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How is Dating Perceived Across Different Cultures?

While Meetero is not entirely focused on the concept of dating, most users will use our website/app especially for it. Dating is a central concept in any platform where it is about to meet new people and it's definitively an important piece of our business model, especially when it comes to dating during travel (another business model important piece).

Dating while travelling may be a challenging experience because this concept may be perceived very differently across cultures, especially when it comes to dealing with non-western cultures.

Dating and Cultural Differences

Cultural differences play a significant role in how people perceive dating, and it is essential to be mindful of these differences when traveling abroad. In this article, we will explore various cultural differences that exist in different parts of the world and how they can impact our dating experiences.

Gender Roles and Perception Toward Dating

Perception toward dating may vary considerabily depending of the country or the culture we are dealing with. In most cultures, men are expected to take the lead in dating, while women are expected to be more submissive and less assertive. In contrast, in other cultures, where gender equality is stronger, it is more normal to take it naturally for a woman to take the initiative; this is typical of northern European cultures, although it cannot be generalized.

For example, in conservative Islamic countries, men are expected to initiate the relationship and take the lead in all matters related to dating. Women are expected to be modest and reserved and are not encouraged to make the first move. In contrast, in Scandinavian countries, gender equality is a social norm, and women are expected to be independent and self-sufficient. Women can take the initiative in dating and have the same level of decision-making power as men. These examples were obviously extreme, since in Western cultures, thinks work somehow in the middle.

When you travel, you should always take into consideration the specific culture you are in. For example, let's say you are in Italy. Italian women are definitively not Muslim, but they are still far from being like Scandinavian ladies. At the same time, the fact that these latter may see it normal to take the entire initiative in dating, doesn't mean that they always will. They are still female, despite the gender equality norms, they are still influenced by their natural tendencies and cultural inheritance. Therefore, you should ultimately consider individuals, without assuming absolute truths based on cultural aspects.

About Displays of Affection

In the article about Dating while traveling abroad, we have already discussed about the public display of affection topic, but, since it is very related to the perception of dating, we will develop this subject here a little more

Public displays of affection (PDA) may refer to several forms of physical touch aside from the obvious sexual connotation of kissing: they may also include purely affective demonstrations, such as holding hands, hugging, kissing (with tenderness), or other forms. The acceptability of PDA varies widely across cultures and can be influenced by factors such as religion, social norms, and personal values.

In some cultures, PDA is considered a normal and even expected part of daily life. Physical touch is seen as a way of expressing warmth and affection towards others, even strangers. These cultures may include Latin America, most of Europe or even some Middle East countries. There, it is common for people to greet each other with a kiss on the cheek or a hug, and it is not uncommon to see couples holding hands or even kissing in public.

On the other hand, in some other cultures, like Japan or parts of Europe, PDA is generally frowned upon and considered inappropriate. In Japan, physical touch is less common in daily life, and it is rare to see couples engaging in PDA in public. In some European countries, such as Germany or the United Kingdom, PDA is generally accepted but may be viewed as excessive or inappropriate in certain settings.

Finally, there are places like Saudi Arabia or Iran, where PDA is strictly forbidden and can result in severe consequences. In these countries, public displays of affection can be seen as a violation of Islamic law and can result in fines, imprisonment, or even physical punishment. In other conservative societies, such as those in parts of India or Africa, PDA may be seen as disrespectful or offensive, particularly if it involves unmarried couples.

Therefore you should be very very careful when dating during travel or even when traveling with your couple and always consider the place, the culture, the laws and the norms of the country you visit. Understanding this may also help individuals navigate social situations and avoid offending others. It's important to be aware of the cultural norms in a given setting and to respect those norms even if they differ from one's own cultural values. In some cases, it may be appropriate to adjust one's behavior to avoid causing offense or discomfort to others, particularly when traveling or living in a foreign country. Always beware of this!

Styles of communication

Communication styles also vary widely across cultures, and it's essential to be aware of these differences. There are places like the United States or Australia where direct communication is valued, and people may speak their minds openly and honestly. In other places, like Japan or Korea, indirect communication is more common, and people may use nonverbal cues or subtle hints to convey their thoughts and feelings.

In Thailand or Indonesia, saving face is essential, and people may avoid confrontation or criticism. In other cultures, open debate and discussion are valued, and people may express their opinions and disagree openly.

Therefore you should take into account all these aspects when dating during travel or even when you simply meet new people not necesarily for dating.

Religious and Cultural Customs

Religious and cultural customs can also affect dating while traveling. For example, in some Muslim countries, dating outside of marriage is strictly forbidden. In other cultures, premarital sex is considered taboo, and couples may choose to wait until marriage to engage in sexual activity.

Cultural customs can also affect the way couples interact in public. Never forget it.


Dating while traveling can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it's essential to be aware of cultural differences and norms to avoid misunderstandings or offense. Gender roles, public displays of affection, communication styles, and religious and cultural customs are all areas where cultural differences can cause confusion or offense (we also consider other aspects in the other aricle about dating while traveling, already mentioned). By being respectful of local customs and traditions, communicating openly and honestly, and approaching dating with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, you can increase your chances of having a safe and enjoyable dating experience while traveling abroad.

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