Although Croatia has become more popular than ever thanks to Game of Thrones (some of it was shot here), men in Croatia are fortunately nothing like Joffrey or the like.
Today we’re here to talk about men in Croatia – and for this, I decided to ask expat Joyce to write the article (I am a man after all and I might be subjective).
But Joyce has been living in Croatia for the past 12 years and also found a local to call her husband… so she definitely knows what she’s talking about.
The truth is that there’s a lot to see in the fascinating Croatia, from visiting cultural and historical sights, immersing yourself in the wonders of the great outdoors from mountains, national parks and beaches to sampling the heterogeneous cuisines of their 718 islands.
And who would be the best companion to explore the country and its sights but a Croatian man?
Characteristics of Croatian Men
Croatian men are a happy mixture of old-world values and a modern outlook. It’s something refreshing in these times when romance is fast disappearing and everything is fast paced.
Croats know how to sip and savor a good cup of coffee, valuing company and appreciating the good things in life.
They are interesting conversationalists with more than 81% of them bilingual and speaking good English.
When you are with a Croatian man, even if you are still just dating him online, off the bat you will notice they are eloquent and funny.
You surely won’t have a dull time with Croatian men, who will go above and beyond to keep you entertained.
Aside from talking and making you laugh all the way to your heart; Croatian men know their food and drink.
Within the island of this country, you will find the most diverse food selections – a melting pot of menus.
The best thing of it all, is that Croats are not only foodies but they are great cooks themselves. Yes – both men and women are!
Intense Love for Soccer and the Red-White-and-Blue
To the Croatian man, soccer is definitely life – and life means independence which Croats treasure dearly since their emancipation from Yugoslavia in 1991.
They wave and wear their national colors at every opportunity that they can.
Soccer is also something else in Croatia. It is not only a sport for Croatian men – it is a passion.
It is not confined to the game – it evolves to include love for the players, the songs and chant plus the overall inspiration it gives to the Croats.
It is characteristic in Croatian culture for adult children to live with their parents until they are financially self-sufficient or married.
This is because of the strong sense of family ties that they honor. It may be unlike many Western cultures but Croats treasure family values.
There is respect and honor that even in this highly patriarchal society, women have always been encouraged to join the workforce according to their talents and abilities. Both men and women share in the tasks of the home, with equal weight in decision-making.
Because of their being family-oriented, Croatian men by nature are loyal and honor commitments.
Once you are taken into his fold the Croatian proverb ‘tko ce kome ako ne svoj svome’ (translation: who will you help if not your own). You can count on them to look out for you at all times.
Croatian men also exude self-assurance. They are on-point when it comes to dressing and conversation.
While their louder-than-usual speech may be misconstrued as being arrogant, this is simply one of their cultural quirks displayed through the style of conversation, something that you need to get used to if you come from a more soft-spoken culture.
Not Just Dine but also WINE!
Croatian men also have a great appreciation of wine. You will most probably find that someone in your Croat friend’s family distills their own wine from the grapes grown in the backyard. This is simply part of their culture and tradition.
Finally – Pomalo! (Take It Easy)
Before anything else, all Croatians are live by “Pomalo” which means “little by little.”
If you are used to the rat race, you must know that Croatian men like to take it easy and enjoy every aspect of life. They have perfected the art of savoring living and appreciating the process.
What Is It Like Dating a Croatian Man?
As stated in the basic characteristic of Croatian men above, they like to take their time.
Don’t rush him to commit as he likes to make sure before taking relationships a step further.
They take commitment pretty seriously so you generally cannot expect whirlwind proposals. Enjoy getting to know him better!
Being with a Croatian man, you must brush up on your knowledge of culture and history.
They are very interesting conversationalists and love a woman who can parry words with them. Be funny, insightful, and most of all, genuinely interested in what he has to say.
Taking You Places
Dating a Croatian man means that he will want to take you all over his beautiful country.
Most of them are pretty outdoorsy since there is no shortage of nature wonders that they can enjoy within Croatia.
Take note that they don’t consider these as holidays – it’s just something they do as part of living well in their country. Going on vacation is another matter for them. Taking the sporadic day off is more natural.
Conversation Do’s and Don’ts
While they love to talk, there are some things you must know when engaging in conversation with Croatian men, especially at the start of your relationship.
- Talking about religion is a no-no if you are still getting to know each other. Religious-related topics such as abortion, euthanasia, and divorce may be an iffy topic for the mostly Roman Catholic nation.
- Avoid discussing politics and their conflicts. Never refer to them as Yugoslavian.
- Money talk is something for more serious relationships.
- Get used to loud talking and animated conversations. This is just the way they are.
- Expect some wry humor. It can sometimes be dark, cynical, or sarcastic but it is all in good fun.
- Expect to be interrupted. This is simply the nature of Croatian conversation, not meaning to offend but simply to express quick opinion of something you have stated. They are usually quite polite in their manner of doing this and if one isn’t aware of this nature, they might get annoyed by it.
Punctuality is a serious matter for Croatians. Don’t be fashionably late as it will only give them a bad impression of your commitment towards your relationship.
Show a Bit of Initiative
When dating a Croatian man, it is important to know the borderline between being demanding and showing initiative.
While they abhor the overly-dependent “damsels-in-always-distress”, Croatian men value what you want and desire.
Be tasteful in expressing what’s on your mind and allow him to lead you into what you want. We have a guide about Croatian women you might want to read to know what you are up against.
Romance is in the Air
Croatian men are known for their intensely romantic nature. They say it comes with the beautiful surroundings coupled with their penchant of taking things slow and savoring every aspect of life.
You can expect to be tenderly loved with sweet nothings and gestures. But on the same note, you are not expected to be completely consumed by these actions.
For them life is multi-faceted and there is a time and place for everything. You can be sure, though, that your private time will be special.
Let Him Take Charge
In this mainly patriarchal society, men in Croatia are used to taking the reins BUT! He values the input. Allow him that satisfaction – they love to look after their women.
“Mama Knows Best” Explained
While there is a growing stereotype that Croatian men are Mama’s Boys, this is something misconstrued because of cultural differences.
Croatia is a country which holds family values high and filial loyalty automatically comes in up there as well. The key word is respect and understanding of their culture.
Remember, unlike most Westerners who emancipate themselves from the family at 18, both women and men alike stay well into their adulthood until they get married or are economically stable.
When they reference their parents, it is not meant to be derogatory or undermine your place, but instead, a display that your man trusts you enough to bring family into the conversation or opinion-making.
Croatian women do the same and bring either parent in so it says nothing about over-dependence, culturally speaking.
Getting to Know the Family
You know when you’re really in with your Croat when he introduces you with the members of his family.
Croatian men are overly-protective of their families and would never dream some bringing someone into their homes if it wasn’t anything serious.
So if you get to this point, know that you’re in a serious relationship with your man!
My tips for your relationship with a Croatian Man
1. Time-Off – Learn to respect alone time. Your Croatian man might want to meet-up with friends, spend quality time with his family or simply crave alone time. Take this as a chance for some self-care and take time off for yourself as well!
2. Don’t Get Drunk! – Something off-putting for Croatian men is when women get too inebriated. It just isn’t proper in their culture. Maybe you could do this on your own time with your set of friends!
3. Express Yourself – Croatian men don’t like it when women talk in circles and imply things they cannot interpret.
4. Don’t Let Yourself Go – Always dress well and keep yourself neat and clean. There’s simply no excuse not to unless you’re mucking it out in the garden or doing some intense cleaning!
5. Modesty Matters – While Croatia is a European country, Croats value modesty. Unnecessary show of skin is construed to be improper and doesn’t bode well with Croatian men.
6. Dance and Dance! – Croats love to dance, so if you love to hit the floor with your moves, then you will be in for a good time. However, even if you need to learn a step or two, you will find them the most willing teachers.
7. Be on Time – This simply cannot be stressed too much. Never be late when meeting up with your Croatian man. It’s just a no-no!
8. Accept! – When visiting friends and family, it is customary to accept when offered food and drink as it might be taken as offensive to refuse.
9. Handshakes Please! – Croatian culture is not handsy and huggy to people they have recently met, so take care not to be overly physically in greetings.
And per tradition, it is usually only women who are familiar with each other who offer physical demonstrations in greeting. Handshakes, however, are quite acceptable for the first meetings.
10. Finally – Pomalo!
Being in a relationship with a Croatian man may entail a deeper understanding of their history and culture.
Once you get through that, you will find that they are typically one of the most sincere and straightforward people you can meet.
The general vibe of Croatia is taking your time, don’t rush things. In this sense, there must be a sense of enjoyment in going through your relationship with a Croatian man.
The rewards are great – you will get to experience some Old-World chivalry and romance in tandem with enjoying your status as an equal partner in relationship.