6 things to know about dating Dutch people

Moving to another country can be challenging: the stress of moving, starting a new study or job, leaving friends and family behind…who has the stamina? Especially if you don’t have a significant other by your side, loneliness can creep in. But, before you turn to Google or online dating sites for answers, check these 6 things to know about dating in the Netherlands!

Dating in the Netherlands: what’s the deal?

Windmills, tulips, and cheese. The Netherlands is known for many things but what about the Dutch women and men? What do they do, where do they live, what are they like? Most importantly, how do you go about dating a Dutchie?

If you’re hoping to find a tender soulmate to come along and swoop you off your feet, then we have some bad news: the Dutch may not be the right fit. Welcome to the land of sensibility and realistically romantic folk. Sounds good so far? Then read on! 💋

But first, you can’t start dating without knowing some good Dutch pick-up lines!

1. Honesty is the way to go

This one goes for both Dutch men and women: honesty is their policy. Don’t worry if you have something stuck between your teeth after dinner, your date will tell you. 🙈

This may come as a shock at first, but once you get used to it, you quickly realize — hey! This is actually better! Who would want to walk around the whole night without anyone mentioning the lipstick on your teeth, right? 🤪

The Dutch believe that it’s better to be honest than to mislead someone or create high expectations. Instead, they put their cards openly on the table so that you don’t have to assume anything. So, no mind-games, no drama, no fuss! Any doubt? Just ask!

READ MORE | Dutch Quirk 42: Be overwhelmingly direct and never beat around the bush

2. Keeping things casual

Dutch people are casual! If you expect to go to a fancy restaurant on a first date, well, things may not turn out the way you want. Nothing beats the gezellig atmosphere of a traditional Dutch bruin café where you can enjoy a pint and some bitterballen. 😋


The 3 stages of dating a #Dutch person 🇳🇱 and the corresponding slang

♬ one summer’s day ~ spirited away lofi – Closed on Sunday

Plus, it is just too much work to try to bike with your high heels and itty bitty dress, and who wants to slowly suffocate because of that stupid tie? Lekker rustig, you got this.

3. Dutch flirting and romance

Time is valuable for anyone! As we’ve mentioned before, Dutchies are always pro-honesty and that affects their flirting style as well.

That’s why Dutch women and men find it a waste of time to sugar-coat things and shower people with half-fake compliments. So, don’t get discouraged just because your date isn’t complimenting your every trait.

The same goes for romantic gestures. Gifts? Instead of popular ideas like a luxurious box of chocolates, you might get something you would use and enjoy more.

In the end, everyone can get those cliché gifts, but that Kindle they just got for you? That shows that not only does your Dutchie care for you, but also listens to what you say and knows what you like! 🤗

4. Marriage, mortgage, and kids in the Netherlands

Okay, this is where things get a little tricky. We’re all familiar with the traditional way things go once you’re in a relationship.

If you think you’ve found the right person, who you genuinely like spending time with, first you go steady, then after a couple of years one of you pops the question. Then comes the marriage, a mortgage, and a kid or two — or so the media says. 👀

READ MORE | 4 things I wish I knew before moving to the Netherlands for love

When it comes to the Netherlands and dating, things go a little differently. They’ve decided to skip all that. Marriage is seen as a serious commitment by many and shouldn’t be taken lightly. So you meet someone? Great. The relationship’s going well? Then let’s move in together and maybe buy a house! Cool. What’s next? How about becoming parents?

dating in the netherlands
Will you marry me, Susan? I feel like we’re ready. Image: Pexels

I once had a friend of mine saying, “First comes the house, then a pet, then a kid, and then the marriage. I’m not going to marry someone without making sure that we can spend the rest of our lives together. What if he is a bad father?” 🤔

5. Taboo who?

It’s not uncommon to hear some heavy-hitting questions like, “Do you believe in God?” and “When was the last time you had sex?” when you’re first talking to a Dutch person.

Surprised? We can only imagine. Freedom and individuality are encouraged in the Netherlands. Your Dutchie is likely to be someone who isn’t afraid to tackle the trickiest subjects pretty early on in the relationship, if not on the very first date. 😅

The reason? They want to know your opinion on these subjects to evaluate if you two are compatible with each other. That actually makes sense, right?

Moreover, they will give their opinion, whether you want to hear it or not. What the rest of the world considers as potentially rude or too blunt, the Dutch call it being open and honest.

6. Like saving money? So do the Dutch!

The Dutch are known for being cheap—ahem, we mean frugal—and this is often seen as something negative, but why?

If your Dutchie knows where the best deals are, and doesn’t want to pay extra for something that can be found for less, who says that’s ever a bad thing? 💵 ❤️

End of the story

Just like you wouldn’t describe yourself as a typical (insert your home country’s nationality), the same goes for the Dutch as well.

Apart from some common traits that we can mention with humour, it’s better to keep in mind that your Dutchie is just as unique as you!

So, sit back, relax and success in dating a Dutchie! 🙆🏻‍♀️

READ NEXT | Amsterdate, Amsterdamn! Dating in the Netherlands is not a piece of stroopwafel

Got a crush on a Dutchie but don’t know how to ask them out? To make sure your romantic endeavours are a success in the Netherlands, here are some tips to help get you speaking the same language:

What’s your experience with dating in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2018, and was fully updated in June 2022 for your reading pleasure. 

Ceren Spuyman
Ceren Spuyman
Born and raised in Istanbul, Ceren moved when she decided to follow her own Dutchie. Being restless by nature, she is now busy with everything Dutch by majoring in Dutch Studies at Leiden University while living in Delft. Her hobbies are petting as many cats as possible.

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  1. I’m an American living in the Netherlands for almost ten years. I do not recognize the Dutch from your comments. And never call them “Dutchie”.

  2. I’m a New Zealander who met a Dutch girl over the summer. I really loved how open, honest and direct she was. Every step of the way the communication was great and we both knew exactly where we stood (no time wasting!). Very refreshing compared to dating New Zealand girls who often play games, want to test you, won’t openly tell you how they feel (they want you to try and guess) and New Zealanders in general are taught to be polite and kind, even when they don’t like someone. It’s just all so fake and two-faced to me. Much prefer the bluntness of Dutchies!


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