My Six Reasons for Marrying a Balkan Man

Le Couple / ©flickr.com/photos/tousmic

Author: Ruth Platt-Stavrik

As midnight passed on New Year’s Eve and 2010 began, I looked at my husband sitting beside me, thought about our two children sleeping upstairs and realised that we’d been married for the best part of a decade, and that we’re still speaking to each other. As I am English and he is Macedonian I felt that this achievement was perhaps even greater than usual, having had cultural barriers to cross and linguistic misunderstandings to clear up, not to mention having only one grandparent, my father, in England where we live, to help with that elusive pot of gold, free childcare.  I have often thought about the advantages and disadvantages of marrying a man from the Balkans as opposed to a man from the UK, and though perhaps my husband is not a typical Balkan man, if there is such a thing, there have certainly been aspects of our marriage that have been shaped by his Macedonian-ness. Here is a guide to the most positive of those influences:

1] You learn to dress warmly and discover the deadly influence of the draught
On my first trip to Skopje I was taken by my new husband to the underwear shop. For silk lingerie I wondered? No, for thermal vests. My husband, horrified by my skimpy jumpers that left an inch of bare skin exposed on my lower back, taught me to tuck my vest into knickers in a way I had abandoned since the age of 8. I haven’t quite got used to this practice, but have to concede in really cold climates it is probably a must. I have definitely learned to keep my lower back covered at least – gone are the skimpy tops [though that is also due to the havoc wreaked on my body since having two children].  As for the deadliness of the draught, it has been explained to me, with geometrical precision, the way a draught can turn into a dangerous phenomenon if someone is caught between two open windows or doors. This can cause anything from a sore throat to cardiac arrest.  I am not yet convinced, but am very careful not to say so in certain circles in the Balkans. It may damage my reputation beyond repair [if that hasn’t happened already].

2] A man brought up under communism knows the importance of thrift
Ok, this can be annoying when every supermarket purchase is questioned in terms of whether it is necessary for basic survival [forget about posh shampoo or expensive coffee] but actually often very refreshing in a culture where excess and throwing away things you’re tired of is the norm. If one of our children’s toys break, my husband tries to fix it. If a pair of shoes look worn, my husband tries to get them re-heeled.  Landfills in England are overflowing with rubbish. I have to admit that just not buying so much stuff is environmentally, as well as economically, sound.

wooden couple / ©flickr.com/photos/strollers

3] You get a new perspective on world history
I’m not going to mention Greece. Except to say all our friends have been told about Alexander the Macedonian.  They also now know that World War II was won by the Russians, not the British, and all about Operation Barbarossa.  My husband’s education with regards to world history is superior to mine, and to most in the UK. At school the sum of my state-school history education can be reduced to Aborigine Dream Time and the six wives of Henry VIII. My husband’s seemed to include everything from the chronological conquests of Genghis Khan to Field Marshal Montgomery’s victories in North Africa and the origins of the SAS. The marriage has been educational. I in turn have tried to share some information on Romantic Poets of the nineteenth century but this for some reason has fallen on deaf ears. Can’t think why.

4] You don’t have to wonder what a Balkan man is thinking
He tells you. An Englishman has been brought up to withhold his emotions, to keep everything inside, whereas if my husband is annoyed about something he can do the cold silence thing for about five minutes before bursting into protest, be it about the fact that I never fold the sheets in the airing cupboard or that I still haven’t filled in my tax return, or about the fact that he was angry with me for being angry with him for coming home late from work. Again.  Research shows that couples who argue have healthier marriages and are more likely to stay together [I’m not making it up, honestly]. We do argue, but we do usually come up with solutions and compromises following an argument, which I think is a whole lot better than never talking about problems.

5] The importance of extended family
I am not that close to my brother or sisters. I am close to my father but my mother died a few years ago after a long illness so I never had a proper adult relationship with her. Although it has been difficult to go to Macedonia since we have had young children, we intend to go much more regularly as they get older. I see how close-knit my husband’s family are and how loyal they are to each other. I admire it. My husband has helped me to get closer to my own brother and sister, and now our children are close to their cousins as a result. This summer we are going on holiday with my husband’s family. It is an ongoing adaptation for me, but a good one.

5 ½ ] Military service
This is obviously not relevant to younger generations, but I think Military service had a profound effect on my husband. For a start, he knows how to iron. It is also to blame for his obsession with folding things neatly [like sheets] which is a bit annoying. However I think it gave him strength and independence at a young age. I think he is tougher than his English counterparts, who wouldn’t know what to do if they had to put a tent up in the rain, or drive across Serbia without getting killed by mad bus drivers overtaking on a bend, or if a burglar broke into the house. Two men tried to climb in our bedroom window a few years ago. I woke my husband up and he moved towards the window like a rabid dog. The very sight of him made them run for their lives as he let out a deep menacing laugh as they ran. He was effectively terrifying. Then he went back to bed and fell asleep within minutes. [I, on the other hand, rang the police.] He also knows how to dismantle an AK47 in under a minute, though I admit this hasn’t come in handy yet.

6] The accent
They say that the French language is the most beautiful in the world. The French accent certainly is not. English spoken with a French accent sounds like a cat trying to talk through dental braces. I loved my husband’s accent from the start. Yes, he does always sound like he has just woken up, but his accent will always make me go weak at the knees. Except when he’s telling me to fold the sheets in the airing cupboard, maybe.

90 thoughts on “My Six Reasons for Marrying a Balkan Man

  1. I couldn't agree more. My fiance is from the Balkans and he's the most amazing man I've ever met. I never feel safer than when I'm by his side. When we had a door I had trouble opening, a few minutes later I found a second handle had been attached. He knows how to handle situations and people. He's absolutely lovely and I couldn't be happier that I'm about to marry a Balkan man. From the accent, to the straight-forward approach to our relationship, to the close-knit family, to the fix-it-if-there-is-a-problem approach to life, he's such an incredible person. I only wish I had met him sooner so I wouldn't have bothered with my previous boyfriends.

    1. Well said Michelle! I loved this article and also the comments everyone shared. I married a man from Macedonia this May. His ability to communicate has proven most effective as we have waited now nearly 6 months for him to move here with me (I am Canadian). As difficult as this lengthy process is, he and I speak daily either by phone or online and he continually makes me a priority in his life. He is unlike any man I have met and is truly amazing. Despite a few years age difference (I am older) he is more mature than any man his age I have met in North America by far! His values are strong, he is appreciative of everything, he knows how to treat a lady in every way, and he is truly my Prince. Thank you for sharing your stories ladies!

  2. Ruth, I don't know you, but I know your husband personally. I am delighted by your piece. It is warm and funny and so very true. I have to agree that he, and most of the Balkan man I know are nice, genuine and really honest with their feelings. But by the look of it, he is not the only one. You are too.

  3. Dear Ruth,

    I am a Macedonian married to an Englishman, and your 6 reasons could have easily been written by my husband as the 6 reasons why he'd married a Macedonian woman:)))) Literally, every single one of them (his favourite probably being the deadly influence of the draught, since I will not have two bedroom windows open at the same time!!!!:)))). Will show this to him, he will be well suprised by the fact there is someone out there actually reading his mind! Thanks for the lovely article and keep cooking if you want to maintain that marital bliss:)))

    Marija.

  4. Wow, reading your piece perfectly matches my experience (albeit as an American) married to a Balkan guy. I sure know the deadly draft fears, as I've suffered in 100 degree summer heat with no A/C in closed car or bus windows, suffocating, all to 'save' me from the deadly, pneumonia-death-inducing draft! 🙂

    1. Hahaha -this summer I was in Croatia on vaccation and specifically asked for a room with an AC but could not use it beacuse I was given the very same reasons-draft/headache/punmonia-quite funny! I do remember those days growing up on Balkans where wearing socks made from wool is a norm and now I'm in subtopics- what a change:)

  5. I love the way you wrote this article! Too funny!

    I am from the U.S, and have always been an avid follower of Ben Franklin's theory on opening windows. Not when you are married to a Macedonian!! heee hee, I thought I was alone with this problem. If I get a stiff neck, my hubby always shakes his head and starts lecturing me on draft 🙂 But I have to say, there is no American man out there that could hold a candle to my Balkan Babe.

  6. Ruth-

    Absolutely LOVED your piece, it kept me smiling from start to finish. I'm a US-born Macedonian married to an Englishman (Pozdrav do Marija!) and can relate our marriage to yours even across geographical and cultural boundaries. He comes from a large family but none of the siblings are particularly close and he doesn't even know where his aunts/uncles/cousins are, but he absolutely loves the closeness in my family and how it transcends immediate relatives– I'm just as close to my first cousins as I am to my third and fourth, my great-aunts are like grandmothers to me, etc., and my husband loves our big family get-togethers and everyone loves him to bits! When we got married, there was no question about it, he wanted to have a Macedonian wedding (church, music, tradition and all), he danced his heart out all night long!

    Now if I could only get him to take #2 on your list a little more seriously…. 😉

    Thanks again, and I wish you many more happy years together!

  7. Dear Ruth,

    I just love your article 🙂 I'm born and raised Macedonian or maybe it would be more proper in my case to say in the Balkans (I moved around a bit).

    I live in New York City now and your article definitely inspired me to go back and look for the love of my life among the lovely Balkan man 😉

    Lots of love to you and your family!!!

    All the best from NYC 🙂

    Ljupka

  8. Dear Hristina,

    Lovely to see you can speak your mother tongue (you do, don't you?:)):)))) Do you live in the US or the UK? When it comes to family, the same goes for my husband, I was gobsmacked when he couldn't tell me the names of his grandparents (even though they'd been long gone before he was born)!!!! To me that was unacceptable:)))Since we got married, ha had reconnected with his extended family. And the wedding…..exactly the same here!:))))) It was a great day:)))

    All the best

    Marija.

  9. I simply love the way you perfectly described us as a nation with that lovely unique British sense of humor. All so funny and so true. My father always says today's male generation will never be real men, because military service is not obligatory anymore. To be honest, I think he is right…

  10. Seriously, I don't understand why is it people on this side of the world ( I live in NY) never understood the effects of drought (promaja).

    Or think its funny, when i recommend lemon and some honey to cure colds. God forbid i should mention the cure-it-all rakija 🙂 ( I can assume your husband has a couple of bottles in reserve).

    As for military service Jovana, not only does it make a better man out of most, but it is important for our part of the world, as we just know there is bound to be a war, sooner rather than later. Men need to know how to fight. Not to go into irrelevant discussions but it was imposed upon our country[the discontinuation of the practice] by foreign powers, under pretense of a condition to join NATO.

    Anyway, funny article. I should also add that as a Macedonian in US, i have reaped the benefits of local women's infatuation with our accents ( tho i don't understand why it should be sexy rather than funny).

  11. I find it quite cute how you as a woman from different culture like traits that most Central/Eastern European women (like myself) can't stand in their men i.e. being thrifty and frugal (I will always remember my dad questioning whether having Nike trainers is really essential when I was little, whether cheap unbranded ones wouldn't do:-).

    As far as history is concerned, that will always be a matter of bias, depending on where you grew up. In all ex-Communist countries people were told for 40 years that the Russians won the Second World War II and there was no mention whatsoever about the British, Americans, etc. which quite frankly is not the case!

    But I agree with you that men from that part of Europe are definitely stronger, more manly and treat women as a woman!

    1. Firstly, these weren't COMMUNIST countries, because communism never ever existed, anywhere on the planet.

      Secondly, it is NOT a matter of bias – people here are not taught that only the Soviet Uniot won the war, but ALL the mentioned countries – but USSR and Eastern Europeans suffered the most casualties (look it up anywhere in a relevant WWII factbook) which is true and largely different from the history taught in UK and US – that they won the war and that they were good, and USSR was evil, even though that probably the world would have been a German province today (including the island of UK, with all their defense up there)if it wasn't for the resistance of USSR.

      So check your history facts before bragging about something similar again. Thank you.

  12. Zdravo Marija 🙂

    Yes, I can speak and write Macedonian rather fluently for a "non-native" unlike my brother who never really had the interest that I did (he can speak it, but not nearly as well). We live in the US– my husband was posted here with the RAF when we met. We got married, he retired, and we stayed here. There are also some interesting cultural differences between US/UK, especially in terms of language (since I've been married, I own a "hoover," not a vacuum cleaner, my car has a "boot" instead of a trunk… and I find marmite absolutely disgusting! hahaha — just to name a few things) Back to the wedding, I think the funniest thing for me was when we were dancing. My cousin brought out a "tapan" and told my husband that, if he felt comfortable, he could stand on it– if he felt even more comfortable, he could stand on one leg, etc. So my husband got on the tapan, on one leg, started swinging his leg around, etc. and he was having such a great time, I thought he would never come down! It seemed like he was up there for 10 minutes! 🙂 Still, the mixture of the two (or even three) cultures has made our relationship that much stronger and definitely more interesting! Pozdrav!

  13. Zdravo Ruth,

    Kazzi mu na Darko da sskrtne nekoj zbor navaka nakaj juzzna hemisfera.

    :):)

    Promaja ubija, AK47 e zakon, a igraccki i jas popravam za da ne zagaduvam okolina so eftina plastika.

    Pozdrav Babuss

  14. iM Swedis and married balkan girl from Bosnia … I can make that list p to 10001 .

    bALKAN RULES , BAlKAN MUSIC, BALKAN FOOD — Im gonna bee balkan man where retired

    ood lUCK TO YOU

  15. Loved your article! I have known many Balkan men as I have visited the Balkans and even lived in Belgrade for 6 months…. and well… I will take a Balkan man to any American any time. I too, love the accent and like what Eva said, which I really couldn't put into words until my second time there, that when I am with a Balkan man, I feel more like a woman. YES, they can be pig-headed, but like what Ruth had written, you know where you stand with them and almost immediately. And whenever I was with one, I felt safe. And the extended family (for both men and women) is something that is sorely missed in America. The only comment I will disagree with is the frugality of them, for I think it depends how old they are as the younger ones (under 35) seem to love to spend money, esp. if they are single!

    I wish you both a long a happy marriage and HOPE I can find me one to marry as well! 🙂

  16. Dear Hristina,

    Think is absolutely brilliant you can speak (even if not perfect) Macedonian!!! I've got two little ones (4 and 3) whom I try to speak to only Macedonian. Funny enough, the youngest seems more gifted and can say more, as well as pronounce better. The eldest was born in Macedonia, where we lived until she was one but struggles more with it now. They're keen, which is great, so I am not giving up:))) They're very aware of all things macedonian and they've also started noticing the cultural differences. So I really, really hope they'll continue learning the language:)))) As for Marmite….can't stand the bloody stuff myself:))))

  17. Hi Ruth,

    Thank you for presenting such a serious subject in a very humorous way. CONGRATULATIONS! It was a joy reading it as many of the described characteristics for a man from the Balkan are well known to me. I (Slovenian)have been happily married to the Macedonian man of different cultural background for over 50 years. This man is the uncle of your husband. Although we have been living in Canada for many years,the traits you have listed (except for the consequences of the draft)are stil alive. We are sure that such differences are making our marriages stronger. Both my husband and I wish you many more happy years together.

  18. I really loved this piece, I think it not only applies to Macedonian men, but I think the same could be said for Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks, although not all men from the region are as brave as your husband, I had a Croatian fiance who definitely was NOT as brave as I am or as your husband, what kept our relationship going was that he had most of the other positive qualities you mention about your husband, and he never once put me down, he did not try to hard to change me, and he appreciated things about me other men in my past found threatening. He appreciated that I was a bit braver than him for example. He appreciated that I learned the language easily and quickly. He did not interfere with my friendships, he was not controlling. Our problem was that he was really not ready to get married. I had a very bad first marriage. He actually helped me get over some of my issues. I loved your article! What you wrote showed me that I can have hope that perhaps someday, the right partner is out there for me, and he is probably going to come from someplace in the Balkans. So not only did your article warm my heart, so many things you said reminded me of my former fiance's positive points! You gave me some hope. I would take a guy from this region any time over an American!

  19. I'm Serbian-Canadian and I can empathise with some of the points you make, though they might be a wee bit exaggerated.

    However, I wanted to point out something else. My father was born in Macedonia of a Macedonian mother and Serbian father. He cannot acquire Macedonian citizenship — and therefore neither can I for that matter.

    I do not really need that citizenship, I have Canadian, Serbian, and Israeli ones. But that is not the point. The point is that everyone with a grandparent born in the UK (and the today territory of the Republic of Ireland before its independence in the 1920s) can get the right of abode and an expedited road to citizenship.

    But not so in Macedonia. So while a closeness of one's extended family does count, the respect of the state for such closeness counts too. For some reason, the Republic of Macedonia does not recognise that right even to my father, born in Macedonia of a Macedonian mother (he even finished his Grade 1 opf primary school there before moving to Serbia).

    And that is simply NOT fair.

    1. My boyfriend said check out the following <a title="link" rel="nofollow"> and use google translate if needed. Your father is eligible for Macedonian citizenship.

  20. Best piece of PR for Balkans EVER!

    And fortunately for us, nothing of it is made up. All the misconceptions mentioned do exist. It's the perception of them that makes them positive or negative.

  21. All true, however don't start a POLITICAL conversation with a Balkan Man, if you start talking about it, you will regret it at the end. They have a different perspective then the western world and in certain situations they are not very open minded. On the other hand who said that we are all perfect? LOL
    I wish my boyfriend from Macedonia will propose to me.

  22. Dear all,
    I am Jessica from Italy. I also love Balkans and Balkan people. I had a lovely relationship with a Macedonian, now my heart is linked to Serbia and who knows.. About Balkan guys I can say I love theri way of being. I love them being still "men" , "rough" and "wild" and tender and lovely to go crazy. I love them being sincere: they like you, or they don't. That's it.
    I love them being jealous and open minded and I love their language!
    Everyone is surprised when I move there just to see my friends and have some fun. BUt I like it so much that when I am in Italy, I am a completely different person. A "dead one"-like and I feel I miss something. My body is here but my soul is there. YEs, The Music, the food.. everything is amazing there!
    And I love this forum page I saw today!!! Great!!
    Finally someone on my side! yuuuuuu!

    Kisses,
    Jessie

    1. In response to Jessie from Italy…. YOU are me except I live in the USA! 🙂 I agree with everything you said from the men to the country. Even after my first time to Belgrade, I knew my soul would be there forever. I also agree with you about being different when back home as here in the states I am a different person…not really "whole", but missing a part of me. When I lived there for 6 months, I thought I would get homesick…but in reality it hit me only once except for missing some of my favorite foods like peanut butter and corn-fed beef!). My friends there think I am NUTS to feel this way, especially since I live 3 blocks from the ocean, but it is something that I just cannot explain to them. I just hope that this "secret" doesn't spread too quickly (but it seems to be as it keeps getting raps in magazines lately!) as I don't want BG to get ruined and lose what it has going for it!

      Am a bit jealous of you as you are sooooo close to it and are probably fairly young (as I discovered this in my later years…. ACK!!! Hope you get back there soon!

      Linda

  23. For all the ladies and guys who are interested in opposite sex from the Balkans, here is a little inside info from a guy born and raised in Belgrade…btw, I am happily married and don't count on me 😉

    1. There's a lot of available men and women in Belgrade who are open to adventure, relationship and hopefully marriage

    2. Best time to visit is summertime when Belgrade is just amazing and the nightlife is simply fantastic, so even if you don't find a soul mate, you will have a blast

    3. Best places to stay are downtown hostels which are pretty cheap or apartments rented on daily basis and here is a couple of sites for that.

    4. From Belgrade it's easy to visit all of the Balkans, so if you like taking road trips, you'll be on the place of destination within couple of hours (I reccomend visiting the Pyramids of Bosnia-if you never heard of them, try google-ing them)

    5. If feeling like a swim in salty waters of mediterenian sea, it's a half hour flight time to reach Montenegro (and the guys there are all 190-200 cm tall ;), really, not kidding ) and from Montenegro to reach Croatian seaside is aprox 1 hour drive depending on which town you're in

    Hope nobody misunderstands my intentions, they're really honest and I wish you all a good time and good luck

    Alex

    1. Thanks Alex. I would love to meet a lovely tall Balkan man. My preference is Macedonian men, but I would be happy with any! Do you know of any single and available ones in Melbourne Australia? 🙂

      1. come to Macedonia there are lots of them 🙂
        maybe there are some in Melbourne but i can assure u that they are not same like the one that grow up on the Balkan 🙂

    2. in Serbia you can find a tall man easy…why to go to the montenegro :)))…example: i just turned 20years and i'm tall 198cm(6'6") and 230-240lbs…and in my street(100 houses) you have 10 boys my age and 5 of them are as tall as me…

  24. I hate hearing Balkan women marrying foreigners (Marija/Hristina). By the looks of this article you don't know what your missing. Only a Balkan man can treat you right. Too bad your missing that 'Man' in your life girls. All the best in the future.

  25. I agree with all – I'm also married to a Balkan man, an Albanian, who is especially great for the family. Just as amazing he has a great intellect and is a great entreprenuer that can run a very successful business. Being handy is an asset that very few have, which is a plus for a Balkan man.

  26. Dear All!

    I'm a Balkan man, from northwesternmost part of Croatia, little peninsula called "Istra".

    This is arguably not Balkans per se, but the powerful echoes of Balkan culture still distincly resound there too (along with Italian and central european influences). Istra is a multicultural and natural heaven with reach history, beautiful climate and gorgeous Adriatic coast. This has meant that everyone has at some time wanted to own it, including Venetians, Austrians and even Napoleon.

    I've been living in Melbourne, Australia for the best part of last two decades (recent Balkan wars partly shaped my destiny). This means I'm a Balkan man with a difference :))

    While I loved the accounts of cross-cultural joy experienced by a lot of you in your relationships, let me stress that us Balkan men are by no means easy and can hardly be generalised to be "all smiles und sunshine"…

    Balkans is the birthplace and stronghold of MACHISM and a lot of nice manly traits described by a lot of you can often be overshadowed and even overpowered by exactly that in many men from this part of the world.

    While this is perhaps unfortunate from the point of view of relationships, it is hardly unexpected given the fact that history in this part of the world has been anything but peaceful. Balkans has through the ages been a border reagion and a trench between religious traditions and empires and this has meant that it's men are tougher than most.

    To our credit, most Balkan men will subscribe to the following rule:

    – We don't fall in love very easily, but once we do, we love for life…

    Eg. I can safely say that I still love all my Ex girlfriends that reached that status with me, even the ones that perhaps don't deserve it given their eventual revelation of character.

    Balkan men are passionate and emotionally intelligent and many of us owe those traits to our mothers more than our fathers.

    A warm hello to everyone who partook in this forum!!!

  27. Hello to all.
    Reading your article and all your comments i got a wish to get in this conversation.
    I'm born and raised in Macedonia and still i'm living here ,i have never got out of here ,but knowing too many people living outside i have realized that the Balkan people are simply the best and Balkans countries are one of the best for living ,maybe someone will miss understood me or get mad on my coz of my sentence but it is what it is.
    Looking forward to my life there is still time that i should go thru it .
    I'm only 18 years old ,but i'm living my live different than others ,lookin on the life very very seriously from my 14 birthday.
    Here on the Balkans u can find everythin that u can find on WEST or SOUTH or EAST but u can find much more that u can't find anywhere in the world ,one of those things is our social life ,we have type of life that we cant life without our neighbors coming in our houses on coffee or without our family coming at my home without calling but it that is the beauty and happiness ,we've learned that without social life like our we can't be happy.
    Other thing
    i will agree with one sentence that someone up have wrote it : "we are hard to get in love ,but when we fall in love we love for life"
    I still love the girl that i first fall in love ,and that was like 5years ago.
    I have a serious relationship now with a girl that i love the most in the world and with the girl that i wanna get married one day ,but still i love the one that i met 5 years ago.Thats our life ,and our way of living.
    Our parents and grandparents are teaching us that we should be stronger and keep our family and our friends close,not to hate etc.

    If some of u haven't come on the Balkans ,especially Macedonia,Serbia and all others from former Yugoslavia ,u should get on plane now and come to see what i'm talkin about .You will experience something that u have only dreamed for.

    Sincerely,
    Dalibor from Macedonia.

  28. I am so glad I ran across this article!

    I am a 27-year old woman, born and raised in America. I am currently being romantically pursued by a 35-year-old man who moved to America from Yugoslavia 10 years ago. We met in the supermarket.

    He seems very nice but made me uncomfortable by telling me "how sexy" I was and asking if I would make him dinner. We exchanged numbers and he is still calling asking for a date. I am interested but…

    I am hoping for some insight on how men view their women in your culture. I do not want to date a man who grew up in a culture that views men as dominant and women as subordinate.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Maria,

      we are glad that you found your way to our article and we hope that we won't be the only one to give you advice on this for you surely very complicated dilemma.

      My advice would be as follows:
      I think the best way is to be yourself, if you don't like to be someone's servant then simply, don't be. Be as assertive as possible.
      Firstly, however, I would discuss the issue with the young man in question and ask him how he views you and what he would like you to do.

      Only then I would be ready to draw some conlusions; if you don't feel comfortable with his idea of relationship, then be brave and say so, and in your place, I would be very firm on that.

      After all, he is not the only man on the planet, so you don't have to feel obliged to say yes to every relationship there is.

      I hope my advice was useful.

      Good luck with taking decisions.

      Kristina, mladiinfo

    2. Maria… Don't me confused. As many times in my 2 post you can see that I mentonied that the Balkan mens LOVE their half to can cook..when I read what he asked you, it mean that he looks in you as potential half for him.
      If you not see this in Balkan men…just the ''european things'' how is in other sides of Europe are in his head already. Just the Balkan mens are very diferent than the Mens in all other European areas. If he is with you as everybody (for u he looks as everybody when comunicate) it mean that he just do it cause ''should'' if he want to adapt to the atmosphere..and usually the atmosphere is very diferent than in Balkans…i mean the psichyc of the peoples is very diferent.
      He asked you about did you can make him dinner….well, you can be 100000% sure that this is very very very big compliment here in the Balkans. You can be sure that you met with real Balkan men..I mean not actor or he to try to be somebody who he is not. Just whatever you choose to do with him, you can be sure that he is himself…wich mean he will be easy to be explored by you..but you will explore him long time and many things in him.

    3. Rakia & Shopska Salata men here are sexist macho dominant and patriarchal so if you expect Yank post feminist metro-sexualism go to Greenwich village or Hollywood

  29. I Agree!!! with everything you say, my b/f is not Macadonian he is Serbian, but everything you say connect's with him. He is the only guy in my life that i have gone out with that treats me with so much respect and yes, i call him 'handy man', because anything that brakes he knows how to fix it and yes, he was in the army:)))). I can't wait to get married to him. Have a lovely marriage!

  30. I love your piece. However, mine is balkan as well (serbian to be exact).

    I love him, but most of the time, his pride, ego, jealousy and anti-antisemitism consumes him and gets the best of him.

    1. Yes the ego and pride Balkan pride are killers! The geography is not the only reason for conflict the short sighted egotism is at the core of their dysfunctionality and blatant disregard for others.

  31. Hello, I want to share my expirience. I'm 28 years women from Brazil and now I'm already 5 years married with one awesome Bulgarian men and we have 2 amaizing daughters who are like angels. Now we liveing in the sea capital of Bulgaria – Varna city. Here are very good peoples, blue water and beautiful sun.

    The things wich I ''catched'' with my eye in all Balkan mens (Bulgarians, Macedonians, Serbians, Croatians and ect.) are that the Balkan mens are very very hard ''apha'' type. From when we met..then my future husband (then i still dont know it) made me to respect him (in gentle way, of course..wich i liked and still like) many and he respect me very much. For one Bulgarian…somebody to touch his wife, to say something not good to her…or make problem to some member of his family..oh, this in the moment mean > ''war''. He will not leave the problem until not fix it 100%, for him is not important what will cost and how long time will need to fix it…just he will not leave the situation in the way that he not like and will do everything possible to fix it. For him, his wife, girlfriend, family..to feel and be secured is one of the most important things. One Balkan men will feel most good when he knows that he is ''the head of the family''. My men want to be sure that his/our/ family will feel most good and secured…he prefer to control everything – from the income in the house to the discipline in the kids, of course together with me.
    He expect from me to be very, really very gentlel and warm to him..he like that I can clean and cook good because that's make him feel calm about the kids, when he is outside, work or do something wich he have to do.

    And something for end…little funny but really true:
    The Balkan men is the men who can make you the most happy women in the world all the time, specially when you are with him in your bedroom.

    Best wishes to you ladies and gentlemen. And ladies, if you ever meet Balkan guy, be sure that inside himself, he will be happy to see one matured, serious women who is interested in him.

    Greetings 🙂

      1. Yes, the sea capital of Bulgaria.

        I'm not know about all your expirience with Balkan mens but I want to share something wich i forget in my lst post..something wich maybe can be useful little or many for somebdy. Before I meet my husband… I met with some other mens from diferent Balkan countries (no, i not wanted just change them…just the destiny met me with them)..i traveled and explored and I met many peoples.

        In this post I would want to share the negatives and positives sides of the Balkan mens from diferent countries wich I met. To not sounds like ''just someone'' i want to notice that I know 2-3 mens from almost all Balkan countries. The things wich I will write will be positive sides of the mens and the negatives. When I write the negatives I want to say true that I'm not opposite nobody.. just will write truth cause someone maybe really would want to know ''what really is the Balkan men''..and I will write some characteristic of mens from diferent Balkan countries. And when is about help to you ladies…I will wrote all their positives and all their negatives. The things wich I will write are based on my own expirience + (PLUS) the expirience of my closest female friends.
        Well, I hope my info will be useful:

        SERBIAN: As the mens in all Balkan countries, the Serbians like to have fun. They like ''the table''…many food, drinks, music wich they want to share those things with their family or friends. This thing with the Serbians is little more than with the mens in the other Balkan countries – they like it very often – as negative side or positive…this depends of you ladies..you like it or not. They like to cheat. I were with 3 Serbians and they all cheated me. I have many Serbian friends (women) and 90% of them tell me that their husband cheated them.
        One Serbian would talk to you about wars too much. The Balkan countries never have been ally and between them before have many many wars. Well, many of the Serbian mens still talk about it and like to talk about it.
        The Serbian like to make many gifts to his gf/wife and sometimes with no reason. When they have beautiful half..they like to show to the other peoples ''what beautiful darling I have''…wich i think can make one women to feel good. Sometimes the Serbians are rude in the bad way with their half wich I saw it many many times.
        In the bed: They are really very good but their love game is very short…this is positive or negative things…again depends how you like.

        CROATIAN: As all Balkan mens (oh, again I say this) they like to have fun too, but with diference than the Serbians..that the Croatians have ''low limit''. When they are with their half outside..they almost not get drunk (of course someone do it….but I talk about biger part of them). For biger part of them, ''the word'' of their half is like ''rule''..they respect her opinion and they want everything to be great. They are friendly peoples and try to make friendships with peoples from whole Balkans because they what everything to be calm. The thing wich I not like in them is that many of them are lazy..really lazy. Also when they have oppornity…again they are lazy.
        In the bed: Very very really VERY gentle mens and trate you as princess. They like to kiss many (do it more than other things wich they do).

        ALBANIAN: As I said, I'm not have nothing opposite nobody, but I want to help you. Well, the Albanians..really I not like them. I cant found something positive in them and they are the peoples wich I will never meet if I can back my past. They are more bad than…oh, I not know what word to use. The peoples from all Balkan countries hate them and before I really not know why….but already I have opinion about them. Rude, unpolite, uneducated, very very lazy, oh…i think I will use big place if I continue to write about their negatives.
        I not know all are like pigs and unpolite rude persons as 95% of them wich I saw and met but I recommend you ladies – If you ever choose to meet Albanian and try realy how are they, you can do it but please be very careful.
        In the bed: I'm thank to God that I never not do mistake like this.

        GREEK: They work hard all the time. This is 1st thing wich I remember about the Greek mens – working. Whatever they work, they work really hard all the time. They care less about their vision than the mens from the other Balkan countries but they want to look good, by the way.
        Thing wich I not like in them is that one Greek is ready to make you sure that everything is born (origin) in Greece (also when they wrong…).
        They like the tavern and enjoy all the time.
        In the bed: I'm not were there with Greek but many friends told me that they are nice.

        BULGARIAN: Hard nature. ''Alpha'' – this is the `1st thing wich I saw and felt in 1st time when I met Bulgarian, this already I see in my home everyday and this is wich I see in another Bulgarian couples – Men with hard nature.
        He feel ''alive'' when he is the boss. If you meet Bulgarian and he is not like this…be sure that he is not himself or just he is very good actor (cause maybe think that you not like this).
        They are MANIAKS if is about vision…my men stay longer frontside the mirror than me!! I'm shocked from the 1st day when we began to live together! Not all are like this..but many really are.
        I not like in one Bulgarian, thing like..they can cheat you if you are not good with them (rude, lie,>>not respect<<). If you cheat him.. he will make all to look good (forgive) and right then will begin the hell for you – he will cheat you many times or just will leave you and you should find hotel. Some are very lazy and some work hard.
        If you are the women wich one Bulgarian need (can cook, can clean, beautiful, extremely gentle and warm and respect him) – he will respect you as his princess and show you that you are the one for him and will do all possible to make you happy. For one Bulgarian… ''his is the best''..will not have better women for him than you. They are very serious mens wich not like the games, specially when they want something big (long..serious.)They can be very gentle if you know what to say ;).
        In the bed: Wild…no taboos. I'm matured women..I have intensive contact with mens from 17 years old and I can tell you that only one Bulgarian dare to tell you what you to do with his…..

        MACEDONIAN: In many things their are like Bulgarians but they are little ''weak'' nature..i mean more gentle than enough. They are very serious mens and try everything to be perfect. Their problem is that they like to talk about war many too..and sometime you can get bored…but depends who you meet cause not at all are like this. Example is the autor of this tread who is lucky :).
        They also care about their vision as the Bulgarians and are very open-minded.
        In the bed: They are like Croatians…something like this.

        Other time will write about the Romanians and Moldovans cause now have to sleep :).

        And again I tell that all info is based on my expirience and the expirience of my closest friends… please get the things wrong as I made my sex tour around the Balkans :D. Just trying to help you :).

        Best wishes,

        Charlote

        1. Oh Sasa!!! Talking about Balkan men…I heard an interview of Madona on MTV. It was about her sex experiences…Her best sex experience had been with an Albanian from New York City. She had seen numerous blacks and whites, different sizes but the experience with the Albanian had been unforgettable. She said she was heartbroken because the Albanian guy got married with a girl from his country regardless the great, great sex. English she said are horrible. Tasteless. And you Sasa have missed that part. They have the sweetest sex ever, unbeatable….As for the rest I agree with you.

  32. Interesting post.
    I am a canadian woman and personally I have had a very bad experience with my Macedonan husband who I met in Toronto.After experiencing the immense torture and physical and mental abuse ,I couldn't take it any lo ger and had to call the police on him.After my experience with him I thought all Macedonian men were like that.But I was probably very clouded by my sufferings.After reading your article it's still hard for me to believe that there are some very nice Macedonians.I know I shouldnt judge a whole country by one bad person.
    I respect the fact that Macedonians are very close to their families but my husband and his mothers behavior was the most unimaginable that anyone can think of .Last year she came to visiti us for 6 months.I was shocked to see that she was behaving more like his wife than his mother.My husband left his job and stayed home to give company to his mother ,even though we had recently bought a house.I was the one who was working while he stayed home giving comany to his mother for six months.All day the mother and son used to be together a d when I would come home at night and we had our dinner together and watched some tv,I would then expect his mom to go in her bedroom at 10 pm so I could have some alone time with my husband for at least an hour to our selves.But she never moved from the couch till 2am at night.she would lay down on one end of the couch and my husband on the other end till 2am at night.And then they would wake up in the morning and still be together smoking and drinking coffe for at least two hour in the valcony by themselves.I just couldn't u derstand this behavior of the mother and son.I did talk to my husband about this and he said to me" she's my mother and she can do what she wants, and I will never tell her anything". I was more shoocked by his mothers behavior that he bei g a woman pretended to not understand my concerns.When I spoke to her daughter in Macedinia about this on the phone,and she passed on the message about this to her mother, can you imagine what she did? She became even more worse than ever.
    Now a few months ago my husband told me that he wants to bring his mother to Canada and live with us for ever , and when I refused,he said to me " I can replace you anytime but my mother will always be my mother".
    And just to mention that we did have a cover satin before marriage and he asked me if I would be ok to live with his mother. I had told him at that time that his mother would be welcome to come visit us for 2-3 months in a year but I would not live with her forever.at that time he said to me " who lives with the inlays these days " and that it wasn't a problem for him. And now when I remind him of that he tells me"I don't know what you're talking about" . Also his mother is a very healthy 60 year old woman and not that he needs to be taken care of.
    And not just that,I have always been the best I could ,worked outside and done all the do estic chores also only by myself. My husband never helped me ith anything. he would never even pick up his dishes from the dining table hafter we finished eating food.He never respected me,was always screaming and yelling for no reason and was the most uncultured and uncivilized beast I've ever come across in my life.

    1. traditionally they just build another floor onto the house to house son's family when he marries this is the Balkan way. I call them TOD's (Tables of Death = boredom) you have to attend 30 or more family dinners in the provinces per year if you marry into the Balkan world. They have name days and Birthdays and Nationalistic festivals normally celebrating victory or commemorating defeat at hands of Turks then you eat same food each and every time (it is nice and generous food) but same every time and you sit in the corner they all smile and talk but they never mention their problems or share their inner emotional world it seems to me to be dishonest in a way as they all have problems but dont share them with each other in an attempt to help each other it is weird just superficial 'ha ha happy clappy' when underneath they are all living their own personal hell. Very unreconstructed and closed paradoxically.

  33. ..i wll be honest with you …. maybe it will hurt you…but it's true MABYE…have you asked yourslef "does he love me?!"…?…maybe he was married to you just to use you for something…you have to care about that…it's difficult to see that when you are in love with somebody…but if he injured you it doesn't mean that all Macedonian are the same…in every country you can find a jerk like him…btw i'm very colse to my family,but when i get marry…i don t wonna to live with my mom lol…i'm not crazy…she can come to me to visit me for a mounth MAX per year and that's it(i don t wonna my mother bother my wife 🙂 )…and i have a home education,i always help to my sisther with a dishes and i ll help to my future wife…DONT BE MAD AT BALKAN'S MENS :D…i hope you will find some good husband and have a big family with him…

  34. I am From Bosnia Herzegovina, Sarajevo… The Balkans has its own Culture and is alot different from the rest of the world, from the food, to music and even family values are very verrry strong there, plus they do treat there women alot better then what i have seen in Western Europe, America and even Russia, now im not saying that we "balkan men" treat all our women like godesses, yes u have those abusive, cheatn scumbags, but our divorce rate and our relationships are much better then what ive seen in the west, we dont rely on McDonnalds or Burger King like they do here in the US, we cook real food, from Pita, to Bread, to home made Ajvar Sauce n so on, im glad that the Balkan men r stilll some what the same as they were hundred, two hundred years ago, when i visit america, the american men expect there wifes to cook them, clean and so on, but thats now how it works out, both sexes have to put in the efford, by cooking, cleaning, fixing house hold stuff, car values such as fixing a tired n so on, ive met alot of american boys in there twenties who dont kno how to change a tired on a automobile, i love the female body, i adore the curves, the lips, the female voice and most important the value that they carry, women r a beautiful thing that god has created and with out them i could not live….. have a wonderfull day, dovidzenja

  35. HAHAHA i love this article, you just described me!!! (And every other macedonian boy)
    It's good to be appreciated!! And i know that a loot of west european/american women would appreciate a balcan man more then a macedonian women would, so thats my first and biggest reason to marry a english girl ;)))
    Good luck with your life!!!

  36. Since when is Alexander the Great Skopjen? Aristotle was his teacher and ancient Greek scholars refused to educate non-Greeks or "barbarians" as foreigners were referred to back then. Ancient Macedonia was a state of Ancient Greece. Skopjens are Slavs who came to the Balkans thousands of years after Alexander had died. Get your facts straight first

    Apart from that my husband is Bulgarian and I love him a lot. He is very caring and a great provider to the family.

    I love Bulgarian food as well!!!!

    1. Dear Alexandra, the article is about Balkan men and personal experience, people here are commenting about the topic of the article and not about politics, please take the politics out of your comment and post them somewhere on the portals where these topics of your interest are discussed.

  37. This is so funny! I am an English girl married to a Macedonian boy (3 years now) and Macedonian men are true gentlemen! We visit Macedonia 2-3 times per year and i love the culture, family values and the food (ajvar). Always getting told off for having too many open windows in fear of “promaja” haha! I cone from a typical broken family and question morals on England today do I feel lucky to have a traditional man and look forward to having our own children, he will be a fantastic dad! Yes he’s bossy but he gives me so much in return and makes me a better person! I hope I open his mind to fun!

  38. Ruth,

    I loved reading your post. As an American woman on the cusp of marrying a balkan (Croatian) man I certainly found comfort, joy, and humor in reading your lovely affections of your husband. I know all too well of the "drafts" and find comfort in knowing that I am not the only one threatened by death if I walk around barefoot on the cold floors or leave two windows open. With our disagreements and cultural differences I am afraid at times that we could never work in a marriage, after reading your post I am comforted. He is a wonderful man and the most stubborn I have ever met in my life. He is fruggle, vocal, and useless when it comes to dosmeticated projects. Our roles in our relationship are very defined and it works perfectly that way.

    I wish you all the happiness and a long and healthy marriage.

    xoxo
    M.

  39. thank you for the post :)) I loved it… I'm a Macedonia girl and I lived in London in the last 11 years, I was married there but it didn't work out so I decided to move back to Macedonia for the same reason… Macedonian men are great, there are things I love about English men too…they can be very sensitive (something the Macedonian men still have a lot to learn about) but at the end of the day I prefer when a man acts like a man…its good to have someone around to fix things and protect you… it makes you feel like a woman… also I love their passionate nature… It drove me mad with the English guys I've know to get to the point when they actually start talking about their feelings.. Macedonian men are far from perfect but if he loves you you'll know it for sure and to be honest that's what we are all looking for in the end… someone to love and love us back… everything else can be solved when you are prepared to compromise.

  40. I got one from Bulgaria. I suppose I was not so lucky. Lazy, uninvolved, unemployed non committed father. Getting divorced after 10 years. I moved here to Bulgaria and ended up supporting him and the whole family after he decieded to quit his job. I am happy to hear that all Balkan men are not so bad. I was getting worried!

  41. My name is monical I am from United States, I was I a relationship with Nathan and we loved and cherished ourselves for 3 good years and everything was going on smoothly but February 14, 2012 a day I can call a lovers day we both had misunderstanding because I answered a call from a guy that is asking me out for a date but I refused, and he told me that the relationship is over and that he is fed up with me and I begged him because I love him so much but he refused me I was so down cast and I felt the world has come to an end for me but my friend told me about a spell caster that helped her sister out in getting her relationship back, a good job and favor in any of her endeavor but at first I was scared but I have to give this man a trial because I love Ben very much and I am not willing to lose him to any woman, so I ordered returning my love spell from this great spell caster that made me a happy woman again to say it all my ex came back to me with much love and a caring heart…I am testifying to this great spell caster Rhea Izar Temple. If you need his help you can contact him: [email protected]

  42. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  43. Cool article, I am Macedonian too :P. Idk know about mariege to a forener (since I am going to give my mother a hurt atack if I do it :D) but I am dating american girl right now and she is Ok with the diffrent culture, she complains that I am too impulsive and hard headed some times, but yet again I always have the excuse of being warm blooded southener :D. When we go to a Balkanian clubs she always comments on how exotic balkanian guys are since we have that meditareanian look. The culture get really mess up when we go on her buddys party’s and what not, but it’s all good :). Great article, I am happy for you 🙂 and sry for my bad English

  44. Hi Ruth and anyone else who reads this and can help,
    I found your article while looking for married couples in Macedonia 🙂
    I’m a photographer from the USA traveling around the world for my photo project, Crossing Lines | Finding Love. It’s a project on love stories around the world. I’m in Skopje now but haven’t been able to find a married couple to share their story. I would be so disappointed if I wasn’t able to include a couple from Macedonia 🙁 I have been to 20 countries so far and have gotten some lovely stories. I need at least 1 from here 🙂 Ages, number of years married, etc does not matter so long as they are legally married. I only have two days left here in Skopje. I’m sorry for the short notice but I just now found your article now ;/ I’m also not sure if you’re living here in Skopje or not but maybe you know married couples here. Thank you in advance for your help!!
    Kindly,
    Mayra

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