So you’ve been in the Netherlands for a while now. And you must have noticed all the pretty and awesome Dutch girls! Whether an ESN volunteer or just someone you met in Tivoli, the Albert Heijn or somewhere else. I guess you also noticed that Dutchies might be a little different from the girls where you’re from. Typically, the Dutch are stereotyped as economical (to use an understatement), a bit rude and cheese lovers. I don’t know about the cheese (if you want to date me, just offer me cheese – but that’s me), but the other two stereotypes have some impact on dating a Dutch girl. So to help you out, here are a few tips for successfully dating Dutch girls:
1. About the rudeness: we Dutchies are very open and direct. Foreigners may interpret this as rude, as they’re used to be very polite and would even tell a white lie to not insult or hurt someone. You can expect us Dutchies to be very straightforward. We’ll tell you whether we want to hang out or not, when we’re hungry, how funny your hair looks today, if you’re a good kisser… and so on. So don’t be taken aback when a girl is saying something you might interpret as rude: she’s just being honest with you. And for bonus points: be open as well. If you want to take her out: ask. If you’ve realized you actually don’t like her that much, just say so.
2. About the bill. Imagine you’ve been on a great date, having drinks in a café or bar, and then it’s time to pay. Here it can get a bit complicated. I know many Dutch girls who believe that the guy should pay on the first date. We’re still a bit traditional. But don’t be surprised when the girl offers to split the bill, especially on the second/third/fourth date. These girls want to be independant and want to show you that they can pay for their own drinks or meal. We Dutchies are all about equality, even with dating. So, if a girl offers to split the bill, don’t be the gentleman, but accept and realise that you’ve scored an independent woman! (Woohoo!)
3. About feminism. Yes, Dutch girls may be a bit more feministic than you’re used to. But that’s a great thing. We aren’t precious dolls or princesses in an ivory tower who need to be courted. Nope, we just order a beer and laugh about your jokes. I dare say that most Dutch girls dig guys who are down to earth. Watch out with the compliments: we like to hear that we look great, or that we’re smart – just don’t overdo it. Similarly, don’t expect to receive many compliments. But how do you know that she’s into you? Eye contact, my friend. If she makes a lot of eye contact, maybe a couple of seconds too long, you might be on her good side!
4. Clothes. If a girl shows up on a date in a sweater and sneakers, it’s not because she believes that you’re not worth the time of dressing up. As you must have noticed, most Dutchies are dressed casual. Of course there are always exceptions, but overall us Dutchies feel at our best in jeans, sneakers and a nice cardigan or sweater. But we do want to dress for the occasion: if you’re planning to take her out for dinner (and we’re talking about a place that’s a bit fancier than ‘t Gras van de Buren or Mick O’Connells) make sure to give her a heads up in advance.
But the most important thing here: stay true to yourself. Don’t wear something you’re not comfortable in.
5. Last but not least: romantic gestures. As mentioned above, Dutch girls want to feel independent. Sure, opening the door for her is a great gesture (but don’t go out of your way to do this every time, or you might get the comment ‘I do have hands, you know’). My roommate once had a date with a guy who brought her a red rose. You might think: what a great guy, such a romantic gesture! Nope. She felt extremely awkward during the entire evening, carrying that rose with her in the pub.
So what’s the lesson here? In the early stages of dating, leave the romantic gestures at home. A Dutch girl first wants to find out whether she can have a good time with you.
These five issues or tips should make dating a Dutch girl a bit easier. Or less scary. You now know that it isn’t weird if a girl turns you down directly (rather than telling you she is ‘busy’, ‘seeing someone else’ or some other white lie). Plenty of Dutchies don’t date because they want to meet the guy or girl they’re going to marry. They want to get to know you, have a good time and see whether you guys are a great match.
And finally: every girl is different. Every guy is different. These tips don’t apply to everyone, so to the guys out there: I’m sorry if your date went badly because of my tips. And to the Dutch girls: I had to over-generalize, of course this doesn’t apply to all of you!