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Having grown up in Sweden I spent many summer sailing in Denmark, so I have spent plenty of time mingling with the Danes. In my teens the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden arrived, so suddenly our neighbors were even closer and today a lot of people commute between Malmö and Copenhagen on a daily basis. Swedes and Danes have a lot in common, but there are still some differences. Read on to find out what it’s like dating the Danes.
The Danes Are Not Like Bond
I just now came across an article where an American woman recommended Danish men to study Bond, James Bond. I.e. how to be a man, the British and American way.
Danes are not Americans.
Do not expect them to hold doors for you.
Do not expect them to carry your luggage for you.
Don’t expect them to pay the bill for you.
Do not expect them to pursue you like there was no tomorrow.
In Denmark there is a very strong sense of equality between men and women. For some reason women at some point decided that if a man holds the door for her, it may be seen as if she can’t do it herself. That’s not what I consider to be the point of holding doors (it’s a sweet gesture, nothing more, nothing less), but the Danes decided there would be equality everywhere. Including holding doors.
Also, it’s not just a man’s job to pursue a woman. It’s also a woman’s job to pursue a man. So don’t expect the guy to walk up to you on a party and buy you a drink.
See dating as a half way approach – you have to meet half way, with everything.
They Will Do Their Bit Around the House
Danish men are not afraid to cook and clean. It’s expected of them. There’s a sense of fairness – you do your bit around the house, they do theirs.
They Take Time for Fatherhood
Of course, this is an individual thing (as are most things discussed in this article – you can’t tell what it’s like dating an entire nation, you have to generalize) but as a general rule, Danish dads spend time with their kids. Just as with the housework, you share the responsibility. Don’t expect to be a stay at home mom, rather expect that the man will do half the work.
They Are Down to Earth
Unlike Americans, Danes and Scandinavians in general, don’t wear their medals on their sleeve. It’s seen as bragging if you talk too much of your victories in life. There’s ego in Denmark, as there is anywhere, there just isn’t a culture of telling people what you’ve achieved. Modesty is celebrated as a good trait.
They Love to Drink Beer
Not unlike the British, Danish men tend to love their beer. And their vodka. Not surprisingly, a lot of love stories start at parties after a few beers.
Forget About the Flowers
OK, so he might give you flowers. Ever so often. Chances are his love will be more expressed by cleaning the dishes, helping you out with everything and so on. Chivalry isn’t dead, it’s just different.
You might need to help him along in the romance department. Though as anyone else, he’s likely to light candles ever so often. Especially during the dark of winter.
The Difference Between Dating and Dating
America has a dating culture, Denmark does not. If someone is interested in you he might ask you out for a coffee, which is somewhere in between hanging out and having a date. He might invite you to hang out with his friends, or suggest you do things together, but often it’s less formal than the American dating system. You hang out, you see if you like each other, you have sex and you become an item. Or you start the other way around – meet someone at a club, have sex, if you like each other you start hanging out and then become an item.
By Maria Montgomery – Maria is a freelance writer, director and social entrepreneur. She’s also the spokesperson for The Little Angels Community Center and an avid blogger. You can find her somewhere between Cape Town, London and L.A., where you will most likely find her in the hills, looking out over the city she loves. @OhMyMontgomery