For those single women who heading to Europe and looking forward to casual flirting, a vacation fling or even a deep, meaningful connection with a European man, check out some tips on getting close and personal without the confusion so often caused by a culture gap!
Prepare to be romanced. Just kidding. German men are not particularly known as the Casanovas of Europe. Awkward and robotic, they need to down lots of beer before they can even think of initiating a conversation with a woman, and by then they are in no shape to stand straight. Much less make any sense. If you want to meet a German man, the best bet is to actually just make the move yourself. Oh, and you should probably leave the subtlety out the door. For those of you who come from countries like the US or Canada where politeness is the norm, Germans may surprise you with their rudeness. But it is actually is the no-nonsense directness that shows they don’t like sugar-coating the truth. No need to wonder if you should chew some gum while talking to him. He will most likely tell you himself. While you definitely have to grow some thick skin, the bonus is that they really tell it like it is and that can be refreshing. No? Do not: Expect that guy you’ve been eyeing across the room to make his way to you. Do: Position yourself as close as possible and ask him a neutral question. When he fails to flirt back, don’t immediately assume he is not interested. Unless, the conversation is simply not going anywhere and both of you are getting a migraine from it.
We all know the clichéd stereotype of the French as the great seducer. The hand kissing, the words of love, the intense gazes… the real deal? Well, what I can say with certainty is that the most (not all!) French men are masters at intelligent, playful and compelling conversation. Unlike the North Americans who seem in a rush to get from point A to point B, the French seem to take pleasure in the moment. This may be the reason dating takes on a fluid form, and lacks the rules we North Americans or Brits obsess over. The official part of the date, where you exchange conversation over a meal or a planned activity is replaced with a spur of the moment get-together or a walk. While this may throw you off balance with “Was it a date? Is he really interested in me?” it also makes for a very spontaneous and as a result, much more exciting encounter. However, if you do decide to go to a restaurant – beware: as romantic as you think the French culture is, you should be prepared to pay your own share. French women consider themselves and are viewed as independent, so your date will most likely expect that from you. Do not: Overthink. Do: Enjoy the moment. Be a bit mysterious. And get him to chase you.
Tall, imposing, attractive – Dutch men are definitely something to look at. But that’s all you will do be doing unless you gather up some courage and make a move. Similarly to their German neighbours, the Dutch are quite stoic when it comes to initiating anything with a woman. Don’t take offense when they keep a mile away from you, clutching their drink to their chest like a protection blanket. The roles are definitely reversed here, as the Dutch expect their women to be the leaders in the pursuit. While they are known to be quite lousy at flirting, you can tell if the guy is interested by asking you questions and openly talking about his life. Left his job, has kids and is divorced? Great – he likes you! If you are on the softer side and like a man to make the first move, you are out of luck. The only way to get somewhere in this country is to pursue with vigor! Oh, and once you do secure that beautiful man – don’t forget to go Dutch! Do not: expect him to approach. Or pay. Do: Approach. Pay for yourself. But most importantly, don’t forget that stepping out of your comfort zone and looking silly is part of the traveling experience. So, leave your comfort zone, make a move and connect with a new person. You will thank yourself for it.