Dating in different countries
Ahhh, love. Walks in the park, cosy coffee dates, eating take out food whilst binge-watching Netflix. Isn’t it wonderful? But the journey to love is anything but easy. It is paved with awkward first dates, too much time spent deciding what to wear and trying desperately to strike a balance between seeming interested yet nonchalant. Dating is a stressful enough experience in one’s home country but what about elsewhere across the globe? If you’re an expat or soon to be expat, keep the following things in mind when trying your luck in the wonderful world of dating.
The first date
Your idea of a typical first date might be the two of you in a romantic setting (with strategic mood lighting of course) but in many countries, group first dates are very common. In places such as South Korea and China, bringing friends along to a date is a way to take the tension away from two people being together in a social setting for the first time. This way, you know there will be no awkward silences or need for the well known ‘fake emergency phone call’ trick.
Public displays of affection
Depending on where you are in the world, seeing PDA is as normal as seeing someone walk their dog. In other places, it can be jaw droppingly unacceptable. France is well known to be a place that’s very tolerant of public displays of affection – no one will tell you to ‘get a room’ if you’re smooching on the streets of Paris! However in most Middle Eastern countries, even hand holding can get you into trouble with the law.
Unfortunately, in some areas such as South America and even parts of the USA, affectionate gestures between men and women are perfectly acceptable but gay couples can face backlash and abusive comments, despite homosexuality being legal. In most countries, the capital city and urban areas tend to be more progressive and open minded in comparison to rural areas.
“So where is this going…?”
‘The talk’ is something dreaded by most people who are in that in-between phase of just dating someone and being a couple. In places like Australia, having a conversation about whether or not the two of you are exclusive is seen as unnecessary and can be perceived as someone inorganically trying to move things along. There is more of a ‘you just know’ attitude towards exclusivity. However, in other cultures, talking openly about how you feel things are going and if you would like things to progress is seen as a way to be honest and avoid miscommunication.
Dating apps have become a very normal part of society, and names like Tinder, Bumble and Happn are common subjects at after work drinks and catch up coffees with friends. How they are used however, is different in different parts of the world. Some use it to meet friends and network, others to date casually and some people as a means to find ‘the one’ and settle down. Whatever you’re looking to get out of the app of your choice, be mindful, stay safe and remember that dating is meant to be fun!