17 Weird American Dating Habits That Confuse Every Foreign Person

1. I know every country has some degree of fetishization but America is on actual crack levels when it comes to this. I’ve literally heard people say, “I’ve never dated someone from [insert your country of origin here]” right before they ask you out. Like, no.

2. Asking people out via text, asking people out via Facebook, asking people out via every technological device possible. But heading for the hills when they see you in-person.

3. The extent to which people have a fixed type, right down to what they want the other person’s favorite color to be. Okay I’m exaggerating and I do believe everyone has certain inclinations and what not but I have to admit Americans are a little too precise with this one.

4. The fact that people are freaking obsessed with certain accents, and it apparently ups their attractiveness points.

5. Guys: not knowing how to dress for a date. Like maybe this speaks to how much less formal America is than almost everywhere else but come on, if you’re going somewhere nice, can you at least try?

6. How quickly someone will call you their girlfriend or boyfriend on one hand. On the other hand, how fearful people are of that label.

7. The ridiculousness on the part of both single people and people in relationships on Valentine’s Day. Seriously, everyone calm down.

8. The world “love” being thrown around endlessly. Maybe this is very specific to my African upbringing, but that word is going to be used very conservatively. Are you willing to die for me bro? Because that’s what it basically means where I come from.

9. Going on dates that feel like a game of twenty-one questions or an interview. And you’re just like, um, would you like to know my blood type as well?

10. I love Americans (like that’s why I am here) but you all really need to stop talking about your jobs in social settings, especially on dates. I cannot think of a single topic of conversation I find more dull than knowing the ins and outs of someone’s job especially when I barely know them.

11. That you’re seen as some kind of incompetent, inept human being if you haven’t been in multiple relationships by the time you reach early adulthood. Whereas in a lot of places that’s when you start any sort of real relationship.

12. People not knowing what constitutes an actual date. I am ever talking about social constructs but come on, can we please agree you inviting someone to eat leftover Papa John’s is NOT a date?

13. That dating someone outside your race, culture, religion might often be seen as some kind of political statement. Like you don’t need to tell me twice that everything is political because Orwell said it first and I love that. But we really have to stop grilling people’s politics when they date in such a context.

14. Refusing to date someone because they live with their parents/family as an adult. What’s the big deal here? They may have several reasons they choose to live with their folks, it’s not always financial and it’s really not that big a deal.

15. How acceptable it is to be on your phone during a date. I think some Americans complain about this too but in other parts of the world, the date would end there and then.

16. Serial dating and serial monogamy. (One of the reasons I love the USA is because it manages to be simultaneously extreme on both ends of just about everything. But it’s a hell of a trip trying to figure it out.)

17. Going on dates with people you’re not really interested in at all. Will never get this. In some places, you only go on dates after blood, sweat, and tears have been put in. And even though it’s a lot of work in the beginning, it makes dating so much more enjoyable. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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About the author

Kovie Biakolo

Former Senior Writer & Cultural Advocate at Thought Catalog • Buy Conversations for Smart People • Connect on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram

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