Online Dating…A social experiment

Several weeks ago I decided to sign up for Match.com in the US. To me it felt like the last ditch effort to not just find the “l’homme de la vie” but a regular man to go out with. Nothing materialized; a few people wrote to me but I was just not interested. And there it happened…my account died of natural causes.

Then last week I went out with a girlfriend and she suggested I join the match.com Sweden site. While I was hesitant at first, it appears all of Sweden is on some dating site or another. And then there I was at 4am, signing up, spending 3 hours to fill a profile, searching for people on match.se. And the men seemed…more normal (and obviously more beautiful), than the US men. I don’t know why.

Now I do not want to date the moment (my poor little heart needs a break)
but I am going to conduct a social experiment. I am going to find out how online dating works in Sweden and how these Swedish males flirt (or not) via email.

And btw, don’t go searching for me, I’m on match.se but you won’t find my photo. =)

Dating in Sweden…We Americans need a guide

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So I’m back in Sweden for a week and have a little while to mingle/party/get smushed on the T-bana with the Swedes. However, after living in France for a year and a half, I knew what was going on with the French dating system (quite screwed up). Now I know I have only been in Sweden a couple days (and will hopefully return permanently) but from reading various blogs and talking to Swedish girls, the dating system here is screwed up and really confusing.

First, I have to admit the American system is not good. It puts pressure on the man to pay, to do things, to have chivalry and then that puts pressure on the girl to put out. People date multiple people without really telling what’s going on and then all of a sudden things become official — “he’s my boyfriend now.” It is not acceptable for women to ask men out (believe me, it never works out even if he said yes on that first date).
Frankly, I’m not impressed with the system. I want to be able to pay my way, not feel pressured, and hell, if I like that man, I should ask him out.

Now it struck me that dating swedish men is something more utopian (for me at least) but at the same time more confusing than it could ever be.
So I figured I should at least put down all my questions and observations on this blog in the hopes that folks will respond with their own experiences and observations.

The Questions:
1. Is it acceptable for women to ask men out?
2. Do men expect women to ask them out or vice versa?
3. What is the Swedish version of a “date?”
4. Do Swedes date more than one person at a time before settling down with one person?
5. Do men prefer that women take the lead (i.e. make the moves)?
6. Does it really take forever for people to get married in Sweden?
7. How does a second date work?
8. What’s with the text messaging?
9. How/where do Swedes meet?

The Observations and Advice from fellow Swedish women:
– Women have to make the moves to make things happen
– Text, text, text message…just don’t call
– Go out on a date and really have no idea where you stand
– Meet someone and have no idea where you stand after chatting for a few hours
– Learn that they do seem to keep their feelings bottled up. They could probably make great poker players.
– Ask the man for his number because he’s not asking you
– “Swedish men are inconsiderate” i.e. they lack chivalry (not my words either!)
– People don’t flirt in public places, e.g. the train, the queue, the store
– People don’t really smile and flirt with the eyes. No no no.
– Men are thankfully not seen serenading women like they do in France (so annoying and wimpy)

I’ll add to this the more I understand (don’t understand) of this strange culture :)