Proper dating ediquete
In Germany and Switzerland, however, punctuality is highly valued so if one of you rolls up late, your date will be off to a bad start.French and Spanish men may seem a little OTT, showering a woman with compliments. It doesn't mean he's (necessarily) a creep, as paying a compliment is a form of acknowledgement rather than flattery in those countries.In France, Germany and Belgium, it's common for the man to ask a woman out, but in Switzerland, the men can be a little reserved so women might want to give them a nudge.For French men, it's all about the chase, and playing ‘hard to get' is part of the game.After the first date, most people would probably expect to go Dutch (and not just in the Netherlands! Last year, a well-known romantic social networking site asked 13,000 members from around the world ‘Would you kiss on a first date?' Over half of the Americans, Australians and Canadians said they would kiss on a first date, while only 29 percent of Germans and 32 percent of French said they would pucker up.In Germany, couples don't start with formal dating either and it's only after a series of informal meetings – walks, dinner, cinema, theatre – that they might start being seen as a ‘couple'.
If you say ‘no' to an invitation, he may well think you're playing hard to get and will probably persist.In Europe, getting to know someone romantically is fairly laid back.People don't tend to go on ‘dates' with complete strangers but instead often get to know someone who's already in their circle or the friend of a friend, and then it ‘just happens' and they decide to go out together alone. There aren't too many rigid rules, either: "In the Netherlands there are no set rules – you might do all or nothing on the first or tenth date," and, "the timescale between the first date and having sex in France could be anything from 20 years to 20 seconds," said European expats.If you like each other, you'll probably find a way to make it work, regardless of any cultural variations.
But knowing some of the cultural differences – who makes the first move, kissing on a first date, how soon to call after a date – may help you avoid awkward situations, or at least stop you from getting hurt or hurting someone else unintentionally.To gather real accounts of the European dating scene, last year we asked around 500 (mostly, but not exclusively, heterosexual) expats living in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland a series of up-close and personal questions about themselves, their relationships and their sex lives.