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© Dana Friedlander for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism/Flickr
© Dana Friedlander for the Israeli Ministry of Tourism/Flickr

A Single's Guide to Dating in Tel Aviv

Picture of Lior Kantor
Updated: 24 January 2018

Tel Aviv is a very vibrant, liberal and sexy city. The bars and clubs are swarming with young and pretty men and women looking to meet someone new, whether it’s for the night or for a happily-ever-after. Here’s our guide on how to navigate Tel Aviv’s dating scene and everything you need to know about dating a Tel Avivian.

Cut the bullshit

Often misjudged as rudeness, Israelis’ direct approach towards dating and life in general, can actually make the whole process much easier; however it does take some getting used to, no doubt about that. It is completely normal for a woman to just hand over her number out of the blue, or for a man to join a conversation between two girls to ask if you want to go for coffee. Keep in mind, they will also find it very easy to break up with you the moment they feel like it, without much explaining or preparing.

No need to overdress

One good thing about Tel Aviv’s dating scene is that people don’t really dress up, unlike other places in the world. It is absolutely okay to go out on a date with a pair of jeans and sneakers and for a girl to not put heavy make up on. Tel Avivians love the clean, naturally-pretty look and adopt a pretty laid back dress code.

Flirty doesn’t always mean interested

Israeli men and women are flirty, particularly in Tel Aviv. An Israeli woman you meet at a bar can spend the night heavily flirting with you but refuse to give out her number (usually going for: ‘I have a boyfriend’), while an Israeli man can spend the evening flirting with random women just to search for an easy hookup.

Meet the family

Young Israelis are usually very open and close with their families and they love inviting whoever they are dating for a Shabbat meal, which essentially means meeting the family. You’d be surprised to see how welcoming and open their family usually is and what a fun evening it can turn out to be.

Prepare to go out late

Don’t be alarmed if your date picks you up at 10 pm – that is a very normal time for Tel Avivians to go out for a drink. In fact, that is even early. In some of the city’s best nightclubs, there’s nothing to do before 1 am.

Embrace the app life

First off, WhatsApp. You will rarely stumble upon an Israeli who doesn’t use the chatting app and it is definitely the most casual and common way to start chatting with someone you’ve just met. Talking on the phone, however last decade it may be, is always a preferred way to approach someone you want to show you are serious about.

Don’t hide your accent

Israelis love foreigners. Speak with an English, American, French or Spanish accent and you will never have that awkward silence moment we all dread. Israelis love talking about travel, hearing about other places, trying to mimic accents and most of all, complain about Israel, despite actually loving it.

An abundance of pretty people

Some of the first names that come to mind when thinking about Israelis are Gal Gadot and Bar Refaeli – get where this is going? Anyone who has been to Tel Aviv will tell you about the variety of diverse, well-groomed and good looking people you can find around the city. Whether you’re into the tall, dark and handsome look or a blue-eyed blonde, Tel Aviv’s got it.

Maybe doesn’t mean no

Israeli men and women love a challenge and can be quite persistent. Leave the door slightly ajar and they will slide it right open. Of course, if you are direct enough with your refusal, they will understand and leave you be. But keep in mind that Israelis, and men, in particular, are used to being teased and have no problem working hard to win over a hesitant woman.