If you ever travel the world and realize one of the locals might be your one true love, the next step is usually to ask them out. However, dating etiquette and taboos are not the same for everyone. Certain ways people flirt back home that are considered cute or even romantic might actually cause a scene overseas.
We at Apegeo like to learn about the world and we just admire love! So we’re keeping you on your toes with this list of flirting habits that might get you in trouble around the world.
1. Public displays of affection
Remember how in high school, the kids who were caught hugging and kissing in the hallway got in trouble? In some countries, that’s the norm on the streets to various degrees of severity.
In some places like Japan or Korea, it can be considered highly rude. In other places, it might be extremely controversial. Some people have learned this the hard way by being arrested for kissing in public while in Saudi Arabia or other Arabic countries.
2. No public displays of affection
If you think there are a bunch of PDA rules to help you get by in every country’s social circles, you’re right. There are plenty of cultures where people are meant to be publicly affectionate, even when dealing with friends. In many Central and South American countries, where people often greet each other with cheek-kissing, not being too affectionate in public might make you come off as cold and emotionless.
3. Splitting the bill
Generally, in the west, splitting a bill is a perfect compromise. Traditionally, men were expected to pay for women, but many feel that’s insulting as it implies women can’t take care of themselves. That said, even when women are fine with paying for their date, they’re often seen as being taken advantage of.
In South Korea, however, splitting the bill is seen as insulting since that’s something that people do with friends. Usually, whoever makes more money is expected to pay, meaning that it is perfectly socially acceptable for women to pay for their boyfriends.
4. Bringing a date to weddings and parties
In the US, wedding guests are entering a battlefield. Attending without a date is a social faux pas and the quickest way to get your meddling friends and family to call the local matchmaker.
In the U.K., however, it’s best to go to these big life-events without a date since that’s where single people go to mingle. Some wedding invitations even require unmarried guests to attend alone. After all, in some cultures, weddings are the social event of the season!
You might think we already covered this with our segment on PDA, but it’s actually pretty complicated. In some cultures, different kinds of PDA each come with their own forms of etiquette. In some European countries like Germany or Poland, it’s best to hug your date; kissing is usually reserved for more serious relationships.