If you're interested in someone, maintain eye contact – if you aren't, don't.If you say ‘no' to an invitation, he may well think you're playing hard to get and will probably persist.If you like each other, you'll probably find a way to make it work, regardless of any cultural variations.But knowing some of the cultural differences – who makes the first move, kissing on a first date, how soon to call after a date – may help you avoid awkward situations, or at least stop you from getting hurt or hurting someone else unintentionally.
In France and Spain it's not unusual for a man to call/text/email a lot – it just means he's interested.
In places like the Netherlands and Germany, people can be very direct in the way they speak (rather than being over polite and saying things ‘to be nice' that they don't mean to avoid hurting someone's feelings – as is often the way in the UK).
So what you say may be taken at face value – and you shouldn't always take to heart what's said to you. In the UK, drinking a vast amount of alcohol can be central in beginning a sexual relationship with someone.
To gather real accounts of the European dating scene, last year we asked around 500 (mostly, but not exclusively, heterosexual) expats living in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland a series of up-close and personal questions about themselves, their relationships and their sex lives.
Of course, every relationship is different and how yours develops will depend on who you both are and the chemistry between you.
In France, Germany and Belgium, it's common for the man to ask a woman out, but in Switzerland, the men can be a little reserved so women might want to give them a nudge.