15 things to expect on a date with a Dutchie

Come prepared 🌹

You’re an international living in the Netherlands, and you’ve just said yes to a date with a Dutchie. Then, the nerves start kicking in, and you begin to overthink: How do I behave? What should I say? What will I wear? 

It’s no secret that the land of love can be tough to navigate in this tiny country — and as an international, cultural differences could end up crashing your date.

While it might seem like you’re entering the depths of a very unknown and mysterious place (the Dutch dating scene), there’s no need to fret.

We asked our readers to share their dating experiences and compiled a list of 15 things you might just encounter on your upcoming Dutchified date:

1. They’ll send a Tikkie afterwards

Ah, nothing screams romance quite like sending a Tikkie after a first date — excuse us, what? 🤔

Picture this: you go out for a gezellige meal on the town, you have a great time, they pay the bill, and you go home. Sounds like your typical date, right?

READ MORE | 6 things to know about dating Dutch people

A few hours later, you’re surprised to discover that you’ve already received a message from your date. The text? “Please could you pay me €20 for the meal?” with a payment link included. Yup, you’ve just been Tikkie-ed. 🙃

Now we all know the Dutch can be thrifty, to say the least, but it’s safe to say they take financial responsibility a little too seriously sometimes.

2. They’ll open their own door

To open or to not open the door? It’s a question pondered by many when on a date. Well, you can save yourself the hassle this time because the Dutch will just open their own door!

The Dutch are zonder meer (without a doubt) modern thinkers, and being treated as an equal is very important to them.

So, even though opening the door for your date is definitely a polite gesture, it’s not at all dating etiquette for the Dutch and is actually frowned upon! 

3. They’ll typically eat foods close to their homeland

Now, the Dutch aren’t fussy eaters, and they’re gluttonous when it comes to their beloved Dutch foods.

You can expect to grease it up on your date with a typical Dutch starter of classic mustard-dipped bitterballen and a side of wooden toothpicks.

As for the main course, well, let’s just say the probability of some sort of deep-fried fish making its way to the table is…incredibly high. Oh, and don’t forget the boiled potatoes, carrots, and peas.

sliptong-with-potatoes
Sliptong with a side of potatoes? Pass it over! Image: Freepik

4. They won’t beat around the bush

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the elephant in the room: Dutch directness. If there’s one thing the Dutch are famed for, it’s their lovely “tell it how it is” mentality.

You certainly won’t find your Dutch date biting their tongue and shying away from saying what’s on their mind.

READ MORE | The complete guide to Dutch pick-up lines, compliments and date phrases

Don’t want to know about the piece of spinach stuck between your two front teeth? Helaas, pindakaas

They’re no fans of sugar-coating, and they won’t hold back if they can revel in a good opinion-fueled debate.

5. They’ll teach you how to say “neuken in de keuken

The Dutch love their expressions and will litter their conversations with them any chance they get. 

You’re definitely set to have a good laugh with your date as they try and get you to pronounce some comical Dutch phrases, like kippenvel hebben, which translates to “having chicken skin” but actually means to get goosebumps. 🥴

two-men-in-restaurant-arguing
Be prepared for utter confusion when Dutch idioms enter the conversation. Image: Freepik

However, to save you from extreme embarrassment, when they tell you that the Dutch phrase, neuken in de keuken, means “hello” in English, it does NOT — far from it, in fact. (Look it up with caution!)

6. They’ll talk a lot about travel plans

Note to internationals: if you want to impress your date, talk about travelling! 

The Dutch love a gezellige vacation abroad almost as much as they love their bicycles — and if you’re well-versed in the ways of travelling, then you’ve already got a foot in the door with your Dutch date! 😊

7. They’ll ask a truckload of (very) personal questions

An important tip to remember: your date might just start talking to you like they’ve known you for years. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it certainly makes for a more intimate setting!

However, if your date follows up the conversation about their love of travelling with, “when was the last time you had sex?” or “do you believe in God?”, they’ve gotta pump the breaks. 😳

woman-getting-annoyed-on-date-with-a-man-at-cafe
Such personal questions are a great segue into a good date gone awkward… Image: Freepik

In all likelihood, you’re not mentally prepared to delve into personal (and hella awkward) topics when you haven’t even decided on an appetiser.

8. They’ll gossip about family members

It’s no secret that the Dutch are one for traditions. For many of them, having family by their side is an essential part of life. 

Knowing this, you can imagine that sharing some treasured family stories on the date comes as a part of the package deal.

READ MORE | This American TikToker is sharing hella accurate truths about dating in the Netherlands (and more!)

Even so, you might experience the conversation take a rather unsuspecting turn: Say, a one-eighty from enthusiastically talking about the adventures of their tantes (aunts) and ooms (uncles) to dishing on some serious family drama? Nou, leuk. 😅 

9. They’ll plan the date weeks in advance

Yes, the Dutch love their holy agenda, this much is true. From family barbecues to nights out with friends, they tend to plan everything weeks (even months) in advance. 

Dutch-woman-with-orange-sweater-holding-an-agenda-on-her-lap-and-writing
Dutchies always have a plan! Image: Freepik

So, it wouldn’t be unusual if your date whips out their calendar and asks you way in advance which day and time would be best to pencil you in. 

You might have to wait a few weeks to actually go on the date, but if you really think about it, it’s certainly a flattering thought knowing that you’re worthy of their holy agenda. 🤓

10. They’ll be five minutes early to the date

Since the Dutch are devotees of a good agenda, you can also expect that their punctuality is very much on point.

woman-waiting-and-checking-watch
Early is on time, on time is late, and late is just unacceptable for the Dutch. Image: Depositphotos

You definitely won’t have to worry about missing your dinner reservations. For the Dutch, it’s fashionable to show up on time or even early for an occasion as special as a date.

11. They’ll keep the date-setting casual

There’s no chapter on fine dining in the book of Dutch dating. 

If you’ve ever heard clichés about the Dutch, then you’ve likely come across the one about their laid-back culture. Let’s just say they have a rather laissez-faire attitude towards things. 

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #90: Go through a ridiculous number of dating stages before committing

What does this mean for your date? Well, you can expect to be romanced at a bar with a pint of beer and some bitterballen while watching a football game rather than dining out in some fancy restaurant.

12. They’ll wear casual clothing

Now that you have a more vivid mental image of where your date will likely take place, you can also imagine that the date’s unofficial dress code would be something along casual lines.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #59: Wear way less make-up than people in other countries

The Dutch rarely overdress and prefer to keep it simple. With that being said, expect your date to show up in a pair of jeans and your standard tee.

photo-of-girl-smiling-at-boy-while-flirting-in-dutch
Comfort is key! Image: Freepik

13. They’ll share tea bags with you

A good rule of thumb to up the romance factor on your date is to share things! This can be anything from a milkshake with two straws to appeltaart with two forks, or… tea bags?! 🥴

Yep. Come time for dessert, many Dutchies often indulge in a good cup of tea. But unlike the Brits, this normally means hot water poured into a transparent mug with a tea bag that gets dunked about 10 to 50 times and then gets reused.

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk #20: Be overwhelmingly stingy

Since the Dutch love to go halfsies on the bill, you can foresee that your tea bag will be shared with your date as well. Echt schattig! 🥰

14. They’ll bring you home… on the back of their bike

Your Dutch date might not open the door for you, but chivalry isn’t dead just yet! You can enjoy a leuk ride home with them, but it might require a teensy adjustment period if you’re used to the lavish car lifestyle.

You’re in bicycle country, remember? So, expect your date to whisk you away on the back of their bike rather than a white horse. The shiny armour — and bike helmet — are optional.

15. It’ll probably be a date with rain

Best known for its erratic weather, the Netherlands often experiences all four seasons in a single day. 

Unless the weather gods are on your side, you can expect a good stretch of rain on your date — and even though it’s unlikely that they’ll pay for your meal, you might just find them holding an umbrella over your head. ☔️


Ready for your Dutch date? Don’t overthink it; just have fun! Success! 🌹

Do you agree or disagree with these Dutch dating observations? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Gaelle Salem
Gaelle Salem
Born and raised on the island of Sint Maarten, Gaelle moved to the Netherlands in 2018 to attend university. Still trying to survive the erratic Dutch wind and rain, she has taken up the hobby of buying a new umbrella every month. You can probably find her in the centre of The Hague appreciating the Dutch architecture with a coffee in one hand and a slice of appeltaart in the other.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I have dated some Dutch and I haven’t received any Tikkie, well if that happens once for sure there will not be second date. Besides that I know they are very stingy, but not everyone, so depends on the luck.

  2. Oh lord, you must have had an awful date to think that’s how we usually date 😱
    Apart from the casual clothes, casual dates, the family gossip and travel plans, I have never met someone that did any of the other things listed. Guys usually pay for dates or ask if splitting is okay with you (rare if they like you), we hold doors for strangers all the time since it’s engrained in our culture so it’s a no brained on dates (It may be a little different if you are in the really big cities where everybody minds their own business, but we definitely don’t frown upon human decency.) a normal decent person will never teach you the wrong phrases unless it’s a childish fratboy (just avoid those) and most of us prefer to eat foreign cousine when we eat out because we love the experience of eating something we usually don’t eat at home. (and we only share teabags at home as well 😉)

    • Thanks Ember, I’m meeting a guy from The Netherlands on 2025 and he is planning to come here in the Philippines and give him a tour around, basically I’m agreeing that he tag along with my travel as he would like to explore as well. Definitely gonna plan thoroughly, be punctual, and be direct and honest with communicating.

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