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Universal Etiquettes of International Dating

A photo of a man and woman on a date
Learn more about how international dating works.

You'd think that common dating etiquettes are supposed to be common, but like common sense, they're not as prevalent as you think. The thing about dating etiquette is that it is meant to make first dates less awkward, even the second, third, or fifteenth date. This makes getting to know someone you're interested in less stressful.

However, with the challenges of international dating, the importance of etiquette can vary across regions and cultures. Some aspects might sound absolutely fine in your culture, but would rub off as rude in others. In this article, we have listed the common dating etiquettes that won't just make your dating life easier, but also help you lead a successful, long term relationship.

Dating Etiquettes

Dating is a complex subject, there aren't any rules of etiquette carved in stone. There are many different dating etiquettes in any part of the world, just like there are many reasons why manners are important.

To make your dating life easier, we have compiled a few dating etiquettes that are universal in language and culturally sensitive to men and women on an international level.

1. Always be a gentleman.

Being a gentleman is always necessary, whether you're on a date or just practicing basic business etiquette. This is a choice you're going to have to make every single day. Basic gentlemanly conduct and overall good manners never fail to make a lasting impression, like when you offer your seat to a lady, open doors for her, or wait for her to be seated before you do so yourself. These may be small acts, but they will definitely go a long way when it comes to impressing your date.

2. Always be on time.

Being on time is necessary everywhere around the world. Whether you're on a date or at work, punctuality will always be appreciated. Make the effort to be on time, not too late or too early. Showing up late might come off as bad manners in different cultures.

Of course, there are considerations for unavoidable causes like a flat tire. Coming in too early may also come off as being too eager, so it's best to come exactly on time or at least 15-20 minutes earlier.

3. Overdress or dress appropriately.

If you and your date have agreed on where you want to meet and spend time together, this is usually your first clue as to what you should wear. It's important to dress accordingly, and if you don't know what to wear, you can always ask your date for some tips.

If you are hesitant to ask, then you can choose to overdress. Overdressing means you're wearing something too formal for a specific event. Then again, it's always better than underdressing. It's better to wear a suit to the beach than wear swimming trunks at a restaurant.

4. Make the effort to converse with your date.

As mentioned, dating is the getting-to-know phase of any romantic relationship. Make sure you grab the opportunity to get to know your partner during your dates. These days, there are many different ways to send messages, but it's always better to connect in person. So don't miss the opportunity to connect and converse with your partner.

Listen to what she has to say and listen actively, don't just listen so you can have something to reply to. Communication is an important foundation in any relationship, and it's best that you two get that covered early on.

5. Be yourself.

Whether you're interacting with women on dating websites or in person, the most important thing to remember is to just be yourself. If you're getting to know the woman you like, chances are that she's doing the same thing, too. Being someone you're not won't achieve anything, and it might even be detrimental to your relationship. Be yourself and let her get to know you naturally.

Dining Etiquettes

Manners and etiquette in dating is quite hard to explain in a nutshell. For example, in Chinese culture, burping at a party is considered a compliment. It means that the host has prepared a great meal and that every guest was fed well. Try that in a French setting and all eyes will be on you. You might even be sent out to think about what you've done.

To avoid a wee bit of embarrassment, we have put together some tips on dining etiquette:

1. Learn to use local utensils.

When dining in a country that uses different utensils, it would be best to learn how to use them before showing up to a date at a fine restaurant. Common to Asian cultures is the use of chopsticks. This is a tricky instrument to learn, and it will take some time to practice. It would be rude to ask for extra accommodation just because you never bothered to pick up those sticks.

Other dining cultures also have specific tools for very specific phases of the meal. Fine dining is a good example of this as there are different spoons, forks, and knives for you to use. It wouldn't look good using a dessert spoon for your soup.

2. Avoid having a sensitive conversation.

In all cultures, conversations at the dinner table are always encouraged. Dining is a communal event and it's a great way to get to know the people around you. As such, use this opportunity to get to know your date.

However, avoid talking about politics, religion, or any other subject that would cause a heated argument. These topics are a never-ending debate for people with opposing views, and they would be a hindrance to getting to know the person you're on a date with. As soon as you feel like you've gotten to know each other deeper, like say on your 20th date, feel free to have friendly debates, just not over the dining table.

3. Keep the chewing sounds to yourself.

We can't really avoid making sounds while chewing, most especially when we're eating crispy food like the Chicharron of Colombia. It is important that we keep these noises to ourselves or at least make an effort to minimize the noise.

Awkwardness will always be part of any date, especially on your first one. The aforementioned etiquettes are just some of the things that will lessen the stresses of international dating and help alleviate the awkwardness. They will help you get to know your partner as well, so you should grab every opportunity you have when you're trying to get to know each other.

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