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15 comments While many foreigners initially find dating in the Netherlands daunting or inaccessible, understanding Dutch personality traits and mentality can help reduce miscommunicating the ‘flirting' signals as practised by Dutch women and Dutch men.

Of course, similar to elsewhere, online dating in the Netherlands is increasingly becoming the norm as taboos are shed, particularly among older daters.

Making new Dutch friends or partners may be difficult at first but once break through, you'll find that Dutch girls and men can make very loyal friends or partners for life. It's important to be aware of the impact of cultural differences on your relationship.

Misunderstandings can easily arise when dating someone new, especially if your different upbringing means that you often take very different things for granted.

Similarly, in the Netherlands compliments are not given nor received easily, and outlandish compliments can be perceived as fake by the Dutch.

Relying on the Dutch penchant for modesty and honesty, your compliments should be the same.

It also comes down to the Dutch laid-back attitude, which tends to extend to clothes (and makeup), so you may want to take it down a notch if you're used to getting very gussied up for a date.

Don't take it personally if your date shows up in sneakers or arrives at a fancy event in jeans.

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.

The Dutch love efficiency and leading someone on can be a waste of everybody's time.

You can find that both Dutch men and women cut out flirting and small-talk in favour of simply stating one's desire or intentions.

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.

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While Dutch women might like it when men do this, they do not expect it.

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