Dating Israeli Men – What to Expect

Considering dating Israeli men? Israeli men, whether you meet them in their motherland or while they are living and travelling overseas, can be fun to date as they are usually pretty well travelled, open, honest, and have a good sense of humour. 

Not to mention, Israeli men are not bad to look at either. (Have a quick Google of an Instagram account called ¨Hot Dudes & Hummus¨ and thank me later). 

Unless you are travelling/living in Israel or you are part of a Jewish community, you may not know many Israeli men firsthand. For a lot of Western people, the only frame of reference they have in mind for Israelis is the Tinder Swindler!

(Who, by the way, is not representative of Israeli men in general.) This article has been written by a British Travel Writer who had a long-term relationship with an American-Israeli guy.

Obviously, that doesn’t make me the go-to expert on all Israeli men but I can definitely provide some insight into my own experiences dating someone from this culture.

What to expect when dating Israeli men

Dating Israeli men in Israel

It is understandable to be curious about what dating Israeli men is like, and whether these men have similar personality traits and values to the men in your own country. Although at the base level, Israeli culture can seem different, we are all human at the end of the day. 

The way a person acts and approaches relationships often has more to do with who they are as a person rather than a result of their nationality, race, or culture. It is impossible to provide broad generalisations as to what an entire demographic of people is like. 

This article will look at some commonly shared traits of Israeli men. But for the most part, it is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Many Israeli men are well-travelled 

All Israeli men have to complete mandatory military service for two to three years after they complete high school. This can see them venture into Palestine’s West Bank, doing security checks at Israeli airports and bus stations or guarding various landmarks around the country. (For instance, the wailing wall in Jerusalem). 

For a lot of Israelis, it is customary to take a long break to travel after this military service. A lot of people have the outlook that after being in an intensely stressful and often dangerous environment for years, they want to travel and relax before studying or settling down. 

So, Israeli men will often complete their military service, travel for 6-18 months (or more!), and then go on to study at university. Data from the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics discovered that 4.2 million Israelis travel abroad each year. 

That is more than half of the country´s population of 7.9 million. The desire to travel and explore the world is strong for a lot of Israelis. 

South America and Southeast Asia are popular travel destinations for young Israelis, just as they are for young European and British backpackers. The lower costs in these countries mean that people from a strong economy such as Israel can get a lot more bang for their book here and travel for a decent amount of time without breaking the bank. 

Greece (Athens, and islands such as the Cyclades and the Sporades) are also very popular travel destinations for Israelis. When it comes to dating Israeli men, this means that the guys you meet will be cultured and aware of various international issues.

He may speak multiple languages 

The official national language of Israel is Hebrew and the vast majority of people living in the country speak it as their first language. Approximately 85% of Israelis speak English and the language is taught in school.

Most Israelis speak English with such fluency that you would never realise that it was not their first language. So, when dating in Israel, you won’t have any issues with communicating or getting by.

Equally, you may encounter a lot of Israelis who can speak other languages too (Spanish, Portuguese, etc.) This all goes back to the fact that a lot of Israelis like to travel and South America is a hugely popular destination for them. Since few people in countries like Colombia or Mexico speak English, learning a bit of Spanish is a necessity.  

Israel men are often very attractive

Generally speaking, Israeli men are usually pretty good-looking. You will find men from a mix of cultural backgrounds in Israel and the result is usually an appearance that is tall, dark, handsome, and exotic. 

Perhaps owing in part to the hot weather, the number of beaches in Israel, and the country’s slight machismo culture, a lot of men take a lot of pride in their appearance and work out a lot. Obviously, looks aren’t everything, but you will often see a higher-than-average amount of attractive people walking around here. 

Expect lots of good food in your future

Israeli food is delicious and varied. Dishes such as shawarma, falafel, hummus, and shakshuka are everyday staples. 

There are also a lot of great Israeli desserts and pastries to look out for like kunafeh, malabi and krembo. If you have travelled elsewhere in the Middle East, you may be familiar with a lot of Israeli delicacy dishes.

They are enjoyed in various countries in the region (In Jordan, Palestine, Oman, etc.) and almost every local has a different story/belief as to precisely where these dishes were invented. If you are a meat lover, you will love the various sumptuous marinated and grilled meat dishes you can find in Israel, as well as the various spicy sauces and salsas. 

Israeli men can sometimes be mamma boys and depending on their mum’s religious views, they can be wary of their son’s new romantic partners (e.g. if they are Jewish and you are not). But if you are lucky enough to be invited to meet the family, or even just to hang out with friends at a BBQ, you will be greeted with lots of wonderful homemade Israeli classic dishes. 

Be mindful when discussing politics 

There are a lot of controversial topics surrounding Israel, its neighbours, and politics. You will also find that a lot of travellers and people around the world have views of Israel that are less than favourable.

The Israel vs. Palestine discussion is complex and sometimes, whatever way you look at it, it can feel as though there is no clear solution to unite the two countries. Remember that people are not their governments and there are so many levels to this matter that you simply cannot comprehend unless you have grown up in Israel or Palestine. 

Being an empath will go a long way here. Try to listen and understand everyone’s perspective.

What’s more is that a lot of Israeli men will personally know people who were affected by, or lost their lives in the conflict. For instance, they may have friends, brothers, and cousins who died in the Gaza Strip. So approach this subject with caution.

Religion may be very important to him 

Approximately 74% of Israelis are Jewish. 18% of the population identifies as Muslim and other Israelis identify as belonging to other religions.

Religion is a big deal to some people here, but it all comes down to the individual. Orthodox Jews for instance, are very conservative. 

At the same time, there are a lot of younger Israelis who identify as being Jewish, yet they don’t really practice their religion or have strong religious beliefs. Some older generations do not agree with marriage between Jews and non-Jews so if you meet someone with very religious parents and you are not Jewish, they may not be accepting of your relationship at first. 

Israeli men are confident, blunt, and honest 

Most Israelis are very blunt and direct. This can be a little shocking if you are coming from a culture like the UK where people are overly polite and skirt around the subject of things.

For the most part, Israelis will tell you exactly what they think, at any given time. This can be refreshing. 

If you like someone, you won’t find yourself wondering what they really think of you or whether they like you or not. You will know. 

Dating apps in Israel 

Dating apps like Tinder do exist in Israel. Tinder is very popular here. 

There are also several Jewish alternative apps such as JSwipe and Jfiix. Use the same common sense when dating in Israel as you would anywhere else in the world. 

Some people are on the apps looking for a hookup, while others are looking for something a little more serious. Remember that anyone that you meet via the app is still a stranger, so always meet in a public place. 

Patriarchy and gender roles in Israel

On the whole, Israel is a patriarchal country but things are a little more complex than that. Some views that are intertwined with Orthodox Jewish and Islamic religions in this region of the world have patriarchal laws and views that exclude women from participating in certain activities. 

In Israel, like in every country in the world, there are improvements to be made in the quest for gender equality. However the situation in Israel is very different from the Middle East as a whole. 

Israeli women are empowered and independent. They, like Israeli men, are required to complete military service.

Clear any idea of submissive, timid women from your mind when you think about Israeli women. Jerusalem is a conservative place but Tel Aviv is very liberal. 

Even solo female travellers can feel very comfortable in Israel. There is no dress code (outside of visiting religious sites) and you can walk around in places like Tel Aviv, Jaffa, and Eilat, in shorts, dresses, and whatever you feel comfortable in.

Israelis will often have mixed friendship groups with friends of the opposite gender. Socialising here is not really any different from socialising in the US or the UK. 

The dating scene in Israel

Dating in Israel is not all that different from dating in the UK, the US, Europe, or any other Western country. Whether or not that is a good thing depends on your personal preference and outlook when it comes to dating! 

Usually, people will go on various dates with different people until they establish that they are in a committed relationship with someone. That means that up until that point, you shouldn’t assume exclusivity. 

Dating in Tel Aviv is comparable to dating in London in many regards. There are lots of attractive, interesting people around – both local and international, and it can often feel that it is difficult to establish something serious as there is always someone shiny, new, and more exciting just a swipe away on Tinder. 

For the most part, bar occasional cultural differences, you should approach dating in Israel just like you approach dating at home. There are always going to be players and womanizers but at the same time, there are plenty of people looking for a genuine connection too. 

FAQs About Dating Israeli Men 

Do you still have any other burning questions about dating Israeli men? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are looking for below. 

Are Israeli men affectionate?

Most Israeli men are affectionate and very expressive of their thoughts and feelings. They will not hesitate to show you off, hold your hand in public, and exhibit public displays of affection. 

Can a foreigner marry an Israeli? 

Yes. A foreigner can marry an Israeli but if you are hoping to relocate to Israel with your spouse, things are a bit more complicated. 

If you are Jewish, you are automatically able to obtain legal status in Israel through ¨Oleh¨ and the right to return. If you are not, you can still relocate to Israel with your spouse but the process is a little more complicated and can take several years. 

What is the average age of marriage in Israel?

Israelis tend to marry quite young. The average age of marriage is 24 for an Israeli woman and 27 for an Israeli man.

What do you call a man from Israel?

People from the state of Israel are known as Israelis. This term can be used regardless of gender.

Final thoughts on dating Israeli men 

Dating Israeli men during your Israel itinerary can be appealing. It is understandable to be concerned about what people from different cultural and religious backgrounds may be like but we are all human at the end of the day.

Take everyone as you find them, wherever they are from. Have you ever encountered/dated Israeli men in Israel or elsewhere in the world?

Safe travels! Melissa xo

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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