You might not have ever pictured yourself dating a Bulgarian man, and for a good reason—with a countrywide population of only around seven million, opportunities to meet a Bulgarian partner are scarce. However, if you’re one of the lucky women who have the chance to date a Bulgarian, you’re in for a treat.
Physical Traits of Bulgarian Men
We’ll let you in on all of Bulgaria’s dating secrets so that you can enjoy a thriving relationship. But first, if you’ve never met a Bulgarian man, you might be wondering about their physical traits.
If you have all Europeans pictured as tall, think again. Whereas the Netherlands and Switzerland have the tallest men on the continent, Bulgarians have among the lowest average height. The average Bulgarian man is approximately 5 feet, 7 inches.
Although Bulgarians are short for Europeans, they’re far from scrawny. Most Bulgarian men are large-boned with a stocky build. Women who enjoy feeling protected and smaller than their man will likely find Bulgarians have the perfect build.
Bulgarian Men Stereotypes
Like any nationality, Bulgarian men have some stereotypes. And as with many stereotypes, not all of them are pleasant or true. We’re not here to dwell on the negative, so we’ll get the less flattering stereotypes out of the way first. They include:
- Macho beliefs
- Aggressive behavior
- Not very vulnerable
Before you balk at these characteristics, know that these stereotypes are unfair for most of the population, especially in today’s modern-day world. By Bulgarian law, men and women have equal rights. But even more importantly, gender equality is engrained in the culture, particularly among the younger generations.
For example, it’s common for Bulgarian men to support their wife or girlfriend with household chores. They also tend to be fiercely dedicated to their family, putting them before other commitments that come up in life.
Below are some other positive stereotypes among Bulgarian men:
- Skilled at hand labor (craftwork, farming, artisanry)
So, if you end up dating a Bulgarian man, you’ll likely be able to enjoy these many wonderful character traits.
Differences Between Bulgarian City and Countryside Men
As is the case with many countries in the Balkans, men who live in cities tend to have more progressive beliefs. Women do, too, and therefore set a higher standard for ensuring that their partner treats them equally and lovingly.
However, when it comes to the countryside, Bulgarian men tend to believe in more traditional male and female roles, which is the case in other Balkan countries as well. They may showcase more chauvinistic behavior as a result of less interaction and exposure to the progressive world.
Of course, some women love a relationship that reverts to traditional roles. So, if your dream is to raise children and take care of your home while your husband works, you might find yourself heading to the Bulgarian countryside to find your man.
Manners Matter in Bulgaria
Over the years, Western culture has evolved into being much more casual with their communication styles. Whether through in-person interactions or texting on the phone, Westerners increasingly seem to value efficiency over genuine social interactions and manners.
Women who have never met a Bulgarian man are often taken aback by their good manners. Bulgarian men tend to go out of their way to show respect when communicating. They’ll also make sure you know that they see you as an attractive woman and will treat you with chivalry.
A quick look at Bulgarian women showcases why their men have good manners—Bulgarian women expect their partners to court them and go above and beyond by offering romantic gestures.
Trust Issues in Bulgarian Culture
Trust is a dating topic that expands to all geographical corners of the world. According to Psychology Today, those who live in small communities are typically more trusting than those who live in cities. People who are married or have never been married also tend to be more trusting than recently separated or divorced individuals.
The data suggests a lot about what you might be able to expect from your Bulgarian partner. However, there’s a cultural factor to consider—Bulgarians tend to distrust talk of the future, especially early on in a relationship.
Therefore, as a woman dating a Bulgarian man, the best way to build trust in your relationship is by following through with smaller, everyday promises. Of course, your partner is equally responsible for doing so. With time, the two of you will develop building blocks for a strong, trusting relationship.
Does Money Matter?
In Western culture, it’s increasingly common for women to be the breadwinners. Stay at home Dads are also trending. However, in Bulgaria, it’s still common for men to earn more income than women.
Therefore, if you make more money than the man you’re dating, don’t be surprised if he expresses discomfort with what he may view as his lower status. Instead of letting it become a conflict point between the two of you, try talking about it and make sure to always let him know how loved he is, reminding him about how much value he brings into your life.
Amount of Time to Wait Before Making Contact After a Date
In Western culture, communication gaps are okay since there’s a fear around a person seeming too interested and eager. However, it’s completely normal in Bulgaria—to the point of being expected—to communicate shortly after a date.
Therefore, if your Bulgarian date texts or calls you right after you return home, make sure to respond within a reasonable timeframe. Otherwise, they could think that you aren’t interested.
How to Meet Up on a Bulgarian Date
Since Bulgarian culture leans on the side of more traditional, especially in the countryside, it’s common for a man to pick a woman up for a date. Even if the man doesn’t have a car, he will likely offer to meet you at your house by taxi so that you can travel together. If he does this, don’t be surprised if he accompanies you back home by taxi too.
Like in any country, making sure you stay safe on your date is paramount. Therefore, if you’ll be meeting up with someone who doesn’t have any connections to your social circle—such as a person who you’ve met online—hold off on getting in their vehicle until you know them better.
Dating a Bulgarian Man as a Foreigner
Whenever you travel to a country that isn’t yours, there’s a learning curve to understanding that country’s culture and traditions. However, if you end up falling for a foreigner, that learning curve is augmented.
It’s undeniable—different cultures have different views on dating. It doesn’t mean that one way is inherently good or bad, but it does mean that if you date a Bulgarian man as a foreign woman, you’ll need to educate yourself on Bulgarian dating culture. Of course, you should also make sure your partner is willing to learn about the dating culture of where you’re from.
Below are some important components of Bulgarian dating that you should keep in mind:
- Bulgarian men take dating seriously. Casual dating isn’t common.
- Dating is typically a slow process. It takes many dates for Bulgarian men to open up emotionally.
- Traditionally, a Bulgarian man’s friend asks their partner’s father three separate times for permission to marry.
- Bulgarian engagements primarily happen on Sundays and holidays.
- Men are expected to pay for their date. They’re also typically in charge of planning the date.
- Marriage isn’t guaranteed; you must pass a medical examination.
Let’s look at some of these in more detail.
If you date a Bulgarian man, know that they’ll likely start the relationship with marriage on their mind. Women don’t typically have to worry about this, but put yourself in a man’s shoes for a moment—it can be pretty intimidating to ask a father’s permission to marry their daughter.
Back in the day, Bulgarian men found a workaround for this by asking a good friend to do the heavy lifting for them. That friend would ask the partner’s father if it would be okay for the couple to marry.
The catch is that a father saying “yes” once isn’t enough in Bulgarian culture. Traditionally, the friend needs to ask the father three separate times, receiving a “yes” each time, before the man can propose to his girlfriend.
To make things even more complicated, engagements typically only happen on Sundays or holidays in Bulgarian culture. Given this, it seems we should add patience to the list of positive Bulgarian traits, too, wouldn’t you say?
The Nitty-Gritty of Bulgarian Marriages
As if Bulgarian engagements don’t make the men jump through enough hoops, it’s a good idea to understand the marriage process if you choose to date a Bulgarian man. Here’s a hint—it’s not easy.
Couples are required to undergo medical checkups in order to pass the Medical Certificate for Entering into Marriage. For women, this means a visit to the psychiatrist and gynecologist. According to the Bulgarian Family Code, people with physical or mental illnesses aren’t allowed to get married.
In addition to the medical certificate, you’ll also need to get a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage and show proof of identity. Anyone 18 years of age and older is allowed to get married in Bulgaria. If a 16 or 17-year-old child wishes to marry, they first need to get permission granted from the Chair of the Regional Court.
Expectation of Children
According to The World Bank, birthrates have been on a steep decline in Bulgaria since the 1970s. In 1997, Bulgaria’s birth rate dropped to a shocking 1.09 births per woman. Since then, births have recovered some, with data from 2018 showing a rebound of 1.56 births per woman.
Approximately 1.5 million Bulgarians live abroad. No doubt, some of this emigration is a result of marriage. Therefore, some researchers speculate that Bulgaria’s sharp decline in births is due, in part, to people having children outside the country.
For as traditional as some Bulgarian men tend to be, it isn’t out of the question to encounter Bulgarian men who don’t want to have children. Therefore, when you’re in the dating phase, it’s important to bring up this topic to ensure your desires to have or not have a family align.
Dating a Bulgarian Women
It may sound strange to include a section here about dating Bulgarian women since you’re likely a woman reading this. However, understanding Bulgarian women’s behavior on dates offers invaluable insight into what it will be like for you to date a Bulgarian man.
Bulgarian women take pride in how they dress, and they aren’t afraid to wear tight-fitting clothes to show off their curves. Makeup, jewelry, and an emphasis on keeping up with self-care are top priorities for most of them.
They also have a knack for balancing smarts and taking pride in their housewife skills, such as cooking and cleaning. Bulgarian women are incredibly strong, both physically and emotionally. Like Bulgarian men, they may not open up right away.
If you’re a foreigner dating a Bulgarian man, you may not have high expectations for a first date. However, local women do. They don’t consider that grabbing coffee is a real date, so don’t be surprised if your first date with a Bulgarian man involves a heart-throbbing amount of thought and detail.
FAQs About Bulgarian Dates
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, but you still might have some lingering questions or want further clarifications on dating a Bulgarian man. In this section, we’ll address some of the most common questions for you.
Who should pay for the bill on a Bulgarian date?
Bulgarian men are always expected to pay the bill. Even better, they want to pay the bill. It’s been ingrained from a young age that real men always cover the bill.
It can be difficult for Western women to passively accept a man covering the cost of the date without even trying to offer to pay their part. If you find yourself fighting your feminist feelings, there’s no harm in gently offering to pay.
However, when the inevitable “no” happens, let it go and know that not paying for a date doesn’t carry the same weight it may have where you’re from.
If it helps, consider this—a girl paying their own way on a Bulgarian date makes it seem like a friendship date. Then again, if you didn’t vibe with the guy, standing your ground on paying may give him a hint that things won’t work out between you two.
Does meeting a Bulgarian man’s parents mean marriage?
Family is a big part of Bulgarian culture, so meeting your boyfriend’s parents—and them meeting yours—is quite common early on in a relationship.
It doesn’t inherently mean that you’ll be heading to the altar the next day. And given what we just covered with Bulgarian engagement and marriage policies, you already know that would be impossible anyway!
How do I build trust with my Bulgarian boyfriend?
People in Bulgaria tend to be distrusting by nature. However, this makes it all the more rewarding and intimate for couples who work on building trust with each other. To build trust with your Bulgarian boyfriend, try implementing the following strategies:
- Make promises you can keep.
- Follow through your word every time.
- If there’s the occasional time when you can’t, tell them as soon as you know.
Do Bulgarian men usually drive on dates?
It’s common practice for Bulgarian men to pick up and drop off their date. As long as you or a confidant already knows the man you’ll be seeing, if he offers, let him be chivalrous and pick you up.
Where can I meet a Bulgarian man?
Perhaps you’ll be traveling in Bulgaria and are interested in dating. If so, there are various dating sites where you can meet Bulgarian men. Examples of websites include Online for Love and Fdating.com.
Here is the list of the most popular Bulgarian dating sites and apps.
Do Bulgarian men participate in open relationships?
Open relationships are still a taboo topic in Bulgaria. Over 80% of Bulgaria’s population identifies as Eastern Orthodox. Since this Christian faith values monogamy, acceptance for open relationships is likely still far off.
Therefore, if you plan to date a Bulgarian man and be in a consensual open relationship, it might be best to keep that information away from his family’s ears.
Is gay marriage legal in Bulgaria?
Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007, and, as such, it is required to adhere to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Although discrimination against same-sex couples is legally not allowed, Bulgaria has a strong Orthodox background. Therefore, this doesn’t always transfer over into real practice.
Therefore, if you’re a man looking to date a Bulgarian man, it’s best to follow your partner’s lead if you’re in Bulgaria together.
Ready to Date a Bulgarian?
From their chivalrous ways to their excellent manners, dating a Bulgarian man can be a real treat. By preparing yourself for the expectations of Bulgaria’s dating culture and being open with your partner about your culture’s dating norms, you’ll be setting yourself up to enjoy a long, healthy relationship.