Guide to dating the Belgians
Looking for love in Belgium? Here are some tips for socialising in the Belgian culture to get you into the Belgian dating game.
Dating someone from a foreign country can be an exciting experience, but it's important to keep in mind that a relationship with a person from another culture can be complex. Different cultures around the world have a different appreciation of the qualities that make someone a desirable mate. What might be considered romantic, attractive or polite in one culture, might not be well received in another.
You may notice differences between the language communities, and as you wouldn't stereotype your own dating traits, nor can you stereotype Belgian dating traits. Thus, here are some general tips for dating Belgians to help you avoid any dating blunders.
Getting started: Tips for socialising with Belgians
Belgians tend to be reserved and conservative, and good manners are key when looking to impress someone.
In Belgium, men are expected to rise when a woman enters the room. They also stand on public transportation until women are seated. This is a sign of politeness and respect. Do not be surprised to get a 'judging look' by people in Belgium; they tend to be very keen on good manners in public places.
When you are invited somewhere, you should accept any drink offered by the host. Don't ask for a drink when you are not offered one. Do not be surprised if partners or husbands and wives are not seated together at dinner, as this is normal for the Belgians. Belgians are thrifty and do not appreciate waste, so finish all the food on your plate, too.
In business meetings, gifts are not to be exchanged. However, when you are invited to someone's home, always bring flowers to the hostess and perhaps some candy for the children, if any. By no means give chrysanthemums, as they symbolise death.
Dating a Belgian
The Belgians are gentle and reserved in nature. It is acceptable for a foreign woman to invite a Belgian man to dinner, and pay the bill. Do not put your hands in your pockets, yawn or use toothpicks in public places. Your feet should never be put on chairs or tables. Keep your hands on the table at all times during a meal, not in your lap.
If you are dating a Belgian, avoid discussing personal matters, or at least at avoid them at the beginning of your acquaintance.
Men and women usually marry in their teens and 20s, and begin their families early. This is why it is possible to find single men and women in their 30s or 40s, as they married young and are now divorced.
Marrying a Belgian
Married couples often work side-by-side in either business or farming. Instead of divorcing, couples who are in business together may remain legally married in order to protect the business, while maintaining separate households with new partners.
Most families have between two and four children.
It is of course possible to live happily-ever-after with a Belgian; as the Belgians value good manners, if yours are not up to Belgian standards, try changing them to win their hearts or resolve issues.
Teodora Todorova / Expatica
Looking for love? Interested in making new friends? Register for free at Expatica Date to meet the most eligible internationals in Belgium.
Updated from 2011.
Comment here on the article, or if you have a suggestion to improve this article, please click here.