Talking to the Swede

After reading many comments on the dating in sweden post, the girls seem to never know how to communicate with Swedish guys.

I agree. Talking to a Swede can be like talking to a wall. And it’s not that they don’t want to listen to you, they just don’t know how to respond. Or they enjoyed your story and think nothing needs to be added.

Sometimes, I can be an annoying girl. I keep asking the boy questions; about everything. Sometimes he is quick to answer and tells a story. Other times, he says, “I dunno” and shrugs. And sometimes, even calls me “silly girl” for being so inquisitive.

What I found most interesting in communicating with him was our ‘move-in’ discussion. We had a long talk (okay, a short talk) about what it would be like to move in together. We even discussed what are our fears and expectations. He was very open about it and that he was nervous, etc. A revelation I feel for a Swede to talk. Not necessarily about his feelings but about something importanht. Of course being a Swede, also willing to help out in household duties. Yay! The caveat to the whole conversation: he had some wine before getting deep into the discussion.

A couple lessons to learn about talking to Swedes:
1. Kick them sometimes- Not literally.
2. Be inquisitive- ask open ended questions…anything that has the potential to be Yes/No will end up as one.
3. Don’t tell them any stories for the day- See if there is silence or if after a while, he starts talking.
4. Get some alcohol. Like plants, Swedes must be watered properly with a good distribution of beer and liquor.

20 thoughts on “Talking to the Swede”

  1. i ll never understand why stockholm guys wear all that gel! as a guy i don’t get it. and they think they look so good.. weird.

  2. Well, I’m planning to run around Europe next year… one of my stops will probably be Stockholm, got a coffee date friend who moved there recently to be with her sweetheart. Will be wary of men with too much gel :D

  3. I think you mean Hair gel.

    And its rarely used by “us” except for all the teenagers that think that they look cool and by the middle eastern immigrants.
    Hair wax on the other hand is used by the mass, you don’t get that wet and stiff look and the hair stays where it should.

  4. Hm, you haven’t mentioned any difference in terms of what kinds of topics are “private”. An American who is just trying to make conversation or wants to get to know me, a Swede, might ask lots of questions about my family, do I have siblings, pets and whatnot. Sure, I’ll reply with the basics but I’ll be a little uncomfortable about it. I’d feel that person is inquisitive. Thankfully I can easily turn the tables and ask about their family and not have to say another word…

    But it would be more interesting to talk about something philosophical, to learn about another person’s view of things. The superficial stuff quickly gets boring IMO.

    Then again, maybe it’s the pauses in the conversation that scares you? Maybe your conversation partner is just looking for the right words, careful to put it together properly…mind you, in a second language — however fluent he may seem. Maybe we are more worried about saying something stupid than we are afraid of the silence. And if you pepper someone with questions maybe they just feel they need to rest their ears for a minute…

  5. I stumbled upon this blog by accident.
    Being a single male “Swede” this was fun reading. Not just this blog-entry but this whole site has had me (for some reason) mesmerized. lol. I´m gonna stop by here again, rest asure.

    If you need a “interview with a Swede” I´m sure I´ll be able to help with questions – (should there be any). Since there seem to be some confusion regarding swedes (or Swedish males to be specific). haha

  6. I don’t like silence, and when he (my swede sweetheart) doesn’t answer me back, after a long letter I sent to him, I feel ignored.

    Then at the next day he pops with a cute phrase like “I miss you and need you” or “Im about to have sweet dreams with you this night” lol. But he didn’t answer anything about my letters.

    And again I feel in the damn clouds! grrrr.

  7. Funny maybe i’m the only one that has the swede that is soo open and will talk about anything and outright has told he he hopes that i can talk to him about anything that i’m thinking.

  8. Swedes can be just so weird but adorable at times. I guess they’re thinking the same thing of us.

  9. i hate slience too, when he did it to me i felt so bad, doest help anything if he not talk clear things, very easy to misunderstand. But everyone needs to improve themselves.

  10. I must be the only one, I enjoy the silent moments of just looking at one and other and enjoying each others presence.

  11. Nice Jen,but doesn’t it get a little…monotonous after 3 weeks? lol.

    You’d think that through the power of TV and movies,Swedish men would have seen the proper? way to act around a girl on a date or whatever,and adapted.
    I suppose we all find differences in culture and mindset in other countries when we’ve been brought up a specific way.Could be fun to read a Swedish blog about the problems of dating British and American people.
    Came across another blog a while ago similar to this one,though i think she was a Brit journalist on a mission to write a piece on dating Swedish men.Anyhow,it was funny to read how shocked she was after a dinner date when she did the usual (polite)thing,and asked him..”I’ll pay half of the bill ok?”
    He mumbled “ok”…and held out his hand! lol
    (For the Swedish males reading this the thing to say is “no thats ok,i’ve got it covered”)
    To me,a Brit,and i suppose American men,our mindset on a date is basically of a sexual nature and all this meal and wine stuff is just foreplay.(If we’re honest lol).
    We KNOW..that if we make one slip up then there’s gonna be no chance (if any)of late night frolics!
    Accepting her offer to pay half the bill will get you as far as if you went back and beat her cat to death with a bat!!!
    (Things could be a lot different with a Swedish girl? I don’t know,never been out on a date with one.)

    Some girls actually don’t mind paying half,but it’s not the accepted rule of thumb!

    There must be hundreds of funny stories like this.

  12. But the Swedish guy I like, he doesn’t like alcohol! Even it’s Valborg Day. it’s very difficult to have a deep conversation with him.

  13. Now I may have stumbled upon this post five years after it was initially posted but it’ has me intrigued. As a guy born and raised in Sweden, I can tell you – with regards to speaking to a Swedish guy – the whole being reserved/shy/cold isn’t exactly a trait nor anything to generalize. As with any type of human beings there are extroverts and introverts. If you happen to meet an introverted or even mildly introverted Swedish guy is it not natural to be reserved/shy/cold?

    However, the way our culture works – if I were to generalize; sure, we might be a lot more reserved and quiet than the stereotypical American or British man, but what you might want to consider is the different levels of comfort being with another human being. If you can’t handle any silent moments within the first three weeks or a relationship without thinking it’s monotonous, then as a generalization Swedish men may not be for you, or you might simply not feel comfortable enough with the person in question – or even yourself to actually enjoy silence.

    One of the greatest traits I love with women is being together not feeling obligated to talk, because it’s simply not because I’m by any means socially incapable or raised a certain way, but rather the fact that I enjoy the quiet at times. I’d run as far as I could if I felt the obligation to constantly keep up small talk in order to keep someone else comfortable.

    I can only speak out of personal reference but Swedes mostly have deep conversations with people they trust or ones they are interested in. With the chances of offending someone I do apologize, but as a matter of fact, don’t we have deep conversations with people we somehow connect with as human beings? If you happen to meet an intellectual introverted swedish guy, yes you may have trouble having deep conversations with him unless he finds you very interesting. But don’t forget, in order to have deep conversations, you may want to consider what you have in common as well – and what you actually consider a deep conversation, because as different people the definition of a deep conversation may differ greatly between you.

    Lastly, I completely agree with pushing introverted/shy swedes out of their shells though. Travelling is usually what breaks us out of our shells. Some of the “traits” you mention and discuss may be very accurate, but then again there are a lot of different “types” of Swedish people so how guys act may vary. I as an introvert will be very open and relaxed with a girl when I trust her, find her interesting as a person and feel comfortable with her*.

    *and in order to feel comfortable, I cannot feel obligated to keep small talk at all times to have someone else comfortable. so if you’re having trouble with a rather quiet Swedish man, consider how comfortable you are with silence, it usually adds up to self-esteem in the end.

    But please, don’t expect us to act like stereotypical American guys, or play stereotypical American dating games, even if I would’ve picked up the tab at a dinner table without hesitation I still would’ve noticed what she did and found it extremely not cute.

    Don’t generalize Swedes.
    Over and out.

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