Dating Scandinavian Men

Love in the Nordics: Everything you need to know about dating Scandinavian men

Scandinavia is synonymous with adventure and breathtaking natural beauty. It’s also known for having some of the most attractive people on Earth. Today, we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about dating Scandinavian men.

Whether it’s their sparkling blue eyes and lush blonde hair, mild manners or their unfailing devotion to preserving the planet, Scandinavian men bring a lot to the table.

If you’re curious about these charming Nordic natives from the land of the midnight sun, know that there’s far more to them than the stereotypes that you read about. 

For instance, most people won’t associate the words warm, fun and passionate with Swedes, Norwegians, Finnish and Danes, who are typically seen as aloof and timid. 

While there might be some truth to that, there’s a lot more than meets the eye. Once you get to know them better, you’ll realize that Scandinavian men have depth. If you stick around long enough, they can broaden your perspective with their unique insights and lifestyle.

Get the real story on these Viking descendants (and Nordic’s of other origins), including the pros and cons of dating them and what you should know about dating culture in Scandinavia.

If you’re up for it, you’ll be in for an exciting adventure when you date a Scandinavian man.

Dating Scandinavian Men

What are Scandinavian men like?

Before jumping into the Scandi dating pool, it’s a good idea to understand the typical characteristics, traditions and values that influence a Scandinavian man. 

While the culture is rich and varied among Scandinavian countries, the inhabitants share a few general traits and preferences. Familiarizing yourself with them will make the experience of dating a Scandinavian man smoother and enjoyable.

Love for nature

For many Scandinavians, getting outdoors and connecting with nature is central to their lives. The love for nature has been called “friluftsliv,” a term that roughly translates to “free air life.” 

It was first popularized by 19th-century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen to describe a character’s search for nature to clarify their thoughts.

Don’t be surprised if one of your first dates with a Scandinavian man will be an outdoor activity such as skiing, hiking in the mountains, going to the sauna, swimming in lakes or visiting summer homes in the wilderness. 

These are relaxing for them and open the doorway for communication and a chance to have fun.

Healthy and active lifestyle

Scandinavian countries are regularly ranked at the top of the healthiest nations in the world. Despite little sunlight and freezing cold temperatures for a large part of the year, most Scandinavians manage to stay healthy and fit. 

Scandinavians generally lead active lifestyles. Instead of working out the gym, they prefer to engage in outdoor activities such as swimming, ice-skating and hiking. Many bike to work instead of taking a car or public transport.

The Nordic diet is a big part of their healthy lifestyle. It’s mainly made up of fresh, locally sourced foods such as grains, berries, and fish. You won’t find many processed foods in their diet. Plant-based diets have also become increasingly popular among younger generations.

Not only will your Scandinavian man most likely have a healthy and toned physique because of his clean lifestyle, but he will have a positive influence on your own wellness routines.

Hygge – The good life

The Danish tradition of Hygge refers to a feeling of comfort, coziness and pleasure in the simple things. Whether it’s cooking dinner with friends or curling up on a couch beside a warm fireplace, it’s about creating a space of intimacy and warmth. 

This practice is essential to helping Scandinavians survive the long dark winters. 

Your Scandinavian man will go above and beyond to create hygge — he’ll make sure that the ambiance in the places you’re in is just right. If you fancy the idea of spending a cozy night with him while drinking a warm glass of gløgg and watching the snowfall, you’re in for a treat! 

Peace-loving and mild-mannered

Just because most Scandinavians are descendants of Vikings doesn’t mean that they are brutal and rough. The majority of them are non-confrontational and diffuse conflicts if they can.

Don’t be surprised if your Scandinavian man walks away from fights and avoids arguments like the plague. Most will prefer settling disagreements as soon as possible. 

Depending on how you’ve been brought up, you may also find him shy and reserved, especially in the early stages of dating. Compared to men from other parts of the world, they are less outgoing. They need time to open up, but they are steady partners once they do.

Lagom — Everything in moderation

The Swedish ethos of lagom permeates all areas of the Scandinavian lifestyle — from food, family, finances, home décor and taking care of the environment.

At its simplest, lagom describes something that’s “not too little, not too much, just right”. With the lagom mindset, your Scandinavian man will aim for balance and moderation in everything they do, from the clothes they wear to the furnishing in their homes. 

Lagom puts hygee into perspective and encourages them to use their resources wisely and not go out of their way to spend more when what they have sufficiently meets their needs. If this tempered approach is up your alley, you and your Scandinavian man will get along just fine.

Equality

Gender equality runs deep in the roots of Nordic countries. They try their very best to keep their citizens as equal as possible both in terms of income and gender, ensuring equal rights, power and opportunities for everyone.

You can expect your Scandinavian man to share the responsibilities with you and treat you as an equal. You’ll have to be prepared to deal with your fair share of the duties if you ever live with them in the same household.

Eco-friendly

Almost every Scandinavian deeply cares about the planet and feels a sense of responsibility to preserve it. It might have something to do with their love of nature and how much they love being outdoors.

You can expect to see your Scandinavian man do things like taking his bike to work (even if he has a car) or walking to places to reduce carbon emissions, recycle everything he uses, consume sustainable foods, and wear sustainable clothes. 

Together, you can help create a greener and cleaner environment.

Sisu — Mental toughness

Hygge is not the only thing that helps Scandi people deal with the dark and cold winter months. They have developed a trait called “Sisu,” a Finnish concept that encompasses qualities such as stamina, tenacity and grit.

This mental toughness can be seen both in a psychological and physical capacity. It’s a quality that helps them deal with hardship and just to keep going no matter how rough it gets.

Sisu will amplify your Scandi man’s masculinity, making him more capable of dealing with difficult times that you both face together. With this trait ingrained in him, you can be sure that he’ll be your rock when the going gets tough.

Physical features of a Scandinavian man

When most people think of the physical appearance of Scandinavian people, they generalize them as tall, statuesque, blonde and straight-haired with light-colored eyes, angular face, straight nose and thin lips. 

Basically, they think that all Scandinavian men look like Alexander Skarsgård.

A large percentage of the region’s population does look like this because of their Viking heritage, but it’s by no means a majority. 

Like other places in Europe, Swedes, Norwegians, Danes and Finish have a range of eye and hair colors. You’ll find many variations in their appearances — there are Nordics with light brown, ash blonde and strawberry-blonde hair, and darker eye colors. 

This is mainly due to constant migrations over the centuries. 

In recent years, an influx of immigrants from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have diversified the Nordic look. In big cities like Copenhagen and Stockholm, you’ll find men with darker skin and hair and with different facial features.

No matter what your physical type is, you’ll find a Scandi man who will float your boat.

Dating Scandinavian Men

What you should know about dating in Scandinavia

Scandinavian dating is unconventional. Non-Scandi’s should know that many courtship rituals that they’re used to are not part of the Scandinavian dating landscape. 

If you’re hoping to make a connection with a Scandinavian man and enjoy the process of getting to know him, keep these in guidelines in mind.

It’s okay to make the first move

Scandinavian countries are egalitarian — everyone is considered equal. It’s okay for women to make the first move and even welcomed by Scandinavian men, who tend to be passive. Don’t be afraid to approach them and be direct about your intentions. 

If you’re the shy type who prefers not to take the initiative, expect to wait for a while as they are slow on the uptake and prefer to stay in their comfort zone. Give him the nudge he needs to move things forward and you’ll be well on your way.

Be direct

Being direct is the best way to go when it comes to flirting. Skip the standard compliments and flowery statements and get straight to the point. You’ll have time to compliment them and express your attraction after you start dating them. 

You can expect Scandinavian men to be direct about their thoughts and intentions (and it may not involve flowers and chocolates in the early stages), which is great as it won’t leave you feeling confused. But remember that they will expect the same from you as well.

Don’t call it a date

If you’re going out with a Scandinavian man, avoid calling it a date. The process of two people getting to know each other is seen as being organic, and it works a lot better without a label. 

Once you start hanging out regularly, there’s an understanding that you’re interested in knowing more about each other and that you’re more than just friends. 

It’s also not typical for Scandinavians to date more than one person at the same time as they like to focus on exploring the possibility with one person. 

There won’t be any talks about being exclusive (unless you bring it up) but expect him to refer you as “kjæreste,” an endearing Norwegian phrase that means “The one I hold the most dear.”

Keep it simple

The best piece of advice you can get when it comes to dressing up your dates with a Scandinavian man is to keep it simple but stylish. 

The Scandinavian look is laidback, uncomplicated, minimalistic and sophisticated. Impress your Scandinavian man by taking a page from Nordic fashion.

While a fashionable look is appreciated, you’re better off combining comfort with style. This is a smart move if you’re going out when the temperature outside is sub-zero and there’s snow on the ground.

Be prepared to split the bill on dates

Scandinavians are all about equality and that applies to dating as well. There’s no expectation for the man to pay the bill on dates in Nordic countries. When you go out with a Scandinavian man, let go of the expectation that he will pick up the tab and be prepared to split the bill. 

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. It may be the case that you’ll both take turns in paying. If you’re low on cash and prefer not to shell out too much money (Scandinavian countries aren’t cheap!), suggest inexpensive dates that don’t involve meals, like hiking outdoors or ice-skating.

Specific traits of Scandinavian men from each country

While Scandinavian men share many similarities in their appearance and traits, there are some differences in the men from each country. Some of them are subtle while others stand out.

Dating a Swedish man

Most Swedish men ooze masculinity and carry an air of mystery. They have typical Scandinavian features, blonde hair and blue eyes, masculine features and they’re usually tall and strongly built. 

Consider these pros and cons before inviting your Swedish man for a “fika”:

Pros:

  • They believe in equal partnerships and will do their best to help you with household duties. 
  • They are respectful towards women and will support your ambition and independence.
  • They value honesty and loyalty. Once they commit to you (which may take a while), they will stick around and be dedicated.
  • They are proud of their heritage and will introduce you to their rich traditions. (Get ready to participate in Midsummer and fika dates.)
  • They value punctuality.
  • They appreciate music, art and culture and have high regard for intelligent and articulate women.

Cons:

  • They are not into PDAs or grand romantic gestures and prefer to express affection in private.
  • They are reserved and not as expressive as other men and prefer to keep their emotions under control.
  • It’s hard to catch their attention unless you are direct and forthcoming.
  • They like to take things slow until they want to commit.

Dating a Norwegian man

Like other Scandinavian men, Norwegian men are known to be shy and passive, but their stunning Nordic looks might motivate you to take the initiative.

The typical Norwegian man shares the same physical traits as other Scandinavian men unless they are from the Sami tribe, which lives far north in the Lapland’s. 

Sami men’s appearance ranges from Euro-looking blue eyes and blond hair to subtle features typical of the Inuit and Indigenous Siberian people.

If your heart is set on finding yourself a Norwegian man (or if you’re just curious), here’s what you should know about them:

Pros:

  • You won’t have to deal with the pressure of dressing up and going fancy on the first dates. He will prefer a casual date such as a cup of coffee or a walk in the park.
  • They are non-confrontational and will prefer to stick with less controversial and inflammatory topics. They like to do away with drama and complications. 
  • He is a man with a plan and will bring up his 5-10-year plan.
  • They like to look on the brighter side of things. You won’t find them getting whiny and negative.
  • You’ll be treated with delicious open-faced sandwiches or smørbrød with butter, jams, herring and cheese. Just remember to keep it simple and not go overboard with the toppings.

Cons:

  • They are private and it will take time for them to open up about personal aspects of their life.  
  • They have an open attitude about intimacy in the bedroom and can move fast. Depending on your beliefs, this may seem a bit too fast. 
  • They take a while to commit fully, but it’s for the long haul once they do.
  • They can easily be perceived as blunt and direct, bordering on offensive. They don’t mean to offend you and it’s best to take what they say with a grain of salt.

Dating a Danish man

Denmark has one of the highest living standards and is considered one of the best places to raise a family. With one of the most advanced school systems, you can expect the typical Danish man to be intelligent and resourceful. 

With their typical Nordic looks and muscular bodies, most Danes are easy on the eyes. If the idea of dating one intrigues you, here’s what you need to know about them:

Pros:

  • You won’t have to deal with the language barrier. Like every other Scandinavian man, Danish men are fluent in English and speak different languages. 
  • They’ll help with the housework and childrearing. Nordic countries provide one of the longest maternity leaves in the world. Both parents take an active role in raising kids, and it’s not common to see men pushing strollers and taking kids out for playdates.
  • They’re curious, open-minded and embrace differences in cultures, races and sexual orientations. 
  • They won’t expect you to give up your career to raise a family. They will encourage your independence and drive it to make it big in your career. 

Cons:

  • The downside of gender equality is that women are expected to take care of themselves, so don’t expect a lot of chivalrous behavior that men of other origins demonstrate.
  • Danish men won’t openly flirt with you. Their interest will be hard to discern as they are very subtle in expressing their attraction. You need to be deliberate in your attempt to get their attention.

Dating a Finnish man

Finnish men are not very different from other Scandinavian men, but a couple of characteristics set them apart. With these nature-loving men, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in their magical lands and curious customs.

Looks-wise, most Finnish men have blue eyes, light-colored hair, a high forehead and cheekbones and a square jaw. Like some Norwegian men, they will have intuit-like features if they come from certain regions. 

Here’s what you should know about dating a Finnish man:

Pros:

  • Finnish men want you to have a voice and share your ideas with them. In Finnish, they have an expression “Perässä vedettävä,” which describes something being pulled along by a trailer. They want you to be the car and not a trailer.
  • You won’t have to be a talker to keep a Finnish man’s attention. Silence is normal and isn’t seen as being awkward.
  • Most of them are calm, down to earth and honest.
  • You won’t have to dress to impress. They like their women to dress casually but nicely and not go overboard with makeup and fashion. Finnish men say that women are most beautiful when they come out of a sauna, “fresh” and “rosy-cheeked.”
  • They will introduce you to a whole new genre of music. Metal music is big in Finland, so the chances are high that your Finnish man will take you to a few metal music concerts.
  • They’ll inspire you with their work ethic. Finns are notably hardworking and will not settle for mediocre results.

Cons:

  • The typical Finnish man needs time and space to recharge. This may or may not be a good thing depending on your preferences.
  • They love self-deprecating jokes and dark humor, which may not float your boat, but you shouldn’t allow it to give you the wrong idea about them.
  • They can be prone to extremes and constantly challenging themselves to surpass their limits. Whether it’s an intense sauna, extreme work ethic, and love for drinking, their competitive behavior may take you by surprise. 

Unlike men from certain cultures who go big in romance, your Scandinavian man will introduce you to a slow-burning, smoldering kind of love. 

If you appreciate men who treat you as an equal and encourage your independence, and you find his cool and controlled demeanor to be charming, you’ll find your perfect match in a Scandinavian man.

Dating Scandinavian men

Now that we’ve told you everything there is to know about dating Nordic men, what are you waiting for? For more on dating in Scandinavia, check out other essential guides and articles on Scandification, the leading authority on the Nordic region! 

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

“This article is based on generalizations and there will be exceptions.”

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