How to Date the World: Dating Norms around the Globe

Dating is already complicated than it has to be, but if you are in a foreign country, there are dating rules that you need to know in order not to end up with a busted face, or worst, in prison. So if you’re off somewhere foreign to find Ms. Right, here is a quick list of dating norms around the world that you should keep in mind.


Dating Norm:

The first date always begins in a group date. You can go out with your mutual friends or groups of her friends or your friends together. One thing to keep in mind when going out on a group date is to never bring a friend of the opposite sex, for this can be misinterpreted. To show that you are interested in a girl, you can break off from the group, so you can talk with each other.
After several group dates, you may ask her out for a date with just the two of you. Typical date scenarios for couples in Japan are a movie date, coffee date, or a simple picnic at a park. Remember to always be early on a date for punctuality is highly honored in Japan.

After spending time on several dates outside the group, you can confess your feelings to her. This is called “kokuhaku.” Only after “kokuhaku” is conducted can a couple be considered as dating. The Western culture’s the getting-to-know-each-other phase of dating is not deemed dating in Japan.

Dating Trivia:

Be prepared to receive chocolates from your date on Valentine’s Day. In Japan, it is a custom for women to give men chocolates during Valentine’s Day, and you do not have to give them anything in return. However, on White Day, (March 14th) you are expected to give white chocolates that are worth twice as much as what your girlfriend gave you for Valentine’s Day.


Dating Norm:

If your Chinese date tells you that she wants you to meet her parents after your first date, keep calm. It is not like they are going to ask you to marry their daughter immediately. In China, most single women are living with their parents until the day they are married, and it is very crucial for most Chinese parents to meet the man who dates their daughter. For most couples who have been dating for a long time in China, the men are used to visiting and spending time together with the women’s parents.

Dating Trivia:

In China, the number of dating relationships you have had is an indicator of your reputation and character. Having numerous dating relationships are often condemned by social norms in the said country. Conversely, marrying the only woman you have dated is highly praised in the Chinese society.


Dating Norm:

Subtle is the name of game in Germany. If you are used to walking up to a girl at a bar and striking a conversation with her, in Germany, that is considered as too aggressive. German men do not flirt assertively; in fact, their way of flirting is highly sophisticated: they give women a brief and fleeting stare that may or may not include a smile.

If you are at a bar in Germany, do not walk up to the first girl you are interested in. If a German girl is interested in you, she will walk up to you and put whatever she is drinking on the floor. You can then buy her another drink and discuss anything about the news and current affairs in Germany.
Germans can be really subtle in their style of dating; however, they can be brutally honest with you when they do not like you. They appreciate honesty and take things literally as well, so you do not have to sugar-coat everything you have to say in front of your date.

Dating Trivia:
Small talk does not work for Germans. Doing small talk is considered superficial in the said country.


Dating Norm:

One-on-one dating does not exist in France. Similar to the dating norms in Japan, French men and women normally date in groups. Instead of dates, they have formal sit-down dinners or informal dinner parties.
When you are in France and are invited in one, it is only polite that you bring flowers or a bottle of wine with you. If you find someone very interesting at the dinner party, you can invite her out for a walk to talk about politics and art. Moreover, you are not expected to give a lady flowers in France during these group dinners especially if you are both not in a relationship.

Dating Trivia:

You might find it rude and impolite at first, but French ladies do not make eye contact or let alone give a greeting to anyone they do not know on a personal level. So if you are at a group dinner and find that women do not meet you in the eye at first when they speak with you, do not get offended.


Dating Norm:

Although arranged dating and arranged marriages still exist in India, Indian men and women today have more liberty in choosing their partners than those in the earlier generations. However, this does not mean that women in the country do not take relationships that seriously. In fact, the ladies in India generally do not date for fun.
Having been used to a culture where arranged marriages prevail, women in India want their relationships to be serious and permanent even more now that they have the freedom to date who they want to without their parents’ interference.
Despite being relaxed with their dating customs, the Indian society still frowns at public displays of affection. Intimacy is highly valued in the country, and it is a norm that couples should reserve acts of affection and intimacy within closed doors.

Dating Trivia:

Most women in India fall under the conservative-conventional shell of the society, and most of their beliefs are rooted and reinforced by their families. To date an Indian girl, you need to get the approval of her family first. If her family and relatives love you, they will be the one to vouch for you and encourage the girl to date you.

Posted in The Lads Guide
3 comments on “How to Date the World: Dating Norms around the Globe
  1. Dries says:

    I’m sorry, but Germany and France are some serious BS.
    I’m Belgian but have loads of French and German friends and I have to say you are just utterly and completely wrong. Where did you get this??

    • O says:

      Yeah, I don’t understand the Germany one, i’ve dated a few german girls before and been to germany… its nothing like this at all. Where did you get these completely wrong details from?

      I can’t vouch for France in the same way but I know enough to think this isn’t right… maybe sometimes but its not the standard norm in anyway.

  2. Ugruuur says:

    I agree with the first comment. I’m French and I don’t recognize what this article describes as “French dating norms”.

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