A Guide to Online Dating in the Netherlands

Some say that the shallow man is old, others, when they see my elegantly suited and well trained physique, prefer to think of me as having matured like a Henri Jayer Vosne-Romanee Burgundy. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Being so mature, the Shallow Man can remember the days when one would actually have to leave one’s palace to meet a potential partner for life, or the for the night. Due to my role as the elder statesmen of Expat affairs, (albeit an unofficial title) the shallow man has received the following request.

“Shallow man, I tried some of your dating tips, but really can’t be bothered to stroke someone’s Lion King hair, or compliment them on their appearance if I don’t like how they are dressed, for me, that’s a little bit….shallow? Do you have any experience in online dating in the Netherlands? Do you recommend it?”

Being as always, Jeeves to the Bertie Wooster of my expat flock, I have carried out some research on online dating in the Netherlands and  will present my findings below. Of course, in order to make sure that the advice I provide is based on real world experience, I sacrificed myself, and actually joined several dating sites and had a number of dates whose results I shall keep to myself while smiling at my screen. The things I do for my readers!

Oh, and if you’re into online dating then you should definitely learn some Dutch pick-up lines. Here are some of the most useful ones!

Expatica – online dating in the Netherlands

If you’re an Expat. You should follow the advice in my previous post and follow the herd. The Expat herd tend to flock online, (Don’t’ say that too quickly) to the Expatica dating site which is the best place found by the shallow man not only to meet Expats, but open minded locals as well. The Expatica site is incredibly easy to use and has local sites in a number of countries including my present home, the Netherlands. Registering is easier than than finding a kebab shop in Amsterdam East. Simply fill out your name, age, email address, and country of origin. Create a password, that shouldn’t be the same name as your pet dog, cat or rat, then you’re good to go.

The same cannot be said about the aforementioned Kebab's.
The same cannot be said about the aforementioned Kebab’s.


Profile tips

The first step after registering is to create your profile. Having browsed through a number of profile photos the shallow man advises the following.

Profile Photos


  • Your lips might be your best feature, but if they take up 87% of the space allowed for a picture, this might give the wrong impression.
    Some lips are better kept away completely
    Some lips are better kept away completely


  • Yes you’re a romantic chap, most ladies love flowers, however, a photo of you with a bunch of flowers in your hand could make you look like a hitman
    Dexter at least has good looks
    Dexter at least has good looks


  • You’ve just returned from the plastic surgeon, and they’ve done a wonderful job enhancing your breasts. As with the lips, if the breasts take up so much of the profile photo that it’s difficult to make out a face, you might want to consider cropping the photo.
    Even I, the Shallowman of Amsterdam, find too much breasts annoying
    Even I, the Shallowman of Amsterdam, apparently find too much breasts annoying


  • Beautiful eyes, but that stare scared the cat out of the house and it hasn’t been seen since.
    Although certain cats with scary eyes can scare you out of your house
    Although certain cats with scary eyes can scare you out of your house


  • Great abs old chap, but it might help if we could see more of your face.
    Another case of too much tummy in the profile pic
    Another case of too much tummy in the profile pic


For Profile photos the shallow man suggests having a good friend provide you with a second opinion, as what might look fetching to you, could be alarming for others, or cause them to fetch a bucket.


Describing your match

Be as honest as is reasonable when describing what you are looking for in a compatible match. Just imagine that after dating this person, that they might end up sitting next to you on the sofa for the rest of your days. If there are things in a person that you know irritate you, it’s best to make sure that you are very clear on the kind of person that you are looking to meet. As the old song says, “accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with Mr in between.” Focus on the activities that you love and would enjoy doing together with someone. For instance if wasting valuable Playstation time on a Sunday, to visit art galleries and museums is your thing, then put that in your match profile. Or if like the shallow man, you’re an addicted long distance runner, then your match probably shouldn’t be a couch potato.

Example of the shallow man’s ideal match information.

Never let it be said that the Shallow Man is too fussy. Being able to read would be useful. My match should know the difference between John Coltrane and John Gotti.




Not be the type of woman who has so many plants in her apartment that it could be confused with a greenhouse. My match should not be a stranger to sport, running, gym etc. Enjoy good food and wine and have as little denim in her wardrobe as possible. Visits to the hairdresser on a regular basis also appreciated. If you own a pair of cowboy boots then we won’t be compatible. Good quality body lotion, perfume (no fragrances of Beyonce, Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez please) and please no Lady Gaga, One Direction or Miley Cyrus songs in your possession.


First date tips

Having communicated the next step is where to go for a first date. Always choose to meet somewhere that will be busy and well populated. If you live in Amsterdam IJburg, I’m afraid that you’ll have to leave the Island. Choose a Cafe/Bar. I would advise against going for dinner on the first date as if it doesn’t work out for either of you, you’re stuck for the whole evening. A cocktail/drink is always a good idea.

The shallow man’s first date location recommendations. Whatever you do, don’t take your date to somewhere quiet. You could be in need of inspiration for conversation, best to go to bars with plenty of atmosphere.

The Conservatorium Hotel, Tunes Bar. Great atmosphere and plenty of exits.

MOMO, great if you’re into wildlife documentaries, plenty of lions and antelope hunting each other.

Palladium, at least if the date doesn’t work out you can leave with someone else (if you’re wealthy)

Bubbles and Wines. I had a date here once, and the woman just whined, good wine though.

Some first date tips:

  • If you’re British, don’t have that one drink to calm your nerves prior to the date, you know you’ll only end up arriving drunk as a skunk.
    Stay classy England (Source: sobadsogood.com)
    Stay classy England (Source: sobadsogood.com)


  • If from Germany, don’t criticise your non German date for arriving two minutes thirty seconds late
  • If from Russia, please see my advice to the British
  • If you are from Italy, please try and arrive within an hour of the agreed time
  • If French, don’t intimidate your date by being too well dressed or by choosing the most upmarket place to eat
  • Because apparently there can even be too much shallowness for this shallow man
    Because apparently there can even be too much shallowness for this shallow man


  • For the Dutch, please, just for once think about leaving the denim/brown shoes at home.

While on the first date, remember that if one of your date is a non-native English speaker, to speak clearly and at a normal pace. For the British, avoid local colloquialisms such as “what a blinding place were in, innit?” or “I’ll have some of that, I love the butchers hook of it.” You’ll only confuse, disturb and potentially alienate your date. Communication is the art of being understood. Relax, be yourself and let human chemistry and or alcohol take its course.

No rhyming cockney slang experts or tram drivers were hurt during the writing of this article.


Buy the book of the Amsterdam Confessions of a Shallow Man on BOL or Amazon, more popular than Julius Caesar with Roman knife makers.

Feat pic. from lol@dutchpeople.nl


  1. the expatica dating site is probably the worst service ever. their web app is definitely not 2.0 and you can see that usability wasn’t on the roadmap when they were developing it. I also cannot cancel my account without sending them a faxed form with my signature… who owns a fax these days? they are just trying to make it harder for you to cancel your subscription. terrible web site, do not give them your billing information.

  2. SERIOUSLY!!!! Do not give them any money. They are indeed scammers.- it seems to be run by criminal types. Just try and unsuscribe and you will see what I mean. DO NOT GIVE YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS TO THESE PEOPLE

  3. Definitely a scam site! They seem to have “Shill” members, remove money from your Visa account without authorisation, and make their legal terms of service complicated and difficult to find… Stay away… Stay away… Stay away!

  4. pitty that this article didn’t come up when I needed the information 🙁

    Expatica dating is an expensive fraud exploiting expats and their need to socialise in a foreign countrly with people who speak their language …

    I am shocked that I am finding out that this lie is still in “business” for so many years but maybe it is time for someone to report them for what they really are and stop this activity

  5. Expatica Dating is run by a mass online dating site Dating Factory Limited and they are behaving like scammers – the Expatica dating site is a fraud. I was stupid enough to fall for the whole “you need to upgrade to read messages” plot and I regretted it the next day. I have not seen a single true profile, and I have been a member for over 2 months! I have received ca. 2-3 messages per day, but ALL of them were from fake accounts, when I wrote back there was not one single reply – let me repeat: I WROTE BACK to somebody who sent me a message first, but then miraculously did not want to contact me again? And that happened not once, but every time?

    Their cancellation policy is hilarious – you have to send them a printed out and signed form per fax! Just to be on the safe side, I have not only cancelled the membership to this fraudulent scheme, but also my credit card, because these people are just not to be trusted. DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY! You will get nothing in return, only frustration and then anger when you realise you have been scammed!

    Please do some research on the online dating fraud – fake profiles, how they lure you to pay for nothing, how they fake whole websites (they call it “pre-populated” dating websites – which means anyone can rent a dating website from them and they will make it available to you with hundreds of pre-existing fake profiles) with only monetary gain in sight. They don’t care how they get the money, it’s a criminal behaviour.

    Take care!

  6. The same applies to C-date. If you’ve made the mistake of subscribing to their Premium service, you can kiss your money goodbye (e119.70) for a 3-month sub. To avoid them re-charging you, write immediately to cancel (they require a minimum 4 weeks’ notice) and block your credit card.

  7. Hi There,
    Many thanks for another majestic article.
    I think it’s the best article I have ever read.
    It makes my learning rate so higher.
    thank you so much for your information!!!

  8. Hello, i am looking for a dutch dating websites which i could pay with paypal. Are there websites in Holland for this payment option?

    Thanks for response.

    Greetings Franklin


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