First Date Etiquette Around the World

How confident are you about first date etiquette? With technology offering a date in a matter of a swipe, it’s become crucial to make a first, lasting impression.

If you’re hoping for holiday romance in a few months  – we have the list for you. From the experts at the language learning app Babbel, we uncover the answers to mastering a first date in a variety of countries. How does the UK compare?

first-date etiquette
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How do you greet someone when you first meet them on a date?

 

Countries who greet with a kiss:

France: Two kisses starting from the from left cheek (though regional variations exist)

Spain, Italy and Australia: One kiss on each cheek

Netherlands: 3 cheek-bump-kisses if you have met the person before, if not, then it could be any greeting ranging from a ‘hoi’ (hi), an awkward hug or the three kisses.

Brazil: This really depends on the region you’re in. In São Paulo, you just kiss once. In Rio, you kiss twice. But in general, always kiss and never go for the handshake as this would be considered rude.

 

With a hug:

Germany

Poland

US

Canada

Sweden, Norway and Denmark: Though a verbal greeting is preferred if you haven’t met the person before

 

Other:

Russia: The initiator of the date should always take the first step when greeting the other person. Normally, this wouldn’t involve kissing, but if the invited person (normally a woman) gives you their hand, you should kiss it if you think it’s appropriate to do so. When in doubt, a simple verbal greeting is also acceptable.

 

first-date etiquette
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Do you order a glass of wine for yourself, or a bottle for the table?

 

Countries who order a bottle (If you’re drinking the same wine): 

France

Spain

Russia

 

A glass each:

Sweden

Poland

Brazil

Norway

 

No set rules – you would decide on the date:

Italy

Germany

Canada

Netherlands

 

Misc:

US: It’s more common to have a beer on a first date

Australia: A lot of men would usually order a beer

Denmark: You probably wouldn’t go for dinner on the first date, but if you did, everyone would order for themselves

 

first-date etiquette
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Are there any taboo topics of conversation?

 

Countries with ex-partners as a taboo topic:

France

Germany

Spain

Italy

Norway

Sweden

Poland

Canada

Netherlands

 

Money, politics and religion:

Germany

Spain

Italy

Poland

Brazil (only money)

 

Personal issues (e.g. health): 

Germany

Italy

Poland

 

Nothing is taboo – it just depends on the date:

Russia

Poland

Australia

 

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Who pays?

 

Countries where the man pays: 

Brazil

 

 The bill is split:

France

Germany*

Spain*

Italy*

Norway

Sweden*

Denmark

Poland*

Canada*

Australia*

Netherlands

 

*= On a heterosexual date, if the man wants to be a gentleman he will pay

 

Misc:

Russia: Whoever initiated the date, pays for it

 

first-date etiquette
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Any other first date rules?

 

Sweden,  Norway and Denmark:  It’s not common to go to a restaurant for a first date. Instead, you would invite them for a coffee or a beer first.

Russia: The initiator should accompany the invited person home or make sure they get home safely by ordering a taxi.

Australia: With Australian culture being very outdoor and fitness based, date locations tend to be more ‘out of the box’ than just going to a restaurant.

 

From looking at the results, it seems that the rise of gender equality has affected how people pay the bill on dates. Equally, talking about your ex-partner on a date abroad this year, is probably not a good idea. The same can be said when in the UK.

How do your views on first-date etiquette compare? Join the conversation below.

Babbel is an expert language learning app. Creating easy tools to get you speaking another language fluently, now is the time to learn. To find out more, click here: babbel.com

Post Author: Laura Jane Bradbury

Laura Jane Bradbury
I am a trained makeup artist turned writer. When I am not editing articles, I will be glued to my lifestyle blog: thestyleoflaurajane.com, or copywriting for various brands. My passions include poetry, cooking and proving to my friends that a plant-based diet is delicious. Catch me on Instagram @thestyleoflaurajane

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