English dating customs
Such breaches are viewed by Finns with equanimity if committed by their own countrymen and with understanding or amusement if committed by foreigners.
Codes of behaviour are fairly relaxed, and reputations – good or bad – are built up over time as the result of personal actions rather than conforming to norms or standards.
There is very little chance of a visitor committing fundamental social gaffes or breaches of etiquette that would fatally damage relations between himself and his hosts.
If a bumbling buffoon like Hugh Grant could steal Julia Roberts' heart in It was the summer of 2006 when I first landed in New York as a 19-year-old, laden with warnings about American girls: they're high maintenance, my friends told me.
I tried to brush this off—preconceptions are always dangerous when entering any sort of relationship.
When in doubt, always ask someone, preferably older than you, for suggestions. Most Japanese use the family name followed by san (Mr./Miss/Mrs.), sensei (literally, “teacher,” but used in addressing not only professors but also physicians, dentists, politicians), or the title of the person being addressed (e.g., Tanaka Kyoju / Professor Tanaka, Tanaka Bucho / Director Tanaka, Tanaka Gakucho / President Tanaka).
If you are in doubt and there is no one immediately available to ask for advice, use san.
Often, people will bow and shake hands simultaneously!