After living I Sweden for over 2 years now, it seems that most people move here either for love (the most common) or work. Dating in Sweden is a little different to other places in Europe, and it’s important to remember some of the things about the roles of woman and men in Sweden, as well as some essential do’s and do not’s.
In this guide, I’ll go though some of the rules and tips about dating in Sweden, as well as some of the differences from our countries for you to bear in mind so you don’t come across as obnoxious. This is also a guide for guys, but will hopefully give some advice for gals too.
Dating in Sweden: The Essentials
Sweden is very general neutral and most people really try and avoid some of the gender stereotypes from other European countries. Be a gentleman but don’t be patronizing or “the man” that decides for your date. That won’t go down very well. Especially on a first date, take it easy and keep everything every casual. If you try too hard, you will end up freaking out your date.
Some expats find that it’s a good idea to avoid calling it a “date” until you have met a few times. After meeting someone, invite them for a fika and see how things go, but wait until you’ve settled a little bit more before inviting someone on a “dinner and drinks” date.
Swedes are shy and calling it a “date” can sound a bit serious for some. Starting with a fika is a more casual way of meeting someone in private and getting to know them, without the pressure of doing something romantic which might be a bit intimate for some people so soon.
On the date
Coming from the UK, it’s very common that if you take someone to a restaurant, the guy pays for the meal. If the opportunity is there then great, but don’t be offended if your date demands to split the bill 50/50. Sweden is very serious about being gender neutral and this is a good example. Feel free to make an offer, but if your date turns down the offer, leave it and move on.
The classic moves of opening a door and pull on out a chair for your date can often be met with a blank face or “oh it’s ok”. Again, keep is very casual until you know how your date/partner feels.
After the date
You will probably have to make the effort to make the follow up call and offer another date. Don’t be surprised if it takes 2 or 3 dates before you feel like there is a flow between you.
Text always wins and some Swedes suggest that you avoid calling until you have chemistry. It seems that dating in Sweden is done over email and chat rather than phone calls. If they call you, then things are looking good.
Top Apps and Websites
Tinder, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and other big dating apps in Europe are big here. Other than that, meeting people at bars, events, and parties is always a good method.
The American blogger Kommissarie F. Curiosa has boiled down a standard dating timeline into a 27 step process here. There is another blogger called Antonia who has a great guide from a girls perspective here. For an alternative comic vision, check Scandinavian tips.