10 things to know before dating an Irish person

Don’t be caught off guard. Our list of the top 10 things you should know before dating an Irish person may shed some light on what exactly you’re getting yourself into.

So you’ve managed to bag someone from the best country in the world. Congratulations. But before you commit to anything serious, there are some things you may want to know.

We Irish are strange folk, with weird and wonderful traditions you’ll no doubt be exposed to throughout our relationship.

Ireland Before You Die’s top tips to know before dating an Irish person

Here are some quickfire tips to know before we get into the article:

  • It is important to know to respect Irish culture when dating an Irish people. Irish people cling dearly to their sports, language and heritage, so be respectful of that and, if possible, learn about it.
  • You will need to enjoy going to the pubs and taking a few pints! Irish people generally love socialising and heading to the bars, and no doubt you will find yourself here, too.
  • Take the time to try and understand the accent if it is a particularly difficult one! Learn to be patient and to ask them to clarify what they said if needs be. In time, the accent will become less and less of a barrier.
  • Another thing you will need to learn to love (if you don’t already!) is Irish food and drinks. Once you are with an Irish person, it is likely you will be eating Stew and drinking the odd pint of Guinness.
  • And, like any relationship, be supportive of your partners passions and pursuits! Support their ambitions and be there for them through the journey.

10. You’ll be speaking like us soon

One of the top things to know before dating an Irish person is that you'll pick up so many of our sayings and take on our accents yourself.

Get ready to know a whole new language. And no, we’re not talking about Gaeilge.

Irish people have an array of colloquialisms and Irish sayings that we manage to use in just about every sentence we say. And this will inevitably rub off on you.

It may begin with a ‘wee’ here or there, nothing serious, but before you know it, everything will be ‘great craic’ and you won’t be able to finish a sentence without adding a few ‘likes’ in.

9. You’ll effectively be dating our families

Irish families are large and one of the things to know before dating an Irish person is that you'll effectively be dating our families.
Picture of an actual Irish family reunion

Families are intensely important in Irish life, and if things get serious enough for you to meet ours, they may be a more significant part of your life than you had anticipated.

We also tend to have loads of relations, so get ready for an uncle’s birthday every two months. And that’s not to mention weddings. But don’t worry, we don’t expect you to remember all the names.

READ MORE: 10 reasons why dating an Irish girl is a great idea

8. Prepare to get your shoes muddy

Us Irish folk live in the countryside so one of the top things to know before dating an Irish person is that your shoes are bound to get muddy.
Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

One big thing to know before dating an Irish person is that while we may have met you in the city, most of us hail from more rural areas of Ireland – effectively all of it.

Trips to visit our parents will most likely consist of wellington boots, navigating cars up unnecessarily narrow country lanes, and of course, taking in the Emerald Isle’s beautiful scenery.

7. Be prepared for some religion

Religion is a big part of Irish life, thought times have changed, another thing to know before dating an Irish person.

While the country has changed a lot in recent years, religion is still a large part of life for many. This is especially true for older generations.

It’s not uncommon for parents to be a bit iffy about unmarried couples sleeping in the same bed, so you may have to get used to a blow-up mattress if we visit the folks. Spending Christmas with our family? Odds are, Midnight Mass will be on the to-do list.

6. Get ready for a very potato-filled culinary experience

We love potatoes and you'll soon come to realise how potato-orientated our cuisine really is, a top thing to know before dating an Irish person.

This is one stereotype that rings true. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to a Sunday roast at our granny’s, don’t be surprised to see 500+ variations of a cooked spud on your plate.

Sure, what more would you want? And girls, this may also be one of the little signs that you are dating an Irish man.

5. St. Patrick’s Day will never be the same again

One of the top things to know before dating an Irish person is that St. Patrick's Day will be like nothing you've ever experienced.

If March 17th was just another spring day to you before you met us, prepare for that to change. The celebration day of our patron saint is a massive deal all over Ireland, with parades and Guinness aplenty.

4. To avoid awkward moments, read up a bit on our history

Our history is tense and bloody so it's best to read up on this before dating an Irish person.

Engaging in a bit of quick research on the complex history of our country would not be a bad thing. At the very least, make sure you understand the difference between Ireland and the UK.

After 700 years of oppression, you’ll find that people can be a bit touchy. People will appreciate it if you make an effort to understand our past. And if you don’t understand, better to keep your opinions to yourself at the kitchen table.

3. You’ll laugh a lot

Us Irish are jokers so be ready to embrace the silliness and fun that comes with dating one of us.

It wouldn’t be an unfair generalisation to say that most Irish people have a great sense of humour. We laugh at ourselves, and almost everything life throws at us.

Adding alcohol to the mix only amplifies things.

READ: Need anymore reasons to be convinced? Let IB4UD help, with our article on 10 reasons dating an Irish person is a great idea

2. If someone we know dies, you’re in for an odd experience

An Irish wake is a big part of Irish traditions, something you'll find surprising when you start dating one of us.

If you have never experienced the Irish wake, you’re in for a unique and potentially unsettling experience.

Just picture it. You’ve been dating us for more than a year. A great uncle passes.  You come with us to his house. The whole town is there, even people he hadn’t met, here to drink some tea and lend their condolences.

You make the mistake of entering the living room with your sandwich in hand and BOOM…the man’s exposed corpse is in front of you, laying beneath the photographs of our cousin’s wedding photos.

Best not to panic. Going by this ancient Irish tradition, you’ll be here until morning.

LEARN MORE: Let us help you get used to this with our piece on the top 10 traditions of a good Irish wake

1. We’re in it for the long-haul

The Irish are hopeless romantics so you're bound to us for a long while and we're in a relationship for the long-haul.

The most important thing you should know before dating an Irish person is that when we fall in love, we do so fiercely.

Rates of divorce in this country remain lower than in most of Europe. Despite how much we joke around, we’re at heart, pretty much hopeless romantics. We hope these top ten things you should know before dating an Irish person will prepare you for any relationship with any of us.

Your questions answered about things to know before dating an Irish person

Should you have any further questions, then we have you covered. Here, we have outlined the most frequently asked questions about things to know before dating an Irish person.

Are Irish men loyal to partners?

Yes! Irish people, and men, are loyal and invest a lot into their relationships. They will be there, in the good and bad days!

How to flirt with an Irish man?

There are many different ways to do so, but in particular you can compliment him, or even offer to go for a few drinks! Hard to say no to that.

How romantic are the Irish?

Yes – Irish people are very romantic and get heavily involved in their relationships. It is said this derives from the close-knit bond people have here with their families.

What is dating like in Ireland?

It can be tough, as it requires confidence to approach people in person. However, there are lots of options, such as drinks, going to a game, or going to the cinema.

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