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The value of equality seeps into many interactions in Dutch dating.Dutch men in general are not renowned for opening doors for Dutch women or taking their heavy bags.While Dutch women might like it when men do this, they do not expect it.Such actions aren't seen as an affront to ladies but rather as a sign that Dutch men see them as equals – although some might say this is the unfortunate downside of equality when dating a Dutch man. Part of this has to do with the prevalent bike culture – have you tried biking in high heels and a mini skirt, through the rain?Some say it is unromantic but Dutch relationships pride themselves on equality between Dutch women and men.Another option is for one person to pay for, say, drinks and the other for movie tickets.Try to be patient, relax and don't expect your Dutch man or woman to act exactly like people back home.While expat forums can provide some helpful advice, their dating threads are often the setting for uninhibited (and often unrepresentative) venting: "Dutch women here are rude, arrogant and unfriendly." "The only thing Dutch men have really taken to heart is 'going Dutch'." Resist the temptation and look for more balanced advice elsewhere.
Of course, similar to elsewhere, online dating in the Netherlands is increasingly becoming the norm as taboos are shed, particularly among older daters.Both Dutch women and Dutch men are renowned for being straight-forward in conversation, and little social negativity is attached to asking personal questions or openly stating one's unsolicited opinion in the Netherlands.The Dutch tend to believe it is better to be honest than mislead someone.Reaching a serious relationship level can take time in the Netherlands because the Dutch can be cautious with letting newcomers in, whether it's a friendship or partnership – this is not necessarily personal as much as it is part of common Dutch personality traits.But it's not impossible – many foreigners report happy relationships and marriages with Dutch nationals. Learning the basics of Dutch culture can do wonders for your love life – and your Dutch life in general.