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When I was visiting California this summer, a cashier from Brandy Melville asked me out on a date while I was buying a t-shirt.

My first reaction was to laugh at him because it seemed so absurd that someone (let alone a cashier my age with whom I had only spoken three words) was asking me on a date.

If your expat game plan includes finding love then you’ll need to wrap your brain around romancing the American way. S.-style dating looks a lot like it does elsewhere: find someone you don’t hate on sight and who you strongly suspect isn’t a serial killer, then arrange to meet for some kind of shared food or beverage experience. It’s like a job or house hunt, which means investigating more than one prospect at a time.

Here, people tend to take a business-like approach to finding a mate.

American men will rush to get you in bed as quick as possible, while European men don’t appear to have the same rush (or desperation). European men don’t ‘date’ – in the formal way that Americans are used to.

The types of dates seen in movies – the formal ask, the fancy dinner and the entire dance that ensues simply doesn’t exist in the European mindset, in fact, the word “dating” isn’t even a part of their lexicon. Unlike American culture, where there’s almost a rite of passage which takes two people from “hooking up” to “seeing each other” to “dating” to “exclusive”, these labels just aren’t a focus or concern for European men. Rather, the mentality is, “I like you, I want to see you, and if it’s enjoyable, let’s keep seeing each other”.

Most people do not expect sex during the first few dates, notes the University of Arizona’s Center for English as a Second Language. movies or on television, that is not how dating works in the U. Sex on a date should happen only if both people their express consent.

Additionally, going on a date or even going to home with your date does not mean that you must have sex. Forced sex is considered rape and could land you in jail.

And when we do ask our love interest if he wants to have a relationship, it’s because we already kissed or at least gotten really close. There’s no such thing as DTR (Defining The Relationship) because exclusivity is implied.

While in some countries, it may be considered improper for a woman to ask a man on a date, that is not the case in the United State.

It’s completely acceptable for either the man or woman to do the asking.

The person who does the asking should pay for the date, unless the person asked insists on paying for herself while on the date.

Making a “date” commits you to doing something, such as going to a movie, going dancing or having dinner.

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