Portuguese dating etiquette
It’s not uncommon, after a while, to receive a small tap on the back after a handshake, or a hug, in some occasions, and after some time when a relationship is more established.
It’s very common for men to kiss women on the cheek (one or, more commonly, two kisses), and is expected, if you are visiting someone’s house, or friend’s friend.
They use gestures a great deal, but do not necessarily touch one another until they get to know each other.
Their facial expressions are normal and they speak loudly and very fast, which may take you by surprise. They are not shy, and like to make people feel at ease.
It’s normal for the Portuguese to have vivid discussions, with higher tone. They kiss one another on the cheek when they first meet and upon subsequent meetings.
Eye contact is important and not looking in someone’s eyes would suggest that you are not listening or not interested in the conversation.
If you are a man, you probably will have to were a suit, shirt and a tie everyday, and if you are a woman, discrete « professional looking » clothes. Portuguese tend to work (non paid) overtime, on a daily basis.
Wearing a suit is still regarded as sign of prestige, and usually indicates that you studied in university, and got an "important" job. Portuguese are generally productive, and are willing to work overtime, (including weekends) to get an important job done.
The tone of voice is normally low and calm, but can easily climb as more emotional intensive moments come. They keep a reasonable distance from people with whom they are speaking.Though domestic violence still exists, it is with no more intensity than other western countries. Language is normally formal with your superiors, and more loosely familiar with colleagues.Don’t be surprised to see a street fight in some more heated discussions for instance. Cursing is not common in offices, even with colleagues you have known for a long time.To have the full score, and have immediate access to longer conversations, compliments on the beauty of the country/city, and questions about the Portuguese culture, are a plus (Portuguese are proud of their culture and history).
Note: Even in a first day on a new office, don’t rush in without taking some time to talk (and probably repeat this conversation) with several people. Jokes are welcomed, if well intended, concerning almost all the subjects, but don’t talk about how Spain is bigger and better than Portugal (Spain is a whole subject in Portugal).
Originally based on material contained in the "Put Your Best Foot Forward" series of books by Mary Murray Bosrock.