Friendships, in particular, play an important role, as many Swiss men and women feel more comfortable starting small and ‘seeing where things go’. That said, like elsewhere, friendships are formed from birth, and breaking into the Swiss circle as an expat can be a challenge.
When it comes to dating etiquette, the Swiss are somewhat more conservative than their European neighbors, which is useful to know as an expat. Here are some key things to bear connexion in mind.
In Switzerland, women generally expect men to make the first move, however, Swiss men aren’t known for being very forthcoming when it comes to asking women out. In fact, if you search any dating forums in Switzerland, you will likely to find a slew of women moaning that men don’t approach them. Some sources claim that this is not down to laziness or arrogance, however, but rather the result of men being rejected so much by Swiss women.
Indeed, some expats report that Swiss women can come across as unapproachable and reserved. Therefore, if no one makes the first move, it may well turn into a staring contest before anyone strikes up the nerve to start a conversation or openly admit a mutual attraction. But once a man does pluck up the courage, more often than not, it’s well worth the wait. After all, he will likely turn up fifteen minutes early to a date, looking like a fine gentleman, and acting like one too.
Because of the conservative nature of Swiss men and women, people are generally much more comfortable going for a walk or doing group activities before landing themself on an official date. The Swiss are known for their outdoor lifestyle, so you can expect plenty of outdoor activities while you’re getting to know them. After this, you can expect dates to involve the usual scenarios such as going to a restaurant or bar, meeting up for a coffee, or cooking a typical Swiss meal together.
While it might be unfair to stereotype an entire nation, there are certain behavioral traits that you are likely to come across when dating in Switzerland.
What you might wear on a date, of course, depends on where you are going. However, because appearances play less of an important role in Switzerland than in some other countries, it isn’t uncommon for men and women to dress casually for dates. In fact, women will often wear jeans and no make-up. That said, both sexes will always look neat and tidy, so you might not want to rock up wearing scruffy shoes and slashed denim.
An important thing to know is that punctuality is vital in Switzerland. In fact, being late to a date is a big turn-off for Swiss men and women, so make sure to arrive on time. It is even common for the Swiss to turn up 15 minutes early to social gatherings. Therefore, if you are getting picked up, make sure you are ready in advance because you can expect your date to arrive on your doorstep early.
Generally speaking, the Swiss tend to keep things fairly formal when it comes to body language. For instance, a Swiss man will usually shake a woman’s hand when meeting her for the first time. And because the Swiss like to have their own personal space, they aren’t likely to get touchy-feely during dates. Therefore, don’t expect to see any public displays of affection or sneaky cuddles among couples when out and about.