To gather real accounts of the European dating scene, last year we asked around 500 (mostly, but not exclusively, heterosexual) expats living in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland a series of up-close and personal questions about themselves, their relationships and their sex lives.Of course, every relationship is different and how yours develops will depend on who you both are and the chemistry between you.A French man or Spaniard might tell you he loves you after only a few weeks but don't panic: It usually just means ‘I really like you'.Women can say it back to a man with the same meaning – it doesn't mean you should be moving in together or planning a wedding any time soon.If a man keeps calling you, don't start thinking he's a bit of a stalker.In France and Spain it's not unusual for a man to call/text/email a lot – it just means he's interested.In the US and other English-speaking countries, the kiss just doesn't have the same significance it does elsewhere.For example, in the UK, a woman might kiss one or more men when she's out in a club or bar (or vice versa) but it wouldn't necessarily mean anything or lead to a relationship of any kind.
As in France, a game of chase and refusal must take place before any form of ‘date' will materialise.
In France, Germany and Belgium, it's common for the man to ask a woman out, but in Switzerland, the men can be a little reserved so women might want to give them a nudge.
For French men, it's all about the chase, and playing ‘hard to get' is part of the game.
But the rule almost everywhere else in Europe is: don't.
In most countries, the man may offer to pay the bill but he wouldn't automatically be offended if the woman suggested splitting the bill, or paying for the drinks or some other aspect of the ‘date', such as cinema or theatre tickets.