Sweden is a European country, yet its culture is far removed from what we are used to. Foreigners who live there agree that Swedish dating culture requires decoding. Many do not understand how Swedish men and women behave and what they expect from their partners. Let’s look at exciting facts about this culture and its people.
Particularities of Swedish Relationships You Should Know
The peculiarity of Sweden is that it is a culture that is turned towards the community and the individual. People living there value their freedom and their individuality. No wonder that it influences Swedish dating customs and rules of dating.
Showing Humility Is Crucial
Showing humility is the basis of interpersonal relationships in Sweden. You shouldn’t place yourself above others, be superior because the typical Swedish dating rules state that everyone is the same. This informal code is part of the Swedish cultural functioning.
Fear of Conflict
The Swedish locals do everything to avoid the slightest conflict, ranging from the slightest disagreement to the dispute. It is also visible in Swedish culture dating, while people want to avoid conflicts in relationships. They try to understand another person’s position and decide how to solve conflict without much stress.
They Practice Active Listening and Stay Calm
If a person keeps talking, a Swedish guy or lady will never interrupt them. It can lead to strange situations, where you have a monolog, and the other person listens to you without saying a word. Compared to other dating cultures, while dating and flirting in Sweden, it is essential to do a lot of active listening.
They Try Not to Argue
If Swedish interlocutors don’t agree with your opinion or position, they will never argue. They would say, “I understand your point of view, but I do not share it (or I share it partially).” The advantage of this communication is that one feels less carried away by the emotions, and the communication is calm. This type of communication has become the norm.
What Are the Swedish Dating Rules?
How do Swedish interlocutors behave during gatherings? Are they talkative? Do they prefer close contact? Below we tell you about features of Sweden dating and marriage worthy of your attention.
Kissing to Greet Each Other Is Not Common
In Sweden, you never give a kiss to greet someone. Kissing is the norm if you are dating someone. However, there is a hierarchy of greeting depending on the degree of intimacy with the person. The first degree is the simple “Hey “with a smile, and the second is shaking hands. The third degree is the “hug” with some nuances to master. If a Swedish man or woman ever hugs you, it is because they have affection for you. It is a way of Swedish flirting. The hug will be more or less tight, depending on the mood and the degree of affection.
They Dress Casual During the Week
Say goodbye to heels, a tight blouse, or makeup to go to work. They wear comfortable clothes: jeans, sports suits. The world does not care how you look. Besides, in Sweden, you take off your shoes before entering someone’s home. It is the same in nursery and primary schools where everyone (teachers, parents, children) wears socks. It is essential to look stunning when you go out with your girlfriend or boyfriend. When you visit restaurants to drink together or have a dinner date, choose elegant clothes.
Looking in the Eyes Is the Sign of Sincerity
Another code of conduct of international dating culture Sweden to know: you should look in your partner’s eyes when talking. Eye contact is the basis of Swedish communication. Conversely, they avoid eye contact with strangers to let the person feel comfortable.
Punctuality Is Valued
If Swedish people can start two minutes before the appointed time, that’s better. Likewise, a meeting will never end beyond the announced time. The time slot is notified in advance for any event: dates, weddings, parties. Punctuality is a basic rule of culture and politeness in Sweden, and it is better to warn if you will not be able to arrive on time.
Intimacy and Passion
The Swedes do not have the same attitude to privacy as other cultures. Nudity is not a problem for them. An open attitude towards the human body allows them to open up in sex, experiment, and be creative. That’s what makes the culture of dating and marriage in Sweden distinctive. Imagine how exciting and passionate a relationship with Swedish people is.
Work-Life Balance and Family Life
As important as the well-being of the collective in Swedish culture is their own family and its well-being. The great particularity in Sweden, dating culture is that happiness in family life is the individual’s focus. Work and professional life have clear frameworks. There is also a balance between work and leisure. To ensure a good “work-life balance,” people in Sweden enjoy spending time in nature, traveling, watching TV or movies, and ice-skating.
Comparison of Dating Culture Sweden and USA
The differences between the two cultures are colossal. It can be seen in the example of the rules of conduct that Swedish people adhere to in communication and dating. To help you compare dating in Sweden vs USA, let’s look at our table.
Dating Relationships in Swedish Culture vs American Culture
|Dating relationships in Swedish culture||Dating relationships in American culture|
|Swedish people are far from the model that you have to be the best to succeed.||Americans strive to show others how successful they are, how many friends they have, or how much money they earn.|
|Everyone has the right to think about what they want as long as they do not try to talk about politics, salary, or religion. These are three bad subjects in Sweden that people should avoid during first dates.||They talk about everything. Religion and salary are not taboo topics, and talking about politics is as enjoyable as about new movies.|
|It is rare to see lovers kissing in the street.||In the USA, people kiss not only with partners but with friends and relatives.|
|The Swedish people have a reasonably free attitude towards marriage ties. There are two types of so-called civil marriage, in which the relationship is not formalized.||Many Americans are religious people and follow traditions. They enjoy weddings.|
|The calm and measured pace of life.||Constant haste, a bunch of deadlines, meetings, new acquaintances.|
Are There Any Particular Swedish Dating Customs?
One of the most common places to find a partner in Sweden is the nightclub (or a private party). However, the opportunity to get to know someone here turns out to be complicated. Because many men face difficulties when talking first to a pretty woman, offering her a drink, or even asking for a dance. They see this behavior as too pushy and prefer to stay more defensive. So how do people in Sweden get closer when they go out?
In many cases, Swedish women try to take the initiative themselves if they like a person. From the moment you start communication or going on regular dates, the rules are not stricter than before. Everything depends on the charm or mutual sympathy. There are many stereotypes about Swedish women that are directly impacted by the Swedish dating culture.
Swedish women appreciate it when men respect them. It is a tremendous advantage of Swedish culture dating that men don’t perceive girls as weak to do something professionally. Compared to typical European culture dating, girlfriends enjoy feeling equal to men. If men give them flowers or pay the bills but don’t perceive them as similar, they have no chances to win their hearts.
Attitude Towards Marriage
As in most European countries, the creation of families in Sweden, including civil ones, occurs at a reasonably mature age – around thirty-four. Also, the tendency towards the late birth of children has already become quite intense. The average Swedish family usually has no more than two or three children.
Tips to Integrate Into the Swedish Dating Culture
At the end of our article, we want to share some tips. These little facts can help avoid misunderstandings during first conversations or meetings in this culture. It’s time to be professionals in flirting and know how to date in Sweden.
- In America, the man takes a woman out to dinner and the cinema several times over several weeks. In Sweden, people go “Fika” (drink coffee) during the day. Fika is not an (official) date.
- But, you have to be careful here: the woman shouldn’t feel any pressure. Even the question of having dinner together is taboo. You only meet as friends.
- “Date-typical” topics should also be strictly avoided. Instead, choose topics like culture, how the public transport system irritates you, how great your iPhones are, etc. Men should also avoid paying the entire bill themselves. Compared to the Ukrainian dating culture, Swedish women don’t want a man to pay the bill himself either. The bill is split 50/50!
- If a Swedish man likes someone he already knows (through work or friends) and would like to get to know a woman better, he asks them about having a coffee together.
- If you ask the Swedish person to have a drink together in the evening, organizing and planning will be much more challenging. A person should find out more about you before going on a first date Sweden or starting a long-term relationship. Therefore “Fika” is the better solution.
- If drinking coffee goes well, you will communicate more often every day. It is normal and could be exhausting at the beginning.
Final Thoughts on Swedish Dating Culture
Each culture has its codes and shapes its dating customs. With a desire for integration into Swedish culture, it is essential to adopt certain behaviors to find like-minded people and impress them. However, it does not mean giving up one’s culture of origin but rather acquiring new intercultural skills and understanding dating in Sweden customs.
What Is Dating Like in Sweden?
First, you should find out whether you meet each other's preferences. Having similar interests, views on life is essential. As we have found out, Swedish dating customs differ significantly from America's. There are no specific dates. They go on 'fika' and drink coffee while being in friends' status. If these meetings go well, partners can start thinking about serious relationships.
Who Pays for a Wedding in Swedish Culture?
As the country strives to support gender equality, both partners pay for the wedding. A man should expect dissatisfaction if he offers to pay for a wedding. If spouses have similar incomes, it is fair for both of them.
What Happens if I Marry a Swedish?
You will face another culture and different traditions. Living with a Swedish girlfriend means living a calm and relaxed life. You won't have any disputes or conflicts because these women are active listeners. They want to hear men and support their position in many situations.
Boris Walsh is a young writer who has been writing in the dating niche since the 2 courses at the university. His articles are witty and insightful, with an emphasis on humor.