Dating Culture in New Zealand: A Guide For A Foreigner

We all know New Zealand for its sheep, wine, Lord of the Rings, rugby, and, most definitely, Kiwis. It’s a place of picturesque landscapes with diverse cultures. Imagining all that, falling in love doesn’t seem hard now, does it? But how do Kiwis go about dating? Is it different to other countries like the US or the UK?

The dating culture in New Zealand is unique. Well, it’s a remote place with its traditions and culture. Kiwis are very down-to-earth, simple, and reasonable people. They take time to get to know the other person. They are also brutally honest and independent and love to spend time together, mostly in outdoor activities like beaches, hiking, and sports!

The purpose of this article is to give you an overview of the dating culture of New Zealand and what to expect when dating a Kiwi so you won’t be overly surprised. The cultural differences are real, and if you come from a very different background, you need to take some time to adjust to the locals, especially if you are keen on meeting a life partner here.

Check out the best online dating sites in New Zealand.

Dating culture in New Zealand: all you need to know

Unlike the stereotypical dating culture shown in rom-com movies, New Zealand has a whole new side to offer when it comes to dating. As a foreigner, you can’t just be prepared for strong, handsome men on horses or independent women on the go.

These common stereotypes, along with a thread of new possibilities, are what make the antiquities and culture of dating in New Zealand.

The most important thing to keep in mind as a foreigner is that the Kiwis like to keep things casual at first, and then all of a sudden, you find yourself fast-forwarded at 2x speed.

If you want to figure out what is going on in the dating culture of New Zealand, you need to figure out the mentality, customs, stages of dating, and etiquette of a Kiwi life.

Also read about getting married in New Zealand.

1. People

In general, New Zealand’s society is a group of well-mannered, polite, and highly independent people. But if you’re looking for a certain someone, you need to have an insight into the behaviors and thinking of people.

Generally, Kiwis are some of the most easygoing individuals you will ever meet. Yet, some of them take their time to grow up and prefer to enjoy their life without entering serious relationships. Many males appreciate spending time with friends over going on dates with women. The sense of community is very strong in New Zealand culture.

When it comes to entering relationships, people here are also very rational and reasonable about it. They don’t want to limit their freedom too soon.

Although they appear very calm and laid back, I am telling you — don’t trust their expressions. The Kiwis can seem somewhat shy and can be slow when it comes to initiating things.

Oh, don’t you start making up fantasies about the lovey-dovey romances of American movies and Italy’s flirting! People in New Zealand are slow-moving and tend to stay very humble about themselves (even if it may not be true!).

Equality is one thing that is valued in relationships here. Both men and women love their independence and appreciate their partner’s understanding in this matter. Also, you might be surprised that it’s not uncommon for a woman to make a first step here.

Their freedom, their right to make decisions, and their say in matters of privacy make the New Zealand culture unique. People here appreciate their personal space, so don’t limit or intimidate them, as they used to have a lot of space (look how few people we have).

Besides, as opposed to the American dating culture of being a gentleman and offering relaxation to a woman, Kiwis prefer keeping the bills half and half. Men and women both work to earn and also share household responsibilities equally.

2. Mentality

We all know how dating makes you overthink even the smallest of things. But that may come in handy when you are trying to figure out the mentality of the other person.

Although Kiwi people are very rational and reasonable, that appears only when making decisions in the later stages. In the beginning, they are very casual and chill.

No one expresses themselves unless you count on revealing all your deepest darkest secrets over a few drinks!

And when they are comfortable with you, you are in for a ride. They are brutally honest and don’t keep you guessing or waiting. They don’t like to play mind games and make sure they are transparent with you.

Gift-giving is an expected dating culture in all countries of the world. But the Kiwis don’t expect or give too much when it comes to worldly things. A simple bouquet or a bottle of whiskey is all you need to get it going.

Kiwis are an adorable group of people who cherish spending quality time together and getting to know each other. Going from a turtle’s pace to a rabbit’s is just their style. But they love to communicate and express their feelings after feeling comfortable.

Check out the best dating apps in New Zealand.

3. Customs

The Kiwis seem like a bunch of very relaxed and easy-to-read people. But when it comes to dating, not all things can be said out loud right at the moment.

One of the most apparent dating customs of the people in New Zealand is that they never make themselves too available, especially in the beginning.

Yes, they are down-to-earth and straightforward, but they are still a bit reserved and shy on the first few dates.

Also, another custom that everyone would want in their lives is “no intrusion from the families.” The families don’t bother much with planning family weekends every Sunday. It’s all up to the person if they want to include families in their lives or not.

When dating a Kiwi, you won’t be expected to see the family at all special events or even remember their names!

4. Stages

The approach to someone you are fond of in New Zealand dating culture would be a casual stop over for drinks, coffee, a walk, or maybe eating in a restaurant. However, since Kiwis are slow-witted (we’re sorry) yet reasonable, they do this over a few times until they get into their zone.

The next step to frankness is as expected: over a few drinks. The people of New Zealand have a very high alcohol dependency when it comes to dating and expressing themselves. So, to get intimate and make some sort of physical contact, they often rely on a few shots (or beers).

Kiwis appreciate it if you are as honest as they are about your feelings. They aren’t into the ghosting culture and always back off by telling you the exact reason.

They look for someone who values the same things they do and goes at their own pace. Too sudden, and they’ll definitely back away.

After that, everything passes by in a blur. If you like them and they like you, it feels like time traveling off to the future and making serious plans.

Online dating is also another shot at dating. The most used dating sites by Kiwis include Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble. All these sites provide a basic dating guide, memberships, and multiple features to make your move.

One important thing to note is that there is no timeframe for progressing things – you might be boyfriend/girlfriend for years, and you might remain partners for a lifetime without ever reaching the marriage stage – this is perfectly ok in Kiwi dating culture.

5. Etiquette

As the people of New Zealand are very well-mannered and respectful, they value etiquette A LOT. When it comes to dressing, they prefer a casual and smart style over flashy and streetwear outfits.

Most Kiwi men are very modest and honest about who they are. They are realistic and sensible when it comes to spending money. So they will probably choose a fancy and cozy-looking place to eat but not something way over the top.

Punctuality is something Kiwis will always admire and look for in their partner. No joking, but if you’re even five minutes late, be ready to face the tense atmosphere for the rest of the hour or two.

6. Typical dates

New Zealand is a land of great beauty and opportunities. So if you think there would be nowhere to go or nothing to do in New Zealand, then you are wrong.

The most common date ideas are going for a coffee, a drink, a walk, a visit to the beach, a picnic, or dining in a restaurant.

Besides that, New Zealand culture allows you to explore new areas and new activities all the time. From biking to the beach or even helping out each other in their chores, Kiwis like to spend quality time with the person they like.

What is it like to date a Kiwi?

Kiwi men and women tend to have different approaches to dating that can get you captivated in a few moments. However, dating a Kiwi is a whole new experience that differs from dating in other parts of the world.

Compared to the US, when Kiwis like someone, they respect and value that person. They either take things seriously or stop immediately if things are not working out well. They despise the ghosting culture of America, which includes playing mind games and flirting endlessly. That said, they will take enough time, sometimes years, to get to know the person before they commit.

Also, compared to the Asian dating culture, Kiwis are the best as they don’t include the family in their personal lives. They know how to keep their dating lives separate from family life.

And, bummer! If you are looking for a flirtatious and passionate romance, then you are in the wrong place. Kiwis are not too strong in expressing their emotions, but they are still warm and caring.

Now the next question is definitely what you should expect while dating Kiwis. What are the typical behaviors and situations you might face when you fall for a Kiwi man or a Kiwi woman? Let us clear that up for you!

Kiwi men are one of a kind species. They might seem like the macho men kind, but we’d say that they are a gentler version of cowboys. What women love about them is their basic understanding of the skills required in everyday life.

They are very efficient and practical when it comes to handling everyday DIY tasks. And, yes, obviously, they love sports!

Now what woman doesn’t love a man who knows how to be useful around the house, especially in the kitchen?

Kiwi men have a pretty good sense of kitchen hygiene and help out by sharing responsibilities. They are also very reasonable and rational when it comes to decision-making. Husband material, huh?

A big problem most people face is how private Kiwi men are. If you like a Kiwi guy but are getting exasperated with how slow he is, be patient because he might just be nervous, shy, or unsure.

A lovely thing is how they can crack jokes to change the atmosphere, even though we all know the atmosphere is all because of them!

On the other hand, Kiwi women are among the strongest and most independent women to ever exist. They have a great sense of craftsmanship and business ideas.

They are very practical and love to take part in action. They don’t mind getting a bit of dirt on their hands to get their job done.

Don’t get this all confused with Kiwi women not being passionate. They are warm and caring for the right person and always keep their emotions upfront and definite.

They appreciate the little things their partner does for them and pay back by communicating and spending quality time together.

A very attractive thing about women here is how they stay true to themselves. Although they are a bunch of partying girls who love downing a few bottles of beer, they like to keep it real.

If they like wearing cowboy boots, jeans, and t-shirts with jandals (slippers or flip-flops), then they’d rather wear that than impress the guy with some shimmer and shine.

They are strong and confident enough to like their appearance and prefer their natural appearance more. So, yeah, just accept her as who she is!

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