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We have a long list of hosts we still want to try (home cooked Mexican and Indian food anyone? Here are a few of the hosts we whole-heartedly recommend: While one of the best things about being an expat is exposing yourself to new cultures, sometimes all you want is someone who understands your obscure cultural references (Raise your hand if you loved the Beachcombers).Luckily, because of the huge international community in Belgium, just about every nation is well represented here.The dreaded plane comes, long-distance love ensues, with romantic but costly trips to their new home, much wringing of hands, long goodbyes, torment and Skype, as suddenly all of Brussels is available and ready to go out with you, but you are unfortunately betrothed to your faraway beau.You gradually begin to drift away from the saving-the-world types; you’d prefer if they were saving you, or at least themselves. Like the go-getting that got us here – should we make it happen? I believe it’s less Hitch-style precision and more about chance: even speaking as a consummate organiser, when it comes to dating, I can’t help thinking orchestrating is not always the way to go.You turn your attention towards the people you know are staying put. The love of your life – maybe he was Belgian all along. You can’t conjure up a partner, no matter how many photography classes you go to.You begin to casually eye up Flanders, wondering what a trip to Ghent might bring you. But then you discover that it seems like Belgians don’t actually date; they all met each other when they were 18 and have been building their house ever since. Or you may have been struck down by the dreaded Compound Syndrome, where you start dating someone totally unsuitable due to lack of choice. But on the other hand, the temptation to take control is understandable, because if not, we’re leaving one of the biggest parts of our lives to chance. So, you might not be able to plan who you end up with, but there are things you can do to try to meet more people and improve your dating life. A friend went to the laundrette and came home with an extra sock and a date with a Frenchman. Change your habits just a bit and you will be surprised who comes into your life.
It’s great for newcomers, because you have instant access to a local host who can share their tips and insider secrets and you never know who may end up at your table.
Another added bonus, as many expats in Brussels are hosting meals, someone is bound to be cooking that food from home you’re missing.
There are loads of options to pick from, especially in Brussels.
That’s why we wanted to share our tips on where to meet people in Belgium.
While the following examples are mostly specific to Brussels, you can apply these tips to your expat assignment anywhere in the world.
Chatting up your new workmate in bumbling French does not feel very sexy. “People are everywhere, I think it’s just taking the time to be open and chatting to someone; a lot of people are in the same position – being away from home – and are open to talking to new people.” Already makes you feel less alone, doesn’t it?