American-style dating is, seen from Europea (in my case, rural Germany), a rather alien concept. I'm not altogether too experienced in picking up girls, yet sources such as an interview with a German radio journalist doing correspondant work in New York have confirmed my opinion. The largely ritualised process of asking a girl out, dating, and, subsequently, varying amounts of sex with or without emotional attachment simply does not exist over here in the denoted form -- if it should indeed exist, only a minority indulges in it. Incidentally, the word "dating" resp. the verb "to date" does not translate to any German word or short German clause.

Here, most of the flirting and making out seems to happen at work, at parties or at any social events where peer groups mix. Going out on what an American would consider a formal date is largely a "just friends" activity. One-night-stand sex is something which is rapidly negotiated and executed in discos and similar venues, if not at aforementioned parties and events.

I don't know what to think about this cultural difference. Maybe it's better to have that ritualised on-ramp to relationships, with unspoken social conventions and rules to follow? Maybe the informal, less expensive and much more tolerant German way is better? Anyway, the journalist mentioned above noted that Americans dating a German for the first time are always in for a surprise, because they will not get the usual mechanical wining-and-dining automatically leading to sex, but someone who actually cares about personality and character. Of course the Germans are plain swine just like the Americans: we all want to get laid, it's just that evolution teaches us what works best to get a partner in the sack.