Sami Wunder moved to Germany from India over a decade ago after snagging a full scholarship for her master’s degree at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Not only did Wunder – a self-described “idealistic romantic” – have high hopes for a career in public policy, but also for meeting a life partner and forming a family.
Yet “when I started to date in Germany I felt like it was all about a quick physical connection, getting into each other’s pants,” she told The Local’s Germany in Focus podcast on Friday.
Even when Wunder did meet a man whom she thought could be “Die große Liebe”, or the one, he suddenly went silent after two months of dating.
A new strategy
Yet instead of growing cynical about German men – or the male species in general – Wunder realised she just needed to change her tactics.
“My friend said, “Oh it’s Germany: men are expecting you to reach out and show some interest.”
But that was precisely the problem, said Wunder: she had been pursuing a partner in the same aggressive way she would a career.
“I was dating in my masculine, go-getting energy rather than feminine, receiving, being connected-with-my emotions energy,” she said.
This approach, said Wunder, invites in “lazy” men who expect women to do all of the work. “Even without recognising it, we become the pursuers and doers in the connection.”
But when she consciously took a step back, she met her German husband – whom she’s been married to for 10 years and now has two children with.
‘Set expectations right from the start’
Inspired by her own personal success – and that of friends she advised – Wunder founded a dating coaching company in 2016. It has a niche in helping highly successful women get the thing that they haven’t had so much luck in: love.
Wunder now works with thousands of women in 86 countries, but there’s a particular demand in the Bundesrepublik.
“Women in Germany are exceptionally strong and equality driven in dating. This can lead to German men being the more surrendered kinds,” Wunder previously told The Local during an interview in 2019 on dating in Germany.
“Women have trained men here that this is okay. In such cases, I advise my female clients to let the men know explicitly that they are happy to have the man lead and plan the dates. Most men will be happy to oblige when you set the expectations right from the start.”
‘It’s easy to become jaded’
In the interview for the Germany in Focus podcast, Wunder said it’s easy for women to become cynical about dating after being scarred by sometimes countless bad experiences. “It’s easy to become jaded, embittered and to start hating the opposite sex,” she added.
“I said: I have brains, and that men were intimidated by that. And when something didn’t work out I could go to this limited belief that my brains and success are the problem.”
But the first step to finding love is “to love men and to believe that good men exist,” said Wunder. “Just look around: there are dads on the playground, there are men picking up bags for women in REWE and Netto.”
“In order to attract goodness we have to believe it exists.”
Wunder said that sort of optimistic attitude can be a challenge in “highly rational and logical” Germany.
“But we have to invite more vulnerability,” said Wunder. “Not saying, ‘I like you’ but expressing wants and needs.”