Foreign travelers, especially from America, view the Netherlands through a curious fractured mirror – on one hand it is imagined as an idyllic paradise of tulips, windmills and cheese while on the other it is viewed with delicate horror as the land of druggies and prostitutes. The reality is though that its men here are like everywhere else – some good, some bad and most in between. However there are a few characteristics which make Dutch men very interesting and often rewarding to know.
Well-educated and aware
When dating a Dutch guy, you can on the whole look forward to spending time with an educated, well-read person. He is most likely to have attended college and quite comfortable discussing a whole range of topics, starting from politics to the environment. In fact many tourists have found to their surprise that Dutch people can speak English quite well and almost always understand when being spoken to in the language. However be careful to do some homework on the history and background of his country before you engage him in a discussion. For instance, always refer to his nation as The Netherlands and not merely as Holland; this is because both North and South Holland are merely two out of twelve provinces in all. So if the guy hails from outside the Hollands, he might feel that you have not bothered to read up on the land’s history or even chosen to exclude the other ten provinces because you don’t deem them important enough. Worst case scenario, you might raise the hackles of a Friesian separatist and then have to listen to him ranting about how Hollanders always take credit for the achievements of the entire country.
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Dutch men are known to be very polite to ladies and extremely well-mannered. They are considerate not only of the wishes and needs of their partners but for that matter of any other living creature they meet on the road like old ladies, babies and even stray animals. When meeting a Dutchman for a date, you can be sure that he will be on time and that he will be a perfect driver – following all traffic rules to the T. When you sit down together at a café or at a restaurant, he is sure to make polite conversation and even ask you all the right questions expected on a first date. On the whole, Dutch men make women feel safe and heard when with them. And once the date is over you can also expect your guy to see you home, bidding you a courteous good-night at your doorstep without expecting a nightcap in return.
The flipside of the Dutchman’s tendency to correct behavior with ladies is that the latter tend to him rather boring. He will listen intently to you and make polite enquiries but rarely get into an animated discussion. He does not believe in allowing his emotions get the better of him and thus is unlikely to be seen in an excitable state. It is really not in his nature to give in to passion and romance which is why you could be settling for a rather sedate love life if you start dating a Dutch guy seriously. Don’t expect him to spring romantic surprises on you on a date; indeed when you are supposed to meet him, it would make far more sense to get a map and plan out a few activities beforehand rather than wait for your Dutch guy to plan an exciting date.
Liberal attitude to women
Dutch culture is quite egalitarian when it comes to gender roles and expectations. Both men and women can be found in the work force and at the same time sharing household chores equally. In fact, as compared to many other European nations, Dutch society appears to give women and men a greater degree of choice as to how they want to live their lives. So you have women both working full-time and staying at home and largely happy with their decisions. As a result of this, Dutch men are used to treating women as independent, strong and self-assured individuals. This makes for dating Dutch men an extremely empowering experience especially if you happen to come from a markedly patriarchal culture where women are considered weak creatures with below-par intelligence. However one consequence of the liberal Dutch culture is that you cannot be expected to be wined and dined by your partner every time. So when on a date, don’t forget to take your purse along since here it is only natural to “go Dutch”.
Long term partnership prospects
The best part about dating a Dutch guy is that he is likely to prove long-term partner material. With this liberal attitude towards women as well as his innate decency and inbred courteous nature, he is likely to make an extremely supportive and understanding partner. Indeed the image of Dutch prostitutes in the display windows of the infamous red-light districts is more for the benefit of tourists rather than a realistic pointer towards the Dutchman’s amorous preferences. However your relationship may lack some fire and passion and from time to time, you may sigh for the unpredictability or the excitement of the Italian or Spanish lover. But in the end, your Dutch partner will be more willing to lend a hand with the dishes or raking the garden as compared to his counterpart from the South. On the whole, Dutch men are polite, fair-minded, decent blokes which all said and done are more important than sex appeal and charisma in an equitable, mutually-fulfilling long term relationship.