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Relationships: 9 unusual dating practices

The author of the saying "you never get a second chance to make a first impression" is widely disputed, but whoever they were, they were spot on.

We're constantly under pressure to make a dazzling first impression - and nowhere is that pressure greater than when it comes to love.

Relationship: 9 unusual approaches to dating practiced around the world

Peacocks display their tails, swans engage in a courtship dance - and us humans have come up with several of our own methods to win hearts (which aren't just bad chat-up lines ).

But if you think flowers, chocolate and sonnets will top these tried and tested techniques - think again.

From Bhutan to Bali, we've been re-inventing the courtship wheel with some weird and wonderful techniques for centuries.

Below is a selection put together by Love Habibi. No, not that sort.

In seventeenth century Wales, it was customary for men to get crafty, showing off their skills by making their potential wives a wooden spoon to keep. The best efforts were rewarded by their female counterparts.

In nineteenth century Austria, women used to plant slices of apple under their bare armpits at social gatherings. Should a man take their fancy, they would remove the apple in order to present him with it.

This one may raise a few eyebrows, but in the remote Himalayan country of Bhutan in South Asia, it is customary for young men to go 'night hunting' for a partner. This involves them climbing into their bedroom in the dead of night in order to engage in sexual activities. If they are caught by the parents, then they are obliged to marry the girl. Presumably if they're not caught, they carry on until they are. Forget waiting till your wedding night.

In parts of Africa such as Zimbabwe and Tanzania, it's a rite of passage for young, unmarried couples to consummate their relationship in specially made huts. This is said to allow would-be brides to almost 'try before they buy', and for the men to prove their 'worth'. Ironically it's the father of the girl who builds the hut for the pair - but all is not as it seems. He does this to keep the boy away from the family home until he is able to provide them with cattle as a token of his commitment - clever!

It's customary during the Usaba Sambah festival in Bali for single men of the community to fight one another with thorn ridden Pandanus leaves. The extremely painful ritual can last all day, but ultimately it's about separating the men from the boys, as the lady folk are said to choose a partner based on their endurance in the battles.

While wolf-whistling has become part of the everyday sexism debate, it's a crucial aspect of dating in Mexico. Rather than finding it sleazy or derogatory, young couples use it to send messages to one another in secret, and many will have their own tunes so that they are able to meet up without being caught by their parents.

In the Irish travelling community (and something that was well-documented on hit TV-series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ), it's a tradition for young men to 'grab' their women in order to quite literally take them away to somewhere secluded in order to forcibly kiss them. This is seen as a rite of passage for young men and women.

In the Netherlands, there is a custom known as 'bundling', where young couples would spend the entire night talking while wrapped up in separate blankets. This was also popular in colonial America - in fact it was encouraged by parents as a means for their children to find partners.

In some parts of Qatar, it is actually tradition for the mother of the groom to choose the bride, and for him not see her face until she unveils herself at the ceremony. Although some people may disagree, marriage experts are keen to set it apart from that as a tradition.

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