Insights •Expat Corner• 24.04.2018 • Presented by Simône Van Schouwenburg – Business Development ing Expat Services.
(Photo : ING Luxembourg)
Finding love is not always easy, but is it more difficult in a multilingual and multicultural country such as Luxembourg? It is true that starting love with someone from another culture can be complicated but, in the Grand-Duchy, there can be an extra layer of complexity you might not have experienced in your home country.
The Grand-Duchy is a unique place in that many people you meet on a day-to-day basis through work won’t actually live in the country. More than 180,000 people - almost half of the working population - commute into Luxembourg for work from Belgium, Germany and France1. With such a transient population, dating can be a bit hit and miss. In addition, many people in the Grand-Duchy do not have time to really look for love and build a relationship due to a busy professional and personal schedule. And, last but not least, there is the language barrier. If you speak only English and not one of the three national languages (Luxembourgish, French or German), finding love – especially local love - may be more problematic than expected.
Where to go to start dating ?
The best solution is to go to Luxembourg City. English is the lingua franca in the capital city where the majority of the residents (71%) is made of non-Luxembourgish people from 167 different nationalities. This is why there are plenty of places in the town where you can easily socialise in the language of Shakespeare: popular bars such as Konrad Café & Bar, Scott’s Pub, Café des Tramways, The Tube Bar, O’Bar, Rocas or Hitch; upmarket bars such as Octans and cultural cafés such as Café des Capucins or Café des Artistes. And the list is not exhaustive.
And don’t think that city residents are buttoned-up people. It is a myth. If you are looking for after-work entertainment, there are a lot of lively bars for cocktail hour or aperitif. The most vibrant are those clustered along rue du Marché-aux-Herbes and the neighbouring streets, including Le Palais, Go Ten or Urban, where crowds spill onto the street with beer bottles and cocktail glasses in hand during the summer. There are also places to head late in the evening. The trendiest area is “Les Rives de Clausen”, located in the old site of the Mousel brewery and renowned for its nightlife. Aside from the partying scene, Luxembourg City has a large number of wine bars and an impressive line-up of exclusive restaurants with different styles of cuisine from around the world.
Online dating and singles agencies
You can also try to find the love supreme by using dating and matchmaking websites or applications like Tinder, Badoo or AdopteUnMec (only in French). Sometimes it works or… not. If you want to connect with like-minded expatriates in Luxembourg, you can sign up for online expat communities such as Expatica Dating2 or InterNations Luxembourg3. InterNations Luxembourg organises monthly events and activities for Luxembourg expatriates and newcomers.
Perhaps you are reluctant to use dating sites and prefer to communicate immediately face to face and avoid any possibility to hide your personality behind a screen. In this case, singles agencies are your last option. The most important ones are Love4You, a social club for singles4, and Luxdates, an introduction agency for educated and sophisticated singles in Luxembourg and Greater Region5. They propose a quality service based on your needs but they are not really cheap.
Whatever your dating strategy is, don’t forget that Luxembourg is a small country and that the number of bars and restaurants where you can go is limited compared to big cities like Berlin, London or Paris. In other words, the chances to bump into someone you had dated are big. It means that if you do a have a negative experience in Luxembourg, avoiding that person in the future will be almost impossible unless one of you moves away. So learn to be emotionally mature and deal with the fact that the only way of forgetting someone is mentally letting go. And don’t take it too seriously. Really, don’t. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, love is much too important to be taken seriously.
1 186,706 cross-border workers as at the fourth quarter of 2017: 45,117 from Belgium, 44,875 from Germany and 96,714 from France (sources: Statec).