Dating cultures around the world
A French man or Spaniard might tell you he loves you after only a few weeks but don't panic: It usually just means ‘I really like you'.Women can say it back to a man with the same meaning – it doesn't mean you should be moving in together or planning a wedding any time soon.If you're interested in someone, maintain eye contact – if you aren't, don't.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.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.
Here's a guide to take you through your first Euro date.
But the rule almost everywhere else in Europe is: don't.
In most countries, the man may offer to pay the bill but he wouldn't automatically be offended if the woman suggested splitting the bill, or paying for the drinks or some other aspect of the ‘date', such as cinema or theatre tickets.
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.When you're going out with someone, don't rush to formalise it with the ‘where are we going with this relationship? Just go with the flow and enjoy what's going on between you.