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Dating rules in Sweden, or how and where you can meet a Swedish guy (or girl)

My international friends from university asked me today to explain how dating works in Sweden. Apparently they have trouble getting into the rules of the Swedish dating game. If the fika goes well, you’ll likely start texting each other a couple of times a day. I might add that texting is the preferred channel of communication with Swedish guys. It’s important to keep track of whether he ends his text messages with kram, which means “hug”, or puss, meaning ”kiss”. Eventually you’ll have another date, usually at the cinema, and if that goes well too, you’ll have what constitutes a relationship. Although it might still be a bit early to change your Facebook status. If you’re dating a Swedish guy you should be aware that he probably won’t try to woo you in the classical ways. Try not to get offended or assume that he’s not into you if he doesn’t bring you flowers, if he doesn’t hold the door up for you, if he doesn’t pay for the movie or if he doesn’t offer to walk you home. Instead, he will always respect you and he will never assume that you are weak or bad at something just because you’re a girl.

He’d never assume that you won’t be able to get over that puddle of water without his help. Of course, this gives a generalized picture, and I’ve heard of people meeting each other in other ways (Hannes and I have a different story, I’ll tell you some other time). But from my experience, this is one of the most common scenarios. When I lived in Italy, I often got approached by different men who wanted to ask me out. All kinds of people, too – waiters, policemen, the guards at the Vatican Museums, shop keepers. This dating culture differs a lot from Sweden’s, and it just goes to show that if you want to make it in the dating game in unknown territory, you’d do well to find out which rules apply there first. *A couple of years ago there was a hit hip-hop song that played on this. The chorus goes: Alla som inte dansar är våldtäktsmän, which translates into: ”Everyone who doesn’t dance is a rapist”