Background: My MC's mother is 'dating' an American man in mid-1980s West Germany. At the time, she's in her late 20s.
I've put the above in quotations because I know ideas on relationships can vary between America and the US. The US sees a series of dates as the way to constitute a relationship, whereas people in Europe may not use the word at all, or drop it after it's pretty clear two people are together (or so I've read). In Germany, the language goes from 'a friend' to 'my friend' the way Americans would use the difference between 'friend' to 'boy/girlfriend' to connote the same.
Questions: 1. I'm double-checking to make sure what I've described of Germany was generally true in the 70s and 80s, since the concept of 'dating' as Americans would think of it is a very outdated one and (again, from what I've read) can come across to Germans as very rigid.
2. What culture differences might an American experience dating a German, and the other way around? I'm looking for people who have first-hand experience, good links to outside sources I may have missed, or a general idea.
Research: Google and Wikipedia with terms, 'culture shock American/German dating,' 'dating in Germany.'