Stuff Dutch People Like

No. 50: Delaying marriage

So a Dutch friend of mine just got engaged. She’s in her mid thirties and has been with the Dutch man in question for many years, so it shouldn’t really come as such a surprise. But it did. It did, because she’s been living with this guy for over 10 years, they have 2 children together (not to mention a fairly pricey downtown Amsterdam apartment), plus 3 pesky cats, so why would marriage suddenly be important now?

Ready to finally pop the question?

“After the birth of our 6th child, I was finally ready to make a commitment!”

Simple: because they are doing things the “Dutch way“. You know that old school- yard rhyme:  Sally and Ryan sitting in a tree. k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage…then comes baby in a baby carriage [insert rampant girlie giggles and screams].  Well, in the lowlands, the rhyme somehow got a little reversed over time. Not one, not two, but countless of my Dutch friends/colleagues have just recently gotten around to the marriage part AFTER already having the love, (the house), and the baby carriage(s).

The highly complex mathematical formula here in the lowlands appears to be: attraction + love + buying a house together + having babies = marriage.  Of course, ultimately, the order of this stuff doesn’t really matter. But I dare say I was certainly shocked to see loads of these very rational, down-to-earth female Dutch friends soooo overwhelmingly excited about their romantic proposals and upcoming nuptials. I just figured since they already had some major life commitments together, the formalities of marriage  just weren’t a priority. Silly me! Seeing them giddily jumping around, showing off their new glittery engagement rings was a very un-Dutch sight!

We’ve said it once and we will say it again, Dutch people like to do things differently. They certainly have their own little quirks. Take their beloved hagelslag, their birthday oddities or even their sharp-tongued “directness” as examples. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that they’ve somehow gone and reversed the age-old order of love and marriage. Is it just to spice things up? Just to buck conventional trends? Another form of Dutch practicality and pragmatism? We haven’t figured it out yet, but maybe you can!

Leave a Reply

68 response to "No. 50: Delaying marriage"
  1. Spaniard said:Posted on October 22nd, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Just let me say Dutch people are kinda great. This Spaniard just hope my Dutchman won’t wait too much long to get engaged ;)

    • Kalle said:Posted on November 29th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      Ah, battle of the nationalities! You might want to give him some hints then, because he won’t propose out of the blue. Good luck!

      • Tom said:Posted on January 2nd, 2013 at 12:08 pm

        Hints don’t work with men. Especially not dutchmen. Haven’t you read the ‘directness’ story yet?

    • Gaby said:Posted on June 3rd, 2014 at 2:41 pm

      Advice: YOU propose.

    • J. said:Posted on December 10th, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      It’s true, dutch men are not good with understanding or even seeing the hints you give them. Just watch a tv channel where someone marries and tell him you cant wait to marry. Good chance that hint will be somewhat clear to him.

  2. Katrijn said:Posted on October 24th, 2011 at 4:15 am

    This blog is wonderful! Even having lived outside of the Netherlands, it still throws up quirks and habits that I hadn’t realized were specifically Dutch (I thought talking about the wheather was a worldwide favourite passtime?) But to get back to the subject at hand: Most of my Dutch friends have in fact gotten married before having babies. But not all, including myself (I’m a mother without a wedding band). As to why – I think it’s to do with economics and independence. It used to be that parents paid part of the wedding cost, but adult children prefer to pay their own way and not be a burden on their parents. Getting married is expensive (don’t let people fool you that it’s more expensive to recognize and become a legal guardian of your child when it’s born out of wedlock. That cost adds up to about sixty euros in Utrecht. The expensive bit is going to a solicitor to sign the will, but then if a Dutchie marries they’d probably do that anyway). Also getting married is usually not necessary for any legal reason. Most people buy a house before having a baby and put in place the requisite legal framework at that time with a samenlevingscontract. So, really, why lay out all that money when you’re also planning on having children which are expensive enough on their own? But then, when a Dutchie has climbed a bit higher on the corporate ladder and their income’s gone up, they might realize they DO want to recognize and celebrate the love that connects their little nuclear family. That’s when they get married. In a deviation from Dutchness, there´s no pragmatic reason or practical use, it´s pure sentimentality. Dutch marriages usually are nothing but celebrations of love, which would explain why people go ga-ga over them. (Disclosure: I wouldn’t mind getting married but the father of my child doesn’t see the point. However, he has promised me he will one day provide the opportunity for me to wear a ridiculously expensive and utterly flattering dress, so I’m practising patience.)

    • Joost Hensweert said:Posted on January 11th, 2013 at 9:33 am

      Well, I got married for free, so that’s definitely cheaper than the 60 euros you are referring to ;).

      For the rest I totally agree with your comment.

    • Blackfoot said:Posted on December 30th, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      Hmmm, so people elsewhere don’t talk about the wheather as a passtime? Ok, I guess I’m just naive and Dutch ‘inside and out’… This is surprising to me, though. And so is this entry about marriage or the lack of it. Is this a Dutch thing of is it time-related? Do people in other countries always get married before they live together or have children? Or is this a change that is happening everywhere?
      Just wondering…

      • Stella said:Posted on February 17th, 2014 at 6:31 am

        Of course the do. The big Forums have their daily weather topic.

      • J. said:Posted on December 10th, 2014 at 10:57 pm

        They do, but in a different way. The owner of the blog has many things to learn about this culture. Not everything is as black and white as he/she thinks it is…

  3. Carine V. said:Posted on October 25th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    The persons just got engaged. You speak about marriage…. There can be a long time in betwwen again !

  4. Daan.S said:Posted on October 26th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Its very easy you dont want kids?
    get out your not married.

    • Floor said:Posted on April 6th, 2012 at 4:13 am

      Was that English? Yikes. Grammar + spelling = important. Vooral als je een punt duidelijk wil maken in een andere taal.

  5. Michael said:Posted on October 30th, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Since moving to Nederland I have been amazed at the large number of parents who are well into their 30s, 40s or even later and yet have young children. I think that is a great phenomenon, because so many married couples in the US begin having children when they are too young, and the stress overwhelms them. Delaying marriage and child-bearing makes for more stable families.

    • J. said:Posted on December 10th, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I think 30/40 is too old. Some are even 50. Luckily the majority starts around 22-28

  6. Unordinary Customer said:Posted on November 14th, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    It is so true! I happened to work with many Dutchmen, and this story repeates over and over again. I thought it was some particular charactersitics, but now I see that this is quite a common phenomenon really..
    Thank you for the post! :o)

  7. bien said:Posted on November 30th, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    to add to katrijn the samenlevingscontract provides you with all the legal bearings you need. Your registered as partners. And many young people sign a samenlevingscontract first and get married much further down the road.

  8. Vlakbij Maaskantje... :) said:Posted on December 1st, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Just as Katrijn says. Marriage is a celebration of love, the crown on the relationship, just to use a Cruiffian proverb. It is a reason to have a big party with everybody you love and/or was important in your life. To do it right costs serious money. This with the reasons named by Katrijn adds up to all commitments first, the formality (and most important the party!) of Marriage later.

    • Angela said:Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Only if you feelmarriage is a party… many other cultures do not feel this way at all. The party is more like the cherry on top, a celebration but nothing to do with marriage.

  9. AnnaDenise said:Posted on December 12th, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    May I add to everyone’s comments, that it’s really just more practical to get married once you have kids and a house. You already know you’re committed anyways (so, no risk there) and it only makes sense then to get married for financial reasons. But that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a gezellig feestje and have a romantic wedding. :-)

    • Mariam said:Posted on April 9th, 2014 at 3:08 am

      I don’t know. A male Russian friend (who resides in Latvia) said something once at a work lunch that I think sums this all up: Marriage is the highest expression of love…the fact that someone loves the other person enough to wish to marry them/commit and share their life with them…. I paraphrased and he said it better, but love and marriage coming first makes sense. Anyone who has been in a relationship can probably agree that there is nothing worse than not knowing where you stand in someone’s life, in a relationship. DTRing, defining the relationship, is a term ofter used in the US. Defining the relationship lets both people know where they stand and sets expectations. Life without any expectations would be unbearably light. I’m not saying that the relationships above lacked expectations, just that there are different expectations that come with a formal declaration of commitment (marriage). I personally do not want to be with someone for 10 years and have two children before I know what level they fully feel for me….whether or not it’s the highest level of love possible (i.e., my male Russian friends definition of marriage). Otherwise,if you wait around for years waiting to hear it, and you don’t, what do you do? By then it’s too late to get out. And I do wonder how many people propose after 12 years and two kids, because, heck, they might as well at this point? I think having the marriage proposal come first let’s you know where you stand from the beginning of a relationship and it’s a very hopeful way to begin a home and family. A 10 year trial sounds like the stuff of science (and even then that’s long!), not the stuff of the soul.

      Plus while this arrangement of delaying marriage may be better for the man and woman, is it better for the children? I am not making judgments, but think it should be considered. Here in the U.S. many children that are born to unwed parents have been studied to have poorer developmental outcomes.

      I give Dutch women credit as they are more patient than many of their counterparts in other nations. So they deserve to be giddy about a proposal, because they finally received the highest expression of love, and the feeling do security that comes with it, that they deserve.

      • Mariam said:Posted on April 9th, 2014 at 3:09 am

        *of security

  10. SherryTomato said:Posted on December 21st, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    More subject for your blog: stroopwafel (treacle), kroket and frikandel (croquette and meatroll? Idk.) They are all Dutch snacks. ;)

  11. Jules said:Posted on January 31st, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    There really is no need to get married, as long as you don’t have kids or a house together. That’s the rational part: the contract of matrimony is only useful when you reach that level of intertwinedness. But indeed: there’s even less of a reason not to throw a great party once you do!

  12. iliana said:Posted on February 14th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    If the ‘Dutch way’ is ‘to do things differently’, then I am more Dutch than anything else :)
    I never believed marriage contributes in any way to the development of a relationship – married or not, if you love each other, if you commit to each other, if you are happy together – that’s it! The rest is a piece of paper. Sadly, in many countries that piece of paper buys you peace of mind in many financial ways – insurance issues, tax breaks, security for the child, serious illness, etc.
    If in the Netherlands the infrastructure is such that I can avoid marriage – I would do so! Never mind that I have been married already twice (in different countries)…so, I think I did my share of weddings. They are beautiful, and very special, and there is something very powerful about exchanging vows in front of people….however, that’s about it. On another note – divorces are even more expensive and emotionally taxing than marriages…then why risk it ;-) Just be together and be happy.

  13. Anna said:Posted on February 21st, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Seems to me like the dutch are actually Swedish :)

    • mettsen said:Posted on June 29th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Or maybe they are Danish ;)

  14. Inge said:Posted on February 24th, 2012 at 6:07 am

    I’m a bit confused by this post–I know plenty of people in Canada who do exactly the same thing: get married long after kids & house etc. have become part of their life. It seems pretty universal in the western world in my experience. It’s even funnier here in someways, because most women still stick to the tradition of having their father “give them away”–a tradition that boggles my mind at the best of times.

  15. Ryan Barrett (@radicalbyte) said:Posted on February 27th, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This is more Amsterdam than it is Dutch. You just need to come to Barneveld and the surrounding area to see the opposite effect.

    Oh, and I’ve noticed this much more in Sweden/Iceland than in The Netherlands. Heck, it’s pretty common in the UK too.

    • Kat said:Posted on June 17th, 2012 at 8:40 am

      Well, Barnevelt basically lies in the bible belt of the Netherlands, so it’s not surprising it is the opposite there. I happen to see the phenomenon in both the middle and south of NL, it’s not just Amsterdam.

  16. Evad said:Posted on March 3rd, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    There is a simple (legal/financial) reason that couples -that want to marry in the Netherlands- wait for so long. The marriage process in The Netherlands includes a contract that connects the partners, they even stay connected after divorce (in Dutch: partneralimentatie).

    It could happen that the most earning partner has support the ex-partner for 12 years on a monthly basis by ‘giving’ the ex-partner over 50% of his/her salary…

    • Lynne said:Posted on January 28th, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      alimony (spousal support) and child support exist many places

    • Stella said:Posted on January 1st, 2015 at 9:20 am

      12 years is the maximal time. How long must be payed by the richest parntner, depents on the length of marriaged time.

  17. Roland said:Posted on March 4th, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I’m married with my freedom. Ain’t no better partner.

  18. Janneke said:Posted on March 6th, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    It is just an old dutch custom. No children, no marriage. Look for another partner.
    zie ook:

  19. Gaetan said:Posted on March 14th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I think it is pretty much an European thing, people first get a kid and see how it works before getting married.

    People getting married nowadays are from a generation who grew up in a time when divorce became widespread and that the church (be it protestant and catholic) started losing influence.
    Marriage has come from a necessary step toward getting a child to a nice to have thing you do to prove your love to each other.

    And getting a divorce isn’t as easy as it seems, better be sure before taking the big steps!

    • Angela said:Posted on January 12th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      ¨first get a kid to see how it works before getting married¨ Why would anyone do that??? I think culture or not, people should see if they work, can afford and WANT to provide, love stability and care to a child BEFORE they have one.

  20. A Touch of Dutch blog said:Posted on March 20th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    If you’re in a new relationship with a Dutch man/woman, do not expect a marriage proposal any time soon. I really love your blog, by the way. It’s fantastic!

  21. Hank Prinsen said:Posted on June 7th, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Dutch are not always very romantic.During our study, my girlfriend and me just agreed om getting married after we finished. And so we did. I never sat down om my knees for a wedding proposal but amlmost 20 years married very happy anyway :-)
    PS: the wedding itself was quite romantic. Don’t forget to visit my hometown Giethoorn when in Holland:

  22. Marjy said:Posted on October 22nd, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    please write about bachelor parties!! its so funny

    • Blackfoot said:Posted on December 30th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

      Bachelor parties are so non-Dutch!!! The Dutch have just started having them because they like copying the Americans (aka what they see on tv).

  23. Sam said:Posted on December 1st, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Can someone actually teach me Dutch, please? I would really love it. I can’t find anyone who will teach me.

    • Tom said:Posted on January 2nd, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Your question raises the question, do you mean you’d like to be taught dutch, the language or do you want to be taught how to behave like a dutchie? If the language, well.. I’m sure you should be able to find a teacher somewhere (unless you’re in the arctic circle somewhere) else if you meant how to behave like a dutchie,.. I’d say you’ve got all your study material right here on this blog ;P

  24. Vanoss said:Posted on December 3rd, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Must be an agenda thing.

  25. draske said:Posted on December 20th, 2012 at 11:13 am

    I am Dutch and currently engaged. The generation of my parents where young in the 60′s. Looking and people of my generation, almost all their parents got married after knowing each other for a short time and then quickly got divorced. It was not uncommon when I was at school that 70 % of the children in the classroom had divorced parents.
    Maybe that is just my experience but I see that many people of my age are extremely careful with engagements, seeing the results of a divorce first hand. At least that counts for me.

  26. Lynne said:Posted on January 28th, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    It’s an interesting phenomenon. Let’s be real, sex and marriage changed in the entire world once birth controll came about. The only social motivation remaining is the church and God.
    Most of my Dutch in-laws are married because they are Christisn, and the non practicing in-laws have too, but have divorced. It was surprising to see the Dutch women get excited about our wedding. They thought it was terribly romantic. Now I see why. We had a simple Christian marriage, very nice and not costly. Outside spiritual context it’s almost pointless, but society and children benefit greatly from marriage, and that matters. You can’t avoid problems and pain by avoiding marriage, but you can delay maturity. :(

  27. *Marieke* said:Posted on February 10th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    For a young couple nowadays what is the most important?
    1. Have a good steady job or a dependable income.
    2. Buying a nice and comfortable house together with both their income.
    3. Get everything legal on paper, which includes will and registered partnership.
    4. After several years living in comfort and go on expensive trips and holidays, you start saving money.
    5. With the saving money part, you also start considering having children or even start having them.
    6. When the kids are a little older you need to move to a bigger house, have 2 cars and all kinds of hobbies…

    Nowhere in this story is marriage needed. Marriage is for people who can afford it and have to much money to spend. That is, if you do a conservative marriage. There is also the option of going to the townhall on mondaymorning and just get it over with.

    Of course there are the more conservative regions like the north of The Netherlands or the Black Belt, where they do it the old fashioned way. But they do everything the old-fashioned way there.
    I do really believe that people who have only been in those parts have no objective and true view of the “evolved” and “modern” parts of our country.

    I really like this blog, but I would love it if with your name you also have to write where you’re from. It would make so much difference reading comments from Dutchies here :).

  28. Christina Kooistra said:Posted on June 25th, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I already knew this when I went over there for vacation, my bf told me I would meet some guy that would want to move back with me to the states and marry me and give me children… I told him lol it isn’t like that over there. My dad told me a lot of people just live together over there and don’t marry. If I did meet someone though I would try to move over there I loved it! IDK about the cold winters though :/.

  29. Jess said:Posted on June 28th, 2013 at 7:50 am

    I don’t see the big deal. My husband and I lived together for over seven years before we got married. We agreed no children until we were ready for marriage. Weddings are time consuming and stressful, not to mention it costs quite a bit. You really want the relationship to work if your going to go through all that and you never really know a person until you live with them, so Dutch people sort of have the right idea I think.

  30. AVW said:Posted on July 29th, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    This whole “cultural” phenomenon of having babies and sharing finances before marriage continues to baffle me. The supposed “practicality” of it makes no sense. In my mind, one needs to be committed forever before mixing incomes and bringing children into the world. What happens if you have a child and then decide it won’t work?!?! Isn’t anyone concerned on how the children will be effected. I believe that marriage is such a serious decision that it is important that people go through with that process before bringing more humans into this world who could be damaged if the parents change their minds. To me, this has nothing to do with saving money or religion. You don’t need a wedding to get married, so you can forego that cost and just pay for the certificate. I agree that you don’t need a certificate to “prove” your love, but I am damn sure that you wouldn’t get that certificate if you were slightly unsure…yet you will have babies?? hmmm…

    • IvA said:Posted on September 11th, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      @AVW, I think a lot of the Dutch people don’t need to be married to feel committed to each other. A lot of Dutch people think having children is the biggest commitment and marriage is just a ceremonial thing.
      As for “What happens if you have a child and then decide it won’t work?!?!”, look at the average divorce rates in most countries.
      Being married doesn’t stop people from breaking up, so I don’t think you are selling your kids short by not being married.
      Married or not, you just have to be really sure about your relationship before you start having kids.

    • Angela said:Posted on October 18th, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I have to agree with you, if you have doubts why have children first??? Also if you can not afford a wedding why are you affording children but as you said a marriage is not costly a party is and if you do not want the party so be it. Flimsy excuse to not commit. For me if you can not commit to marriage (nothing to do with religion) and make me a part of your family I have no reason to live with you and bear children with you.

    • Saskia said:Posted on May 15th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      It’s not necessary. Most young people who decide to live together sign a samenlevingscontract which is basically a marriage license without the marriage. You’re recognized as legal partners and have the same rights and obligations as married people. A lot of young Dutchmen choose this option, because they come from divorced parents and only see problems when they think of marriage.

  31. Angela said:Posted on October 18th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I want to add…
    Maybe the Dutch do not understand marriage the same way many other cultures do. But it is strange for many. I find it a bit unromantic, and very much unpassionate way of looking at marriage. When my Dutch husband and I were engaged so many Dutch people asked why are we getting married! I did not like the fact I had to defend my choice. I had never had anyone say that to me except a Dutchie btw, So I would turn it around and state why not get married. most of the Dutch stated it was just a piece of paper. Well I do not agree, marriage is a commitment, it is you marrying into a family and you partner as well. It means family to me. If we can not be sure of that then I can not be sure of a child for goodness sakes! I mean if you can not commit due to as some stated finacial loss possibility etc you already are worried it will not work out. That is just strange to me. But not to matter in the end culture is culture there is not any right or wrong as a whole but for individuals there is. If many see it as strange than you have to accept you are different but I am not saying you are wrong. IT is just wrong for me and many others.
    With my Dutchie he knew, no marriage than no us. Pretty simple… we are happy and married.

    • Ju said:Posted on November 17th, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Most Dutchies of my generation (I’m from 1977) have no idea how much marriage means to people from abroad. For us, it’s a confirmation of an already existing bond between two adults (and therefore nice, but unnecessary ;) ) not nearly so much about (connecting the extended) family. Nor do we feel as strongly that the family is the place where you build and express you deepest values. Added to this, Dutch people feel it’s not appropriate to ‘shout about’ personal feeling in public, or about drawing attention all to yourself and we’re always suspicious of possible ‘fake’ emotion. Unfortunately, this is quite the opposite of what marriage means to people from other cultures: all about becoming part of a group of people that is your true home. We just don’t get it, I’m sorry to say :) Considering what it means to you: best wishes on your marriage!!!

      • Angela said:Posted on November 18th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        Thank you Ju, I have been married now 7 years. I have a question I know you do not represent all Dutch views, so I ask yours.
        How do you feel about the family of a partner? Do you think the Dutch are mostly about the immeadiate family and not so much the rest? Kinda loners? Just curious. My culture family is very important on both sides once married we become one family. Not so for the Dutch?

  32. Eveliene Ward said:Posted on November 18th, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I was surprised to see the term ‘engaged’ (verloofd) used. The Dutch don’t really celebrate getting engaged – it’s a pretty low-key affair, usually there is no traditional engagement party.

    There is also not a ‘diamant engagement ring’ tradition. Instead, at the most, the wedding band is worn on the other hand. Which leads to another phenomenon: protestants wear their wedding band on the left hand when married (and right hand when engaged), Roman Catholics wear their wedding band on the right hand when married, and on the left hand when engaged. So, for most of the time you can see a person’s religion by the wedding band. I believe this is typically Dutch…(happy to be convinced otherwise)

    • Angela said:Posted on November 19th, 2013 at 1:50 am

      I noticed the ring custom, never knew why and yes I do think it is mostly a Dutch thing.

  33. Angela said:Posted on November 18th, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Want to add… why this fear of FAKE, I hear this all the time. How does one show the are for real if they can not show emotions with actions? The fake fear is beyond my scope of understanding.
    Also weddings can be showy thing especially on TV, but it is NOT how all people act at all. Most wedddings are a party to celebrate not to show off.

  34. Miss R said:Posted on November 20th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Hmm … this might be the exception to the rule but it sure puts a dent on my previous perception of the Dutch being reliable.

    I met this 28 year old med student while on holiday in Amsterdam. He was polite and ‘blunt’ which was a refreshing change for me. It also gave me a bit of a rush because I am after all, 10 years older than he is. My holiday ended, I went back home to the US, where we continued our courtship via email and Skype. He told me he had a ticket on hold for him so he could come visit me here in a few months.

    I did have little things that kept picking at the back of my mind … like why did he have to hang up all of a sudden when his college roommate got up in the middle of the night and why was he always walking the dog when he called. With that last one, he’d be standing outside his place, freezing while talking to me and when I’d ask him why he doesn’t just go inside, he’d say his ‘roommate’ had people over for a study session.

    I searched and searched online until I finally found a couple of profiles on Facebook … one his, and the other, of his young Romanian wife. I sent a message to his wife via FB and I haven’t heard from him since.

    Again, this might be the exception. Married young, has no children and a cheater. Even the Dutch are not immune to this I suppose.

    • Angela said:Posted on November 21st, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      You will always have dishonest people in any culture. He was just a jerk who happen to be Dutch :)

  35. cathy said:Posted on November 30th, 2013 at 3:19 am

    my bf is a dutch, its really true that they don’t believe in marriage. well i don’t condemned him for what he believes in, we are unofficially engaged (he didnt ask my hands yet from my parents :D ), he did promised me to propose and give a ring (idk if how long we’ll he make me wait) anyway, he would always told me he wanted to have a baby, but every-time i would answered him (let’s make sure we are able eg.financially wise) then one day, he told me every friends of his are having or expecting babies, and he wants one and asked me. that’s the time i frankly told him, i wanna be married first before having one .(I’m not black mailing him) its about real commitment and how is he committed (how does he shows it through marriage, that’s for me). he doesn’t believe in marriage but told me that he if it makes me ease and how he can proved his love and how commitment he is, he’ll do it. but no pressure, we are enjoying being together just we have to postponed having baby. i think its more of cultural thing for me (how i brought up) but neither of any couple married or not its all about your CHOICE! in life there’s really no assurance.
    very informative in anyways :) take care

  36. Merel said:Posted on February 14th, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I love this blog and I told my boyfriend to read some stuff and who knows, maybe it would help him understand my culture a little. Most of the things I read here also really depend what part of the Netherlands you’re talking about. There is already a big difference in mentality between the South (below the rivers, as we say) and the North of the Netherlands and the islands for example.

  37. Peter said:Posted on April 6th, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Dutch marriages seem to be very unromantic. The arrangement seems to be more as a vehicle for sharing costs and bringing even taller children into the world than to create a special bond between two people. Perhaps this is related the the pathological inability of the Dutch to flirt. Having lived in France where flirting is a way of life which gives a life a real zing for both parties I was very disappointed to discover that most Dutch don’t have the first idea about flirting. In fact try it with a cloggie and you will probably get a filthy look or even abuse. Their loss.

  38. emiel said:Posted on August 2nd, 2014 at 3:31 am

    u got the wrong end of the stick i think

    by law it used to be that living to gether by law was the same as bieng married

    now that changed that not so long ago and to get the tax reductions and other shit ( u need to be married )
    so most marry now just cus its cheaper in the end

    u forget over 40% of the dutch are atheiest and most of them see a wedding as a religious thing :P)

    love is about u and your partner not some pice of paper

  39. emily said:Posted on September 4th, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Why i couldnt expect a propose from my dutch man soon?? Dutch guys dont believe in marriage?? Why dutch guys arent romantic? *so confuse*

  40. Fence said:Posted on November 18th, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I think there is a lot of confusion here between the words “marriage” and “wedding” OP seems to be talking about delaying the wedding (the ceremony/party) not delaying the marriage (legal commitment). From the description given, these people are already married (they are partners legally bound to each other) they just put off the wedding. This is common in the US as well. Poorer people (or just starting out young people) will get married legally, but wait years until they can afford a big wedding.

  41. fed_up_gf said:Posted on January 28th, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Hmmmm… I wish I had read this looong time ago because I have been with my Dutch man now for nearly 5 years and he hasnt popped the question. He always says marriage is just a piece of paper. Sometimes I do feel worthless or not good enough :(

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