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Forget the sugar-coating – being down-to-earth and direct will earn a lot more points with a Dutch man or Dutch girls. Friends also usually kiss three times on the cheek in greeting; some strangers may kiss when being introduced to someone through a common friend, although a handshake is more common. It is not uncommon to split the bill on the first date – right down to the last cent's worth of what you ate – regardless of whether your're dating a Dutch man or woman.

Misunderstandings can easily arise when dating someone new, especially if your different upbringing means that you often take very different things for granted.

Either way, be prepared that a date is not always going to be free ride, nor will free drinks in bars be that forthcoming from Dutch men.

However, this does not mean that paying for your date is not appreciated – it's your choice.

Similarly, in the Netherlands compliments are not given nor received easily, and outlandish compliments can be perceived as fake by the Dutch.

Relying on the Dutch penchant for modesty and honesty, your compliments should be the same.

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