By Kristy Robinson, eHow Contributor

Dating Differences Between American & East Indian Cultures thumbnail

Dating cultures differ significantly between American and East Indian cultures.

East Indian and American dating cultures are both very diverse and can vary by religion, geographic location and regional backgrounds. Typically, East Indian cultures have much stronger family and matrimonial values when dating is involved than American cultures do. American cultures have a higher standard of freedom in the dating scene as Indian cultures tend to seek their own caste, religion or the approval of their family first.


  • Safety is a major concern in American culture, especially when it comes to dating. Couples are increasingly meeting through dating services instead of through familiar outlets, such as friends. As a result, it has become increasingly accepted in American culture for the couple to meet at a public place instead of the girl being picked up at her doorstep for the date.

    Indian culture dictates that men and women do not interact with each other if they do not know each other. When dating, the couple already knows each other and is more comfortable with the safety of the date. Still, most girls are not picked up at their home because of the non-acceptance of casual dating relationships by the majority. In India, approximately 80 percent of marriages are still arranged and couples do not date until the the arrangement has been made.

Dating Multiples

  • In American culture, it is perfectly acceptable to play the field and date several people at once with no commitment. Dating is just as much of a social outing as it is a means to meet a prospective mate. Social norms do not limit strange women and men from interacting with each other, which opens the possibility of meeting more potential dates. It is also socially acceptable for a woman to ask a man out on a date.

    In East Indian cultures, monogamy among married couples is the standard and dating is not typically allowed until a marriage has been agreed to. Most Indian people only date this one person their whole lives. Exceptions are made in larger, more westernized cities such as Delhi and Mumbai where males and females have more interaction with each other before marriage.


  • In most American dating cultures, promiscuity is the social norm. Women feel increasing pressure to carry on intimate relationships with men they do not intend to marry, and these relationships, though not highly prized, are socially acceptable. In longer-lasting dating relationships, sex is often expected to keep the relationship going.

    In East Indian dating cultures, promiscuity is extremely taboo and even limited encounters between males and females is strictly reserved for marriage. Most Indians maintain their chastity until they are married or face ostracism by the community as well as parents. Often they fear being put out of the family home, attacks from the partner’s family, or legal retaliation if sexual activities are engaged in.

Online Dating

  • Online dating has become increasingly popular in American culture. Many men and women sign up for dating sites as a means of meeting someone they are more compatible with but might not have otherwise run into in their daily lives. A recent report mentions that more than 30 percent of Americans look for potential and compatible mates online. Indian dating communities are more geared toward matrimony than casual dating or compatibility.