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The International Writers Magazine: Dating Tips 2

How Not to Go Dutch on Dates with Dutchies
• P C Markovski
You will notice fairly quickly as you go on a date with a Dutchie that indeed, going Dutch is based on a very real cultural trait. Whether explained by the equality of genders or the wish to feel unobliged after going on a date (for the lady in question), it leads to some awkard as well as funny situations.

So how do you do it? How do you keep the good humour while good heartedly paying for a drink or two, with the mere intent of showing appreciation of the lady's company? Ah, but there are ways my dear fellow.

Don't dodge the topic with her, instead plunge into it as any other interesting topic. As one of the first explanations you can expect Calvinism and frugality. The logic goes as such: Since Dutch people are prudent when it comes to money and do enjoy saving, why not apply that that to the people they meet, to show their dates that they have no intention of letting you spend more than you should. Slightly backwards, you think? After you all you decide what and who to spend on? Fair enough, fair enough mister. Alas, do not forget that the equality of genders does play a huge role in Netherlands. It is not only a question of equal pay for equal work or the ability to have the same career, it includes the equality of gender gameplay. A murky statement to say the least. You want to charm a lady, with style of course. But can you do that while counting the euros and cents when the check comes. Are you really willing to make sure you are not paying more than your date? The opinions are as many as opposing.

Chivalry and Modern Times
Fair enough, we live in modern times and it is common to split the bill. But chivalry is still alive, albeit not to such a great extent in the lands of the Dutch. The stories are as colourful as they are diverse, but one thing is clear; Being chivalrous is not expected by default by Dutch ladies. Add to this that the complaints abound when it comes to dating Dutch guys, who are perhaps less inclined on chivalry in the nightlife of Amsterdam. Whoa, says you, doesn't that mean that you have a terrific chance of moving in on that spectacularly gorgeous tall Dutch girl who is (seemingly) bored senseless by the Dutch guy next to her? At times, yes, but Dutch guys also have the advantage of being straight enough to be very clear about what they offer to the Dutch girls. Senseless charming will not get you far. And they know it. Another factor to consider is that Dutch people are quite used to expats, so don't expect any bonus points as a foreigner in Amsterdam.

Taken together these facts make for some interesting dating grounds in Amsterdam as an expat. Expect longwinded conversations on the topic with ladies you encounter, and as such, taken with the right amount of selfdistance and a good portion of humour, you might just get to ask her out for a second drink.

Straight Talk
As mentioned, shallow compliments will most likely not get you far (you may argue if they ever do, but less so in Amsterdam), so your best bet is just to be downright straight, although you might want to sprinkle that with a healthy dose of charm and humour. Dutch ladies want straight talk, think John Wayne but preferrably with some knowledge of the Dutch language (a bonus). Some will say that Dutch people are blunt, but hey, that is a matter of perspective, and they expect the same of you. But don't forget yourself, finding that proper middleground is key, and middleground is something that the Dutch are very good. Hats off to them!

With the spark in your eyes and a winning smile and a mind starving for knowledge about Dutch culture, you are well on your way to learn the ways of the Dutch in the vibrant nightlife.

End of part one.

Paul-Christian Paul-Christian Markovski is a freelance writer for culture and travel topics and more of his writing can be found on his travel blog

Avoiding Couples in Bruges
P-C Markovski

They have a tendency to cluster by the small chocolateries. With high pitched voices the girls will make a big fuss of the strawberries, neatly wrapped chocolate treats and whatnot.

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