Dating in Switzerland

Swiss dating: Understanding Swiss women and Swiss men

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Are Swiss women distant or Swiss men unattached? Before jumping into Swiss dating, here's what you need to know about dating Swiss men and Swiss women.

Like everywhere, Swiss dating has shifted to the digital world as online dating in Switzerland and dating apps increasingly become more popular among younger generations. However, dating the old-fashioned way by meeting people at a bar or through friends is still the prevalent way to meet Swiss women and Swiss men.

Understanding Swiss dating culture can do wonders for your love life. A relationship with anyone from another culture can be complex, as each culture puts different values on which qualities make someone a desirable partner. What might be considered romantic, attractive or polite in one culture might not be well received in Switzerland. Although, many say there are no fixed 'rules' for dating in Switzerland unlike in other countries, such as when to call or get intimate.

Still, Swiss people have their own style and manners. They may not be known as the most romantic nation, but according to reports the Swiss are the best travel companions. They never get stressed, nervous or angry when flights are delayed or hotel bookings lost or any kind of disaster strikes. In fact, they are good to have around in any kind of emergency as they are so level-headed – no emotions, just the facts.

This guide explains some basic etiquette about dating in Switzerland to help you towards understanding Swiss women and Swiss men – and be successful in Swiss dating.

Swiss datingHow much romance can you expect from Swiss dating?

Swiss dating

In most online forums, you'll read how the Swiss like to take it slow. Swiss women and men are not reknown for being the most chatty, outgoing or spontaneous when meeting strangers for the first time. They tend to be quiet and discreet, which also means you shouldn't spill your most intimate stories on the first encounter or ask probing questions about their job or family.

The Swiss tend to like their personal space and a handshake is common when strangers meet for the first time, both between Swiss men and women, as is the formal address (sie rather than du in German, or vous rather than tu in French). Acquaintances, however, will go in for a cheek kiss – typically three kisses. If you're introduced by name, it is the norm to use their name in your greeting and farewell.

Personal space continues into Swiss relationships, where a blend between commitment and independence is expected even early on; you might be exclusive, but this doesn't mean you will see each other often. It is also not common to date several people as once, where intimacy generally means a committed relationship, although this isn't always the case.

Sharing costs on a date is sometimes expected, although it doesn't meant that Swiss men won't pay for at least the first date. Letting a date pay is not necessarily seen as a break in chilvary, but rather as a sign of respect and equality.

Punctuality is also vital in Switzerland, where it's common for the Swiss to turn up even 15 minutes early. Being late to a date is a big turn-off to Swiss men and women; this also means being ready in advance if you're getting picked up – you can expect your date to be on your doorstep early.

Where to meet Swiss men and women

While online dating is present in Switzerland, it's not perhaps as widely talked about as in some other countries and not necessarily considered a serious way to form relationships. This means meeting Swiss women and men at bars or through friends is still prevalent in the Swiss dating scene. Friendships, in particular, play an important role, where many Swiss women and men feel more comfortable starting small and 'seeing where things go'. This also means that joining clubs and similar group events is an ideal way to interact with Swiss women and men – real connections are what count in Switzerland.

The Swiss are known to be reserved and relatively conservative in the dating scene. If no-one makes the first move, it may well turn into a staring contest before anyone strikes up the nerve to start a conversation or openly admit a mutual attraction. In this way, the Swiss are much more comfortable going for a walk or doing group activities before landing themself on an official 'date'.

In the cities it is typically easier for expats to meet Swiss women and men, where English is more widely spoken and more events take place. Some say that the Swiss are open to dating foreigners, relying on the 'exotic' factor, although it doesn't mean they are necessarily forthcoming. Like elsewhere, friendships are formed from birth and breaking into the Swiss circle as a transient expat can be an obstacle.

Some say the Swiss perfectionism extends to the Swiss dating scene as well, where it may feel that they don't relax on a date or are demanding in their expectations. On the other side, the Swiss are also known for being proper and courteous, and make incredibly loyal friends.

Swiss women – dating Swiss womenMichelle Hunziker is a Swiss model, TV presenter, actor and singer often named as one of the most beautiful Swiss women.

Dating Swiss women

Not all Swiss women fit the Heidi stereotype, although it's true that the outdoor lifestyle is integral to Swiss culture. Still, appearances play less of an important role in the Swiss dating scene, and it's not uncommon for Swiss women to turn up to a date in jeans and no make-up.

Swiss women typically expect men to make the first move and starting a conversation is reportedly no easy task, which can make Swiss women appear distant at first. Reports that Swiss women are demanding and unapproachable may be common complaints on forums, but most agree that with time Swiss women have no problems opening up and make intellectual conversation partners.

Swiss women are relatively independent their lives and daily tasks and weeks might pass between dates, although this shouldn't been taken as a sign of disinterest.

Women are getting more involved in business and public life in Switzerland, though the banking and finance industries continue to be dominated by men. Most Swiss women today prefer having no more than one or two children, and an increasing number of people choose to remain single. Women who marry do so at a later age than their mothers did, at around 30 years, and also have their children later.

With around a quarter of Switzerland's population made up of foreigners alongside a history of immigration, it would be incorrect to say there is a sterotypical Swiss woman, even though many that are ranked as the most beautiful Swiss women are tall and blond.

Swiss men – dating Swiss menTennis player Roger Federer is one of the most internationally renowned Swiss men.

Dating Swiss men

In the same way that Swiss women don't make the first move, Swiss men aren't renowned for it either. Many dating forums bemoan the lack of flirting from Swiss men, who in return report that it's partly the result of being rejected from so many Swiss women.

As is the norm when meeting strangers in Switzerland, Swiss men tend to stay formal and are not known for being avid conversationalists with people they've just met. Some report that Swiss men take it slow to get intimate or touchy-feely, although it's not necessarily a sign of disinterst. Rather, as is common in Swiss culture, Swiss men take their time to get to know people properly before opening up, as well as be completely sure of their feelings before committing. This also means that when a Swiss man settles down, it is usually serious.

Swiss men do not necessarily compliment or praise unless by accident. They will not necessarily notice when you have had your hair done. On the up side, they neither critise nor complain. Swiss men are not always overly cuddly, either. Don't expect smooching in front of the television or public shows of affection.

Swiss men are also perfectionists, and perhaps even a bit obsessed with the idea of perfection about their homes, jobs, cars and the food on their plates; appearing slack, unorganised or non-committed in your work or home life will likewise not impress your date. Switzerland is known for being a country of high standards, and Swiss men and women are used to upholding them – and typically expect the same in a partner.

The Swiss are known for conservative and neat attire in general. Swiss men tend to be very traditional and still expect to pay your bills, although some women report splitting bills a common practice in longer relationships.

The good news is that Swiss men can be funny and make you laugh with them, but they are also dependent and rarely do anything naughty or anti-establishment. The Swiss are also known for their outdoor lifestyle and family-orientated culture, so you can expect plenty of outdoor activities and weekend family meals.


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Photo credits (CC-Licence): John Jason Junior via Wikimedia Commons (Swiss woman), Tatiana (Swiss man).

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