Homesickness of Polish people - difficulty to form steady relationship abroad

Before we will finish this series of articles with the final text about how to recognize whether a Polish person has a serious intentions towards us let me focus on another problem which was mentioned in several letters from our readers.

Polish people, especially young, are very attached to their parents, family and home in Poland and feel unsecure on their own. While abroad temporarily, for instance studying, they may develop a serious and sincere relationship with somebody without realizing the future consequences. Then they are struggling whether to return back home to their family or remain in the relationship and stay away from their family. In such case, usually the family wins. They go back to Poland leaving heartbroken person abroad. If you are really in love with the Polish girl/boy you may try to learn Polish language and culture and follow your love, but your chances for the success are slight since Polish culture is not a melting pot, especially in Poland where Poles form 99% of Polish society.

Here is a quote from the Polish Culture Forum:
I dated a Polish girl for nearly 3 years - it is a very honest relationship that started to drift away from marriage as she has wanted to go back to her family. We were considering a marriage and children but I eventually left her with the choice to go back to her family if she really wanted to. One thing is sure - the freer the person is to choose, the more sincere their behavior is. Polish people find it difficult, like all immigrants, to give up being among people of their native country with whom they share the language but also a whole set of values. Polish people find it difficult, like all immigrants, to give up being among people of their native country with whom they share the language but also a whole set of values. In these cases, even starting a family may in fact be not enough, and may not compare to leaving your own family behind. Because they had tougher times than most Americans or Europeans, their ties to their family are stronger. Seeing only money or better jobs is not accurate - and more than this portrays Polish people as selfish and interested- nothing further from the truth.(...)

I received several e-mails like this one with similar concerns. The author depicts well the situation he ended up in. There is some bitterness in this post, since the author really loved the girl, but he is also trying to understand where she is coming from. The situation could be avoided if before even starting the relationship both sites would know how they plan their future, but this is definitively easier said than done. Growing up helps since a person becomes more independent and mature unless she/he has to take care of the elderly parents, which happens also sometimes, since the sending of the parents to the nursing house is not in a good taste in Poland.

The author states that the difficulties of life in Poland cause people to build stronger bonds that somewhere else. This is indeed truth, life in Poland was uneasy during the communism, during the transition time (when there was a deficiency of food on the market, read more about it in the article Solidarity, Freedom and Economical Crisis in Poland, 1980-81 and it is still not easy now. Poles often form extended families - with grandparents who take care of grandchildren while parents are working. In many instances children live in the same town or neighborhood where the parents and grandparents live. Polish society is not that mobile as American or western European societies from many reasons, therefore the unemployment is high in some areas of Poland but people are not willing or cannot move somewhere else. Read more about the reasons of unemployment in Poland. Poles are not prone to immigration. Many Poles chose to go abroad to study or work, but only for a limited time. Also the series of articles about immigration relate to these problems. Jewish people who decided to emigrate from Poland were almost never coming back, many Poles eventually decided to return to their country of origin.

The most difficult for Poles abroad is usuall Christmas season since Christmas is considered a family day in Poland more than in some other cultures. Please read more about Polish Christmas and also about immigrant nostalgia in the series of Christmas articles and one particular: Polish Christmas, my Memories from Silesia to understand why Poles are especially homesick during Christmas.

This all may contribute to the problems to form a stable relationship with a Pole. Please, join us in the discussion in the forum about it or send me an e-mail with your own experience you'd like to share.

Read more about Dating Polish men and women; how to avoid unsuccessful relationship, can the relationship with Polish immigrant last for life? and How to Impress Polish Lady on the First Date. Check all the articles from the series family, dating, wedding and marriage.

by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn (article #218)

Check a funny and interesting but also truthful book about Poles The Xenophobe's Guide to the Poles by Ewa Lipniacka (Author)

I recommend following books helpful to learn Polish language and about Poland before your first travel:
Berlitz Polish Phrase Book

Eyewitness Travel Guide to Poland (Eyewitness Travel Guides) by Teresa Czerniewics-Umer, Malgorzata Omilanowska, Jerzy S. Majewski, DK Travel Writers

Check also Talk Now! Polish from CD ROM EuroTalk

SITE MAP contains all articles classified according to the topic.