ridiculously easy

Global Love Report – March 8, 2023
English translation by Pamela Stephanie

Dating in Maastricht: besides all the universal obstacles on the journey to the right partner, there’s something else in the way here: the Maastricht Syndrome. What is that? “Women who lower their standards when dating because there is a lack of men in the city.” Observant spoke with 5 students about dates, open relationships, Tinder, and the hook-up culture.

“It seems to really suck being a woman in Maastricht, laughs Bill, who has lived here for two years now. Like the other students who were interviewed for this article, he prefers to remain anonymous, because this is a personal subject.

Bill heard about the Maastricht Syndrome even before he came here. Now that he has seen in with his own eyes, he concludes that “sexual frustration among women” in the city is indeed high. “You can imagine how most young men behave,” he says. Add to that the fact men are in a position of privilege because there’s a surplus of women. “Dating is ridiculously easy in Maastricht for heterosexual men. I’ve never had problems with it myself. At the same time, I see that because of the shortage of men, my female friends have greatly lowered their standards—they are well aware of that.”


“I’m guilty of that too,” agrees sophomore Alexandra, laughing. “Dating is tough. When I came here I thought it would be nice to have a boyfriend, but I soon found out that most Maastricht guys don’t want that. They’re not looking for a long-term relationship. And those who do want one are pretty mediocre. I’ve realized that if I wanted any kind of affection or intimacy, I had to settle for less.”

When asked what “mediocre” means to her, Alexandra replies that it’s a combination of both looks and personality, “I don’t want to be superficial, but there aren’t many (reasonably) attractive men. Besides, they know that we have limited choices and so they can do whateve they want, the relationship progresses the way they want it to.”

She suspects that the lack of women has a negative effect on male students’ personalities. “Average or even ugly guys hook up with pretty girls and think they are gods. That way, you create an arrogant character. They then become angry and petty when you reject them.”

Other reasons

“I think that Maastricht Syndrome didn’t come about just because of a lack of men,” suspects sophomore Samuel. “Of course, we are young adults who still need to discover ourselves and constantly want to experience new things. But some people are afraid to get attached, others find relationships scary because it would limit their freedom. Still, I don’t fully understand it. It makes me a little sad because this mindset can make them lose someone who is important in their life, who wants to be by their side.”

Full article (in Dutch) available at observant

(Image source: Pexels, Ivan Samkov)