Dating and friendship

Be sure to research the laws and cultural norms in your destination country surrounding relationships, dating, and public displays of affection, among both same-sex and opposite-sex couples BEFORE you travel. You can find this information list on the U. S. State Department’s Country Information pages.

In some cultures, public displays of affection are widely accepted, while in others it can lead to legal problems. In other cultures, dating rituals may be different than what you are used to. For example, dating in groups is much more common in some cultures than individual dating, which is reserved for serious, long-term relationships. Sex may or may not be a common component of dating in the country you visit.

Cultural norms on dating vary from country to country and region to region.  Things that we may take for granted as generally accepted in Pennsylvania may draw unwanted attention in some cultures.  For example, two people from different religions or socioeconomic statuses may not be socially accepted as a couple.  There may also be age, sexual orientation and race biases that lead to discrimination or negative attention.  A little research in advance will give you a general sense of dating practices where you are traveling and may help offset possible misunderstandings and uncomfortable situations.  

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