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.
Assuming that things went well at the club, sometime in the next few days one of you (it might just as well be the girl as the boy) will text the other and ask them out for a fika, which means a daytime meeting at a café for a coffee. Again, you have to be careful not to seem pushy by asking the person out for a drink or dinner. It’s too soon for that at the “ fika stage”. I should note that while this fika obviously is a date of sorts, you never call it that. A fika is by definition not a date. Instead, both parties pretend that they’ve forgotten about their brief romance at the club and keep things rather platonic at the non-date fika. The fact that both of you are aware that you’re on a date while simultaneously pretending that it’s not a date can make things quite awkward, but that’s how it’s done. To keep the conversation non-datish, the subjects you talk about are usually very neutral ones such as the housing market, Stockholm versus Gothenburg, how great your iPhones are, or how much the public transportation system irritates you (actually, the Swedish public transportation system is among the best ones in the world). Girls, don’t read anything into it if the guy doesn’t pay, you’re expected to split the bill in the name of equality. If you want to ask out someone that you already know, from work for example, you usually skip the night out and go directly to the fika. This is because the concept of a date almost doesn’t exist in Sweden. If you would have asked someone you know to go out for drinks, that would have been very difficult to say that it’s not a date, which is why fika is a better solution.