We hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day, although you probably don’t really care too much about this holiday if you’re Dutch. Because in the Netherlands, it’s really not that big of a deal.

Their down to earth ways prevent the Dutch from getting all caught up in this fuzzy, romantic, somewhat commercial holiday. There is no need for it (their opinion, not ours), and the Dutch feel like this holiday made its way over the Atlantic through films and television series’. We have heard that secretly Dutch women would love to get bouquets of roses, but they don’t really expect it (or maybe just have lowered expectations?). I hear you thinking: does romance not exist in the Netherlands then? Well, of course it does,  but dating is definitely different over here. So, here’s a quick guide to dating the Dutch.

Not wasting time
We all know how the Dutch love efficiency; their dating ways are no different. Both the men and women won’t appreciate it if you’re playing games with them. If you’re not interested, that’s fine but say so, don’t lead someone on or disappear into thin air. It may be very direct and honest, but at least this way nobody is wasting time. So playing “hard to get” might not get you anywhere in the Lowlands!

Go for it
In America, the UK, and many other countries, there is a certain code or tradition where men are expected to make the first move. Well, when it comes to dating etiquette, things are certainly more progressive and straightforward in the Netherlands! Whether you’re a man or woman, if you want something you just go for it. There are no rules about who calls first after your date or how long you should wait before your first kiss. A lot of the Dutch dating culture is based on instinct, when it feels right it must be right.

Going Dutch
As much as there are no codes about when things ‘should’ happen, there is one rule the Dutch tend to stick to and that is splitting the bill, better known as ‘Going Dutch’. Don’t be surprised if your date suggests you pay for your own dinner. And it’s something you better get used to it as they do this on the first date, the second date and basically every date until you have a shared bank account and it’s not necessary anymore!

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A casual affair
Dressing up for a date is normal in a lot of countries, but not in the Netherlands. Here things are far more casual, just like their day-to-day attire. A miniskirt, high heels, or a three-piece suit are just not as practical when you have to cycle to your date in the rain. Don’t see it as an insult if your date shows up wearing sneakers: the Dutch are just practical like that.

So, don’t get discouraged if you think these Dutchies are not romantic enough. It might take some time to get used to this style of dating but really, it’s a breath of fresh air and nobody is going to waste your time. Now, all we want to know is: have you been on a Dutch date yet and did it involve splitting a bill? 🙂

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