Dating in Poland
In the old days when it was difficult to get some really attractive clothes or own a car, a saying was in frequent use in Poland claiming that the best pick-up model was one involving fura, skóra i komóra – a set of wheels, a leather jacket and a cell phone. It was believed that girls would be more inclined to hang out with guys who offered this sort of “luxury” goods, which led them to look down on other girls who, apparently, did not have such luck.
However, picking up a girl or a boy (podrywanie chłopaka/dziewczyny) in Poland or elsewhere within the bounds of the western culture seems to be more or less the same. It is frequently up to the boy to start the conversation with a fancy or surprising pick-up line, but there have been numerous cases of girls initiating an exchange if they really like the boy. Places which appear to be most conducive to picking someone up include all sorts of entertainment establishments, such as movie theaters (kina), theaters (teatry), but also more commonly student dorms (akademiki), pubs, bars and clubs (puby, bary i kluby). So if you are a girl and go about the town single-handedly, expect to be chatted up by unfamiliar characters – it is quite common for packs of young boys to hit the city on a Friday or Saturday night who will usually try to visit all sorts of bars or clubs looking for interesting girls ready to be adventurous, even if this only means flirting.
There are also other ways of going about the business of finding a person of the opposite (or even the same) sex that you might want to explore. Those more intellectually minded would probably go looking for smart girls in university libraries, and based on their reading decide on the best pick-up technique. This could include phrases such as the following: “Hi there, any chance I could check you out?” (Cześć, mogę Cię wypożyczyć?).
Others would probably try the tested method of going to multiple parties – chances are you’ll meet singles there also looking for company or someone they can share their feelings or thoughts with. This is probably one of the better ways of finding someone your age, with similar interests, and most likely known to the others who, if you like the person you meet, can disclose a little more background information on the type, so it is probably a more comfortable and safer situation if you do not want to end up with a total freak.
Still others will take to the Internet and the Polish web offering of dating sites is incredible, with new ones still springing up from nowhere, despite the original boom time for this form of picking someone up and dating expired some time ago. Regardless, there is still a myriad of sites offering all sorts of matching algorithms for those looking for the perfect partner – users are usually charged for the option to write messages to the people of their choice, and many are ready to pay wooed with the promise of finding everlasting love thanks to the modern technology. A separate category would be speed dating, and although not as popular as in the US, this form of picking up your date has gained in importance over the recent years.
However, it is probably fair to say that most people will most likely meet someone they like either at a friend’s party, in which case the chat up appears to be easier, or in the street or on the bus, when they will only have a fleeting second and almost no second chances to engage with someone. A case which recently hit the dating sites recounted the pick-up line used by a boy on a tram: Skoro już jedziemy tym samym tramwajem, to może się poznamy? (Since we are on the same tram, why don’t you and I get to know each other better?). Well, good luck! Powodzenia!