After the Attraction
Catching the interest of the person you are interested in is only half of the battle in emerging at the top of the dating totem pole. Now that you have their interest, what are you going to do about it?
In the interest of the fact that the world is now a giant melting pot of many different cultures it is important to understand that it may not be as simple as inquiring whether the object of your affection has an interest in joining you for dinner and drinks later on that evening. Different cultures have different rules about dating, and a violation of any of these existent mores can serve to make you an object of distaste and ridicule in the eyes of the very person you want most to impress.
Of course, most individuals understand that not all cultures have the same opinions of the relationship between a man and a woman and therefore are less likely to be offended by any minor missteps; however, it is still vital that you understand the cultural guidelines of the person you are interested in.
Americans have a much looser view on the position of dating than is held by many other countries. Physical contact on the first date is permitted, albeit of a chaste nature; holding hands and kissing good-night at the end of the evening is to be expected if both parties are interested (if both parties are not interested it could prove to be a long and uneventful evening). Many eastern nations, such as Korea, permit dating, even at a young age; however, public expressions of affection of a physical nature are frowned upon in many cases; these individuals may not be comfortable with kissing or hugging in public, particularly in front of strangers. Other countries do not encourage dating at all; if a man and a woman are interested in each other it is expected that the ultimate goal of their relationship should be marriage, with every step made with that intent in mind.
There are also many cultures who insist that the family play a large role in determining who another family member will date. It is assumed that whomever they are interested in will take the time to get to know the family and to participate in family events. To do otherwise would be considered rude and insulting. Other cultures do not consider it appropriate for a person that is interested in a member of the family to attend a family gathering until the relationship is established as a permanent one.
Obviously, there are many pitfalls involved in attempting to form a relationship across cultural divides. The most important step that an individual can do if they are interested in dating an individual from another country is to learn the steps of their courtship dance in order to avoid stepping on any toes.