European dating relationships
When you're going out with someone, don't rush to formalise it with the ‘where are we going with this relationship? Just go with the flow and enjoy what's going on between you.
More often, the clue that a relationship is getting serious is if you're invited back home to meet the parents.
In Germany and Switzerland, however, punctuality is highly valued so if one of you rolls up late, your date will be off to a bad start.
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.
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.
Of course, every relationship is different and how yours develops will depend on who you both are and the chemistry between you.
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?
' Over half of the Americans, Australians and Canadians said they would kiss on a first date, while only 29 percent of Germans and 32 percent of French said they would pucker up.
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.
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).
The Spanish have a reputation as romantic and passionate people.
If a man keeps calling you, don't start thinking he's a bit of a stalker.
In France and Spain it's not unusual for a man to call/text/email a lot – it just means he's interested.
If a woman shows too much interest too soon, she may scare a man away.