Ten Reasons Why I Love The Swede

This is going to be an incredibly sappy post but as it is about Swedish men, love, and bunnies, I have to write it.

I love my husband for a zillion reasons. Some of them are related to being a Swede, and many are just because who he is. Cue, sappiness. Let’s all say it together, “Awwwwwwwwww.”

Photograph by Christopher Grant.

1. He gives the look. I feel like the only person in the world that matters.

2. Everyday before he leaves for work, I get a kiss and everyday when he returns from work, I get a kiss. Unless we’re actually apart in different time zones, there hasn’t been a day without a kiss.

3. We can fight and argue, only to have the next day where all is forgotten.

4. Important discussions about life and love are discussed with seriousness. Before we were engaged and before we even moved in together, we discussed marriage. It was matter of fact and a great way to know where we both stood on the issue.

5. When I’m sad, he gives me a hug and says, “let’s beat those fuckers!” in an amusing voice. I always laugh.

When Dad would cry after Mom died, he would hug him and hold his hand. He also learned to make the perfect cup of coffee for Dad.

6. He relinquishes the bedroom to my mom and dad when they visit us. He also survived, happily, with his mother-in-law for two months under the same roof without being rude or causing trouble ever. {There was also plenty of wonderful home cooking and evenings spent teaching Swedish and drinking wine with mom. And with dad: a lot of dorking.}

7. He loves that I am a nut for rabbits and love our little precious beans. He was so good to Bunny who was at times, an asinine cable-eating monster to his belongings.

8. Who can resist the Swedish accent? But he no longer says gym as ‘Jyyym.’ Perhaps as I become more Swedish, he is becoming too American.

9. He thinks Americans are too conservative and need to lighten up a bit when it comes to social restrictions.
“You American are so cute. Scared of men walking around in their underwear at home.”

10. No dream of mine is too big or crazy. It’s not to say my ideas are not crazy but rather, he listens and supports the ones that come to fruition.

Oh, and he speaks Sweeeeedish! :-)

Top 5 Hot Swedish Men

Today’s top five is to satisfy all the lovely ladies who read this blog and enjoy drooling at Swedish men and perhaps dating them.

Be sure to check out the series on dating Swedish men:
Dating Swedish Men Q&A
The A to Z Guide on Dating Swedish Men
The Dying Questions for the Swedish Men

Prince Carl-Philip of Sweden
He’s still single and hot ladies!

Alexander Skarsgård
Son of Stellan Skargård, Alex and his family are movie legends. Of course we all know him as Eric on the HBO series True Blood.

Björn Borg
He might be an old man selling underwear today, but he was a looker during his pro tennis years.

Alex Lundqvist
Male model and professional paintballer (evidently there is a pro league), Alex Lundqvist is famous for his GUESS? modeling stint.

Freddie Ljungberg
A footballer and Calvin Klein underwear model, this man is the poster boy for the hot, rugged, swedish male.

Dating Swedish Men Q&A

Hej ladies! I’ve been reading through the hundreds of comments on the site and have some general questions and answers that may help you on your guide to dating swedish men.

You can read all the other dating in Sweden posts here:
The New Questions on Swedish Dating
Dating in Sweden…We Americans need a guide
The A to Z Guide on Dating Swedish Men
The Dying Questions for the Swedish Men

These are just my opinions along with general opinions of other ladies and gents who posted comments. But readers, feel free to add in your own as I am now an oldie on the dating married market.

Question: “Where do I find Swedish Men?”

Answer: Sweden contains a lot of Swedish men but they can be rather hard to find and keep. Online dating through Match or Spray is very popular. I also recommend Online Dejting (in swedish) to read dating reviews.

If you are not in Sweden then I recommend checking out Swedish clubs in the States as a starter. Most countries will have not have the Embassy of Sweden, but cultural events open to the public.

Q: “I met a Swede while studying/taking a trip a trip abroad. It was like love at first sight. We spent several afternoons together, hanging out, going for walks. He’s incredibly passionate and yet shy. Now that I’m back home, we chat online nearly everyday. It’s been a couple months and now he’s gone cold all of sudden. He doesn’t know if this is “right” or possible. What should I do?”

A: You need to be honest with yourself. Do you like the Swede, love the Swede, or see having babies with the Swede? Or maybe he could be a rebound or time pass for now. Really think about how you are compatible with him and he is to you, than falling for The Look or his shyness. Most Swedish men are shy but direct and can play hot and cold.

If you really like him and want to see him again, then you should tell him so. If he doesn’t respond, then it’s his loss. Collect yourself and find a better fish. I believe your playdate and soulmate will present themselves at the right opportunity.

Q: “Do Swedish men take awhile to say ‘I love you?’ Or they just say it because?”

A: Swedish men may not say I love you immediately because they interpret love differently. Perhaps he really likes you and wants to spend time with you but love is not in the picture.

I think a lot of American women put too much pressure on men saying I love you rather than developing the relationship.

I’m also going to refer to Björn’s answer below:
‘Dunno about the “love you part” it might be the truth, you have to understand that over here its a bit different in some things. You can for example meet a girl and have a very passionate time but more often than not its not more than that and people move on. It could very well be that he might be set in those ways and not think further than that even though he might actually have very strong feelings for you and not sure how to convey them.’ –Björn

Q: “So is that a normal thing.. that we always have to initiate the conversation (online)?” -clotilde

A: Judging from commenters, it does seem the women are initiating the conversation more than the Swedes. I don’t know why. Maybe he’s shy, maybe he doesn’t know what to say (small talk is not their strong point), or maybe he is an ass.

Whatever you do, don’t be the one to always initiate the talk. Then you become his crutch.

Q: “I guess my question would be how honest and faithful are Swedish men? Are they players as we say in America?” – Dian

A: Swedish men have the same probability of being faithful as American men or any other men for that matter. Swedish men prefer to seriously date one girl at a time. They also are not as heavy in playing the game or having wingmen. With that said, I do know some Swedes who date multiple girls at a time, like American guys, but they have no intention of having a girlfriend. Just some fun.

Q: “Do you think some Swedish men can fall in love with a woman that is curvy or a few extra pouds or is this a sign of laziness with their culture?” – Irene
A: Of course! Just because Swedish people tend to be blonder, boobier, taller people of the world doesn’t mean they don’t fall in love with different people. If you’re curvy bit still have a wonderful attitude and personality, it shouldn’t matter.

Q: I met a Swede in my class. He’s really cute and shy. We sit next to each other now and do talk. Will he ask me out? I’m not the type to ask a guy out but from what I’m reading here, the women do the asking.”

A: Yes and no. If you like him and he’s Swedish, then you should get his number and ask him out. For a coffee (fika), a drink, study date, something. If you still like after that, then do tell him that you dig him. That will put the ball in his court to reciprocate.

These are not all the answers on dating swedish men but I hope it makes you ladies less nervous and more confident.

Remember, you deserve to be with someone who loves you, not someone you have to chase down.

Talking to Old People

The other day I was having ice cream with my friend S when an old guy came by. Since he could not sit at the tall tables, we lent him a chair and he sat down with us while the shopkeeper got him ice cream.

We were planning on leaving but he started talking to us. The first question was if I’m from Thailand. For the record, no. I told him India. Sure enough, he was in India decades ago traveling. Of course we were going to hear the stories.

I love to hear old people talk. They have a matter of fact way of speaking.

“There are lot of people in India.”

“Poverty is everywhere. People give birth on the streets. It is unbelievable.”

He went on about India and people and then even current events like the Syrian civil unrest. While, we asked him a few questions about himself, he was not interested in them. He wanted to talk to us about something. To someone. Anyone.

There I wondered what his life must be today. Probably without his soulmate and his children and grandchildren located far away. A lonely life. Going out is an adventure and help not always available.

I rarely speak to strangers here, and I feel disconnected from society. I feel like a deaf amoeba roaming around. Hearing the old man reminded me that we are a society even if I never see him, some is (hopefully) taking care of him.

You know for 15 minutes of conversation someone made my day. A stranger. In Sweden. To a brown person. He even called me beautiful. How many times do you hear that in Sweden? Quadruple win for old people.

And he thinks drivers in Stockholm are stupid too. This old guy is awesome.

Plus I figured speaking Swedish to an elderly person is a great way of practicing and understanding Swedish. Keep a Swedish friend with you too. They can help translate and crack jokes so you don’t look like a snobby idiot for not responding to questions because you don’t understand.

So hey, you can talk to strangers in Sweden. They maybe 80 years old and fogies but they can pay compliments and say hi. More fun than a hipster toff in Söder too.

The New Questions on Swedish Dating

It’s that time again! The dying questions for swedish men is chock full of goodness of information.  Before we start on our new questions about swedish dating, here’s a summary of what we know about swedish men and women.

Swedish men:
Are very good listeners
Are quiet and shy
Help doing house work
Cook dinner, breakfast or a little smörgås
Give the look
Are respectful
Like foreign girls (who doesn’t like anything exotic?)

Swedish women:
Want romance too
Love confident men
Are beautiful
Like foreign men
Are sensitive at heart

And now the A-Z of questions we still discuss and ponder about.  A big thanks to all the readers who continuously comment and share their love stories.

  • If I like you (i’m a girl), can I text/call you first?
  • Can you summarize Swedish dating culture in one/two words?
  • Is Swedish boy interested in me if we chat online for several months and have wonderfully intense conversations?
  • Do you think some Swedish men can fall in love with a woman that is curvy or a few extra pouds or is this a sign of laziness with their culture?
  • Do Swedish men prefer texting/emailing to phone calling?
  • What is the best place in Stockholm to find a Swedish guy?
  • Do Swedish women give the look too?
  • What in general seems to be the Swedish man’s standing point on women who have children from a previous relationship?
  • Do Swedish men give compliments randomly to women? If not, are they trying to hit on the girls?
  • What are signs of flirtatious behavior?
  • Why do men need to be on the verge of blacking out to hit on women?
  • Does the ‘player’ culture exist?
  • How the hell do you ask out a swede?? or make “a move” on him?
  • Do they like blonds or brunettes?
  • Is it true Swedes are very rude?
  • Is it true that Swedes hate monogamy?
  • Do they fall in love really hard?

It’s not easy dating Swedish women.  And the swedish male proves to be both confusing and amusing.  Just remember, they’re still people too, and sometimes a man is just a man.

The A to Z Guide on Dating Swedish Men

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a guide to dating Swedish men!

First off, thank you to all who have posted on the Dating in Sweden post. It is so awesome and wonderful to see people share their stories and help each other. This post is being closed now because it has more than 200 comments!!! But, let the stories and pondering continue here as we figure out the A to Z of Swedish men.

A – American Dating, what’s that? “We have sex first, then see each other.”
B – Beautiful and blond. How awesome is that?
C – Confusing; few understand the male species and even less understand the Swedish man
D – Dutch dates are possible, especially if in Sweden.
E – Equal opportunity. Hold that door for yourself.
F – Fashionable. Men sport color and style in Sweden!
G – Growing chest hair, not a fur coat, is needed. (Anonymous comment from a male friend)
H – Hair gel is a necessity, not an option.
I – IKEA will be the ‘big step’ in your lives as couple.
J – Jeans, can they get any tighter?
K – Kinky … so the rumors say…
L – Lagom. They want life and love and everything else in between to be “just right” or rolling down the middle of the road. Pushing men too hard left or right, risks alienating them and sending them away.
M – Mysterious. Ask many questions, answer few of their own.
N – Nagging is what girls may feel when the Swedes are unresponsive. It’s okay, give the guys some space and time to write/text you back.
O – Obtuse, like any man, the Swedish man has proven to be equally if not more obtuse at times.
P – Punctual; don’t show up late for a date.
Q – Quiet and shy describes 90% of Swedish men in Sweden and 10% abroad. Okay, exaggeration but they lose their very quiet nature when going abroad.
R – Rude; if you don’t know the ways of Swedes, they can be perceived as rude. This is especially true if you believe the man should pay for dates, etc when he is more in dutch / equal paying.
S – Sambo, rhymes with mambo, is the traditional way for Swedish being ‘together’ but not married.
T – Text messaging is the best way to communicate with Swedish men. It may be the best way to communicate in general for Swedes.
U – Unemotional, hard-to-read, and sometimes stoic, the Swedish man keeps his feelings to himself.
V – Valentine’s Day is nearly nonexistent in Sweden; don’t fret if nothing happens on this un-special day.
W – Wintertime is the period in the year to not dump your swede. Stay inside and cuddle during the miserable Swedish November. When springtime approaches, feel free to move on to greener grass.
X –
Y – Youthful appearance but sagacious within.
Z – Zealous with text messaging. Really? I still have not understood the obsession with texting. :P

Any other A to Z’s to add? More quandaries faced by the foreign woman?

10 Things to Know About Swedes

Do you have Swedish friends and wonder their behavior is strange or just Swedish?  What makes Swedes different from the other Europeans?  And if you are visiting or just moved to Sweden, what should you know about them?

  1. Swedish men are shy. It will take some time to speak to one, especially if you don’t know him.  Swedish guys that you know, through the office or elsewhere, are easier to deal with. It’s said that even Swedish girls can be shy too.
  2. Like water is to plants; alcohol is the same to Swedes. If you meet a guy at a party, give him an extra beer, it’s sure to liberate his speaking ability. For that matter, give a girl an extra beer too.
  3. Swedes are passive, both the men and women. Many can even be passive aggressive because they do not like to vocalize issues.  They prefer to avoid conflict at all costs.
  4. They can be direct. Going completely against #3, Swedes are ironically direct people.  However, their directness can be subtle and hard to read.  For example, if your manager says to ‘get a little more work done,’ what they mean is ‘you’re in the dump right and really need to kick ass at work.’  You could say that in some ways this quiet directness is similar to being passive aggressive.  It takes time to read them.
  5. Social systems are closed. In many European societies, making friends is difficult, almost painful at times.  Becoming friends with Swedes and joining their social circles is arduous.  Most Swedes hang out with friends from gymnasium (high school) or college and have a tight, small social network.  Hanging out with coworker Swedes, is rare. However it is possible to make lots of friends as a newcomer.
    Here are a few options to making new friends:

    • Join a company which is international and has many foreign employees;
    • Join a small but new company that is also part Swedish and part foreign employed;
    • Attend clubs or general expat events.  This option is dangerous because you could end up with lots of other foreign friends and forget about the Swedes.  But, there are always a few Swedes at these mixers, find those folks and chat them up.
    • Find activities that you used to do in your home country and do them in Sweden too! Yoga classes, ballroom dancing, knitting, gym, sailing, belly dancing, and much more. Don’t mope at home hoping for friends to magically appear or be depressed by TheLocal forum group; get yourself out there and you will start to meet new people.
    • Seek out some good Swedish online communities to learn more about Sweden and make virtual friends that can hopefully transcend into reality.
  6. Swedes do not like to be late. I love to be late, it is my motto; I just am unable to get myself to parties exactly on time.  Dinner plans or coffee dates, I will be there, otherwise, forget it.  Still, in Sweden, you do not go anywhere late. Their motto is to be punctual, so stick to it.
  7. Swedes are stylish. They are not the drop dead fashionistas of Paris or Rome, but the Swedes have their own ultra modern, sleek style.  Swedish households say it all, gorgeous and beautifully decorated.  Be prepared, being stylish in Sweden is expensive.  There’s a reason why Nordiska Galleriet (not NK) charges 10.000SEK (approx $1,300) on a wrought-iron chair. However, I have to say, their clothing fashion reeks of the 80s too much.
  8. In Sweden, people have no desire to give better service. We all know it: Swedes suck at customer service.  Restaurants, shops, airline counters, you name it and they will give you no service.  It is not case of bad service, you just get no service.  I understand now that for many Swedes, they consider too much customer service as intrusive. And Swedes can be annoyed when asked “Can I help you find something?,” “Do you want another drink?”, while Americans expect that kind of questioning from service professionals. But sometimes I wonder, can’t people just smile more? Is it that hard to communicate with others.  There’s a lot of discussions that Swedes do things on their own, but mammal societies are socially based.   Why would we want to move backwards and become more unsocial?
  9. Silence is golden. It is okay to not speak every second of every moment.  Þorbjörn and I sometimes sit at the breakfast table silent for 10-15 minutes before either one of us speaks.   If your Swedes seems unusually quiet, they are not mad or annoyed at you, they just enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
  10. Swedes love nature. Sweden is a beautiful country and they take great pride in taking care of the natural landscape.  If you have a day off, you will walk around the city or go hiking, but never stay indoors.  Most Swedes seem to have Swedish summer houses, a place to relax and get away from bustling life. I admire that they take nature seriously and it is even evident in recycling habits.
  11. They love potatoes and herring. I don’t like herring but I do love potatis med graddfil!
  12. Fika is a religious experience.Everyday of the week, Swedes love coffee, love kakor (cake), and love to talk (they can!) in a profound experience called the fika. You cannot get away from and you cannot live without. Consider it to be a high end coffee break with the icing on top too.

And there you have it! What else should we know about Swedes?

Swedish Swedos and Stekare Stockholmers

I have no idea why Stockholm men wear a ton of hair gel. The average Stockholm male uses 9 containers of gel and the average cost per bottle is 230SEK. That’s a lot of gel, enough to electrify an entire heard of horse I bet.

Please men, I beg you to stop the madness. This slicked back, supergel’ed hair is just not cool. Remember the group on Facebook relating to Crocks, “you look so fucking stupid with those shoes on”? This is the same thing. In Swedish we call it “stekare” and I define it as those skinny guys with long slicked hair, Armani eyewear, and virtual ipods playing GLAMOROUS in their ears. And they bounce when they walk down the street.

Still need a visual image? Here are a few:

The Swedos are invading
The Swedos are invading

A little too much sun or bodybuilding tanner
A little too much sun or bodybuilding tanner

Now crazy swedes
Now crazy swedes

Self portrait of a Swede
Amazing self portrait of a Swede’s reflection
From Steelth via Flickr

Stureplan boys eating
Don’t they just look full of themselves
From medvinen via Flickr

Swedish men out there, take heed, take notice, please do not overdo yourself like a peacock. You might think you’re cool in Stureplan with those awesome sunglasses and the ability to buy a drink at Sturehof, but frankly it’s just stupid looking. I love well dressed men, but I hate cocky looking men.

Top 5 Dating Swedish Men Posts

If you are new to LiS, then this post is a good place to start. Here are the most popular posts about dating Swedish men. More “Top 5’s” to come soon!

1. Dating in Sweden, We Americans Need a Guide

2. To Find a Swede

3. The Dying Questions for the Swedish Men

4. The Swedish Male Look

5. Observations by a Swede

To Go Dutch or To Not Go Dutch… That is the Question

In previous posts, I discussed how one should pay for date nights. Do you go dutch or does one person pay for everything? In all this talk, I failed to explain the concept of going dutch; foreign to both the Swedes and the Dutch.

What is this funny idea from the lower country called The Netherlands? First, I did a little research on the history of going, the popularity of it in different countries, and then what people think of it. I went to Wiki, Yahoo Answers, Facebook status message, and even Twitter.

According to the Wikipedia entry, which unfortunately has been marked as full of weasel language, the definition is a bit nebulous. The phrase did probably originate in Holland because people pay for their own share when going out in groups. Makes sense to me. But on dates, or one-on-one events, the man usually pays for the meal (food and drinks). Standard etiquette says that the inviter pays for the meal. Equality etiquette states that the man and woman pay for their own share. Somewhere in between, some pissed off British blokes decided to insult the Dutch by coining the term “going dutch.” The phrase originated somewhere in the 1870s though it is unclear.

There was also an explanation of what happens in Sweden:

In Sweden, the practice of splitting the bill in restaurants is common. In a courtship situation where both parts have a similar financial standing, which is commonplace in Sweden, the traditional custom of the man always paying in restaurants has largely fallen out of use and is by many, including etiquette authorities[who?], considered old fashioned. Generally a romantic couple will take turns paying the bill or split it. It is generally assumed that everyone pays for himself or herself in restaurants unless the invitation stated otherwise.

I asked this to everyone: What does “going dutch” mean to you? And do you ‘go dutch’ on dates?
From Twitter:
@souldate: to split a restaurant bill by only paying exactly for what you had.
@pontusolin: That you split the costs at a social engagement.
@Ingyplingy: I thnk for Swedes it’s normal. But then, the majority of women here have been part of the work force since the 70s. At least. [Well] I actually don’t really care :-) We can go dutch, he can pay, OR I can pay!!! How about that, huh? ;) I still think there seems to be a cultural diff, since it seems like men r still expected to b able to provide for a family in US

From Facebook:
AN (American girl in the US): splitting the bill? walking around naked? plan a trip to the netherlands? ?
Sapphire: wee! i like the walking around naked part. do you think people should go dutch on the first date?
AN: do i think they should walk around naked on the first date? I mean…maybe…if its hot outside.
do i think they should split the bill on the first date? hell no! but, of course, i do live in the south…
RF (American girl in the US): hahhaa, You are hilarious!! I totally agree though- I share these impressions of going dutch;)
Saf (American girl in the US): Going dutch on a first date means that whoever invited you is cheap, wasn’t raised to be a gentleman…AND probably walks around naked ALL the time. But, of course, I’m from SF, so this is normal.
CM (swedish/american dude): I’m against it. She pays.. or I’m not putting out :P JK
Seriously, but no.. dutch is a bit of a hassle.. but I don’t mind if the girl pays.. once in a while.. that’s how swedish I am.
LBO (american girl married to a Swede in Sweden): i like it. It makes everyone equal. I enjoy myself more if I pay my share. =) We used to do it in the US [go dutch] , we don’t now. now I either pay all or he pays all.
Þorbjörn (the poor chap attached to me): I dont like it [going dutch], just don’t really like it. It is ok if none of you really have money; like if you’re a student. But well, if a guy brings a girl on a date, i think the guy should pay.

To sum it up: there is no good answer to it. Going dutch depends on the guy, the girl, and the circumstances around the date. Seemingly normal girls can go insane if they must pay their own way. Chivalrous attitudes required by men are neither arcane nor unnecessary. Women should truly take pity on men, as they have no idea what is acceptable and what is not. If I were a man, I would take her to a good restaurant (nothing fancy) and pay for that first date. If she seems like the type that wants everything paid for, then be prepared and face the wallet consequences.

Otherwise, if you are girl on a date, make the effort to take part in the expenses. Sometime I pay for ice cream or drinks if we go to another place after dinner. Whether America or Sweden or somewhere in between, there should be some equality between the sexes.

But men can still hold the door. ;)