But knowing some of the cultural differences – who makes the first move, kissing on a first date, how soon to call after a date – may help you avoid awkward situations, or at least stop you from getting hurt or hurting someone else unintentionally.In Europe, getting to know someone romantically is fairly laid back.It’s like there is a constant trial-and-error going on in order to find out who you can actually see yourself with.In Europe, on the other hand, not many people are ever in a relationship, but if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, it actually means something and will probably last for a while.Of course this is obviously not true for every single American, but it is the view that is generally conveyed to the outside.In reality, though, American couples are often still getting to know each other when they are already together, and could easily end up holding their partner’s best friend’s hand in the next instant.But aside from visual aspects, girls in the States expect to live their lives like Barbie in her dreamhouse, with her super-manly successful boyfriend. But while these expectations are high, I often find that putting guys on a pedestal and doing anything in order to get their attention is a big part of getting to this ultimate goal.In America, guys get to be cool players who are allowed to switch between different pretty girl-toys who will simply obey their preferences.
So why does this difference even exist, or is it just a slightly different packaging of basically the same feelings?
People don't tend to go on ‘dates' with complete strangers but instead often get to know someone who's already in their circle or the friend of a friend, and then it ‘just happens' and they decide to go out together alone. There aren't too many rigid rules, either: "In the Netherlands there are no set rules – you might do all or nothing on the first or tenth date," and, "the timescale between the first date and having sex in France could be anything from 20 years to 20 seconds," said European expats.
In France, Germany and Belgium, it's common for the man to ask a woman out, but in Switzerland, the men can be a little reserved so women might want to give them a nudge.
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.
My theory is that Europeans feel a lot safer in their tiny familiar communities, little towns and social circles where everyone knows everyone, that they are a lot more afraid to commit to one person within this already-figured-out social life.