Men and women shake hands when they meet for the first time.
At the first meeting, it is polite to say - nice to meet you ("enchanté" or "aangenaam").
We don't make a big deal about manners and etiquette -- but to Americans we seem formal because of our "closed" accent, and our frequent use of "please" and "thank-you".
It is in that respect that Americans are most likely to mis-step.
And hey, he can easily play off as my hero when he catches a spider! Not having meat in a meal is unacceptable Yes, there are vegetarian Australians, but after dating my Aussie and meeting most of his friends, every meal required some sort of meat (mostly BBQ of sorts) otherwise it was considered as just an appetizer. Americans love his accent I, being one of the Americans that fell in love with his accent, obviously, but the Aussie will go to the bar, smile at someone (being nice, not flirty) and they will nod and turn back to their friends.
I routinely hear people say "thank-you" four or five times while paying for their groceries.
Throw in a generous sprinkling of "pleases" even when all you are being offered is a choice of vegetables or the option of caramel on your latte; and of "you're welcomes" when someone thanks you -- never, ever the unconscious American "unh-hunh" which means the same as "you're welcome" in American vernacular, but which in Canadian vernacular comes across as "yeah, whatever, I don't need any thanks from the likes of you!
Upon being introduced to someone, one can very well talk about subjects like the family and work.
In general, Belgians do not like to be thought of as being the same as French and because of the somewhat tense situation between French speaking and Flemish speaking Belgians, political subjects are better left alone at a first meeting.