As an international student navigating the Australian dating scene for the first time, you probably have lots of questions. What is the dating culture in Australia? What should I know about dating an Australian?
Well, dating in Australia is a bit like driving through the Outback. Sometimes it feels like everything is going by very slowly, there aren’t always clear road signs and you might feel a little lost. If you’re experiencing this, you’re not alone. In Australia, there aren’t formal dating rules, so everyone is figuring it out as they go and hoping for the best. Laid-back, fun and flexible, Australian dating culture allows people to get to know one another in a more casual manner.
Have more questions about dating in Australia as an international student? We’ve answered some of the most common queries to help guide you through the Australian dating scene.
Where can I meet people?
There’s no shortage of places where you can meet new people, including fellow international students as well as Australian locals. Here are some of the most common spots to meet new people:
- At your educational institution
- At international student meet-ups, or through student clubs and societies
- Through social sports or other hobbies and interests
- At local pubs and bars
- Through dating apps
What are the best dating apps for international students?
In recent years, apps have become a very normal avenue for meeting and dating people. In Australia, some of the most popular dating apps are Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Plenty of Fish (POF), Grindr, Happn, Coffee Meets Bagel – the list goes on. If you’re wondering which is best for you, check out our list of some of the best dating apps for international students. All of them work in different ways, so you can try each app before settling on the one that suits your preferences.
If you decide to go on a date with someone you meet through an app, make sure to read through our tips for staying safe on a night out.
How do I ask someone on a date in person?
Firstly, in Australia’s progressive dating culture, anyone can approach anyone. Whether you’re male, female or non-binary, if you’re interested in someone, feel free to make the first move!
The main thing to remember is that we don’t have a huge “pick-up” culture in Australia. In other words, it’s not very common for people to meet and agree to a date right away. Generally, people will want to chat a bit to become more familiar with each other before sharing contact details or making plans to hang out. To make all parties more comfortable, aim to have at least one decent conversation before you ask to see more of someone.
Where do I take someone on a date?
The answer to this totally depends on what kind of people you are.
If you’d like to keep it casual, suggest grabbing a coffee somewhere you both know. Otherwise, group dates and movies are an easy way to get to know someone without too much pressure.
If you’re younger, a dinner date might feel a little too formal. But if you’re a bit older and confident enough to sit across the table from someone for an hour or more – go for it.
If you know the person a little better, consider both of your interests when organising the date. Do you both love rollerblading? Go together one afternoon! If you met in an art class, visit a gallery or take them to a ‘paint and sip’ night, where you can enjoy a glass of wine while painting your interpretation of a classic Van Gogh. At the end of the day, you want the date to be fun for both of you and tapping into your mutual interests is a great way to achieve that goal.
Who pays on a date?
Again, dating in Australia is a very casual and progressive affair, so it’s not expected for any one party to get the bill every time. As a general rule, whoever suggested the outing should at least offer to pay first. That said, it’s becoming more common to split payments on dates, especially when you’re both students. So, keep that in mind and don’t be alarmed if your date wants to contribute as well.
Is social media important in Australian dating culture?
Australians do love Facebook, so much so that there are more Australians with Facebook accounts than without. In a culture where you’re expected to get to know people first, social media profiles are a helpful platform to do exactly that. If there’s someone you’re keen to interact with a bit more, sending them a friend request or a follow is a nice way of letting them know you’re interested.
Is it common to date multiple people at once?
Because Australian dating culture is pretty casual, it’s common to date more than one person in the early stages of getting to know someone. With this in mind, don’t expect to be exclusive straight away unless you have a conversation about it. If you’re unsure, just talk to the person you’re dating! If you’d like to date them and only them, let them know and see how they’re feeling. On the other hand, if you’re not ready to be exclusive, be honest about that as well. Open communication is the best way to make sure you’re both moving forward on the same page.
What marks the beginning of a relationship?
As an international student dating in Australia for the first time, you might be wondering: how long do I date someone until we’re officially in a relationship? In many cultures, the first or second date may mark the beginning of a relationship. However, when dating in Australia, you’ll probably find yourself doing a lot of ‘couply’ activities before the relationship actually begins.
A typical relationship in Australia might go something like this: you meet, talk and get to know each other. The first time you go on a date, it’s probably a very casual activity, such as a group outing with friends, grabbing a coffee or going to the beach. From there, if you both enjoy the quality time you spend together, you’ll start seeing each other more often and potentially embark on a serious relationship.
What do I need to know about dating an Australian?
Known for being laid-back, friendly and fun, you’ll never be bored when dating an Australian. That said, you’ll likely experience some interesting cultural differences throughout your relationship. You may use different slang, eat different foods and participate in different traditions. Just remember to be patient and that it’s all part of the fun of dating someone from a different culture! Want to familiarise yourself with some of the telltale signs that you’re dating an Australian? Check out our list here.
We hope you’re now feeling a little more prepared to enter the world of dating in Australia. While it might feel daunting at first, dating is meant to be fun – so try not to stress too much and just enjoy it. Good luck!