Dating in the Netherlands: 6 things about dating the Dutch

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. Before you turn to Google or online dating sites for answers, check these 6 things to know about dating in the Netherlands!

But first, you can’t start dating without knowing some good Dutch pick-up lines! So here is our video on flirting in Dutch that will improve your love life in no time.

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 sensibilty and romantically realistic folk. Sounds good so far? Then read on!

Dating in the Netherlands: 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 rather than 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!

dating in the netherlands
Ummmm you got a little something there, Sharon. Image: Pixabay/Pexels

Dating in the Netherlands: keep 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 cafe where you can enjoy a pint and some bitterballen.

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.

Dating in the Netherlands: flirting and romance

Time is valuable for anyone! Like 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 cliche gifts but that Kindle he/she 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!

READ NEXT | The Dutch Dating Game

Dating in the Netherlands: marriage, mortgage, and kids

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.

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 should not 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: Pixabay/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?”

Dating in the Netherlands: no taboos

“Do you believe in God?”

“When was the last time you had sex?”

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 or not you want to hear it, and are endlessly direct. What the rest of the world considers as rude or too blunt, the Dutch call honesty and being open.

Dating in the Netherlands: like saving money? So do the Dutch!

The Dutch are known for being 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?

The Netherlands and dating: end of the story

Just like you wouldn’t describe yourself as a typical (insert your home country), 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 with dating the Dutch!

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:

Have you dated in the Netherlands? What were your experiences? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image:
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2018 but was updated for your reading pleasure in August 2020. 

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.


  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”.


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