ROMANCE AROUND THE WORLD
What countries do you think are being talked about in the five descriptions below? Match the five countries to their romantic style.
Ireland – Sweden – France – South Korea – Argentina
- ‘Romance here is all about elegance and style. We talk deeply about love and romance, usually accompanied by good food and wine.’
- ‘People are passionate, hot-blooded and sensual. This is expressed in our typical dance as well as our relationships.’
- ‘Equality is important in relationships. Men and women adopt non-traditional gender roles. Women here are independent and usually work, while men also share the housework.’
- ‘Our approach to romance tends to be informal and easy-going. We’re not into melodramas. There lots of conversation and fun and then let’s see what happens from there.’
- ‘Couples are polite and respectful to each other and are quite traditional. Families have a big influence on your choice of partner. Couples often wear cute matching t-shirts and hats.’
Which romantic style would attract you most?
*Answers: 1. France 2. Argentina 3. Sweden 4. Ireland 5. South Korea
What do you think of the Irish approach in 4? How would it compare romance in your country?
DATING IN IRELAND
Think about a typical first date in your country. Is it usually something serious or is it often just for fun? Who invites who? Is it a formal invitation? Where do you go?
A TYPICAL FIRST DATE IN IRELAND
How it happens
- The date might be set up through friends – ‘You know Claire likes you…’
- It could be someone you meet through work
- You might meet someone on a night out in the pub and exchange numbers
- Nowadays, lots of people meet someone through online dating and arrange to meet.
Where it happens
- You could meet for a coffee
- You could go for a drink in a pub
- You might go to the cinema
- You may go for dinner in a restaurant
- You could go to a concert
If you go for dinner in a restaurant, it’s generally seen well for the man to offer to offer to pay for the woman. However, Irish women are independent and won’t always appreciate a man insisting on paying. Be prepared to share the bill or to offer a compromise of paying for the meal and the other paying for drinks after. If it’s going well and you go on a second date, you could offer to pay the next time you do something.
Do you have any other expertise you can add of the Irish dating scene?
CROSS CULTURAL DATING
Imagine two people from different cultures go out on a first date. What cross-cultural difficulties do you think they might face? Are there any advantages in dating someone from another culture?
One of the biggest issues or difficulties in any cross-cultural dating situation or relationship may be misunderstandings. These may be based around language – you don’t understand what the other person is trying to say or you understand the wrong thing. On a more subtle level, it may be that you understand the words but not quite how strong they are or the context in which they are used. We can translate an expression or word into our language but we can’t always translate it’s exact usage, cultural context or associations.
There may also be misunderstandings based on expectation. On a first date, it could be about who should pay or even about how serious it is if you go on a date with someone. It could also be about how quickly you would expect the relationship to develop.
There may also be differences in the signals you are giving out with your body language. For example, what does it mean if put your hand on the other person’s arm or if you stand close together as you talk?
Some of the positives of a cross-cultural relationship are exactly that we get the chance to get to know someone from a whole new culture. We get to find out about why the other person has certain habits, beliefs and traditions. The other person is in effect an expert on that different culture. They can tell you about food and beautiful countryside, ways of celebrating national holidays and much more. By showing you are curious about their culture, the other person will also be more likely to show interest in your culture.
In a cross-cultural relationship, you may also get the chance to express parts of your own personality that you may not normally do in your own culture. The other person may see you and treat you in a way different from what you are used to in your own culture.
Can you think of any other difficulties or advantages in dating someone from another culture?
WHERE DO I STAND IN THIS RELATIONSHIP?
What are the typical stages of a relationship? Would you agree with the order below for the different stages or would you put them in a different order?
- To fancy or have a crush on someone
- To flirt with each other
- To go on a date together
- To get off with each other (British Eng.) / To make out (American Eng.) / To shift or snog (Irish Eng.)
- To date or to see each other
- To go out with each other or to go steady
- To meet their parents
- To move in together
- To get engaged
- To get married
Every relationship is different, of course, but think about how the stages might be different in your country – some countries still have arranged marriages for example.
RELATIONSHIP STATISTICS FOR IRELAND
How long on average would the stages take in a typical relationship in your country? Here are some statistics for Ireland.
- At least one in every three couples in Ireland are now meeting online.
- Most couples wait until the second date to kiss.
- The first ‘I love you’ comes on average after fourteen dates.
- Irish men are predominantly the first to say ‘I love you’ (in 72% of relationships).
- Most couples wait an average of three weeks before introducing their new partner to friends and six weeks for family.
- Most couples wait until at least the fourth date before sleeping together.
- 33% of couples have their first serious conversation about a long-term future within the first year of their relationship.
- Engagements typically happen after two years.
- Weddings normally tend to happen a year after the proposal with the average couple now expecting their first child after four years together.
- The average age to get married in Ireland is thirty five for a man and thirty three for a woman.
- The average age for first time mothers is 30.5
Do you think cross-cultural relationships work well? How do you think being in a relationship with an Irish person would be?