First date etiquette differs around the world — here are the rules you need to know in 11 countries


Keeping up with the rules of dating can be a challenge, even in your own country. Depending on where you are in the world, the etiquette can vary a fair bit.

Even if you have worked out all the rules and terms for your home country, you could be lost if you search for love abroad.

Language experts at Babbel provided Business Insider with a list of appropriate ways to act on dates in different countries, covering everything from how to greet each other to who usually pays.

Here are the dating rules you need to know in 11 different countries around the world.

1. France


When you meet up for a date with someone in France, it is common to kiss each other on the cheek twice, starting from the left (going in to the left, so their right cheek). There are some regional variations to this, too.

When on the date, it’s not a good idea to bring up ex partners. It’s also the done thing to split the bill.

2. Spain


In Spain, you say hello with one kiss on each cheek. It’s not a great idea to bring up ex partners here either, but other taboo topics of conversation include money, politics, and religion.

Splitting the bill is common, unless the man – in a heterosexual situation – wants to be chivalrous.

3. Italy


In Italy, it’s one kiss on each cheek, too. As well as exes, money, and politics, it’s good to steer the conversation clear of personal issues, such as your health.

Italians have no rules about the amount of alcohol you drink on the first date. Splitting the bill is also common here.

4. Australia


Australians may go for one kiss on the cheek, and leave it at that. Splitting the bill is pretty common, but as Australian culture is very outdoor and fitness focused, date locations tend to be something a bit different to going to a restaurant, like climbing.

Also, if at a bar or restaurant, Australian men usually order a beer, rather than wine.

5. The Netherlands


People in the Netherlands greet each other on a date with three cheek-bump kisses if they have met before, then a “hoi,” meaning hi, or an awkward hug.

Again, they don’t like talk of ex partners, and they tend to split the cost of the date.

6. Brazil


Greetings depend on the region of Brazil you are in. In São Paulo, you just kiss once. In Rio, you kiss twice. In general, always go for a kiss rather than a handshake, because this is considered rude.

In Brazil, the man will tend to pick up the bill, and they don’t mind you talking about exes so much. Money is a no-go conversation topic, though.

7. Germany


German people say hello to their date with a hug. On the date it’s best to avoid talking about exes, money, politics, religion, or personal problems. On the bright side, you can drink whatever and however much you like.

8. Poland


In Poland, people greet each other with a hug too. Rather than getting a bottle of wine for the table, they will go for a glass each. Also, ex partners, money, politics, religion, and personal issues may all be taboo topics, but it can depend on who you’re with. In some cases, nothing is off the table.

Splitting the bill is common here, too.

9. Sweden


Swedish people may greet each other with a hug, but a verbal greeting is preferred if you haven’t met before.

They will tend to order a glass of wine each, and avoid talking about their exes.

It’s not common to go to a restaurant for a first date, though. Instead, you would invite someone for a coffee or a beer first.

10. Norway


In Norway, the rules are pretty much the same as in Sweden. If you do go to a restaurant, you split the bill, but you’d probably go for a coffee or a beer first.

11. Russia


In Russia, it’s whoever initiated the date who takes the first step with the greeting. This normally doesn’t involve kissing, but if the invited person is a woman and they offer their hand, you should kiss it if you feel it is appropriate. When in doubt, a simple verbal greeting is also fine.

No topics are off limits, but whoever initiated the date usually pays for it. Also, the initiator is expected to accompany the other person home, or at least make sure they get home safely by ordering them a taxi.