Here's a guide to take you through your first Euro date.
To gather real accounts of the European dating scene, last year we asked around 500 (mostly, but not exclusively, heterosexual) expats living in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland a series of up-close and personal questions about themselves, their relationships and their sex lives.
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If you say ‘no' to an invitation, he may well think you're playing hard to get and will probably persist.
If you really aren't interested, then be very clear and tell him politely but firmly (the hints that might work back home, won't work here).
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In Germany, couples don't start with formal dating either and it's only after a series of informal meetings – walks, dinner, cinema, theatre – that they might start being seen as a ‘couple'.For example, in the UK, a woman might kiss one or more men when she's out in a club or bar (or vice versa) but it wouldn't necessarily mean anything or lead to a relationship of any kind.Whereas in France, if you kiss someone on the lips (or have sex) it means you're ‘in a relationship'. In the UK or US, there's much debate about how long to wait before calling after a first date. Too long and it can seem like they're not really interested.In most countries, the man may offer to pay the bill but he wouldn't automatically be offended if the woman suggested splitting the bill, or paying for the drinks or some other aspect of the ‘date', such as cinema or theatre tickets.After the first date, most people would probably expect to go Dutch (and not just in the Netherlands! Last year, a well-known romantic social networking site asked 13,000 members from around the world ‘Would you kiss on a first date?The Spanish have a reputation as romantic and passionate people.If a woman shows too much interest too soon, she may scare a man away.French and Spanish men may seem a little OTT, showering a woman with compliments. It doesn't mean he's (necessarily) a creep, as paying a compliment is a form of acknowledgement rather than flattery in those countries.In places like the Netherlands and Germany, people can be very direct in the way they speak (rather than being over polite and saying things ‘to be nice' that they don't mean to avoid hurting someone's feelings – as is often the way in the UK).It's also common for couples to keep the fact that they're an item to themselves.Unless you're going to be doing something sporty, dress up a little.