By Karolina Weglarz
We all know that dating is complicated. What am I going to wear? What will they think? What do I do if they ask me back to their place? Thoughts race through your head at a mile a minute – possibilities of love, possibilities of heartbreak. Things get even more complicated when you’re living abroad, where customs and expectations are different than your usual norm. Even if you’re in a metropolis, a date with a foreigner brings a set of new expectations and new customs you might not be used to.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, George Eves of Expat Info Desk, offers some valuable tips of what to expect from dates around the globe:
Chivalry is dead. Think again. If you don’t want to offend your Russian date, keep your wallets in your purses and be prepared to have your doors held open for you. Don’t worry though; for the most part he’s not expecting anything in return. And, never take the word “casual” too seriously. Be prepared for make-up, heels, and sexy outfits on the regular.
Terrified of the truth? Like flattery instead? Forget about dating a German man. If you’re not ready to hear the truth about your weight, new outfits, or friends, don’t bother asking. Don’t say anything you don’t mean either – Germen men take what you tell them quite literally. Skip on the small talk or he’ll consider you superficial.
Don’t bail if an Italian man won’t stop talking about his mother. For many, she is considered sacred, and though he probably thinks no woman will ever compare, refrain from criticizing. Don’t take flirtatious comments as an invitation to date either. Comments that some might consider sexual harassment are common practices in both social and work environments.
Ditch your day planner when setting up a date with a French man. Rarely organized as “official,” dates are quite informal and often take place in groups. A word of caution when leaning in for that goodnight kiss: kissing means serious business for the French, so unless you intend for him to be your boyfriend, forget about it!
Don’t believe in casual, open relationships? Make sure you’re straight up with your man. Don’t be surprised if he’s seeing other women on the side. Until you make it known that you want to become exclusive, it’s common for him to juggle several partners to assess their strengths and weaknesses before settling down and making a decision for good. The upside? You’re allowed to do the same!
Middle East/Islamic Nations
Forget about PDA when you’re in the Middle East. For most countries in this region, it’s illegal to have sex before marriage and touching, kissing, and cuddling are better kept behind closed doors.
If punctuality isn’t your forte forget about dating a Japanese man. Being late on a date is considered extremely rude; you’ll be lucky if you ever hear from him again. If you find he talks a little too much about his salary during the first date, don’t stress, he’s just showing that he can care for his mate.
If you like your man to take charge on the first date, forget about dating an Australian. It’s not unusual for women to ask men out and pay. Don’t be surprised if your man asks you out via text message.
Flowers, chocolate, and romantic restaurants are just a few things your date will have in store for you on Valentine’s Day. In China, Valentine’s Day is observed religiously. Singles in China tend to live with their parents until they get married, so don’t resist an invitation to meet his parents promptly after your first date.
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