Before you jump into dating in Luxembourg, here’s everything you need to know about understanding local men and women in this unique country.
Dating someone from a foreign country can be complex and challenging. After all, different cultures around the world have different ideas of what makes someone a desirable partner. What people might consider romantic or polite back home might not be well received in your new home country.
And if you happen to live in Luxembourg, you will face an extra layer of complexity, given that many people you might meet on a daily basis won’t actually live in the country. That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for expats looking for love, however. It’s just important to understand the uniqueness of this country and the mindset of local men and women. Luckily, this guide is here to help by providing the following information:
- An overview of dating in Luxembourg
- How to meet people in Luxembourg
- Dating etiquette in Luxembourg
- Dating behavior in Luxembourg
- Moving into a relationship
- The role of the family in dating
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An overview of dating in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has 600,000 inhabitants, however, nearly 200,000 people living in France, Belgium, and Germany cross the border every day to work there. Workers are drawn to the country’s lucrative status and the abundance of prestigious international corporations. After all, it is one of the most affluent nations in the world and the second richest by GDP per capita. Not only that, but it also boasts top museums, beautiful scenery, and no shortage of leisure activities.
Despite these benefits, however, the transient nature of Luxembourg means that finding a partner there can be a real challenge. Furthermore, it can be especially difficult to connect romantically with people when they have such busy work schedules. Part of the issue may not center on meeting people, but rather, meeting new people. After all, Luxembourg is a very small place in comparison to other European countries, so while it’s not necessarily true that ‘everybody knows everyone’, you are unlikely to find a dating pool as large as you would in other major European cities. Additionally, many locals meet their partners through school, work, and within their tight communities, which can pose a challenge for expats.
If you are lucky enough to find a partner, though, there are some useful things to know about the local culture. For instance, you may find that Luxembourgers are often quite private, and may not be as forthcoming with their emotions as people from other countries. Dating culture, like business culture, is, therefore, a patient process, and developing relationships can take some time. While Luxembourg has a fairly serious reputation, however, that doesn’t mean that people living there don’t have fun. Indeed, once you begin navigating the local dating scene, you can expect to discover plenty of fun things to do during dates.
How to meet people in Luxembourg
Just like in other European countries, there are several traditional ways to meet new people and potential partners in Luxembourg.
Bars and clubs
While meeting new people in Luxembourg might be difficult if you only speak English, fortunately, there are plenty of places where English speakers can socialize; especially in the capital. There are numerous lively bars along Rue du Marche-Aux-Herbes, for instance, where crowds spill onto the street with beer bottles and cocktail glasses in the summer. There are also places to head to late in the evening, and several clubs that open through the night.
Dating apps and websites
Online dating can pose several unique challenges for expats living in Luxembourg. For one, many people you might meet on dating apps and websites won’t live in the country; but don’t let a cross-border relationship put you off as Luxembourg is well connected. The language barrier might also create issues. If you only speak English, it may be difficult to strike up conversations with those who speak a low level of English, or none.
That said, dating platforms such as Tinder, OkCupid, Badoo, and Lovoo are still available in Luxembourg. Some people are reluctant to use these, though, because of the likelihood of matching with people they already know. Therefore, it is important not to get a negative reputation on the local dating scene, because in such a small market it precedes you.
Indeed, if you do have a negative dating experience in Luxembourg, it will be hard to avoid that person in the future unless one of you moves away. This means you will need a certain level of emotional maturity and learn to mentally move on from any failed romantic situations.
Meetup groups and events
Meetup is a popular platform in almost all countries, and Luxembourg is no different. There are numerous groups that you can join which cater to individuals with similar hobbies and interests. Furthermore, some of these are specifically for singles looking to date; meaning you are likely to find others with the same intention. Another way to meet new people is to search for local expat groups on Facebook that host regular events.
Dating etiquette in Luxembourg
If you are lucky enough to go on a date in Luxembourg, there are a few customs you will need to observe if you want to make a good impression.
Making the first move
When it comes to asking someone out, the burden usually falls on men in Luxembourg. That said, a foreign woman shouldn’t really think twice about inviting a Luxembourger man to dinner. After all, the multicultural nature of the country means that this is becoming more acceptable.
A typical dating scenario in Luxembourg
Like in many European countries, first dates in Luxembourg usually involve going to a nice restaurant for dinner or having drinks at a bar. As you get to know each other, however, you may find that dates become more adventurous.
For instance, Luxembourg has a great wine culture, and the Moselle Valley is famous for its grape growing. You might even be lucky enough to visit one of the vineyards there with your date. And it’s not all about wine, either. Luxembourg produces a handful of popular beers and even has its own microbreweries. So if you love to sip on a nice cold pint, this might be your ideal date. Meanwhile, those with a sweet tooth will no doubt enjoy a visit to The Chocolate House, which offers up 50 different varieties of chocolate.
Dating behavior in Luxembourg
Despite the variety of nationalities and cultures in Luxembourg, there are certain behavioral traits that you may notice as you begin to navigate the local dating scene.
People value punctuality in Luxembourg and insist on being on time for most social occasions; so, it’s wise to arrive 15 minutes before your planned meeting time. Similarly, if your date is picking you up, make sure you are ready 15 minutes before they arrive, as they will likely show up on the dot.
Cleanliness and neatness are very important in Luxembourg, and while the dress code for dating tends to be fairly casual, it’s still wise to make an effort. Because of its strong banking and business scene, the local style is elegant and classic; so aim to dress sharply but conservatively.
People in Luxembourg are known to be friendly but reserved in both their business and private lives. Therefore, body language generally remains fairly formal. You should shake hands the first time you meet your date. Once you are past the first date or two and know someone on a private level, it is customary to exchange three kisses on the cheeks; starting with the right. Being excessively expressive during a date can be frowned upon, and over-the-top hand gestures can also be considered impolite.
Good manners are very important in this refined country, so things like putting your hands in your pockets or on the table during dinner are seen as improper. In fact, dining etiquette is very important and table manners should be quite formal. When people finish eating, for instance, they tend to place their knife and fork side by side on the plate at the 5:25 position. People also consider leaving food on your plate as impolite.
Because people are fairly reserved, you are unlikely to be asked probing questions on a date. Likewise, it would be rude to do the same. And while people tend to say what they mean, they do it subtlely and prudently. Being blunt, therefore, is considered rude. Furthermore, people are quite modest, which means that boasting about your achievements won’t win you any points. Luxembourgers don’t like to overindulge in small talk, either, so chit-chat about the weather and other trivial things will fall flat.
People consider chivalry an important aspect of the culture in Luxembourg. So, if you are dating a woman for the first time, it’s a good idea to bring her a box of chocolates or flowers. Just make sure they aren’t chrysanthemums, as like in many European countries, people associate them with funerals. And make sure you give her flowers in odd numbers – but not 13 – as people believe this will bring happiness and luck.
Paying the check
Men are generally known to pay for the first date, but splitting it isn’t uncommon after that. Tipping is also customary in Luxembourg, and not tipping could be seen as an indication that you are unhappy with the food or the service. People generally tend to leave between 5% and 10% or 15% for an exceptionally good experience.
Moving into a relationship
Developing relationships can be a slow process in this reserved and conservative country. Therefore, it can take some time before you are invited to meet your partner’s parents, move in together, and so on. Essentially, trust is established over time and not necessarily a given.
Meeting the family
When you do meet your partner’s family, it’s a good idea to take a gift for them. Again, a bouquet of flowers is acceptable, but avoid chrysanthemums as people associate them with funerals. And if there are other guests, don’t be offended if your gift isn’t opened until they leave. If you are joining their family for a meal, it’s better to wait until you are asked to take a seat before you sit down. Equally, you should wait until your host or hostess has taken their first bite before you start eating; unless of course, they tell you to just go ahead. It’s also wise to eat everything on your plate. Remember, good manners and being polite go a long way in this country.
Like in many other European countries, the marriage rate is continuing to decline in Luxembourg. Statistics show that in 2018, 1,896 marriages took place in Luxembourg, compared to 1,917 in 2008. Nowadays, one-third of couples who live together in Luxembourg are unmarried. However, if you do fall within the 10% of marriages each year that are between Luxembourgers and non-Luxembourgers, you can expect plenty of fun when it comes to quirky wedding traditions. If you’re a younger sibling getting married before your older brother or sister, for instance, you might end up receiving a goat on your wedding day!
Sam-sex marriage became legal in Luxembourg in 2015 and approximately 120 same-sex marriages couples tied the knot that year; accounting for 7% of all marriages performed in the country. Fortunately, support for same-sex marriage in Luxembourg increased to 75% of the population by 2015, and 85% by 2019.
The role of the family in dating
With Luxembourg being a comparatively small place, people show a great deal of loyalty to their families. Many people also choose to live in the same area throughout their lives. Therefore, as the partner of a local man or woman, you can expect to spend a fair amount of time with your in-laws.
Having children in Luxembourg
When it comes to starting a family in Luxembourg, couples generally don’t consider marriage as a prerequisite to having children. In fact, according to statistics, one-seventh of the children are born to unmarried mothers. Therefore, despite being a conservative nation, people are gradually shifting away age-old traditions.
Gender roles in the family home
Unfortunately, there is still a long way to go before equality can become a reality in Luxembourg. Many families, for instance, still subscribe to the traditional gender roles when it comes to raising children; with men being the breadwinners and women staying at home to care for the kids.
Furthermore, the general employment rate is lower for women than men; only 68% of female residents between the ages of 20 and 64 have jobs, compared to 76% of men. Women are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis than men. In 2018, 31.8% of women aged between 15 and 64 worked part-time, compared to 5.8% of men in the same age group.
Unsurprisingly, statistics also show that the number of women in employment decreases in proportion to the number of children they have; meanwhile, it increases among men. The lower rate of employment among mothers is likely due to the lack of availability of childcare services. This is something to bear in mind if you are considering starting a family.