Dating a Swede: Things you need to know about Swedish dating culture


Swedes are often considered to be the most attractive people in the world: tall, slim, fair, and healthy people with attractive faces and an amazing sense of fashion and beauty conquer catwalks and movie screens all over the world.

Sweden is also an extremely attractive country: it’s not only one of the most financially stable and impressive countries in the world but also a source of the endless beauty of nature. Therefore, it’s no surprise that so many people would like to visit Sweden, to move there, or date a Swedish person: well-educated, intelligent, and self-conscious Swedes make the best partners for most modern people. Of course, Swedish dating is a bit different from dating in other countries, so it’s worth knowing more about its customs in advance.

Swedish dating culture is pretty similar to dating in other Scandinavian countries: many strangers are convinced that Swedes are reserved and cold with strangers and it’s pretty hard to approach a local person and become close to them. At the same time, Swedes can be great friends and partners – it just takes a bit longer to know them better and to make them trust you a lot. Swedish dating is perfect for people who know that it’s worth waiting and fighting for the best things in life – so prepare to learn more about mysterious Swedish dating culture and habits!

There are some distinctive features of dating in Sweden:

  • Both men and women in Sweden can make the first move when they’re interested in someone. Sweden is one of the countries with the highest level of gender equality, so most traditional relationship stereotypes and gender roles don’t apply there. Ladies shouldn’t expect Swedish men to approach and pay for their coffee, and men shouldn’t expect stunning Swedish ladies to dream about getting married and becoming housewives – it simply doesn’t happen most of the time. In Sweden, everyone is seen as a personality with character, dreams, goals, and perspectives, so you shouldn’t impose your expectations on anyone. At the same time, you shouldn’t be too shy to approach;
  • Some Swedes actually approach people they like but they use booze to become more courageous. In fact, lots of Swedes drink alcohol and they seem to be pretty tolerant: they rarely got really drunk but seem to drink alcohol pretty often. You can see it on preparties and picnics, parties, friends’ meetings, and lots of other occasions – and it’s especially true for situations when Swedes can meet lots of new attractive people. Therefore, buy yourself (or someone) a drink and enjoy partying before approaching someone;
  • You can ask someone out to have a fika together. Fika is a Swedish term for a coffee break where people communicate, relax, and enjoy coffee with a pastry (most people prefer cinnamon rolls). It’s a universal way to spend some time with friends and attractive people you like, and it’s not romantic in the first place, so it’s not awkward or weird in most situations;
  • Though Sweden is a pretty cold country, its nature is stunning – and that’s one of the reasons why Swedes love spending time outdoors so much. One of the basic Swedish dating customs includes spending a lot of time together while walking, having picnics, and simply enjoying nature. There’s no bad weather for a Swede, so wear a warm jacket or a coat and get ready to walk and talk for hours;
  • One of the most basic Swedish dating rules insists on splitting your bills. Your partner may get offended by you offering to pay for their coffee or lunch – they definitely can afford to eat out and buy coffee for themselves too. It’s not seen as chivalry there, so just don’t. Also, Swedish dating culture is almost completely free from showing off and boasting about the money and wealth you have, so try to impress your potential partner with something else;
  • When a Swede is dating someone, it’s exclusive: these people don’t share the idea of “seeing” or “dating” multiple people before things get really serious. Dating is a pretty serious thing in Sweden on its own, so be exclusive and don’t play games behind them;
  • Most Swedes don’t think that marriage is a logical next step that comes after serious relationships – most Swedes think that serious relationships are good the way they are. Though some materialistic aspects are influenced by marriage a lot, modern Swedes tend to think that marriage is outdated and unnecessary, so they can live together with their partners for decades without wanting to make their relationships official. Also, Swedes don’t change names after getting married, so forget about getting an exotic beautiful Swedish last name;
  • Most Swedes live alone, so you can expect to have privacy with them at their place. Nowadays Swedes find it convenient and relaxing to live alone because you don’t have to look for compromises and tolerate another person’s habits in everyday life. At the same time, big city life is expensive, so couples tend to move together;
  • Swedes often hug each other while greeting or saying goodbye. It’s a sign of friendliness and it’s not always romantic but it shows a person’s good and warm attitude towards you. Therefore, don’t be afraid to get a hug from a Swede you know for a short time – it just means the person feels pretty positive about you;
  • In general, Swedes don’t like being wooed. They prefer sympathy and relationships starting naturally and organically: they just spend time together, have fun, communicate, and if they feel mutual sympathy, then their relationships go to the next level. Don’t try to hurry up things and avoid too formal or dated ways of showing your interest – just relax, be yourself, and enjoy your communication with a person you like.

Swedish dating is an amazing experience in many ways, so it’s up to you to decide whether you really want it enough to try. You can always try online Swedish dating before visiting Sweden in real life: lots of Swedes go online to meet someone new and find friends, so find your perfect partner without leaving your house!

Written by Megan Taylor
Megan is a beauty expert who is passionate about all things makeup and glam! Her love for makeup has brought her to become a beauty pro at Glamour Garden Cosmetics.