The Dating Game: Weird And Wonderful World Of Love Across The Globe
From senior dating parks to blood matching, lovers around the world have some odd ways of meeting their match.
SINGLES from around the globe are going to some extreme lengths to find their soulmate.
While digital dating has revolutionised the soul-seeking world, with over 366 million people having signed up to matchmaking apps by 2022, lovers in countries like France, Japan and Denmark are resorting to some more unusual traditions to find their next partner.
“The wonderful world of dating and romance is absolutely fascinating,” said Nicky Wake, founder of Chapter 2, an online dating app designed by widows for widows and widowers. “While there are some customs that are bizarre, there are others that are just so odd that they’re quite beautiful in their own way.”
No matter the country, each culture has its own unique way of looking for love.
FRANCE - CONTRACTING LOVE
Well known for its association with romance, with Paris often nicknamed ‘The City of Love’, France is also famous for its odd customs.
One of the most unusual was the idea of the love contract. Until 2013, couples were legally required to get married in the town where one of them lived - ruining any chance of a quick elopement for anyone looking to tie the knot.
JAPAN - BLOOD BONDING
One of the weirdest trends stretches all the way over from the other side of the globe.
Famous for its unique and spiritual traditions, potential lovers in Japan have taken to believing in a connection between people’s blood types and their personality traits.
This odd association has even been adopted by some dating services in the country, with social events and potential matches organising participants by their blood type to help influence compatibility.
DENMARK - BREAKING DISHES
Another European destination with a unique approach to marriage customs, the Danes take the idea of ‘something broken’ literally.
It’s a long-held tradition for the friends and family of the newly-married couples to actually break dishes and glasses on the doors of the new family home. While the ritual is said to bring good luck to the couple as they embark on married life, it can be intimidating to anyone who might be ignorant of the Danish way of life.
SOUTH KOREA - 100 DAYS OF LOVE
While anniversaries for most of us in the UK are a once-a-year occurrence, South Koreans move a little bit faster.
In the Asian nation, it is customary for couples to count down to the 100th day since they got together - and celebrate their anniversaries every 100 days of their relationship.
Most couples are expected to make the 100 day celebrations a big occasion, with gifts, trips or meals for their lover, making it a nightmare for any of the absent minded folk that might get their calendars mixed up.
PHILIPPINES - HARANA
Perhaps the most romantic of the weird and wonderful dating customs across the world comes from the Philippine Islands.
‘Harana’ is a traditional form of romance that dates back centuries, in which the suitor is required to serenade their potential partner. While not a legal requirement, the practice is still followed often by lovers looking to capture the attention of their potential soulmate.
CHINA - SENIOR CITIZEN DATING PARKS
It’s not just the youngsters of the world that are getting involved in some odd dating routines.
To help matchmaking among older generations, China has built a number of parks designed specifically for senior citizens as places to socialise and potentially find romantic companionship.
These parks often have organised activities and events for older individuals, making them a hotspot for old romantics looking for love again.
“Many people think that the rise of internet dating, and not just meeting our potential partners in a pub, is a weird dating trend” Nicky continued. “But it’s clear that the UK is nowhere near some of the oddest dating customs in the world.
“It’s so interesting to see the way different cultures approach dating, whether it’s young couples or older romantics, widows or singles, and that everyone can find love when they look for it.”
Chapter 2 is a dating app set up specifically for widows and widowers, by widowers. Designed as a safe space for anyone who wants to get back into the world of online dating following the loss of a partner, it features community forums and is open to any widow or widower looking for friendship, companionship or romance.
Central to the app is a community hub which sets Chapter 2 apart from other, mainstream dating apps. Offering a legal and financial support section, an emotional support section with articles on grief and bereavement and a section of solo parenting and how to navigate blended families and children’s grief, Chapter 2 is built to support the widow community in all aspects of life.