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Since I am Japanese, English may be strange. Please ask if you do not understand the meaning.

A while ago (in Japan), I met a very nice woman at a bar, for the first time in my life, I took courage and challenged myself to speak to this woman who turned out to be from the Netherlands.

Cultural background: in Japan, it is common to "confess" after about 3 dates/weeks (if you date once a week). We often meet in the following order. In order to make it easier to understand, it is written very simply:

Become friends → Eat food several times in the shop → Tell them you like → Become a couple → Join hands → Kiss

Cultural differences and questioning:

However, I do not know the general dating etiquette for Dutch people (or any people from overseas). I am confused about how many times does one go on a date before telling Dutch people (or people in the world) that one loves them? Is confessing via "I love you" accepted in Dutch culture? Because of cross-culture differences, I don't want to make mistakes.

What I want to ask everyone is "the processing order until dating with her".

In what order do Dutch people (or people from all over the world) proceed?

How can I convey my feelings to the woman I date without breaking the Dutch etiquette?


Additional notes (2019/10/26)

Thank you, it took a while but I finished reading. I understood your advice as follows:

①Prerequisites

1. About she and I eating out together

It is common to eat out with friends.

2.Until you tell her that you are romantically interested in her, you are NOT dating (by her standards).

I told her, “I want to talk to you more so let ’s eat out”. So she may not have a romantic interest in me yet.

3.Being a couple implies a steady, long-term and committed type of relationship that doesn't necessarily come with 3 or 4 dates.

Thank you, I didn't know. I think everyone is different, but how long do you get along?

4. "I love you" is strong.

It means that it should be done after more time, becoming a partner and getting along. When I get better, I tell her that I love her.

5. The "confession" as you understand it, is a demonstration of romantic interest in someone, and expression of a wish to move the relationship from friends / acquaintances to romantic.

This is what I mean by "confession". When I want to have a romantic relationship with her, "I love you." Is a mistake, You should say "I like you." (Or a mild word).

②In what order do Dutch people (or people from all over the world) proceed? You taught me two options.

I ’m “Option 2” so I ’m going in the order that I write below.

Go on a date → Join hands → Kiss (or not, depends on you and your girl) → Go on more dates until you decide to move to a formal relationship → Become a couple

③ How can I convey my feelings to the woman I date without breaking the Dutch etiquette?

1. I'm calling "when in Rome, do as the Romans do".

Japan has the same words! So thank you very much.

④Managing expectations: Be aware that if you're just going to the restaurant together it doesn't necessarily imply a date for her.

I understand. When I go to a restaurant because I want to have a romantic relationship with her,I tell her not to “eat out” but “to date”.

⑤Managing expectations: Be aware that we (westerners) are much more comfortable with physical intimacy (holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.) without being in a committed relationship.From our standards, you can even kiss and decide to not go on a second date.

I understand. That's what I wrote below.

Japanese kissed on a date → She has a very romantic interest in me

However.

westerners kissed on date → she went as if greeting
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    Just to point out that there is no need to incorporate the text of the answers in the question. If you want clarification on the answer, please use the comments section in the answer :) – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 28 '19 at 8:54
  • How well is she versed in Japanese culture? Because if she understands and accepts Japanese culture, it's likely that you will have a lot of leeway in doing things according to your culture. – Flater Oct 30 '19 at 13:56
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Ok, so what it looks like is that your challenge is managing expectations from both yourself and the girl regarding dating and relationship progressing.

Cultural-wise, the western society is much less "strict" on relationships and more often than not there is no expectation on the step-by-step of a budding romance. And some of the terms and definitions are a little bit different from what you understand, so there is some room for confusion.

I am confused about how many times does one go on a date before telling Dutch people (or people in the world) that one loves them?

What you're going to see is that eating out between friends is really common, as well as dating someone who was not previously your friend, so there is a slight difference from your relationship expectations.

First point of potential conflict: until you tell her that you are romantically interested in her, you are NOT dating (by her standards). You'll start dating after you actually use the "would you like to go on a date?" - that implies romantic interest - and she accepts. You're now dating.

Second point of potential conflict: Just because you're dating (i.e. going out together to do stuff) doesn't mean you are a couple! Being a couple implies a steady, long-term and committed type of relationship that doesn't necessarily come with 3 or 4 dates. You can be dating a girl without labeling her your girlfriend.

Is confessing via "I love you" accepted in Dutch culture?

Here I'm going to point out more a linguistics / mistranslation problem than etiquette. I often see "suki da" (好きだよ) and "daisuki" (大好きだよ) being translated into "I love you". "I love you" is strong. You can be months into a relationship and not say or hear "I love you" with those exact words. We say it, but not right off the bat.

The "confession" as you understand it, is a demonstration of romantic interest in someone, and expression of a wish to move the relationship from friends / acquaintances to romantic. This is done using much "milder" words, like "I really like you" (which would be the more accurate translation of "daisuki" [大好きだよ]), or, as suggested above, ask her on a date (romance is already implied with the word "date").

In what order do Dutch people (or people from all over the world) proceed?

Option 1: you are already friends

Tell them you are interested in becoming more → Go on a date → Join hands → Kiss (or not, depends on you and your girl) → Go on more dates until you decide to move to a formal relationship → Become a couple

Option 2: you were not friends before (met in a bar, dating app, etc.)

Go on a date → Join hands → Kiss (or not, depends on you and your girl) → Go on more dates until you decide to move to a formal relationship → Become a couple

How can I convey my feelings to the woman I date without breaking the Dutch etiquette?

Since you say everything is happening in Japan, I'm calling "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". You shouldn't be too worried about breaking Dutch dating etiquette, as you're in Japan and Japanese etiquette applies. On the long run, she should be aware of the cultural differences and trying to adapt to your culture instead of the opposite.

Managing expectations: Be aware that if you're just going to the restaurant together it doesn't necessarily imply a date for her.

If she doesn't speak Japanese or is not aware of the nuances, mind the wording you're going to use when inviting her out on a date.

Managing expectations: Be aware that we (westerners) are much more comfortable with physical intimacy (holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.) without being in a committed relationship. From our standards, you can even kiss and decide to not go on a second date.

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    I added actual Japanese to the answer after suki da and daisuki. Though I am not a Japanese speaker/reader and had to use a website. I hope that I got the lettering right. I really like this answer! – Lux Claridge Oct 25 '19 at 13:30
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    May I ask you where you are from? (i.e., from which perspective you are writing this answer) You seem to imply that what you are describing is "western dating culture", but in my experience this can be very different in different western countries. For instance in France (where I’m from), to be "dating" someone is the same thing as labeling them your boyfriend/girlfriend, but it is very different in the US. I know nothing about Dutch dating culture though, I just wanted to point out that there is no unified "western dating culture". – Guillaume Oct 25 '19 at 13:43
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    @Guillaume I'm Brazilian (half-Japanese) and I live in the Netherlands (dating a Dutch guy). The text is written purely from a Dutch perspective, I'm not even taking into account Brazilian standards of dating. I just used "western" (as in "western society" or "westerners") for simplification's sake when highlighting the contrasts with Japanese etiquette - and note that the 2 times I use that, it is about strictness and physical intimacy which might be slightly different between countries but are, in general, very different from Japan. The other times I directly refer to Dutch via quotes. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Oct 25 '19 at 14:39
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    @JulianaKarasawaSouza Thank you for answering. I am happy to tell you so much. It will take time to read, so I will contact you when I finish reading. thank you everyone. – roger Oct 25 '19 at 15:11
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    @LuxClaridge Thank you for the addition, I think the meaning of Japanese matches. – roger Oct 26 '19 at 15:05

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