Belgian Men: Dating a Belgian Man

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Has a Belgian man caught your eye? If you’re looking for love in Belgium or have fallen for a Belgian man in your home country or abroad, you’re probably wondering what it takes to win his heart. Depending on where you’re from, you may find Belgian dating customs familiar or foreign. This article will explain all you need to know about dating a Belgian man.

Belgian Dating Culture

Belgium isn’t usually the first country that comes to mind when most women think of romance or a man sweeping them off their feet. After all, Belgian men aren’t known for serenading women or showering them with flowers on the first date. However, if you’re patient, you’ll find Belgian men have a lot to offer.

Belgians tend to be conservative, and some may even say cold when meeting someone new. It’s unlikely you’ll experience a whirlwind romance with a Belgian because they prefer to take their time when getting to know someone. This doesn’t mean Belgian men aren’t romantic. They just take longer to show their romantic side.

At the outset, you may find your Belgian guy is a bit quiet and reserved. Don’t mistake their initial distance or lack of emotion for disinterest. They open up once they’re comfortable around their love interest. Belgian men tend to be laidback and dependable with good manners and a strong work ethic. As a bonus, they usually don’t play dating games and value commitment.

Belgians speak French, Dutch, and German, and the small country is very diverse. If you speak one of these languages, you already have a head start, although you’ll find a large number of Belgians speak English fluently.  Belgians value punctuality, so be sure you show up to your date on time.

Belgian Diversity

As we’ve already mentioned, Belgians speak several languages. In addition to speaking French, Dutch, German and English, 33% of Belgians speak Wallon, and more than 60% speak Flemish. It’s unlikely you’ll need to master all of these languages to date a Belgian man but knowing a few words in Welsh can go a long way for impressing a Belgian man.

Before embarking on your dating adventure in Belgium, it’s advisable to have some background on the country and its people. Unlike some of its neighboring countries, such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands, Belgium doesn’t have a strong national identity.

The country has three zones, each with its own unique culture. Flanders is Belgium’s northern region, with a heavy Dutch influence. Wallonia is in the south and is culturally close to France, with a German influence in the Northeastern part of the country. The Brussels-Capital Region is the country’s international zone, home to the European Union headquarters.

Meeting Belgian Men

If you didn’t meet your Belgian while traveling or in your home country, you’d probably be looking to meet Belgian men in Belgium. Meeting Belgian men is similar to meeting men in most western countries. Many Belgians meet their partners through friends or their extended network. You’ll find this is very common in small Belgian towns where everyone seems to know each other.

If you have contacts in Belgium, a great way to meet Belgian men is to ask a friend to introduce you to their social group or set you up with one of their single friends. If you don’t yet have friends, signing up for Meetup groups is a great way to get to know the locals and meet like-minded people. Facebook groups are another great way to expand your social circle.

The online dating trend hasn’t bypassed Belgium. If you want to quickly meet single Belgian men, signing up for a dating app is an excellent way to do so. Popular apps for casual dating include Badoo, Tinder, Bumble, and Happn. If you’re looking for something serious, consider Meetic.be, Parship.be, and EliteDating.be. Facebook also has a dating option.

Although most Belgians are polyglots, learning the language can help you break the ice with single Belgian men. Other ways to meet singles while in Belgium include:

 

  • Signing up for a course: cooking, wine-tasting, etc.
  • Taking a fitness class at the local gym
  • Being active on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook
  • Joining a club or workshop
  • Speed dating

Dating Norms

Whenever you date someone from another country or culture, it’s essential to understand their dating norms. Dating etiquette in Belgium is similar to what you’ll find in other Northern European countries.

Approaching a Belgian Man

Belgians tend to be relationship-oriented, and most relationships start slow. There is no social stigma associated with women approaching men in Belgium. There’s some variation in dating norms in cities versus towns and small villages. An assertive woman would feel at ease approaching a man at a cafe or dance club in Belgium’s larger cities.

In contrast, in small towns, you’ll get the most mileage from having a friend or acquaintance introduce you to a potential love interest. Many relationships in Belgium start from friendships. Using our tips for meeting Belgians would be a great way to get to know and date eligible Belgian men.

Who Pays?

Belgians value gender equality, and it’s common for men and women to split the bill when dating. Belgium outperforms most European countries regarding wage equality, and Belgian women are generally happy to pay their way on dates.

Although splitting the bill is widely accepted, a good rule of thumb is whoever asks for the date pays. In Belgium, it’s socially acceptable for a woman to invite a man to dinner and pay the bill.

Dress to Impress

Belgian men take pride in their appearance and dress to impress. In some countries, men who spend a lot of time on their appearance may seem to be lacking masculinity. That’s not the case in Belgium, where neatly cut nails and freshly shaved beards are the norms. Belgian men take grooming seriously.

Their fashionable neighbors in France positively influence Belgian men’s style. You will find most Belgian men dressed neatly, often following the latest fashion trends as closely as their female compatriots. If you have a flair for fashion, you’ll feel at home with a Belgian man.

If you’re dating or interested in dating a Belgian man, be sure your wardrobe is up to date. Going on a date in a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers won’t bode well for your chances with the average fashion-conscious Belgian man. If you want to impress a Belgian man, being well-dressed will score you significant points.

At the same time, don’t lose yourself trying to follow fashion trends. You’re a unique person, and you should wear styles that make you comfortable and suit your personality. As a non-Belgian woman, you don’t need to transform yourself into a Belgian woman to date a Belgian man successfully. Play up your uniqueness, and you’re sure to experience success.

Neat Freaks

The first thing many new arrivals notice about Belgium is that it’s a very clean country. Just like they take pride in their appearance, Belgians place a high value on cleanliness. Walking around the country in the mornings, you’ll see Belgians sweeping the sidewalk in front of their homes or washing the steps.

Given the emphasis placed on being neat in Belgium, when going out with a Belgian guy, be sure to follow the rules of etiquette when it comes to cleanliness. A great way to make a good impression on a Belgian is maintaining a neat appearance. While on a date with a Belgian man, always practice good table manners.  Anything less will make you less attractive in their eyes.

Belgian men also put a lot of effort into maintaining their homes. So, if you invite a Belgian man to dine at your home, be sure your home is tidy. An untidy house may ruin your chances with your Belgian love interest.

Be On-Time

Belgians are sticklers for time, so plan ahead when you schedule a date with a Belgian man. The nice thing about their punctuality is that they’ll rarely leave you waiting. If a Belgian man says he’ll be somewhere at a specific time, you can almost always count on him being there.

Belgian culture views tardiness negatively, and arriving late for a date or any appointment is considered to be rude and irresponsible. When you have a date with a Belgian man, be sure to get your nails and hair done in advance.

If he’s picking you up at your home, you should be ready when he arrives. If you’re meeting out, arrive a few minutes early. Arriving late will leave your Belgian love interest with the wrong impression.

Plan Ahead

Calling up a Belgian man last minute to invite him to dinner probably won’t get you the response you were expecting. In line with their punctuality, Belgians value an organized social life. Given their busy schedules, it’s not uncommon for Belgians to have competing commitments.

If you want to get on a Belgian man’s calendar, be prepared to plan the date at least a few days in advance. Impromptu dates and last-minute plans don’t go over well in Belgium. If you need to cancel a date, try to give at least a day’s notice. Otherwise, your Belgian man may view you as unserious, flakey, and unreliable.

Perfect Gentlemen

Belgian men tend to be soft-spoken and have impeccable manners. If you’re a woman who likes a man to hold open doors and pull out chairs, you’re in for a treat. It’s not uncommon for men to stand up when a woman enters the room. Many men won’t take a seat on public transport until all women have found a seat.

Given the value Belgians place on manners, you want to be sure your manners are flawless when dating a Belgian man. Avoid placing your hands on your lap when dining with a Belgian man. Instead, try to keep them on the table during the meal.

When you’re out with a Belgian man, take the time to savor your food. Scarfing down your food, no matter how hungry you are, will leave a negative impression. If you want to impress a Belgian man, consider brushing up your knowledge of table manners before your date.

Conversation Topics

Belgian men tend to stick to neutral conversation topics on the first few dates. Given Belgians conservative and reserved manner when meeting new people, this isn’t surprising. Expect your Belgian date to avoid topics such as politics or personal matters when you first begin dating. He probably has strong opinions, but you’ll have to wait a few dates for him to open up.

Travel and cuisine are great topics for a first date with a Belgian man. Don’t expect a lively discussion. Belgians tend to be low-key conversationalists.

Good Food

Belgians love good food, and there is no shortage of great restaurants in Belgium’s big cities. You can even find outstanding cuisine in Belgium’s villages and towns. Consuming food in Belgium is an artistic experience. They take great care in the preparation and presentation of their cuisine.

If you’re dating a Belgian man, rest assured, he’ll introduce you to his country’s best cuisine, which includes some of the best chocolate in the world. You won’t always go to fancy restaurants to eat great food with your Belgian date. Strolling the streets in Belgium, you’ll find stores selling frites (French Fries) and the world-famous Belgian waffles.

Expect to eat great food when you’re dating a Belgian man. If you’re asking him out, be sure to do your homework before choosing a restaurant.

Flirting

Unlike Southern Europeans, Belgian men aren’t known for being incredibly affectionate or passionate. You’ll find that flirting in Belgium is understated since Belgians tend to be more formal and reserved. The standard greeting between strangers in Belgium is a brief handshake. Once a relationship has developed, Belgians greet each other with three kisses on the cheek.

Don’t assume a Belgian man isn’t interested if he’s not very tactile when you first start dating. The lack of touch is cultural, and your Belgian guy will begin to warm up as soon as he gets to know you better.

No Dating Games

The lack of game playing is a refreshing aspect of Belgian dating culture. If you’re dating a Belgian man, it’s unlikely he’ll string you along or play with your heart. Belgian culture places a high value on integrity and good manners, and this extends to dating.

Belgian men tend to be direct and don’t generally send mixed-signals when dating. Although it may take a few dates for them to warm up to you, if they’re interested, they won’t keep it a secret. If they aren’t interested in moving things forward with you, they’ll let you know that too.

No Valentines Day

Belgians don’t generally celebrate Valentine’s day, considering it an imported holiday. Don’t expect your Belgian man to buy you gifts and chocolate or treat you to a romantic dinner on February 14th. Instead, you can expect Chocolate and gifts on December 6th when Belgians celebrate St Niklaas.

Moving Past the Dating Stage

If all goes well, you may find yourself in a relationship with the Belgian man you’re dating. After going on a few dates, a Belgian man may assume you’re exclusive. Belgian men are straightforward, so if they’re interested in having a formal relationship with you, they’ll usually make it known.

It’s not uncommon for couples to commit after dating for only a couple of weeks. Belgian men don’t fear putting labels on a relationship, so don’t be surprised if he’s calling you his girlfriend within a few weeks.

The Relatives

Declaring his love for you doesn’t mean a Belgian man is ready to introduce you to his family. Belgians date at a slow pace and consider meeting the parents a big step in a relationship. Don’t expect to meet your Belgian guy’s parents until you’ve settled into a long term relationship.

Family is central to Belgian culture, so you’ll have to establish a strong foundation of trust before meeting the parents. Once you meet the family, you can expect them to play a significant role in your life. Meeting the parents is usually a low-pressure, casual affair.

You may find yourself spending Sundays eating with your Belgian man’s family. Family lunches and dinners are typical throughout Belgium. Be prepared for a three-course meal with drinks. Also, there will be a lot of kissing. It’s customary to greet your partner’s family with three kisses on the cheek.

Engagement and Beyond

If a Belgian man has won your heart, you may be ready to make a legal commitment. Don’t expect a Belgian man to pop the questions after a year of dating. Belgians tend to take their time before committing to marriage. Most Belgians are well into their thirties before they tie the knot. Some wait even longer.

If your Belgian man does propose, don’t expect a diamond ring. Although Antwerp is known as the diamond capital of the world, Belgians prefer simple wedding bands.

Final Thoughts on Dating a Belgian Man

Keeping an open mind is important when setting out on the international adventure of dating a Belgian man. Belgian men take their time warming up to a potential love interest, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t move forward at your pace.

Dating someone from another country may have its challenges, including different cultural norms and languages, but it can also be a rewarding experience. Understanding Belgian dating culture and Belgian men will help you have a positive experience dating a Belgian man.

 

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