Dating A Swedish Man

Your indispensable roadmap to dating a Swedish man

If you’ve never dated a Swedish man before, you are heading into a seriously uncharted territory full of potential pitfalls, U-turns, and roads that lead nowhere. You will definitely need the following roadmap to dating a Swedish man…

Dating Swedish men comes with highs and lows, pros and cons, and plenty of unanswered questions. Luckily for you, we are here to answer them.

What are Swedish men like?

Swedish men are complex creatures that require some careful coaxing and a steady hand. It’s not that Swedish men are necessarily shy, but rather a question of a Swedish cultural trait.

You see, in Sweden, it’s actually considered pushy to be forward, and what you may think of as taking initiative and being proactive is anathema to Swedes.

Let me elaborate: Swedes require an invitation to do, or say, just about anything. Being unfailingly polite, they don’t want to be a bother or a nuisance. They would rather say and do nothing, which means that it may actually be up to you to make the first move.

Will he think you are pushy? Absolutely not. Swedes expect foreigners, particularly Americans, to be straightforward and they appreciate it. 

In reality, most Swedish people want to be drawn out of their shell, so you will be doing him a favor by initiating contact.

Dating A Swedish Man

First date with your Swedish man

Strangely enough, there is no such thing as dating in Sweden, at least not in the traditional sense. Although younger Swedes may use the word “dating” (or “dejting” as it’s written in Swedish) they don’t apply it in the same way that perhaps Americans do.

There will be no dinners in romantic restaurants with him holding the door open for you, at least not at first. That comes way down the line in your budding relationship.

With the typical Swedish man, the first date will almost certainly consist of meeting up for a “fika”.

Fika is a serious Swedish institution and if you are staying for any length of time in Sweden you’d better get used to this one.

Meeting for fika means a neutral daytime meeting in a cafe where you will have coffee and pastries. You will soon learn that Swedish people drink a frightening amount of coffee every day and it packs a punch.

Making fika your first meeting makes for a relaxed, non-committal chance to get to know each other, whether with a love interest or just a friend. Swedish people like to converse, though they tend to keep the conversation light.

Avoid any potentially controversial topics such as politics or religion, but feel free to ask him about himself and his interests. Remember that we are dealing with the typical Swedish man here, and you will need to steer the conversation.

The fact that no alcohol will be involved also means that you will not accidentally end up in bed on your first date. Which brings us to the next subject.

Sex and the Swedish man

Saying there will be no sex at the first meeting is not necessarily true. As far as Swedes and sex, their reputation precedes them and almost all of what you’ve heard is true. Sex is something natural to Swedes and there aren’t many taboos here.

If you meet a Swede in a bar where vast quantities of alcohol are consumed, unlike the afternoon fika, it is almost expected that the night will end in sex. This will most likely be a one-night-stand however, and does not mean you are now dating.

But if your first date is over fika, it’s assumed that you will meet a few more times before taking the leap. Your Swedish man will see this type of date as the possible entryway to a relationship and they will want to get to know you better before getting physical.

Swedes do have quite a casual attitude to sex and it’s not uncommon in Sweden to have a friend with benefits. It’s considered quite healthy and convenient. This only applies if you’re single however, as cheating in a relationship is heavily frowned upon in Sweden.

Swedish men are generally very fit and make good lovers as they tend to extend their politeness to the bedroom. He genuinely does want to ensure you are happy and satisfied. Though he will of course, in the name of equality, expect you to return the favor.

Dating A Swedish Man

Equality and the Dutch connection

It’s important to note that your typical Swedish man will expect you to “go Dutch” when dating. This is not down to any tight-fistedness but rather part of the constant quest for equality between the genders.

Equality is super-important to Swedes in general, and Swedish men take as much responsibility for the kids and housework as the woman. In fact, paternity leave is taken by almost all new fathers and it’s not uncommon to see Swedish men with prams in the parks.

Swedish men make excellent partners and fathers, due in part to that emphasis placed on equality. They see women as completely equal to men, which may be refreshing depending on your own cultural background. Swedish men can iron, do dishes and even knit!

The downside of this equality is, as we mentioned, that there will be no holding of doors for you and you have to pay your own way. It does actually make sense, as it is hideously expensive to eat out in Sweden.

Swedish men and relationships

So how do you know when you are entering the relationship phase? Well, you can kind of judge it based on what you do when you meet up. No, we’re not talking sex now, though presumably you will be having plenty of that at this stage.

If you have moved past fika and onto outdoor activities like nature walks, hiking etc. you are definitely in a relationship. Swedish men love nature, so chances are you will find yourself suddenly dragged out in the forest to forage for mushrooms, or on a jaunty bicycle ride in the country.

Strangely enough, going to the movies or seeing a play for example, are activities reserved for when your relationship has gone on for much longer. Established couples tend to do movie-night dates, but in the early stages of your relationship you will not be in front of the silver screen sharing his popcorn.

Dating a Swedish man also means fidelity. There is no “dating around” going on here and if you are out mushroom picking or bicycling together you are definitely in an exclusive relationship.

However, the casual nature of the average Swedish guy means that there is no need to come to any verbal agreement about this exclusivity. It is totally assumed that you are not picking mushrooms with any man other than him.

Your typical Swedish man in the mirror

Swedish men are good looking, no denying that. No, they are not all tall, blond and blue-eyed, and no they do not all look like Alexander Skarsgård, but good looking they definitely are.

One of the reasons for this, DNA aside, is that Swedish men take really good care of themselves. They work out, eat healthy, wear nice clothes and most even have a skincare routine. Swedes also take very good care of their teeth and dental hygiene is highly rated.

It may sound as though they are slightly vain, but this isn’t about vanity. Well, not entirely anyway. Partially it’s a matter of both self-respect and respect for others, as it is not acceptable to walk around smelling bad and upsetting the status quo of Swedish cleanliness.

The other side of it stems from a genuine desire to be healthy and fit. While Swedes may party hard on the weekend, the rest of the time they are all about being active and energetic.

What’s more, you will find that this quest to look good and be fit spans all ages. So, if you are into the older gentlemen, never fear — you will find plenty of good looking mature men, something that isn’t true of all cultures and countries.

The only downside to this is that your Swedish man will expect you to take just as good care of yourself as he does, so get yourself in shape before embarking on the adventure of dating a Swedish man.

Dating A Swedish Man

The no-no’s when dating a Swedish man

No PDA’s, no tardiness, no random gifts and absolutely no stalking! Remember we said pitfalls and U-turns? Well, these are some of them.

Swedish men do not get physical in public

Swedish men (and women) tend to be quite reserved, so public displays of affection are not very common. Sure, there are those who deliberately like to flaunt this unspoken rule, but in general Swedes are very self-contained in public.

Until you know which type you are dealing with, avoid attempting any hand-holding or public smooching, unless he initiates it. If he does, you’re good to go.

Be on time when dating Swedish men

Tardiness is a huge bone of contention for Swedes. If you arrange to meet at a certain time, it does not mean half an hour after said time. In fact, Swedes usually arrive slightly earlier than they’re supposed to, whether to the dentist or on a date.

So, no white rabbit behavior here. Being late is a sign of disrespect, and that’s not the way you want to start a relationship with your Swedish guy.

Gifts are for special occasions

Swedish men do not do random gift-giving, and neither should you. Gifts are for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries and so on.

One reason for this is that Swedes always feel the need to reciprocate, whatever the circumstance. If you are a couple for example, and get invited to another couple’s for dinner, it’s expected that you will return the favor in the very near future.

The same goes for gifts, so you will be putting him on the spot if you turn up with a random gift. At worst it will turn into an endless marathon of gift-giving between you both, which may frighten him away.

Put that phone down

Most men, regardless of nationality, take offence if you stalk them. To Swedish men however, it has all to do with that reticence and reservation. If he doesn’t answer your call, leave a message, ONE message, and then wait.

He will get back to you, in his own time. Swedes are notoriously bad with phone calls in general and much prefer texting anyway, but if you bombard him with calls or messages because he isn’t answering, you can wave goodbye to your Viking.

When a Swedish man is working, the chances of him answering the phone are slim to none, as Swedes take work very seriously. Do not disturb!

Dating a Swedish man, is it for you?

Don’t be put off by all the do’s and don’ts. Part of dating someone from a different culture is getting to know the other side, and learning to adjust to each other’s cultural quirks.

As we said in the introduction, dating a Swedish man comes with highs and lows, but we will go out on a limb here and say the highs definitely outweigh the lows.

Honest, compassionate, thoughtful and hot, why would you NOT date a Swedish man. So, what if he won’t kiss you in public or surprise you with gifts. What you get instead is someone who will be into you, and only you.

Dating a Swedish man does not just mean good sex, it means you have a new best friend, quite possibly for life.

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