Cross cultural dating can be a wonderful way to explore and discover love. But it can also be a minefield where one misstep can cause disastrous misunderstanding. After all, every country has their own culture with each one having their own norms and practices. With a country like the Netherlands being decidedly Western, it’s easy to make certain assumptions. You’d be then surprised how many of these assumptions turn out to be wrong. If you’re thinking of dating Dutch women, read on as we debunk the top myths about Dutch dating.
In the United States and other Western countries, it’s quite common to come across people who complain that the people they’re dating aren’t clear on their intentions. That’s because in those countries, it isn’t abnormal for people to be more playful or even try things out before delving deeper into serious territory. That’s not the same with Dutch women. They don’t like beating around the bush. It will do a lot more good to be assertive and straight to the point. This might make rejections seem all too harsh but at least you never waste any time at all!
Hollywood and some popular media have built up the image of the happy, friendly, and flirty “Dutch maid”. Nothing can be further from the truth. Dutch girls are actually averse to flirting and small talk. You will often find that they cut out such things when conversing with men--even those that they are interested in. You can actually get better mileage overall by being frank and direct to the point about your intentions. Additionally, the Dutch culturally don’t give compliments lightly so to do so will be frowned upon. Be direct and to the point, always.
Chivalry as a concept is a very Western kind of thing. In many Western countries, it’s appreciated when the guy foots the bill on a date, or opens up doors, or is gallant and generous. It’s the opposite when you go for Dutch dating. As a people, the Dutch pride themselves more as champions of equality rather than paragons of chivalry. Don’t be surprised if your date offers to split the bill straight down the middle. That’s very normal and certainly expected. In fact, you should actually avoid making any offers to pay--it will only get you points deducted!
When you try to think about Europeans, you’re likely to picture someone formal and dignified. While the latter is true, the former is a bit of a stretch especially when you’re talking about Dutch women and men. The Netherlands has always been a relaxed and laid back country, and this attitude spills over into their day to day lives. This, naturally, includes dating. Don’t be surprised if your date shows up in jeans and a shirt or even just a casual skirt--it’s just how they like it. Resist the urge to dress up and be as laid back as they are to really enjoy your Dutch date.
Many Western cultures do in fact value individualism--the self over the group. While the Dutch are the same in many aspects, dating is not one of them. In fact, socializing is often a group affair. So, if you’re dating a Dutch girl, don’t be surprised if she brings her friends along with her. It isn’t a matter of her feeling unsafe with you, so don’t be offended. It isn’t a matter of wanting her friends to grade you, either. It’s simply how things are done, especially when starting out. It takes some getting used to, but the more the merrier is definitely a big thing over there.
In a certain sense, the Dutch are a warm and friendly people. But that’s a whole different conversation from dating. The Dutch are notoriously cautious when letting “newcomers in” for a serious relationship. Don’t be caught off guard if you have to field constant questions about the status of your relationship even after many months of going out. Just be sincere and honest with your answers. Not only is that much appreciated, it also is one of the best ways to “break into” the culture. Relax, though, many have reported happy long term relationships with Dutch women!
In other countries, being called names is insulting, while being asked too personal as set of questions is intrusive. In the Netherlands, neither of these are what they seem on the surface. It’s in their nature to be playful and to be called one name or another should be more often seen as an affection more than anything else. As for the personal questions, well, they aren’t meant to be invasive, your date just really wants to get to know you better. Besides, if you are uncomfortable, you can just say so straight up and not offend anyone asking.
The things to remember when dating the Dutch in the end is this: they’re a unique people with a unique culture. As one who is trying to “get in” to date, it’s important that you are the one to adjust and not the other way around. At least at the start, make an effort to learn the norms, the practices, the cultural nuances. Later on, when you are more comfortable with your Dutch date, you can start opening dialogues about your cultural differences. But only then should you do it. Getting to know what they’re all about is your surest path to success.