The Swedish Male Look

I met a little swede a few months ago while I was still living in the US and for the one time in my life, I made a move on him. He was already living in the states for the past eight months but, that really doesn’t change swedish ways; especially male swedish mating ways.

So the backstory: I went to the Scandinavian happy hour; it was of course full of $3 spatens, 80 beers on tap, and many many Swedish men (a couple token Norwegians and women were around too). When I first met my little swede*, Þórbjörn, I was introduced by another mutual friend who happened to be an insane Norwegian lacking a filter on his mouth (that’s another story). I was jokingly introduced as the mistress girlfriend and of course the Swedes in this group of five, giggled. Yes, the men giggle. And then everyone introduces themselves in a typical fashion but then Þórbjörn here, says hi and gives the swedish male look. It is THE look for a swedish man interested in a woman. They refuse to accept the existence of such a look, but it does indeed exist.

THE Swedish Male Look
What is it? Ladies, you know the look you give a man in the bar/restaurant/party etc that you’re interested in him? You look at him, make eye contact, smile shyly, look away, look back at him, and turn away. That, is basically the look a Swedish man gives.

He is an expert at staring at the floor even when none is in line of sight. He will look at you very shyly, smile a little, bat his eyes and look down at the floor at the same time, then look back up at you. I call the ‘devil in a sheep’s outfit’ look. It’s very innocent and endearing but you know and he knows, there are very naughty intentions behind it.

This look is the definite sign of trouble. Ladies in Sweden, if you get this look, you either move in for the kill or move on. He’s played his move with his shy, quiet Nordic self; he’s waiting for you now. It’s subtle. He already drank a few beers and mustered up the courage to give you the look. So, you better your know it.

And if you can recognize the swedish male look, you’ll know how to hunt down any Swede you want. And if you are timid with men, like myself, well you are partly screwed. This is Sweden after all, and the women pick up the men.

Välkommen till Sverige.

*Since the little swede doesn’t have a very Swedish name in real life, I’m going to give him one: Þórbjörn. Okay, that’s Icelandic but whatever. Or maybe Pehr.

47 thoughts on “The Swedish Male Look”

  1. Hmm… bettar a “look” than someone barfing on your shoes.
    And we here on the Klaki think Swedish men are outgoing and polite.
    You would obviously never survive here. hehehe :)

    Best of luck.

    kv. Ragnheiður

  2. Barfing is a bad way to hit on a girl for sure.

    If the Klaki think the Swedish men are outgoing, then I am definitely screwed there. Luckily, I live here.

    Ragnheiður, how does anything happen in Iceland?

  3. good god girl?youre hilarious! i love your writings and will defn keep stopping by. just wanted to say hi to put a face to one of your readers.

  4. Thanks Aingeal! Do stop by, even though I can be lame and not post as often as I should.

  5. hej
    Yes, this look is a definite sign of trouble, this shy swedish boys know how to turn on the charm.

    The problem with this boys is that the dating “process” can be long and confusing, so you have to be patient. I ‘m mexican and in the beginning i was completely lost with this swedish men.

    Good luck

  6. What a classic! i love this post :-) i read it sneakily at work and had to stop myself from having a laughing fit! It really rings true, this subtlety. When i met my first Swede, i thought it was cute and endearing, but to be honest, i think that “look” is not isolated and it comes with a whole package of shy, non-conflictive behaviour… which can be good sometimes, and others, well!!!

    Thanks again for the read!


  7. Hey there, you seem to know a lot about Swedish men and would like your advice on one! I went to college in Wales with a really hot, model-looking swede but w actually never spoke to one another. Some months ago, that is about 2 years after college, now both in our 2nd year at University, I saw him at a club in London. I mentioned to some girlfriends of mine that I went to college with him and wasn’t sure if I should say or not as we’d never said a word to each other. My friends convinces me to and so I went up to him and the conversation went like this;
    Me: “Hi, you are Jonathan right!? We went to college together…”
    Jon: “Yes, I thought you looked familiar but I’m sorry can’t remember your name…..
    Me: Lala….
    We chatted a bit about Uni and went about dancing with friends. We then ended up dancing near each other and he grabbed me and started to dance with me! He was being a bity touching and staring right into my eyes and all I could think was “Oh my God, I’m actually going to kiss the hottest guy from college”. But the problem was I still wasn’t sure if we was attracted to me as I’m black and a friend of mine from college once heard he was racist and I personally always assumed he wasn’t attracted to anything “exotic”. Anyway I decided to make a move and kissed him and it was amazing…..we pulled for about 15 to 20 mins straight! Anyway the club was about to close so we decided to go home, I had to get my coat from the cloakroom so he said to meet him outside! I did some minutes later….we had a bit of an awkward chat as he is quite a shy guy (as I have heard). He offered to drop me off at him but I said I was taking a cab! Some days later I added him on facebook, sent him a massage saying something along the lines of it was random but nice seeing someone from college and so on….He replied saying it was random but fun! So I thought that was a good sign! Anyway we sent some few more msgs to each other and at some point he asked me when I was going to be in London, I said that weekend for my dad’s birthday and he sent me a polite but short reply saying cool and to have a nice weekend so all hopes of seeing him that weekend had been thrown out the window! Some days later when I was in London, my friends from University called and asked if I was meeting up with Jon and I said no, as he didn’t seem interested in that! They tried to convince me to ask him out to coffee but I said I couldn’t. They ended up convincing me to mention to him that I was going to be at a club and if he was interested to give me a text! He never replied to the msg and I felt shitty for the nest few weeks! I eventually got over it! But been thinking about him lately and I was wondering what I could have done different!? Have any idea?
    (Sorry this is long)

  8. I stumbled upon this website by accident; I was Google-ing Swedish men (as I’m utterly obssessed with them after recently meeting 4 or 5 of them at random intervals) and you’re so right. There is a definitive LOOK.

    Initially I thought this blog would be about their typical characteristics, i.e. blonde hair & blue eyes but as I read on I was surprised to read that they actually have another “type” of look.

    It’s so true. The look my Swede gave me still peirces my thoughts every time I think about him.

    He didn’t really look down at the ground – but he gave me this strange, hesitant look followed by a smile which made my knees wobble. That smile defined his intentions clearly however the hesitant look was as if he was battling his politeness with the desire to rip my clothes off.

    All Hail xxSwedishxx Men!


  9. I truly beleive we do it unknowingly. I am Swedish and damn that is the way I flirt and never realized it is a trait I thought it was just me.

  10. “I call the ‘devil in a sheep’s outfit’ look. It’s very innocent and endearing but you know and he knows, there are very naughty intentions behind it.”

    Naughty intentions! Ok I am starting to feel slightly better about this Swedish men idea.

  11. Just like Rick said. Im Swedish and i too do “the look”. But i never thought it was this common. I wonder why?

  12. “I was jokingly introduced as the mistress girlfriend and of course the Swedes in this group of five, giggled. Yes, the men giggle.”

    HAHA! Yes, my Swedish bf giggles! It’s so cute. How funny that it is apparently not just him.

  13. It´s true! I´ve never thought about it! I do it too, and i guess it works. I moved to california for about 1month ago, and not to brag, but it´s been working ever since! But i never knew that the look did it, but i realize it now.

    My name is Elias, and i´m an 21year old basketball player. I´m attending the Oakland University. But the recent times i´ve just been on the beach and been clubbing, and already i have about 30 friends here. And every one i´ve met says that i look like the stereotype from sweden; Blond, blue eyes (I´ve got a mix of green and blue, almost like grey), tall (6 foot, but it´s not big for a basketball player) and tanned. And i can admit that i don´t look too shabby ;]. But i´m VERY shy. and that makes the look. And an addition to it is that i usually raise my shoulders and put my hands in my pockets.

    And i use wax in my hair a lot, and i got my first nickname here, “spikey”, or it can be “swedeboy” XD

  14. It’s not “the look”…it’s because in your words you’re “not too shabby” and you’re foriegn!
    A combination that rarely fails in any country.

  15. @Dano LMAOOOOO I will have to concur on that one. However, I run into a lot of foreign guys and normally try to keep running away. It normally depends on what they will say to me. However, I must say, I am quite content with my current situation. ^^ I also try my hardest to not speak a certain language, because if I do, I think it will be really horrible for them to know that I understand what they say about me haha. My features are rather ambiguous and some have no idea where I am from when they see me hehe.

  16. Also, can I add that you beautiful swedish men are way too attractive to be as ridiculously awkward as you are when it comes to approaching women and so forth? Like I’m pretty sure you are the standard of beauty on the planet that is called Earth and while I wish that standard would include a more diverse group of people, living here for only a week has made me realize why you guys are held in such high esteem when it comes to looks and beauty.

    So my advice to you is when you are staring as intensely as you do at a woman that holds your interest (i.e. someone like me :)) and debating whether or not you should approach her, just think about what I said and go for the kill. Plus, I’m not Swedish so the idea of approaching a man myself has yet to sink in with me and from my understanding, even Swedish women would like the men to make the first move for once so for the sake of women everywhere, please step out of your terribly gorgeous shy-selves and start the conversation. I’m here for three months and I can’t wait much longer!


  17. Or at least a smile with the look. Even if you don’t end up approaching her, at least she knows she kinda met a swede who was friendly :). Don’t know if that topic has been discussed, but hopefully we will get the chance to talk about it here. Chau.


  18. @O – did you mean ciao at the end of that post? Cos ‘chau’ ain’t an italian word matey and if you keep using the wrong spelling you may look a tad silly. Anyway, setting aside that patronising (but accurate) comment, I wholeheatedly endorse what you said about beautiful swedish man just coming on up and chatting to us (equally attractive) females. Do swedes smile?? It does get cold up there.

    @Elias – you forgot to add ‘bit dim’ to your list of attributes cos Dano’s post was v clear (and accurate) BOOM Brits ganging up on Swedes!

  19. @Princess Swedes do smile, sometimes rare but I get mine to smile a fair bit and I even have picture evidence to prove to myself or maybe to prove to him he can smile, its great when they do!

  20. @Princess I lived in Argentina last year and ‘chau’ is the Argentine spelling of the Italian ciao. The Spanish (‘Castellano’ to be specific) spoken in Argentina is very influenced by the Italian language, and this is can be attributed to the fact that the majority of Argentines are of Italian descent. Who is the silly one now?

    @Jen I have to agree with you; the Swedish smile is rare, but very enjoyable when you see it! Love that you took photo evidence. Smart move.

    I think I just need to get over myself and just approach any guy I find attractive and who is performing the Swedish Male Look on me, especially since its common for both genders to do so. Would you agree with that assessment Elias? That its cool for women to approach men here? Tack everyone.

  21. @O – oh yes feel v educated but seems to defeat the point if most people don’t have that Argetnine knoweldge so you end up having to explain or if you don’t they think you’re a prat. Your choice

  22. Intresting, not that i agree , because if i did, i would be flurting with everyone which isnt true.

  23. Hi I’m an 18 yr old girl at my 1st yr of uni. I really like this swedish guy at school hes so cut and sweet and he gives me that look all the time and he’s around me in class and everything he just never says anything. I talked to him about some classes we had together and he always looked me in the eye and laughed (a bit) everything but didn’t say much. I’m quite a happy-go-lucky and nice person and he seems to like me but i don’t know why he’s so…cold? I so confused but i am seriously considering asking him out but don’t want to look like a fool. Do you have any ideas?

  24. Are you ugly/average/pretty/hot as hell? Harsh questions but all have an effect on a potential “hook-up”.
    Guys..ALL guys, have a built in fear of rejection and looking stupid,so if you’re pretty/hot,then they may never get around to asking! If you’re ugly/average, then they may not want to ask in the first place!
    In my experience it’s best to give them a couple of chances to make the moves and if not?…then you have to give them a “green light” somehow someway.
    If as you say he’s always giving you the eye..or “that look” as they call it here..then he likes you and is probably too shy to make the move.Get his cell phone number and text a few times,(not excessive)then send..”Omg i had the most erotic dream about you lastnight i was soooo naughty!”
    Amazing how that one always gives a guy the greenest light possible,lol. True.(Don’t use this on a girl guys!)

    Don’t stalk him,don’t be a puppy dog..just drop hints here and there,or if confident enough, smack him right in the face as above. Guys sometimes need and appreciate a good smack in the face for the right reasons! ;)

  25. Physically, people call me “very pretty” of both genders. I have paleish skin with a few freckles v. dark brown hair and hazel eyes i am also about 5″9′.I have nice features and a skinny build.So i guess I’m “very pretty”. Hahah. Then send..”Omg i had the most erotic dream about you lastnight i was soooo naughty!” Kinky :D. Thanks 4 the advice. I’ll try it out

  26. Swedes aren’t generally shy.

    It is just our culture that the girls chose the guys. A guy can at most try bring attention to himself and hope to be picked. Sure, some girls like the more aggresive flirting guys but some girls will take offence to this, it’s intruding on their independence, they want to feel in control.

    Also I think social acceptance of your partner is a big thing, it’s very bad if your friends don’t get along with your partner. This can really ruin things. This can lead to a lenghty period of “secret” dating where both parts in the potential couple try figure out how their friends think about the situation.

    I can take, as an example of swedish romance, the way I met my own girl. I’ll try keep it short. I met this girl at a huge event with lots of people and realized some week later that I was really in love with her.
    Instead of flirting with her directly I make sutble contacts with her closest friends to try get to know more about her, this also gives them the opportunity to “ok” me for her. As it turns out they thought I seemed pretty nice and told me a few important things about my love interest and when I told them how I really felt about her they went supportive. This is a quite common thing in sweden, let’s call it “insiders”.
    The next thing was getting my own (the closest ones atleast) to understand the situation and give them the opportunity to say what they think about the girl in question. As it turned out they thought she seemed very nice aswell. They could be called “wingmen”.
    After a few weeks of quite casual talking to the girl in question backed up with sweet comments about me from her friends, who also send me short reports of how she seems to feel about me, we finally meet face to face (we happen to live quite far away from each other) in another huge event, sort of like a festival.
    By now I sort of know how the girl is feeling about me, Ialso have a huge team of supporters who know what’s going on. And sure enough my and her friends seem to “dissapear” now and then on made up errands and things, to give us plenty of alone time together. Lots of winking and knowing glances are exchanged with lots of people. In the end it turned out awesomely,lots of cute holding hands, walks along the beach and romantic kisses by the sunset.

    Now this was from my point of view. As it turns out she had done almost exactly the same thing, she also had insiders and wingmen, some of them turned out to be the same people I confessed to. In the end it turns out she had planned the whole thing even more, and for a longer time, then I did and in a way, I totally fell in her trap. ;)

    Of course, sometimes it’s just love on first sight too.

  27. @Con’ uni’ girl – The idea (my example above) is to let him know that the window is open for conversation on any subject,that you’re “not shy” and he shouldn’t be too worried about offending you etc. Sexual innuendo’s are a good way to break the ice fast and an opportunity for some good laughs right away.
    “Kinky”? Lol,not really,it’s quite a “tame” response in my opinion,just as above..a quick way to avoid weeks of shyness and nervousness.It all depends on your own personality and how you want things to go.The skill is getting across that you’re funny,open minded,sexy in a mysterious way…and not a slut! :)

  28. Maybe it’s not exactly in theme but would anyone answer me – Do Swedish guys send their look to the girls from eastern europe or they flirt such a way only with colour girls?

  29. Depends on your “hottie” rating.Anywhere from 6-10 should get “the look”, whether you’re from eastern europe or mars!
    (same as anywhere else really)
    The rating being in the eye of the beholder of course. :)

  30. um what? women in sweden are so decayed socially they expect the man to do everything, at least in the pub environment. ive lived in other countries (england, usa) and the women there are much more social and takes initiative unlike swedish females, who are probably the most insensitive and boring on this side of the planet.

    //tall swede

  31. btw swedish females likes men who are more aggressive and not shy, but i guess most women are this way. there’s a few “girlfriend material” who likes shy and kind guys but from my experience which is going out on parties/pubs 2-3 times a week and talking to my buddies is that girls likes tough guys who ‘ignores’ them, since it gives the guys a interesting “vibe”.

    worked for me at least… :P

  32. Thanks for your blog posts, they really help me decipher the behavior of a Swedish colleague of mine who’s been playing hot and cold with me for a while now. He’s given me the look quite a few times, and it’s always very troubling. But when I attempt a move, he tells he wants a purely business relationship with me (he’s a colleague), that he’s worthless and that I shouldn’t even spend 5 minutes thinking about him. And when I try to move on, he comes back asking me not to give up on him, acting very nice and caring… He’s “slightly” conflicted, I guess :) Is that common in Swedish men? It’s like he needs a lot of time to deliberate and think about everything…

  33. This is hilarious. I stumbled upon this blog post by chance and as it happens, I have exactly the same experience. Didn’t realize it was a general thing with Swedish men, as I’ve only really gotten to know one, but he definitely gave me “the look”.

    We spent a semester at the same uni and during classes I found that whenever my eyes wandered across the room, they always met his. He seemed to be ALWAYS looking at me, sometimes he looked away immediately when I caught him, sometimes his gaze lingered with a short smile and then looked away. It annoyed me at first, actually, and I was really puzzled over it, but in the end I interpreted it as exactly that: “As if he was battling his politeness with the desire to rip my clothes off.”

    Which, of course, he did in the end ;) Now I’ll be searching through this blog to find if there are any posts on the typical behavior of Swedish guys in bed during affairs!

    Thanks for an interesting blog!

  34. I read this over a year ago before I arrived in Sweden and I haven’t seen it yet. But the two Swedish men who like me (not sure if there’re others who do not approach me) just gazed at me quite boldly. They’re in their early thirties, maybe they’re not so awkward with the chase anymore? not sure. But that’s the Swedish look I got. It’s not a sneaky look, nor a flirtatious look. In fact quite intense and a little dreamy/wistful and they didn’t look away when I caught them looking. I’m usually very shy when guys look at me so i tend to look away first. When I didn’t turn away so quickly, they would hold my gaze, whether it’s across the room or next to me on the couch. For me, it’s quite intense and I’ve never gotten this before.

    They tend to take time to deliberate too.
    The first guy asked me out after seeing me in our 3rd group gathering (though I think he was looking at me since the first time we met), so it was a few weeks before he asked me out. The second guy has been interested (and looking at me) for almost a year (granted earlier on he was going through a rough patch early this year and wasnt rdy for a rs), he only approached me over the weekend. They did not approach me for one night’s stand and have been patient and understanding that i need more time to know them better.

  35. “The look”? Giggling? Waiting for women to make the move? Lawd, have Swedish men got no balls? As much as I’d like to help UNICEF out, I might have to skip this nationality on my dating roster!

  36. @Traveller: haha maybe when you visit Sweden or meet a Swedish man, you will understand the difference and change your mind!

  37. I have exchanged the look with a swede in my class. he’s given it to me, and i to him. but i’m as shy as they come when I’m attracted to a guy; otherwise, i’m nice, outgoing, extroverted. See the problem? guys im not into automatically assume i am and those who i am into must think i’m a weirdo! I really am in the legendary (as talked here) battle of who can hold back the most! (Assuming he likes me) Couldn’t I get lucky once in my life and have him ask me out???? wishful thinking **sigh**

  38. I love Swedish boys. Me and this boy named Luke (he is fully Swedish) we have a thing going on and I have to say I know that look. I hate it when he looks into my eyes because its like he tries to eat my soul and I fall into them, they are a article blue and he is the most beautiful Swedish boy I have ever saw. They are very good suck ups as well, haha.

  39. Is this when I mention that us swedish lesbians also have this “look”. It happens when you’re looking at someone who suddenly looks back. It kinda startles you and you smile shyly, look away and try to compose yourself before you look back. Of course that doesn’t work so you smile shyly again. I’m realizing while writing this that there really isn’t an excuse for this behavior if you’re a grown ass person ^^’

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