The DOs And DON’TS Of Flirting In Foreign Countries

While all people flirt to find a potential mate, the styles vary widely around the world. Here are 13 things to keep in mind when you meet a sexy stranger abroad, brought to you by the FIAT® 500L.

So you're traveling in a foreign country and you're looking for romance?

You can’t just fling yourself on the attractive locals. You need to understand the culture dimensions of wherever you’re traveling and play by the rules.

1. Your eyes are an incredibly powerful flirting tool, but be careful how you use them.

Eye contact is arguably the most important form of nonverbal flirting in the U.S. and Europe, however this isn’t the case in the rest of the world. In many Asian countries, prolonged eye contact with the opposite sex is considered rude. In Islamic countries it can be considered adulterous, and in Latin America, it can easily be construed as a sign of aggression.

2. Winking doesn't have the same flirtatious power in Asia or Africa.

People wink for different reasons in different countries, with widely varying frequency. In Asia, winking is viewed by many as an offensive gesture, and in Africa, it’s used by parents to tell their children to leave the room when company is over.

While Americans typically view winking as a flirting power move, Europeans, especially in France, wink frequently in communication often without any romantic intention.

3. Learn to dance, especially if you'll be traveling in Latin America.

The better your dance moves, the more opportunities you’ll have to cut in and wow an attractive partner on the dance floor. You’ll find the most opportunities for couples dancing with young people in Latin America.

4. Be more assertive if you're traveling in Europe.

Compared to most Europeans, Americans are known for playing coy and not being direct in their communications.

5. In Scandinavian countries, it's normal for girls to ask guys out.

So guys, be receptive to flirting from the opposite direction. However, while the playing field is somewhat level, Scandinavians as a whole are also known for having a cool, blunt flirting style.

6. Don't drink too much.

This one applies to all countries. It’s tempting to drink a lot to deal with the social anxiety of being in a foreigh country, but nothing kills flirtation faster than being the sloppy, over-served American tourist.

7. And definitely don't do this.

This is universal, too. Ogling is a bad move.

8. Physical contact can either be very good or very bad.

Italians and southern Europeans have a more intimate style of flirtation that involves embraces or playful hand touches (kissing hands as a greeting, etc.). This is markedly different than in the Netherlands, Asia, or Islamic countries where strangers don’t typically have romantic physical contact with women until much later in a courtship.

9. Depending on the country, cheek kissing is either flirtatious or a normal greeting.

It’s less common in North America and northern Europe, however it has more flirtatious connotations. It’s far more common, and without the romantic connotations, in Southern, Central, and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Latin America.

In Islamic countries, a kiss on the cheek is a common form of greeting between people of the same sex, but strictly forbidden between opposite sexes.

And if you're going to be in a cheek-kissing country, learn to do it correctly, otherwise you'll seem like a stiff.

regan76 / Via Flickr: j_regan

There are some great YouTube videos to show you how it’s done.

10. Playing with your hair is a flirtatious gesture across most of the Western Hemisphere.

This isn’t the case in Asia where you rarely see this used.

11. Great! You're ready to get out there in the world and meet sexy singles.

Good luck.

The Italians are coming, and they're bringing their own flirtatious style.

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