Dating A Danish Woman

Dating Danish women: Unlocking the secret to dating a Danish girl

If you don’t come from a Nordic country, Scandinavian dating might be a confusing experience. Scandinavia is already one of the most progressive regions of the world, but of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Denmark is by far the most liberal. Today, we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about dating Danish women.

Danish women enjoy a culture highly influenced by feminist philosophy and gender equality. Unless you take the time to learn about their customs, you may find dating Danish women difficult. 

Here we will discuss what Danish women are like, what to expect when dating a Danish girl, and what kind of behavior could ruin your chances.

Why Danish women can be confusing for expats

If you don’t know a little about the culture, you may not understand why Danish women are offended by some things and carefree about other things. Danish women have been labeled cold, rude, and distant, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Danes are some of the most reasonable and loving partners a person could ask for. So, what’s with the bad rep? The answer dates back to the Victorian era. 

The Victorian age greatly affected European cultures’ views of gender, and, thanks to colonization, the effects of Victorian philosophy can still be seen in many different parts of the world today. 

The Victorian age is where we got the idea that:

  1. Men are strong, and women are weak.
  2. Men are hypersexual, and women care about reproduction.
  3. Men are independent, and women are dependent.
  4. Men are meant for politics and paid work, while women are inclined to care-take.  
  5. Women are religious and morally superior, while men are driven by sex and passion.

When we think about traditional gender roles, we think about the strict Victorian standards for men and women. The Danish perception of gender is, however, less oppositional. 

In Danish culture, men and women embody relatively similar abilities, characteristics, intelligence, etc. They have more commonalities than differences. Danish women come from a culture that sees gender and gender roles differently.

Dating A Danish Woman
Credit: Nelson L.

The typical Danish girl

Women are taught from girlhood to be assertive, while dominance and forcefulness in boys are discouraged. This difference in gender performance might give someone used to traditional gender norms the wrong impression.

What are Danish women like? Here’s a shortlist of common characteristics…

1. Independent

You probably guessed this one, but let’s talk about it anyway. Feminist philosophy found its way into almost every aspect of Danish culture. The Danish system gives women an incredible amount of agency.

Danish women enjoy record-setting levels of equal opportunity within education and on the job market. Not only are students free from paying tuition, but they also receive a monthly stipend while enrolled in school. Danish women are thus highly educated and career-driven.

The Danish state offers a year’s worth of maternity and paternity leave and provides job protection while mothers and fathers take time off work to be with their newborns. When parents are ready to go back to work, daycare centers offer mothers accessible and affordable institutionalization.

Freedom from the limits of childrearing has helped women gain immense financial autonomy. It’s not uncommon for women to choose to have a baby without being in a relationship. Because of the freedom of year-long paid maternity leave and access to affordable daycare, many women can financially afford to have a child on their own and choose to do so.

What are the effects of all this empowerment? Danish women know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to ask for it. They are well-educated and intelligent. They value autonomy and financial freedom. They will walk with you for a time, but they will never belong to you.

2. Kind

On top of being empowered, Danish women are also incredibly kind. This is due in part to the law of Jante (Janteloven). Janteloven is a collectively agreed-upon moral code of conduct. It demands that Danes ought to treat everyone equally. 

Rather than competing to be better, Danes have collectively agreed that their culture ought to focus on the disadvantaged members of their society, rather than those well off. If you excel in a specific skill, for example, bragging about it is frowned upon.

3. They can drink

Foreigners beware! If you consider yourself a light to moderate drinker, do not try to keep up with a Danish woman. She can go all night and still go to work tomorrow. 

One of the most liberal Danish norms is drinking culture. It’s not uncommon to go out partying well into your 30s and 40s, and Danes of all ages can last for more than 15 hours at a time. 

While it’s a good idea to add alcohol to your date, it’s important to keep yourself safe. You do not need to keep up with her. Remember to drink water during the night. And if you want to go home before 5am, that is okay!

4. Liberated

The Danish woman is not afraid of her sexuality. Going out with the intention of going home with a stranger is normal for both men and women. Women interested in strictly casual/sexual relationships are not afraid to be open about it and society supports their sexual liberation.

5. Direct

Danes are pretty direct as a whole. However, Danish women have an especially poor reputation for being harsh. Directness can be taken as rudeness no matter who you are. But, when someone is used to more traditional gender roles, assertiveness in a woman becomes more visible.

6. Private

Danes have an introverted culture. They might need time to recharge after being social before they will be social again. Danish women are happy on their own and appreciate their privacy, and this is to be respected. 

It is also incredibly important to respect public privacy. Danes enjoy the freedom that comes with not being approached by strangers in public. They have their headphones in, and they keep their eyes averted. Interrupting that private space is not usually welcome.

Where do you meet?

Your best bet is probably going to be your social network. Your job, your friends, school, anywhere you rub elbows with locals consistently. Danes aren’t great at making new friends, but it gets easier when you see someone every day at work. 

The next best bet is going to be Tinder. Tinder works well in Denmark where Danes are afraid of strangers. It can be used for finding casual relationships as well as serious ones. 

The next most popular dating environment is going to be clubs and bars. Alcohol always helps these things, and Danes love to dance. It is, however, NOT acceptable to make physical contact without consent. 

Grabbing or touching a woman on the dance floor will probably get you a slap in the face, if not thrown out of the bar. If you want to Dance with her, ask. Odds are, if she wants to dance with you, she’ll be the one initiating it.

If you absolutely must approach a stranger, do it from a humble and earnest position. Approach her as if you would be the luckiest guy in the world if you got her number. Say something like…

“So sorry to bother you. I just saw you from across the room, and I just know I’d regret it if I didn’t come over here to let you know that I think you are really pretty. I don’t know if you’re single or looking to date, but if you are, I’d love to hang out sometime!”

Approaching a woman in public is pretty rare, even for Danish men.

Slow and steady wins the race

If you’re looking for something serious, be prepared for it to move slowly. Sex might happen quickly in Denmark, but cultivating a meaningful relationship takes time. Way before you get to the point where you use the R-word (relationship), you are going to need to get to know each other well.

If you do end up in a relationship, know that marriage is not necessarily in the cards for all Danish women. Some couples are together for over a decade before they get married, and some never do.

Dating A Danish Woman
Credit: Claus Tom Christensen

What are Danish women looking for?

The typical Dane looks for brains over brawn. Someone they can have an intelligent conversation with. A Danish woman will want to know about your values. They’ll want to see if you can be critical and self-reflective.

Danish men are an excellent point of reference. Danish men are tall and handsome, but they are also well-informed, respectful, down-to-earth, honest, and quite passive compared to Internationals. Danish women are looking for someone they can settle down with when they get to a point in life that suits settling down. 

Once they get there, and not before, Danish women value someone that supports their career, but also shares in domestic responsibilities. It helps think of your role in a relationship as undetermined. Wait to see what your relationship needs and try not to use your gender to define your roles.

Dating a Danish girl: What not to do

Since the birth of Danish culture, women have been given a higher degree of autonomy than many other places in the world. Truly the descendants of barbarians, Danish women can seem intimidating to the untrained foreigner. 

But if you learn a little about how they want to be treated, dating a Danish woman can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of your life. So, how do you avoid becoming the ignorant fool?

Here’s what not to do.


The reason bragging and showiness are frowned upon in Denmark has to do again with the law of Jante

What are these rules governing the social sphere? 

  1. Do not think you are anything special.
  2. Do not think you are as good as we are.
  3. Do not think you are smarter than we are.
  4. Do not imagine yourself better than we are.
  5. Do not think you know more than we do.
  6. Do not think you are more important than we are.
  7. Do not think you are good at anything.
  8. Do not laugh at us.
  9. Do not think anyone cares about you.
  10. Do not think you can teach us anything.

Can you guess why someone bragging about their income, new car, or anything else might not be popular in a society that follows these rules?

Play games

Playing hard to get is not really done in Denmark. If she likes you, she will make it obvious. She may even make the first move. If you do get the cold shoulder, rest assured that she doesn’t like you. She is not playing hard to get. 

If you continue to pursue her after she’s made it clear she’s not interested, it’s interpreted as harassment. No means no the first time. If you give her the cold shoulder, she’s going to assume that you aren’t into her anymore and move on. These kinds of games just don’t work in Denmark.

Hold the door

For goodness’ sake, do not try to hold the door for her! I know this sounds like a random rule but trust me on this. Holding the door for a woman is seen as a symbol of old-school gender norms. Norms Danish women fought hard to eliminate. 

Danish girls are going to feel uncomfortable if you do things for them that they can do themselves. When someone does something for you without being asked to, they could have an ulterior motive. The fear is that the person doing the unsolicited nice thing might then feel entitled to a woman’s time or even her body. 

Take my word on this one; It’s better if she opens her own doors.

Pay for dinner

Paying for her in any way is going to be a bad idea. That doesn’t mean that she is going to pay, it means you are going to split the bill. A man paying for a woman is uncomfortable. For one, it insinuates that she can’t pay herself, which is not the case. For two, it’s a call back to the days when men had control over women’s financial freedom. 

Danish women would much rather split things equally. Especially in the beginning.

How to tell if a Danish girl likes you

A Danish girl with a crush on you is probably going to make it obvious at some point. The issue can be that if she doesn’t like you, and you are misinterpreting her behavior, you’ll get a fist full of rejection in the gut if you tell her how you feel. Yuck. 

So how can you tell if she’s just being nice, or if she likes you? 

Danish women can be rather promiscuous. However, if she isn’t dating around or seeing anyone else, it’s a pretty good sign. Danish women are loyal, but they are also progressive. 

If she is seeing other people, that doesn’t necessarily mean she isn’t into you. She could be polyamorous, or just looking for sex. So, it’s not an end-all-be-all tell.

Pay attention to her body language. Unnecessary physical contact is usually a pretty good sign. Danes loath awkwardness and they can get pretty awkward around people they don’t know well. Any sort of awkward lingering could definitely point towards a crush. 

Alternatively, if you two can have deep conversations comfortably, or hang out without awkward silence, that’s another good sign that she might be considering you for dating material. An effortless connection is highly valued in Denmark.  

If all else fails, try telling a bad joke. If she laughs at it, you might just be in luck. Word of advice, have a couple of beers together. Danes can hold their liquor well, and she might be a little more forthcoming about her feelings if she’s more relaxed. 

Either that or you’ll get a little braver and bring up the topic yourself.

Dating Danish women

Danish culture might be a little confusing to outsiders at first, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. Danes are very reasonable people. If you don’t understand why something happened the way it did, you are welcome to ask. Danes are great communicators. 

Holding the trust and affection of a Danish woman is not something to be taken lightly. But just like women anywhere else in the world, the intricacies of dating Danish women cannot be summed up in just a few pages. 

Every human being is complex and unique. However, understanding her culture can only help you on your journey to understanding her. 

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