Student - 13 juni 2013

Flirting for dummies

Hormones and cultural differences can be a tricky combination. So here are five tips from people who have experience in this field, for when your country's flirting techniques let you down.

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19-Alexandra-en-Swen-GA--20130608-ND7_5797.jpg

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Five tips from people who have experience in this field, for when your country's flirting techniques let you down.
1.Heart versus stomach
Swen Waterreus from the Netherlands: 'My Portuguese girlfriend cooks better than any Dutch girl I've come across. Each day, the food's better than the day before. Dutch girls give you a toastie or potatoes but Alexandra cooks you a slap-up meal every time.'  
Flirting with or dating someone from another country means an entirely new cuisine full of unfamiliar dishes. Don't be a fussy eater and try everything that is put in front of you.
2. Get out your wallet (sometimes)
Alexandra Ginja from Portugal: 'Dutch guys think it's great to be invited over for a meal because they get to eat for free. But for me, sharing a meal is all about the sociable occasion. In general I don't like having boys pay for me but if a guy invites you for a night out and then expects you to share the bill - that just wouldn't happen in Portugal.'
Female students are independent women who don't need to be supported financially by their bloke. But asking them to share the bill on a date is a definite no.
3. Accept differences...
Jan Huskens from the Netherlands: The parents of Lingtong, who is Chinese, don't approve of their daughter sleeping with a boy. Sometimes I get kicked out of the room in the morning because her parents are about to Skype. Once, Lingtong hadn't yet folded up the two-person bed and her parents immediately asked if she'd had a boy staying the night. She managed to put their minds at rest but it does mean I still have no idea what her parents look like.'
International students all come with their own set of values, which may be very different to yours. Accept that there are differences you may never be able to fully understand.
4.  ... but don't be too quick to draw conclusions
Luz Verasteguiz Tena from Mexico: 'My friends had told me that Dutch guys are pretty direct and very keen on Latino girls. When I arrived in Wageningen and went to pick up the key to my room, the boy behind the desk smiled and asked for my number. I had had a tiring flight and I genuinely thought he was asking me out. The only thing I could think of to say was that I didn't yet have a Dutch number. The boy looked surprised and said: "No, I mean your student number, otherwise I can't give you your key!"'
Everyone thinks in stereotypes and preconceptions, but that does not mean every student you meet will fit them.
5. Give compliments
Alexandra Ginja: 'Latinos and Africans are incredibly generous with compliments. They often say how attractive you are. Latinos especially can be pretty intense, bordering on the obsessive. Dutch guys are sometimes at the opposite extreme. Recently, I saw a girl on a bike and the wind blew her skirt up so that you could see her underwear. A group of Dutch boys saw this. In Portugal, a girl in that situation would get all kinds of remarks but these boys said nothing at all. I genuinely thought: are they gay or what?'
Men of Holland, always say something complimentary! No matter what country she comes from.  

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