Dating Differences around the Globe
What Guys Need to Know Dating Abroad
To say I’m a seasoned traveler is an understatement; and to say I’m a serial dater is pretty accurate! The day after my graduation from high school; some 5 years ago, I was off on my first adventure ever out of the country; my home base is Canada.
The plan was to take a year to travel throughout Europe and the world, apply to University, get a job, find a wife, have kids, and live happily ever after; you know the drill. Well it wasn’t meant to be. Instead I used my monthly allowance, yes my family is rich, and I rationed it to continue my travels, explaining to my parents like a broken record player I was “finding myself.” We’ll leave it at that.
Oh – I almost forgot to tell you. I used to run a podcast on dating topics, but in the end I became a dating and relationships coach. Not really what my parents had planned for me but I’m happy and that’s what matters, right?
For guys especially, it’s important to understand there are different expectations around the globe when you are looking to find that special girl, or if you’re just out for some experience and fun. For instance, I found out the hard way when visiting the Middle East, that you don’t ask a pretty girl out without first getting permission from the father of the household and if you’re smart, the eldest son. “Arranged” marriages are the thing, which also means “arranged” dating applies. Nevertheless, the Middle East is also getting ready for the western style of dating online.
Here’s a little more about what I’ve experienced dating around the world.
Independent and Free in Canada
It really depends where you are in Canada but dating really doesn’t have a lot of rules. Families are typically mixed and deeply diverse, with a mish-mash of backgrounds, religious beliefs and customs, so individual rules really apply.
Most young teens meet people at clubs, bars, parties, and blind dates. Online dating is also huge, an easy way to step outside your comfort zone and meet different girls, particularly if you live in a small town; one gas station and corner store sort of thing. That’s also the route to take if you’re a serial dater like I was, so you can set yourself up for 5-6 dates in one day if you like – naughty but fun!
It’s all about Groups in Europe
Now if you happen to be looking for some fun in Europe, start thinking in groups. Particularly in Norway, young people “date” in large groups, so it’s more like an event. A chance to get to know each other a little better in a “safe” and more “relaxed” atmosphere. Don’t be surprised if your date turned into a community slumber party experience – not an orgy, a slumber party. That’s just how it works!
Shyness Sums it up in the UK
When it comes to dating women in the UK you’re going to have to take the bull by the horns. The girls are typically shy and prefer to date in small groups versus the one on one time. I met a really sweet girl about 5 years ago that was unbelievably shy, she refused to date me initially and I found out after-the-fact it was because she was too nervous to have dinner with me alone. It didn’t take long to convince her to go on a solo date with me; in fact it happened the day after she brought two of her friends along on our “date.” I laugh at it now but it wasn’t so funny at the time because I just didn’t understand the culture.
Lucky for me I stuck it out because that beautiful lass today is my wife, Natasha.
Don’t Bother in Iraq
When it comes to dating in Iraq you could say it’s stone cold. Dating is actually complete illegal, so don’t even try it if you value your life. Families arrange the marriages here and often the couple never meets until the day they are wed in blissful harmony. Something I will never understand.
Sweden is a Shy-Group Combo
Sweden is similar to Finland when it comes to dating. It’s fun and not quite as casual as the North American perspective. You start off having to break through the shyness factor, then you get the “group” experience, and if you survive all that, you finally get to do the one on one stuff, that’s the fun part.
When you think about it the Swede’s probably have it right. There’s very little pressure when you first start dating a girl because she’s in a comfortable environment and gets lots of guidance, good or bad, about whether or not you’re worth pursuing of if you’re a creep. This process probably dissuades a lot of heartache down the road.
If you stick it out till the solo date night, you’ve got a pretty good shot and creating a quality relationship.
Be smart, keep your mind open and the rules in mind, and you’ll do just fine!