How To Navigate Different Dating Cultures

Most people in Australia have probably never considered that the dating scene in the country may seem rather strange to people from other cultures. Some universities even have guides to dating in Australia for their international students. That may seem odd, after all what is there to know? You arrange to meet up with someone, have a meal, a drink and some laughs and boom, you’re either in love or you’re not.

Australia is multicultural

According to the aforementioned dating guides, it is said that in Australia there are no formal dating rules, which is basically code for anything goes and if it feels good then have at it! That is quite different to how courtship happens in many other cultures which is often highly regulated with plenty of norms and traditions that are quite opposite to the idea that two people can randomly meet, fall in love and live happily ever after. The best thing about Australia is it is a genuinely multicultural society and as an increasing number of people use the internet to find love we are seeing a growing number of cross-cultural relationships.

Clever ways to get around the rules

In Iran for example it is not permitted to socialise with a member of the opposite sex unless you are married and that means dating can land you in jail! Fortunately for people looking for love in Iran all is not lost and they have found a clever way around this. It is possible to have an official marriage that lasts just a few hours and love birds can head to the movies knowing that they are safe from the possibility of being thrown in jail.

Transactional dating

In many countries in Asia, love is transactional and marriage is negotiated between families. In Beijing parents looking for a partner for their child head to the Forbidden City where there can barter with other families also looking to do the same. Mum’s and dad’s in Beijing lay out information sheets that list their children’s selling points including their academic qualifications and income. They also list out the qualities they seek from potential son’s or daughter in-laws

Making feminists proud

In Cambodia there is a tribe that would make most feminists proud. The fathers of the Kreung tribe construct “love huts” for their daughters who then ask suitors to visit them there to have a chat or perhaps more. Whatever happens in the hut is completely private and the women has complete control over what takes place in the space and the men need to behave if they wish to get a second invitation. As you can see there are 9 ways to skin a cat and it’s wonderful that in Australia people are adapting to changing dating norms.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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