If you've ever thought that the dude who said "there's plenty of fish in the sea" has been in a stable, healthy, monogamous relationship for too long to actually understand that we're over here forever alone, well, here's your ammo for that statement. Because we're lost causes internationally, baby.
Here are all the ways that you can ruin your romantic prospects worldwide and really insult the people you're going out with. It's not like we're actively trying to die alone, it's just we're so hopeless that we're going to mess these up regardless of whether we know them or not. So like, lean into the feeling in a very big cross-border way.
Keep The Makeout Seshes To A Minimum
Most sensible people aren't huge fans of open-air makeout sessions because they pretty gross for everyone to watch. But places like Dubai are a wee bit harsher since people like Charlotte Adams have literally gone to jail for kissing in public diners. I cannot relate to this issue since no one loves me.
Actually, No, Do The Face Mashing In Latin America
In many Latin American countries, it's actually really common and widely accepted to kiss people you've just met on the cheeks. In a logical move most introverts probably really enjoy in their souls, they actually consider it the same as shaking hands. Female/female and male/female kisses are common but male/male kisses are rarer. So, like, bro stick to a forehead kiss.
Basically, Apply Chapstick If You're Going To Europe
Europeans have a reputation for being flirtatious and they probably get that from their symmetrical greeting. In places like Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany, Romania, Croatia, France, and Bosnia kissing someone once on either cheek is the standard. So good news: you may get that kiss under the Eiffel Tower. Bad news: it might be from a coworker you just met who's got halitosis.
Literally Never, Ever, Invite Your Friends Out To Eat In Colombia
Okay so most of us are living our dating lives either splitting the bill or one person paying for it all, but that's kind of expected and maybe argued over at the end of the date. But in Colombia, if you invite your friends out to eat it's assumed that you're the one paying for everything. This is fine and dandy if you've got money in the bank, but if you were just going to order some fries I suggest you tell your gang that you're busy tonight.
Also Never Go Out For A Birthday Dinner In Italy, Apparently
Okay here's another bill-splitting nightmare scenario: it's your birthday dinner with nine of your closest friends, you order a nice steak, and when the bill comes you have to pay for it. That's normal in Italy. It's considered rude for the birthday girl or boy not to pay for everyone's meal, so if your significant other wants to take you out that night just pretend to have the flu because it's a trap.
Keep Your Hands In Your Pockets In Ukraine
If you're a male/female couple and meeting your date for the first time in Ukraine, then you should probably just keep your hands in your pockets because shaking hands or hugging is a social faux pas. I mean, this is the gospel us introverts wanted to hear.
Don't Even Think About Breaking Eye Contact In A German Cheers
Here's one that you're undoubtedly going to mess up: you've got to make eye contact when cheersing, aka saying "prost" in Germany, otherwise you'll be considered rude and be cursed with seven years of bad bedroom activities. So work on that aggressive eye contact to really make everyone feel uncomfortable and show you're super cool in front of your date.
Getting Tap Water On A Date In Germany Is A Great Way To Lose It All
You may already know that Europe is huge on their sparkling water since that stuff literally seems to pop up everywhere. But if you order it on a date in Germany you'll look like a total cheapskate because the waiter will probably refuse to bring you "free water." So like, just get wine, duh.
Russia Is Oddly Specific About Their Odd Number Of Flowers
Okay, so if you're a man in Russia you should always bring your significant other some flowers any time you go on a date. Oh, and always make sure that it's an uneven number because even numbers are for funerals. So, really just err on the side of caution and plan every date at a funeral so you won't mess up.
What The Fika Is A Fika And Why Is It The Swedish Answer To All Our Problems
Okay, so you've probably been on a horrible first date that you've just wanted to end, but you're only halfway through dinner and you still have plans to watch The Avengers after. It's awful, but it's not an issue in Sweden. The Swedes have it right where they go for a practice date, a "fika," that's literally just coffee and maybe dessert. This is like a trial run before they actually go out, and oh my God, this is going to save me a lot of money on Tinder dates.
First Rule Of Swedish Dating: Don't Talk About Swedish Dating
Swedish dating is a fickle thing because the moment you realize you're doing it, you're probably standing at the altar. The Swedes are reportedly super low key about dating and apparently won't ever be the first to ask someone out for a fika. So if you're visiting from another country you have to take the plunge and not give a fika about asking another person out for a fika.
If You're In China And Your Date Won't Take Your Gift, You're Going To Have To Literally Chase them Down The Road Until They do
Gift-giving and receiving is pretty complex and socially important in the Chinese culture, which is perfect if you really wanted to freak out even more during the holidays. It's polite for someone receiving a gift to deny it up to three times, so if you're trying to give your date something you better dig in your heels and not get discouraged if they won't take your Lost box set right away.
Save That Funky Clock Gift For Another Time If You're In China
So, here's a fact you may be aware of, we're all going to die at some point. But hey, the Chinese don't like to be reminded of that when they're getting gifts and that's totally fair. If you get someone a clock as a gift that apparently symbolizes death and that's totally uncool. Also, your date might think you're a murderer, just saying.
Get Ready To Work The Bar On A Japanese Date
When you're on a date in Japan and you've got a bottle of a little adult nectar at the table, it's polite for you to pour your date's drink and them yours. So if you want to black out and forget the night if it's going poorly, it's kinda up to them.
Brazil Is Just More Chill About Being Late
Listen, if your date is late in Brazil it probably isn't completely because they don't care about you and will treat you like trash. That happens anyway. It's probably just because time-keeping isn't super strict in Brazil, and being 15 minutes behind isn't a big deal.
There's No 3-Day Rule In Korea
Ah yes, the 3-day rule where you don't text your date until three days after you went out. I've been left on the couch many times sitting staring at a wall and eating Ruffles chips waiting out those three bad boys. Luckily, it's just not a thing in South Korea. If you want somebody to know you had a good time, don't play it cool and text them right after or they'll think you're some weirdo who waits for three days while eating a lot of all-dressed chips.
So... Basically Date A Rich Person If You Don't Want Restaurant Woes In South Korea
Normally for first dates the guy pays and then bugs you about what you owe him until you finally ghost the entitled fika. In South Korea however, the richest person at the table foots the bill, so if you're going out with someone just quickly check what their credit score and 401K look like.
In The U.K. You'll Never Be A Plus One For A Wedding And I Am Relieved
Normally bringing a plus-one to a wedding is just implicit over here, so you'll get to meet an onslaught of your aunt's weird new beagle-obsessed boyfriends. But in the U.K. weddings are the happening mixers for single people to meet and link up, so it's probably best to arrive alone.
Don't Ask A Russian Woman To Split The Bill
If you're going on a female/male date in Russia and you're the guy, it's probably best that you don't offer to split the bill. Even though it's fairly normal in the US, in Russia you're walking on thin ice if you ask to go Dutch. So just go Russian.
The "Third Wheel" Is Pretty Normal In Italy, That's Why Three-Wheeled Vespas Are A Thing
When someone invites you on a date in the US you're probably expecting it to be... just them. But in Italy you should get your best socializing face on because it's super common to date in groups instead of pairs. So try not to worry about the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth wheel.