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Reaching a serious relationship level can take time in the Netherlands because the Dutch can be cautious with letting newcomers in, whether it’s a friendship or partnership – this is not necessarily personal as much as it is part of common Dutch personality traits.But it’s not impossible – many foreigners report happy relationships and marriages with Dutch nationals.Some say it is unromantic but Dutch relationships pride themselves on equality between Dutch women and men.Another option is for one person to pay for, say, drinks and the other for movie tickets.Forget the sugar-coating – being down-to-earth and direct will earn a lot more points with a Dutch man or Dutch girls. Friends also usually kiss three times on the cheek in greeting; some strangers may kiss when being introduced to someone through a common friend, although a handshake is more common. It is not uncommon to split the bill on the first date – right down to the last cent’s worth of what you ate – regardless of whether your’re dating a Dutch man or woman.While neither Dutch women nor Dutch men are renowned for being touchy on a first date, direct eye contact is the norm so don’t be put off if someone is staring your way. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering you are in the country that gave name to the phrase ‘going Dutch’ (splitting a bill).Similarly, in the Netherlands compliments are not given nor received easily, and outlandish compliments can be perceived as fake by the Dutch.

The Dutch tend to believe it is better to be honest than mislead someone.

Either way, be prepared that a date is not always going to be free ride, nor will free drinks in bars be that forthcoming from Dutch men.

However, this does not mean that paying for your date is not appreciated – it’s your choice.

To the untrained dater it may appear rude or direct but it is a refreshing scene of playing with your cards on the table.

Being successful in Dutch dating can require a level of assertiveness: if you want something, just do it.

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