Danish Dating Culture

Navigating Danish dating culture in the 21st century

Looking to get into the Danish dating scene? Lucky you! Denmark has a dating culture like no other! With a record-setting degree of gender equality and impressively forthcoming communication skills, Danish dating culture is sure to surprise anyone outside the Scandinavian bubble.

The busy streets of Copenhagen are filled with beautiful people of all shapes and sizes.  

So, what is dating like in Denmark? How do you date without traditional gender roles? How do two people meet each other in a country where nobody talks to strangers?

Here we will be demystifying the subtleties of dating in Denmark so that those interested in embarking on this journey don’t go in unprepared.

Dating culture in Denmark and gender equality

Unlike many other parts of the world, the roles for men and women are much more blurred in Scandinavia, and Denmark is no exception. Making the first move is not necessarily reserved for the male half of the population.

Everyone is different, but there are a surprising number of shy and sensitive Danish men and rather assertive and direct Danish women. Or at least it can seem that way for those of us used to more traditional gender roles. 

For those interested in dating Danish women, you may be surprised by their cool confidence and assertive nature. Foreigners interested in dating Danish men will feel refreshed by a surprisingly sensitive and sweet partner. 

Danes may adhere a lot less to traditional gender roles, but that does not mean that they are not aware of them. My advice? Compliment her on more than her appearance and don’t assume he is going to pay.

Being expected to pay for everything is a huge turn-off for Danish men and having everything paid for you is considered creepy for many Danish women. 

Danish Dating Culture

Alcohol and sex culture

Danes are shy and the notorious not-so-secret sauce (alcohol) will help your date open up and relax. But be prepared, Danes are professionals when it comes to alcohol consumption. Every stereotype you have heard about the distant Dane gets turned on its head when you introduce alcohol.

Alcohol is consumed at every social event from meeting the parents to the annual work Christmas lunch and finishing a party at 7am is not uncommon. If you can’t keep up, that’s okay! You don’t have to. It only takes a couple of beers to get the opening-up juices flowing anyway.

Sex culture is additionally unique in Denmark. There are plenty of women and men that are only looking for casual hook-ups. Sex happens faster in Denmark and relationships slower. The sexual revolution of the 70s echoes strongly in the streets of Copenhagen and maintains the sexual liberation of both men and women to this day. In other words, don’t be afraid to talk about sex.

While sex may not be taboo, this is the 21st century and consent is important. Do not ever assume that sex is on the table! If you are unsure about your date’s intentions, just ask. Your honesty will be respected and appreciated.

Where to go and what to do

Tinder is up and running and sex culture is live and on the move. Danes are professional charmers and impressing them might seem impossible at first. So how do you impress a Dane? You get creative and show personality!

Don’t worry! We got you covered! Check out these pro-tips!

Dating the Danes pro-tip number 1:

Skip dinner and a movie!

Dinner on the first date can leave you stuck at a table with no escape if you don’t like the person. Not to mention, the prospect of an expensive bill at the end of a date that didn’t go well is uncomfortable and awkward.

Movies are equally unpopular. You spend the whole time looking at a screen and not-each-other. You learn nothing about the person, and it usually just ends up feeling like a waste of time. Save the movies for later down the road.

The most popular date destinations are cafés and bodegas (little cozy hole-in-the-wall bars), and these are great! But to really be remembered, try being a little more creative when dating a Dane. If it’s wintertime, go ice skating! Especially if you are bad at it!

There’s nothing cuter than holding the hand of a fully grown adult who doesn’t know how to ice skate. You might fall a few times, but it’ll get you out of your head, and laughing. It might just land you a second date.

If it’s summertime, get out in the sun while you can! A sunny day spent indoors is a waste of a day! Living in Denmark for a couple seasons, you are bound to notice the sudden influx of people the moment the sun shines.

Go have a picnic in the park and people watch! Be sure to bring a few beers for a real Danish summer experience.

Dating the Danes pro-tip number 2:

If you are both engaged in an activity, it takes the pressure off creating conversation.

In Denmark, making conversation with someone you hardly know is stressful. This might seem weird to anyone from a more extroverted country (basically any other country). So, let’s break it down from the perspective of the Dane.

The first thing that happens is you notice that the conversation keeps ending and either you or your date try to come up with new subject matter so you can avoid the ever-looming doom that is awkward silence with a stranger.

You try desperately to fill the air with bland off-the-top-of-your-head topics, that you honestly aren’t that interested in. All the while, you are only half paying attention to what your date is saying because you’re trying to think of three more topics just in case this one bombs!

And when it does, a baby starts crying in the background and you start hyperventilating.

Okay, this example might be a little exaggerated. But Denmark does have more of an introverted culture than, say, American culture.

Take some pressure off by going on a date where you are both engaged in something. Go play pool or check out Bastard Cafe in Copenhagen, they have free board games and coffee. Remember, creativity is your friend!

Danish Dating Culture

Dating the ever-stylish Dane

If you haven’t already noticed, Danes are incredibly well dressed. Somehow, they bike everywhere in rain, snow or shine, and arrive at their destination with perfect hair and make-up. Unfair right? That’s only supposed to happen in movies!

But don’t let yourself be discouraged! You don’t need to wear anything fancy or flashy. The secret to Danish fashion is casual subtlety. You want to look cool and casual with a subtle hint of personality.

You don’t want to look like you tried too hard, but you do want to look fashionable. But fashionable by accident. Whether you are a man or a woman, a hoodie with a leather jacket over it and black jeans will likely keep you feeling comfortable no matter what the other person wears.

Wear a button-up or nice top under your hoodie to give yourself style and options. Layers are going to be your secret weapon to balance weather conditions and great style.

Where do people meet?

So, you have your leather jacket and bike ready. You know what you want and are ready to communicate it. Now what? Where do you go to meet one of these incredible humans? Danes are notorious for being difficult to connect with. They value their privacy and do not appreciate being approached in public.

Seriously! Don’t try it!

If you approach a Dane at a bus stop, on the train, or out on the street, they will assume 1 of 3 things.

  1. There is something wrong with you (mentally disabled).
  2. You are a tourist and need directions.
  3. You are on drugs.

They don’t make it easy. I know.

Tinder is your friend. In socially distant Denmark, Tinder does a pretty good job facilitating meetups that would otherwise never take place. You can find people on Tinder of all ages, genders, and sexualities. If you aren’t so much for the online dating scene, there are other options.

Occasions where friends, colleagues, or other expats meet up could easily facilitate the right environment. Add a bit of alcohol and there’s bound to be an exchange of phone numbers before the night is over.  

Danish dating culture: Remember to be yourself!

In Denmark, dating can be a little intimidating at first. For one, most people are attractive, especially if you are dating in Copenhagen or another big city. For two, dating a Danish man and dating a Danish woman might be a little confusing at first if you are used to the more traditional cat and mouse dating style.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be yourself. If you are considering a relationship with a specific Dane, odds are they already find you incredible. But being aware of the culture they come from can only help you on your journey.

The dating culture in Denmark is nothing if not refreshing. Prepare to have your dating assumptions challenged as these beautiful people surprise and impress the most experienced of lovers. Danish dating culture is nothing if not unique for those of us lucky enough to find ourselves in it.

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

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