Polish man

The Polish man is certainly a unique phenomenon in Europe. Throughout the centuries he was characterized not only by his abnormal appearance, but also by extremely gallant behavior towards women.

He let the lady go first at the door or he kissed her hand… The taste of kissing a woman’s hand, not practiced in Europe outside the official ceremonial, was very unusual. This specifically Polish behavior was born in the gentry’s culture of the 16thto17thcenturies, referred to as Sarmatian (the nobility thought they derived from the mythical Sarmatians). Not only men’s gallantry was unusual. High-shaved heads with tufts of hair, clothing referring to Turkish attire (kontusz, żupan) – certainly the Pole of that time brought some touch of exoticism and masculinity into a lace-clad and frilled Europe.

Picture from the movie “With fire and sword”

 Much later, in the 1980s, the mustache of striking shipbuilders was also a bit weird.

Lech Wałęsa with the workers on strike at the Gdańsk Shipyard
photo: National Archive, The Hague

Patterns of gallant behavior were cultivated by pre-war Uhlans, with General Boleslaw Wieniawa-Długoszowski at the forefront. When he once had an indecent dream of some noble lady, the general felt obliged to send her flowers with apologies!

This kind of gentleman’s behavior towards women, in one form or another (kissing a ladу’ s hand, for instance, nowadays practiced mostly by some older guys) has survived up today. A foreign woman should not be surprised if a Pole insists on paying her bill in a café or restaurant. But does it mean that a contemporary Pole is the dream material for a husband or lover? Many young Polish women – dreaming of a foreigner – don’t think so.


According to online survey conducted in 2013 by the Bols Platinum brand, Polish men rate themselves very highly, attributing to themselves the following features:

  • bravery – 96%
  • courage – 93%
  • defence of a partner in case of danger – 96%
  • class-related behavior – 90%
  • respect and gentleness towards women – 86%

Report data on domestic violence presents male Poles however in a slightly different light. According to the research conducted by Feminoteka Foundation in 2012, approximately 800,000 women per year experience violence and 150 die as a result of domestic quarrels. The research does not include undisclosed cases (bullying of a child is not infrequent either.) Beating wives was a permanent element of peasant customs, which women accepted with humility (“he beats” means “he loves”). When asked if men react in cases of aggression of their colleagues to their wives, the president of Feminoteka Joanna Piotrowska responds: “They are afraid to react. “They do not want to look like mollusks or hear that they are interfering in their affairs. The fear of losing a macho face also plays a major role.

Men have been treating women in this way for centuries. In the past a woman received kisses of her hand, but at the same time she was treated paternalistically and with disregard. A poem by Adam Mickiewicz, an eminent Polish poet of the 19thcentury, begins with the following words: “Woman, a vanity fluff, a variable creature.” The echoes of these behaviors survived in the form of contemptuous remarks about female drivers (a hag behind the wheel); statements about a prostitute which cannot be raped and deeply unfriendly remarks towards feminists. In this respect Polish males are characterized by exceptional conservatism and resistance to changes that aim at equalizing the legal and social positions of men and women and the elimination of genderism, treated by many men as the invention of crazy hags.

Photo: Renata Głuszek

Unfortunately it also concerns young men. Women aged 25-33, interviewed by Katarzyna Wojnicka and Ewelina Ciaputa for their later book “Carousel with men”, very often stated that a Polish man cannot function in the equality relationship in which the roles of both partners are not gender-determined. “They stick to the old patriarchal principles and are an explosive mix of a personality full of complexes and at the same time possessing a high opinion of themselves” (quotes come from: polki.pl).

According to the painter Hanna Bakuła, in Poland like nowhere else men are completely subordinated to women, which with the dream of being a real macho extremely frustrates them and makes them dull. Another thing is that they have no particular ambitions, do not pursue any personal development, and spend their free time mainly in an armchair in front of the TV-set, often drinking beer. A model example of such an individual is Ferdynand Kiepski, the hero of the popular satirical series “The Kiepski Family”.

Ferdynand Kiepski


An average Pole is also careless in terms of appearance. The facts and statistics are merciless for Polish men. Many of them become fat in their thirties, and in the following years they get a so called “beer belly.” A Polish man’s clothing also leaves much to be desired, which seems more important for foreign ladies than the Polish ones. It is difficult to understand a high tolerance for the following clothing sets: slippers/flip-flops or sandals worn with dark socks, half-calf trousers, any T-shirt or even an undershirt. When the author of this text mocked at such a model on her Facebook page, many women reacted with indignation, defending clothing freedom!











Photo: Renata Głuszek

According to Tanya Stancheva from Bulgaria, Polish guys do not make a great impression: They are simply not attractive enough for me, there is no spell or mystery in them, they look too ordinary, not very colorful and, as they say in Bulgaria, they just do not catch your eye.

In large cities and political, business or cultural circles there are, of course, elegant, well-dressed men. Awareness of the need for a good appearance among the male population of Poland is reportedly growing…

Photo: Renata Głuszek


Maybe things are a bit better in ars amandi case? Unfortunately in this matter the Polish man is also rated, by both Polish and foreign women, rather law. Letting a lady go first at the door, kissing her hand, giving a coat – it all makes a good impression at first, especially in Europe, but then things become worse. Conversation on the first date often lacks finesse, sparkle and humor.  A good illustration of it is TV programm “First date”, in which the “national male average” is reported. There are, of course, flowers (sometimes) and a welcome compliment, but then men sitting by the tables seem to be very boring and even show a lack of good social behavior.

Claudia Agostinho from Portugal notes that “Polish guys are too serious; they are rarely able to be relaxed. And they have no sense of humor. Only when they have a drink, they become more relaxed and natural. But there is also the other side of the coin – after alcohol they can be aggressive, intrusive”.

The next step in the relationship can bring a disappointment. “Where is the fire and passion? Where are the surprises, the sticky notes for good morning on the refrigerator, where are the flowers and walks by the sea?” – asks Olga Audzeichyk from Belarus. Polish women also complain of the lack of romanticism in Polish guys.

(Quotes are from the publication  Kobiety_z_zagranicy_recenzuja_polskich_mezczyzn)


Ladies going to marry a Pole should be aware of his usually strong relationship with his mother (and Polish mother-in-law mostly does not like her daughter-in-law). As for the verbal communication, the Polish man, regardless of the environment he represents, is characterized by one common thing: the tendency to abuse vulgarisms while long, long time ago a man saying it by accident in the presence of a woman deeply apologized to her. 

Of course there are many interesting, intelligent, well-dressed and well-bred men in Poland. The thing is, you do not know where they are. The problem is not new, because already in 1975 a singer Danuta Rinn sang in her great hit Where these men are:

Where are the men, the real ones,
eagles, falcons, herosy!?
Where these men worthy of the age,
where these lads are!?

Well, where?


A man of dream – 17th century knight Jan Skrzetuski, “With fire and sword”

An example of old-fashioned elegance is the politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke, unfortunately, in his views – an extreme anti-feminist / photo: Adrain Grycuk

Singer Michał Szpak – a colorful bird / photo: Silar


A pensioner / photo: Renata Głuszek


Robert Lewandowski – a worldly man / photo: Uwe Bassenhoff

Renata Głuszek

Published: January 4th, 2018

I invite all men outraged by the theses of my text to write in comments what you think about a contemporary Polish man. Any thesis, studies that refute my theses are welcome. I promise to publish it in a separate article.


Fakt24.pl, polki.pl; trojmiasto.wyborcza.pl/trojmiasto/1,35612,7247089,Kobiety_z_zagranicy_recenzuja_polskich_mezczyzn.html;

Read also: Polish ladies, Polish ladies 2

16 thoughts on “Polish man

  1. The article full of stereotypes and incredibly stupid.
    And written by polish woman, that’s just pathetic how can someone sink so low 🙂

  2. Polish girls are boring too. I.have spent 4 weeks in Krakow. Girls are boring, low self esteem. To compensate, dress very well. Dull and cold.

    Polish guys.why are tolerating crap? Date Russians, etc.

    • We know theh.In Poland many boys chooses Ukrainian Girls(are so cute).Number’s of marriage Polish mens with Ukrainian,Russian,Belarus growing up very fast.

  3. Thank you for this article. I’m an english woman dating a polish guy and can identify with many of your points. As a feminist I’m really struggling with some of my boyfriend’s conservative and what I consider often sexist remarks. I can see now its probably cultural differences.
    Anyway this article certainly helps me understand why so few English women seem to date Polish men and why its so prevalent the other way round.

  4. I don’t know where the writer of this article went to met polish guys. I’m living in Wroclaw 1 year from now, and yes there are some stupids that match with all the downsides described, but in most of cases I’ve found extremly gentleman guys with diversify topics to talk about, with strong opinions which is sexy for me as a Latin Girl.
    Please! who doesn’t feel better when is about to break the ice after a drink or tow?
    Now I’m happy in a relationship with a extra super polish guy and has been great, maybe has a big impact the fact that in my culture there are still roles for men and woman and it helps to fit here, but anyway, I found this article very disrespectful and full of cliches.
    Maybe if you stop going on the club to find “Mr. perfect one” on saturday 4 am you will have better luck.

    • Dear Kimberly, I live in Poland since 1961 when I was born so I know what I write. You live in a big university town so you know very little about Polish reality. Go to the province, small cities or villages to watch the truth. And read my article carefully. I also recommend commentary of Bethan or James. Renata

      • Very funny.Most of Polish Man living in big cites or medium cities.I think the Author of this article stop in the reality 15 years ego.Come on we’ve got 2018.

        • Poul, see this comment:
          Thank you for this article. I’m an english woman dating a polish guy and can identify with many of your points. As a feminist I’m really struggling with some of my boyfriend’s conservative and what I consider often sexist remarks. I can see now its probably cultural differences.
          Anyway this article certainly helps me understand why so few English women seem to date Polish men and why its so prevalent the other way round.

          • Obviously because the guy is form emigrations.Look at the comment Kimberly.She live in Wroclaw.Wroclaw is similar to Warsaw,Poznan,Cracow,Gdansk end many dig cities in Poland.You have to realize Poland isn’t just province.

  5. I think the article is very correct, and I am thankful for reading this, I will read this another time again.
    I am afraid you are so right. As an Asian person – I have observed something like this as well.

  6. Pathetic, full of stereotypes. Renata, you’re almost 60. I guess your Moherowy beret is ready for winter? Typical Polish lady in that age has at least one… I’m supprised you have not mention about this in your text.
    Best Regards.
    40+ Polish guy without beer belly never used white socks and sandals.

    • Dear Michał, I have never used “moherowy beret” (mohair beret) at all, there are still few of us, 50+ ladies not wearing them 😉 Thanks for not wearing white socks, it helps thinking not all Polish men are hopeless. Regards.

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