    • Where are you from? Asia is extremely big and cultures are very different e.g. in Japan, the Philippines, Middle East, Kazakhstan and India. Some are closer to the Lithuanian one others are more different.

    • Sorry to say this but must of Lithuanian people that have relationship outside their country is not real. They just act and when they find someone they will leave you with a broken heart. Not good in communication and getting angry very easily. Stay away that’s my advice.

      • But why is that? I know several Lithuanians married to foreigners, what does that mean?

        • I guess Augustine generally speaks about online relationships – i.e. that someone enters an online relationship only as long as he/she doesn’t has an “in real life” relationship and once such relationship appears the online relationship stops. While this may be true to some couples in online relationships anywhere in the world, I don’t think Lithuanians are somehow more likely to treat online relationships less seriously than other nations. Furthermore, the original poster did not explain whether her relationship was online or not.

          • hi Augustinas, thank you for your reply. i hope your doing well. I’m from the Philippines. and yes, we met online while he was here in Dubai. He keeps coming here in to see me and we spend time together. But because of the pandemic, were having difficulties to understand each other, since we live thousand miles away. I’m trying to understand him but sometimes its too difficult especially when his drunk. that’s the problem start, every time he gets drunk that’s the time his hurting me emotionsionally. and he say his sorry but he keeps doin it. i love him but i don’t know how to deal with him

          • Unfortunately, alcoholism is quite a big problem in Lithuania. Indeed, many family problems, including domestic violence, here stems from alcohol abuse (by one partner or both of them).

            Sadly, it may be difficult to suggest anything: when a person wants to change and quit this behavior (alcohol abuse), he or she may do so, but, unfortunately, quite often they don’t want to quit, or claim to want to quit only to end a quarrel but then continue to drink afterward.

            Without quitting or reducing alcohol, it is often impossible to change much as alcohol can “take over the mind” if consumed in large quantities. Also, if he emotionally hurts you when drunk even when talking online, it could be even more “toxic” / “violent” if you would have to spend time together while he is drunk.

            That said, far from every Lithuanian abuses or even drinks alcohol (I do not drink alcohol, for example, and, in younger generations, this is more common).

            But the alcohol abuse problem is more common here than in many other countries, with Lithuania being 3rd in the world by alcohol consumption per capita, and, on average, Lithuanians consume 3 times more alcohol than Philippine people do.

            All in all, if he doesn’t quits / significantly reduces alcohol, probably, unfortunately, not much would change. Whether he could quit it is up to him but the majority of those who drink alcohol do not (want to) quit.

          • Augustinas Žemaitis, Your English is fantastic! I’ve traveled all over the world and I also know Asia very well. I’d like to chat with you if you’d like… I plan on coming to those regions soon and your insight is very honest and clear.

          • Thank you,

            If you want specific help in arranging your time in Lithuania, we do offer such services (including excursions, advice, reservations, etc., depending on your needs).

            If you want to simply ask non-specific questions about Lithuania, you may do so under the respective articles in the comments – often, the same questions arise to more than one person, so it is useful to have them answered in the same thread.

    • Hey eyjey. We’re the same Lithuanian-Philippines kinda thing but mine is in “seeing each other stage” yet. If you wanna talk privately, let me know.

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