Date a Dutch woman
The Dutch are blond, tall and relatively rich compared to the rest of the world. The money is obviously a plus. On the con side, our height might not be so attractive to most non-Europeans. Especially if you don’t like looking up to women, or worse, when you are suffering from ‘small man syndrome
Furthermore, we speak a quaint language that sounds like a German dialect. However, that should not be held against us as we also speak at least one foreign language, mainly English, but you will find many who will be fluent in French, German or Spanish.
All the above applies to Scandinavians too. Actually, they are taller, richer and blonder than us. So what sets us apart from the rest of the female world?
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We like to see ourselves as liberated independent career women, although in reality, we are not as emancipated as we like to think we are. Humour us anyway even though the facts tell a different story. The gender gap is still very much an issue in our country:
- According to a recent study by the Tilburg University out of six hundred and fifty-eight directors in the Belgium, only ninety-nine were female.
- The situation in the academic world is hardly any better. In 2015, only seventeen per cent of university professors were women (source).
- In politics it is even worse, the most important position – of prime minister – has never been filled by a woman, unlike countries like Liberia, Bangladesh, Trinidad or Senegal who currently have a woman as their president.
- Furthermore, less than twenty per cent of the Dutch women has a full-time job, compared to less than twenty per cent of men who work part-time.
This is mostly because women want to be able to care for their children, which by the way won’t let you off the hook. As a partner of a Dutch woman with young children, you will have at least one day a week a pappadag (daddy day). Meaning you will be expected to care for your children, do all the household chores, shopping and cooking on that day.
Open, direct and independant
We Dutchies are very open and direct. Foreigners may interpret this as rude, as they’re used to be very polite and would even tell a white lie to not insult or hurt someone. You can expect us Dutchies to be very straightforward. We’ll tell you whether we want to hang out or not, when we’re hungry, how funny your hair looks today, if you’re a good kisser… and so on. So don’t be taken aback when a girl is saying something you might interpret as rude: she’s just being honest with you. And for bonus points: be open as well. If you want to take her out: ask. If you’ve realized you actually don’t like her that much, just say so.
Imagine you’ve been on a great date, having drinks in a café or bar, and then it’s time to pay. Here it can get a bit complicated. I know many Dutchgirls who believe that the guy should pay on the first date. We’re still a bit traditional. But don’t be surprised when the girl offers to split the bill, especially on the second/third/fourth date. These girls want to be independant and want to show you that they can pay for their own drinks or meal. We Dutchies are all about equality, even with dating. So, if a girl offers to split the bill, don’t be the gentleman, but accept and realise that you’ve scored an independent woman! (Woohoo!)
Dutch girls may be a bit more feministic than you’re used to. But that’s a great thing. We aren’t precious dolls or princesses in an ivory tower who need to be courted. Nope, we just order a beer and laugh about your jokes. I dare say that most Dutch girls dig guys who are down to earth. Watch out with the compliments: we like to hear that we look great, or that we’re smart – just don’t overdo it. Similarly, don’t expect to receive many compliments. But how do you know that she’s into you? Eye contact, my friend. If she makes a lot of eye contact, maybe a couple of seconds too long, you might be on her good side!
If a girl shows up on a date in a sweater and sneakers, it’s not because she believes that you’re not worth the time of dressing up. As you must have noticed, most Dutchies are dressed casual. Of course there are always exceptions, but overall us Dutchies feel at our best in jeans, sneakers and a nice cardigan or sweater. But we do want to dress for the occasion: if you’re planning to take her out for dinner (and we’re talking about a place that’s a bit fancier than ‘t Gras van de Buren or Mick O’Connells) make sure to give her a heads up in advance.
But the most important thing here: stay true to yourself. Don’t wear something you’re not comfortable in.
As mentioned above, Dutch girls want to feel independent. Sure, opening the door for her is a great gesture (but don’t go out of your way to do this every time, or you might get the comment ‘I do have hands, you know’). My roommate once had a date with a guy who brought her a red rose. You might think: what a great guy, such a romantic gesture! Nope. She felt extremely awkward during the entire evening, carrying that rose with her in the pub.
So what’s the lesson here? In the early stages of dating, leave the romantic gestures at home. A Dutch girl first wants to find out whether she can have a good time with you.
These five issues or tips should make dating a Dutch girl a bit easier. Or less scary. You now know that it isn’t weird if a girl turns you down directly (rather than telling you she is ‘busy’, ‘seeing someone else’ or some other white lie). Plenty of Dutchies don’t date because they want to meet the guy or girl they’re going to marry. They want to get to know you, have a good time and see whether you guys are a great match.
And finally: every girl is different. Every guy is different. These tips don’t apply to everyone, so to the guys out there: I’m sorry if your date went badly because of my tips. And to the Dutch girls: I had to over-generalize, of course this doesn’t apply to all of you!
Where to find them
You might already have a person in mind, but if you’re still looking for that special someone, a big question could be: “Where do I meet Him?”. Sure, you could go to a bar and see what happens, but we have even better ideas for you!
• Join a sports club / gym – most Dutchies actively pursue some sort of a sport (hockey and football are especially popular ones), so bumping into a bunch of cute girls is child’s play near sport fields and the gym. You getting healthy and in shape is just icing on the cake!
• Go to funky concerts – Utrecht offers a wide variety of concerts from reggae to techno, so going to these parties is fun in itself. Finding someone who’s crazy about the same music as you is the dream, right?
• Study in a café – Studying in the library is great for quiet productive time, but if your plan is to meet and talk to someone, move to a café with your books! Your study programme is also a great way to start a conversation.
• Picnic in the park with friends – As the sun starts shining warmer, most of the Dutch make their way towards the parks to play football, picnic or just chill listening to music. Grab your friends and join the locals to meet the One!
• Go to an ESN party – The ESN parties on Tuesdays in Poema are full of internationals who are in a similar situation to you. Meet like-minded people at the party or join any other ESN activities to have fun AND find love!
What to do once you’re dating
Finally, you found your crush! Now, you should know that Dutch girls can be quite different from the people you’ve dated back home. Make sure you watch out for the following pitfalls:
• Make a move – The Belgium is a highly emancipated country that prides itself in fighting for the equality of women. That, however, also implies that you shouldn’t sit around and wait for that cutie to ask you out – don’t be embarrassed to ask him yourself!
• Get used to directness – As you might have experienced already, the Dutch like to get straight to the point and express their opinions clearly. That can mean that he turns you down or he’ll tell you he’s also interested. Either way, at least you have a straight answer.
• Drop the games – Since the Dutchies are straightforward themselves, they prefer others to act like that too. That means: forget about complicated tactics and crazy plans and just be honest; it will work in your favour.
• Minimise makeup – Again, this is connected to the honesty argument. Dutch girls, just like any other nation’s men, appreciate a nice exterior, but if you turn up to a relaxed date in a long dress and full-on makeup, he’ll probably be taken aback – not in a positive way. Dress in a way that makes you feel at ease and doesn’t make him think you’re off to a gala!
• PDA is not a Dutch quality – In some cultures, showing affection in public is widely accepted. However, don’t try to force a Dutch girls to get all cuddly and kissy in front of her friends; it will end up being an uncomfortable situation for everyone, which is not what you want, right?
Where to drink
Coming from a different country requires lots of adjustment: the teaching style is different, the weather isn’t the same at home, and the food is not what your mum used to make back home. On top of that, you can’t hit your favourite bar with your usual friends! Thanks to a lovely phenomenon called globalisation, nowadays you can find your favourite drink almost anywhere in the world, from that fancy cognac you like so much to the simplest of wines. However, if you want to know how the Dutchies get their drink on, we have some tips for you!
First of all, forget the Irish and English pubs. Yes, you can still find a couple in the centre, but that’s not where most locals spend their time (unless there’s a big night of football, then you find all the guys there, watching football). Instead, try to look for a bruincafé (brown café) for the ultimate Dutch experience. They are called brown cafés because the interior is traditionally made of wood and have a dark and cosy look to them (see our cover photo). These bars are not as crowded or loud and have a much more chilled atmosphere. The best known bruincafés in Utrecht are Café de Stad and Café Ome Willem, but most bigger cities are filled with quirky bars just waiting to be discovered.
Next, be careful about what you drink. You are more than welcome to order your usual, but if you made the effort to visit a local watering hole, take the extra step and order something typical of the Netherlands. Surprisingly, that may not necessarily be Dutch but Belgian – the hundreds of types of special beers that you can find all over Utrecht. Even though the Dutch pride themselves in brewing the best beer, even they admit that the Belgians might just be a tiny bit better at creating these delicious brews. Visit Café België for a wide selection of beers you won’t forget (unless you drink too much).