9 steps to flirting in Dutch (yes, that’s possible)

O jaaa 😏

Spotted some gorgeous, tall, blonde Dutch eye candy from across the bar? Ooh la la, time to attack! Erm, we mean to flirt with them, of course. But wait, how’s your Dutch? 😬 

Now, you may be wondering: How can you possibly seduce someone in a language that sounds like a garbage disposal unit? And yes, we’ll be the first to admit that our favourite glottal language isn’t necessarily the sexiest or most seductive. 

But, whether you spreek een beetje Nederlands (speak a bit of Dutch), or are a complete newbie, there are some things you can say to wrap that Dutchie around your finger. 

So, let me be your wingwoman by teaching you nine ways to flirt in Dutch (at your own risk😉)!

1. Break the ice by introducing yourself in your best Nederlands

Two people standing at pub and toasting with craft beer, flirting in Dutch.
Pro tip: After a Heineken or two, Dutch will come to you much easier. 😉 Image: Depositphotos

Alright, social interaction 101: How do you start a conversation with a stranger? By introducing yourself, natuurlijk! This may seem obvious, but for you as a language learner, this is your time to shine. ✨

How? Simple: Flex your skills and introduce yourself in Dutch! While this may seem daunting, it’s a way of showing your flirt that you’re making a conscious effort to talk to them — in their mother tongue.

READ MORE | How to order in Dutch: from getting a ‘tafeltje’ to paying the ‘rekening’

Why would you submit yourself to that kind of torture? Because most people wouldn’t go the extra mile — so even if you’re struggling, introducing yourself in Dutch is a great ice-breaker!

And yes, you can teach them how to ACTUALLY pronounce your name. 🤷‍♀️

🇳🇱 Hoi, mijn naam is [your name].
🇬🇧 Hi, my name is [your name].

🇳🇱 Hallo, ik ben [your name].
🇬🇧 Hello, I am [your name].

🇳🇱 Ik kom uit [your home country].
🇬🇧 I come from [your home country]. 

2. Ask if you can practise your Dutch with them

“What’s this drink called again in Dutch? … Ah yes, ‘koffie’! Silly me.” Image: Depositphotos

So you’ve overcome the first hurdle by initiating a conversation, IN DUTCH! Congrats, I’m proud of you. 🥳 Don’t panic now. 

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

If you’re unsure what to say after you introduce yourself, why not ask them if you can practise your Dutch with them? This is a win-win situation: You get to spend time with a good-looking Dutchie while improving your skills. Lekker!

Get that free Dutch lesson! 💪

🇳🇱 Mag ik mijn Nederlands met jou oefenen? 
🇬🇧 Can I practise my Dutch with you?

🇳🇱 Ik ben Nederlands aan het leren, kan jij me helpen? 
🇬🇧 I’m learning Dutch, can you help me?

🇳🇱 Hoe zeg je [word] in het Nederlands?
🇬🇧 How do you say [word] in Dutch?

3. Use a strong openingzin (pick-up line), if you dare

They’re cheesy, they’re cheeky, they’re funny… they’re pick-up lines! Now, we know these can be kind of hit-or-miss, but wouldn’t you find it charming if someone tried their best at stringing together complicated, harsh-sounding words, just to make conversation? 

If you said ja (yes), keep reading! If you said nee (no), skip to the next point. 👀

Even though they’re a tad bit cliché, pick-up lines can work — if you use the right ones, at the right moment. And even if they don’t work, they can still be funny, so at least they can end in laughs!

Use these at your own risk. 😬

🇳🇱 Geloof je in liefde op het eerste gezicht? Of moet ik weer voorbij lopen? 
🇬🇧 Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by you again?

🇳🇱 Ben jij een camera? Want elke keer als ik naar je kijk, lach ik.
🇬🇧 Are you a camera? Because every time I look at you, I smile.

🇳🇱 Hoe voelt het om het mooiste meisje/de knapste jongen in de kamer te zijn?
🇬🇧 How does it feel to be the prettiest girl/most handsome guy in the room?

4. Lean into your buitenlandse (foreign) accent 

Your accent is uniquely YOURS — lean into its charm! Image: Freepik

As an international in the country of bikes and dikes, you have a secret superpower: Your accent! Whether your Dutch has a slight hint of Italian, Vietnamese, German, or literally any other language — it’s almost guaranteed to sound better than Dutch. 😉

So, if you’re giving flirting in Dutch a shot, don’t be afraid to let your accent sneak in every now and then. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being authentic. After all, having an accent is natural, and Dutchies will love you for it!

READ MORE | 15 things to expect on a date with a Dutchie

Who knows, you may even earn yourself a compliment for your schattige accent (cute accent) — and for your amazing Dutch, of course. 👏

Let’s be real: Gezellig with a beautiful soft G sounds much better than an aggressive KHezellig. 

5. Charm your way into a conversation using diminutives

Dutchies love the D…imunitive. Image: Freepik

Have you ever noticed how every other word in Dutch seems to end in a –je or –tje sound? Those are diminutives, and they’re added to the end of words to make them cuter. Awww!

And yup, if they can make words cuter, then they certainly also have the power to make you come across just a tad bit more charming. 🌹

READ MORE | 17 facts about the Dutch language that will make you go ‘echt’?!

In English, the equivalent would be adding -ie to the end of words, and while that might sound a bit odd to English-speakers — it’s totally normal in Dutch! 

In fact, using diminutives can even give the impression that you have a good grip on Nederlands. Give it a try!

Diminutives will give you that special Dutch charm(ie). 😉

🇳🇱 Wil je graag een biertje?
🇬🇧 Would you like a beer(-ie)?

🇳🇱 Heb je een vuurtje (voor mij)?
🇬🇧 Do you have a light(-ie) (for me)?

🇳🇱 Ik hou echt van je shirtje!
🇬🇧 I really like your shirt(-ie)!

6. Complimenteer them, but don’t go over the top

If you play your cards right, this could be you! Image: Depositphotos

If you’re struggling to make conversation (I get it; flirting can be exhausting), just pay them a compliment! They’ll not only feel flattered but also impressed by your Dutch. 

It’s best to stick to the safe options here, like mooi (pretty), knap (handsome) or grappig (funny). There are two easy structures for compliments in Dutch: You can either say je ziet er … uit (= you look …) or simply je bent … (= you are …).

Who doesn’t love a good compliment?

🇳🇱 Je ziet er mooi uit (vandaag). 
🇬🇧 You look beautiful (today).

🇳🇱 Je bent grappig! 
🇬🇧 You’re funny!

🇳🇱 Ik hou van je outfit.
🇬🇧 I love your outfit.

7. Use some Dutch sayings to really knock their socks off

It might not go perfectly, but it’s the attempt that counts, right? Image: Freepik

One thing to be careful of when learning Dutch is that not everything is to be taken literally. 😉 Nederlands has heaps of sayings and idioms that are commonly used in conversation but aren’t really that straightforward. 

So if you’re feeling confident in your Dutch (and you should!), you can show your flirt how advanced your skill is by using some typical Dutch idioms — they certainly won’t expect it! 

Let them think you’re a total Dutch pro. 

🇳🇱 Het regent pijpenstelen.
🇬🇧 It’s raining cats and dogs. (literally: It’s raining pipe stems)

🇳🇱 Het zal me worst wezen/zijn.
🇬🇧 I couldn’t care less. (literally: That would be sausage to me)

🇳🇱 Achteraf kijk je een koe in z’n kont. 
🇬🇧 Hindsight is 20/20. (literally: In hindsight you look a cow in the ass)

8. Add in some playful grapjes (jokes) to make them laugh

“Wow, I’ve never met a Dutch man with that haircut!” Image: Depositphotos

Some flirtatious sarcasm, maybe even a teasing (but well-intentioned) insult — you know the drill: everyone loves some playful banter. 

And hey, some gekkernijen (joking around) can be the ideal way to share some laughs, and one of the easiest ways to relieve that initial awkwardness. 😬 As long as you keep a friendly tone and positive body language, they should catch onto the joke.

READ MORE | 6 things to know about dating Dutch people

The best part? You can be as direct as you want — they’re Dutch, after all! So go ahead, tell ‘em they’re wearing wayyy too much hair gel, or that their cheetah-print flared leggings make them look like they’re in three sororities at once (all while keeping a cheeky grin on your face).

Time to show off your sense of humour, Dutch-style. 😎 

🇳🇱 Een date, met jou? Hmm, daar moet ik even over nadenken. 
🇬🇧 A date, with you? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one. 

🇳🇱 Oh mijn god, ik hou van deze vlek op je jas!
🇬🇧 Oh my god, I love this stain on your jacket!

🇳🇱 Luipaard-print leggings? Die heb ik hier nog nooit gezien!
🇬🇧 Cheetah-print leggings? I’ve never seen those around here!

9. Use ‘Dunglish’ to your advantage

“Aaah, ‘het is echt’ (it’s really) nice and ‘zonnig’ (sunny) out ‘vandaag’ (today)!” Image: Freepik

Finally, you gotta remember that Nederlanders speak English near-impeccably! So, even if you’re not 100% confident in your Dutch (yet), you mustn’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with that sexy Dutchie.

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

If worse comes to worst, you can simply sneak in some English words here and there, especially if you can’t think of a Dutch translation. This will allow you to let the conversation flow more easily, all while showing off your hard-earned Dutch skills. 

Dutchies even have a whole name for the practice of mixing Dutch and English — they call it Dunglish! And hey, if they can use it to their advantage, then so can we. 🤷‍♀️

Here’s how Dunglish can help you out!

🇳🇱 Hé, how are you vandaag? 
🇬🇧 Hey, how are you today?

🇳🇱 Any chance dat ik je een biertje kan trakteren?
🇬🇧 Any chance I could treat you to a beer?

🇳🇱 Oh, het is zo leuk to meet you!
🇬🇧 Oh, it’s so nice to meet you!

Yes, flirting in Dutch can be hard, but totally worth it! Ready to give it a shot? You’ve got this — just don’t forget to be yourself. 🍀 

Do you have any Dutch flirting tips? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Say 'hoi' to Lyna, our Senior Writer at DutchReview! Fueled by a love for writing, social media, and all things Dutch, she joined the DR family in 2022. Since making the Netherlands her home in 2018, she has collected a BA in English Literature & Society (Hons.) and an RMA in Arts, Literature and Media (Hons.). Even though she grew up just a few hours away from the Netherlands, Lyna remains captivated by the guttural language, quirky culture, and questionable foods that make the Netherlands so wonderfully Dutch.

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