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Looking for love in Belgium? Dating someone from another 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. If you happen to live in Belgium, learning about the local dating scene and the mindset of Belgian men and women can really help your love life. Luckily, this guide is here to help by providing the following information about dating in Belgium:. Are you looking to meet single expats and potentially find 'the one'?
Finding love as an expat can be challenging, but that's where an online dating site can help. Expatica Dating will help you meet eligible singles in Belgium and find the perfect match. Register for free today and begin your quest! Belgium might not be known as the most romantic nation, but when it comes to dating, Belgian men and women have a lot to offer.
On the contrary, Belgians are often considered to be somewhat reserved and closed when first meeting people. This can make them appear distant, unemotional, or even disinterested in the early stages of dating. After all, once a Belgian man or woman enters a relationship, they are much more comfortable opening up.
Furthermore, they place a high value on long-term relationships, which is good news if you are seeking commitment. Just like in other European countries, there are several traditional ways to meet new people in Belgium. Meeting someone at a bar or through friends remains a common way to meet Belgian men and women. This is especially true in smaller cities that have tighter communities and offer fewer opportunities for people to mingle. Given the reserved and humble nature of Belgians, it is also perhaps not surprising that the majority of couples meet this way.
Online dating is another option that has become increasingly popular in Belgium. There are now a plethora of dating websites that provide ample opportunities to meet local men and women. However, you may find that in larger cities such as Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, and Genval, many of the users and members are from overseas, as this is where the majority of expats live in Belgium. Meanwhile, Tinder, Bumble, Happn, and Badoo remain the go-to apps for casual dating. When it comes to dating etiquette, Belgium is fairly similar to other European countries.
That said, there are certain cultural traits that are useful to know when dating as an expat. Generally speaking, Belgians tend to move slowly when it comes to showing their interest in a potential partner. Therefore, it might take some time for them to muster up the courage to ask someone out. If you met through mutual friends, which is common in Belgium, you might see them several times before they make a move and ask you out for coffee. You might also visit parks, cinemas, and fun cultural attractions. If you happen to live in the capital, there are plenty of fun things to do in Brussels , depending on your preference.
In fact, all of the major cities in Belgium are full of fun activities to suit all interests. These may become apparent once you begin to navigate the local dating scene. While your Belgian sweetheart might not spoil you with roses or dance with you in the moonlight, they will certainly never keep you waiting. This is because people in Belgium consider being late a major of disrespect; furthermore, punctuality is a prided trait. If your date is picking you up, therefore, make sure that you are ready well in advance as they will likely be on your doorstep before the agreed time.
Neatness and order are highly regarded in Belgian culture and men, in particular, are a penchant for self-grooming; down to their clean and tidy fingernails. Showing up to a date wearing torn jeans or overly casual clothes will unlikely impress a Belgian.
Belgian men and women are known to be particularly organized when it comes to their social lives and careers. It is typical for people to have active schedules and many commitments; therefore, it can be tricky to secure a place on their agenda. Belgian people also tend to like their comfort zone which means they are less likely to be available for last-minute plans or impromptu dates.
Therefore, appearing flakey or unreliable, or canceling on them last-minute will not score you any points. Belgian people are generally known to be polite, softly-spoken, and extremely well-mannered. In fact, men will even rise sometimes when a woman enters the room to show respect; or stand on public transport until women are seated. With such a big emphasis placed on manners, how you conduct yourself during a date is extremely important.
For instance, you should avoid putting your hands in your pockets, yawning, or using toothpicks when eating out. Your hands should also stay on the table during the whole meal and never on your lap. Belgians are not renowned for being overly passionate or touchy-feely and tend to be more formal and reserved. They will usually greet strangers with a handshake and acquaintances with a kiss on the cheek.
They will also kiss the cheeks of women who are close acquaintances. Remember, this is a culture that highly values honesty and good manners. Therefore, deliberately leading someone on or sending mixed als is not seen as acceptable behavior. If they are interested in a relationship, they will let you know. Because Belgians are known for being reserved and conservative, they may come across as being distant or disinterested, to begin with.
With access to an array of Belgian foods and gourmet restaurants, local cuisine is a great talking point, however. And chances are they will know a lot about food. Women in Belgium are typically independent and happy to pay their way, therefore splitting the check is not a taboo. In fact, in this progressive nation, women are generally socially and economically empowered; enjoying good wage equality and employment conditions. As a result, men and women are seen as equals. That said, Belgian women still appreciate chivalry and value politeness; therefore, taking a small gift such as flowers or wine to a date will win you points.
And by no means give her chrysanthemums, as they symbolize death in Belgium! about the meaning of certain flowers around the world. There are no set rules in Belgium regarding when to become exclusive or invite your partner to meet your family, and so on. In this respect, they can be incredibly romantic.
Generally speaking, a relationship with a Belgian needs to be fairly settled before they invite you to meet their parents. After all, family is extremely important in Belgium, and not just anyone is invited to enter the circle of trust. When you do meet their parents, however, it is likely to be an informal and cozy affair because hospitality is extremely important in this culture. One thing to bear in mind, though, is that it is customary to kiss people three times on the cheeks when you greet them hello and goodbye. In fact, in , the average age at first marriage was It appears, therefore, that people generally like to take their time to find the right partner to settle down with.
This might explain why the marriage rate in Belgium remains fairly stable; staying within the lines of 37 to 45 thousand between and Since same-sex marriage was legalized in , the of marriages between same-sex couples has also remained consistent; ing for 2. It is worth noting that expats marrying Belgians may have to go through extra paperwork procedures to get a marriage approval in Belgium.
Family plays an important role in Belgium; with some people living with their parents into their 20s or 30s. Therefore, as the partner of a Belgian man or woman, you can expect to have many of your Sundays dedicated to long three-course lunches or dinners with your in-laws.
You are also likely to visit grandparents weekly or even talk daily. While Belgian men and women are hard-working, they also know how to enjoy a good work-life balance and dedicate time to their families. In , the average of children per woman was 1. Like with marriage, Belgian women are also choosing to have children slightly later in life. According to a study by the European statistics agency Eurostat , in , mothers in Belgium gave birth to their first child at an average age of So again, it seems that women are not in a rush to settle down and start a family in Belgium.
Despite Belgian women being socially and economically empowered, traditional family values in Belgium still remain strongly intact. The country has a strong tradition of women fulfilling a predominantly domestic role, rather than a professional one. That said, the occupational gender gap has been slowly decreasing in recent years; primarily due to an increase in part-time jobs. For instance, in , It is also not uncommon for married couples to work side-by-side.
Therefore, it seems that although women are generally more involved than men when it comes to caring for their children and home, they are managing to juggle work and family life. Have a cookie Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content and , provide social media features, and analyze our traffic.
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Last update on June 01, Written by Sophie Pettit. Luckily, this guide is here to help by providing the following information about dating in Belgium: An overview of dating in Belgium How to meet people in Belgium Dating etiquette in Belgium Dating behavior in Belgian Moving into a relationship The role of the family in dating Find love with Expatica Dating Are you looking to meet single expats and potentially find 'the one'?
Meet other expats. Discover how to meet single expats in Belgium. Discover the best places to go on a date in Brussels. Read our guide to getting married in Belgium. Related articles. June 4, How to meet single expats in Belgium. May 16, The best places to go on a date in Brussels. May 16, Getting a divorce in Belgium. May 16, Getting married in Belgium. Latest articles. May 25, 10 things to do during your first week in Belgium.
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