• Sweden edition
 
'Moving to Sweden doesn't mean winning the romance lottery'

'Moving to Sweden doesn't mean winning the romance lottery'

Published: 11 Sep 2012 14:59 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2012 14:59 GMT+02:00

I’m not going to lie – when I moved to Europe from the United States almost three years ago, I was convinced that my love life would change dramatically.

Maybe this was too idealistic of me, or far too romantic, but given my penchant for foreign men (which all started at the age of twenty when I fell madly in love with an Australian whilst studying abroad for a semester in London), I secretly figured that my fleeting romances with handsome foreigners stateside would immediately turn into meaningful, long-lasting relationships if I just lived overseas.

And yes, I’ll admit, in my mind it all looked eerily similar to that scene in "The Holiday" where Cameron Diaz opens the door only to find the beautiful Jude Law standing there before her.

Oh, but how wrong I was.

In fact, I’d argue that since moving abroad – first to London and then to Stockholm – I’ve encountered even more romantic hurdles than I could have possibly imagined.

And, unfortunately, I’ve never been all that athletic.

Not only am I a single woman, in her late twenties and looking for a real relationship – which is frustrating enough under normal circumstances – but also add to that the fact that I’m American and am now living in Sweden for the foreseeable future.

To the average female, this may sound like I’ve won the romantic lottery given I live in a country that’s filled with Alexander Skarsgård-lookalikes. But I promise you all of this sounds a lot more exotic than it actually is.

Of course I’ve casually dated a variety of men since I’ve moved to Europe - for those needing a refresher, feel free to read my previous piece.

But the men that I still find myself involved with either call a different city than mine his home or, if I’m lucky enough to have him live in the same city as me, he just can’t seem to get serious with someone who is, well, American.

Maybe it’s because he’s secretly wary about whether I could actually spend the rest of my life strolling around Östermalm, pushing our precious child in a stylish pram, shopping at Svenskt Tenn and meeting his friends for Saturday fika.

Maybe he thinks I would prefer instead to sit in Yankee Stadium, eat a hot dog and balance our two screaming children on either hip.

And you know why I think this is?

I honestly think it’s because the men that I date here in Europe always see me as the “foreigner.”

This is by far the most frustrating and ironic thing I’ve come to realize about living abroad, especially when it involves relationships. It doesn’t matter how many years I spend abroad or if I learn the language of my host country to the point of fluency – I'll still be forever labelled as an outsider.

And it clearly doesn’t matter if I spend hours, days, or weeks at a time with that special (foreign) someone; that invisible barrier (whether it’s the physical distance between us or his wariness over me being American) never fails to rear its ugly head and threaten to ruin everything.

And so far, it definitely has.

I may as well wear a sign on me that says, "Please apply if you live in a different city than me or if you have no intentions of actually committing."

A bit dramatic, perhaps, but this has honestly become my dating reality.

So I suppose what I’ll continue to do is wear my heart on my sleeve (although now haphazardly wrapped in some sort of protective covering) and focus instead on all the wonderful things I currently do have in my life here in Sweden – devoted friends, a fulfilling job, and an adorable apartment.

He’s out there – living and breathing I hope – and in a perfect world, perhaps undergoing the same kind of heartache I continue to willingly undergo in search of the ever-elusive “one.”

And maybe, just maybe, if I'm particularly lucky he’ll live next door and bear a faint resemblance to Jude Law.

Elisabeth Carlsson

Your comments about this article

16:54 September 11, 2012 by deaninsweden
We all move for a reason, love, work, a change of life. But what we seek we must push the boundaries to find. Love won't come knocking like a Jude Law/Hugh Grant movie. You need to seek a man that is true to your heart as well as the eye, once you find him it's up to you to know if it is right or wrong.

Ps I wish you luck :)
17:01 September 11, 2012 by Samuel Nemalladinne
Awwww Elsie... i feel so sorry for you but.. don't lose hope, what you've written is so true to many others there !! You'll find someone "Just around the river bend" as they say =) !!
17:17 September 11, 2012 by cattie
They look at you as a foreigner because that is what you are. And what you will always be as long as you live outside of the USA. Sweden does not have an immigrant culture like America or Canada where one expects foreigners to assimilate and spend the rest of their lives living the dream.

A Swedish man sees you as a novelty. Only a very bold or naive Swedish man would plan to build a family with a foreigner.... and perhaps you are not attacted to the reckless type. A man looking to build a future need to consider the fact that a foreigner does not bring advantaegeous social connections to the familty, plus a foreigner will want to spend lots of holidays in their home country (this will consume valuable holidays that could be spent in a different resort every year). Plus there is always the very real possiblity that she will become inconsolably homesick after she becomes a mother and wants to return to her homeland. Add to the fact that Sweden has a 60% divorce rate, so it realistic to calculate difficulties of an international break-up into the challenges of a long-term realtionship with a foreigner. (Check the discussion board on this site for this theme ad infinitum).

The truth is that marriage and family is far more challenging than many anticipate. Adding extra challenges, in the form of immigrant issues and it adds up to more trouble than it is worth to many discerning men.
18:09 September 11, 2012 by eric_jo
if you are from Alabama, I'll marry you. Only if you are from Alabama...
21:02 September 11, 2012 by rfmann
I am surprised that the article's author is regarded as so foreign --- with her whiny and self-absorbed attitude, she should be immediately naturalized as a Swedish woman.
21:06 September 11, 2012 by Just_Kidding
Just take some courses in an engineering department.... it is a "sausage fest".
23:21 September 11, 2012 by oddsock
Hey, it could be worse, you could be a foreign male in Sweden.
05:13 September 12, 2012 by Really??
It'll come. No worries! I dont think it's just because your'e a "foreigner". I think swedes are kind of hard to "hook" because of culture. And especially younger guys. But don't give up, there's great guys out there! Also, Swedes gets serious way later than americans I think. Enjoy single life and don't stress it!
11:13 September 12, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Are you kidding me? You know how many Swedish women keep following me back to America. I can't get rid of them (nice problem to have though). Every time I'm back in Sweden, being an American is like some kind of crazy sex pheromone.

Although I do think that it is easier for American guys in Sweden. I think American women are at a disadvantage to to native women in Sweden. I think you would get much better results as an American woman in southern Europe or a more Latin country. That includes snagging a Swedish guy who is not in Sweden. All that is based purely on my own observations and nothing more. My biased view is that American women in general have a hard time competing with Swedish women on looks and style and often coming off as if they are trying too hard. That's just my sense of the hook up dynamic in Sweden. And we all know that the most most meaningful relationships in Sweden all begin with a good hookup.
11:37 September 12, 2012 by Migga
I have news for you, there are labels and stereotypes about everyone. You can be labeled one way because of the colour of your eyes, teeth, skin, hair or labeled in another way because from what part of town you are from. Everyone does it, even you yourself. Not every ethnic Swede looks like Alexander Skarsgård and will always see you as the "foreigner."

But I don`t see that as a problem though, so what if you are labeled a foreigner? That`s what you are, in this context. Do you mean that Swedes who label you as a foreigner are unable to settle down with you? Do you mean that Swedes that label others as foreigners are racists? Do you mean that Swedes that label others as foreigners are the worst in the world at doing that? Do you mean that Swedes that label others as foreigners treat them worse then anyone else in the world? What do you mean?

I think that Swedes labels others just as much as any other people, even Americans. If I were to label you I`d say that you seem insecure and worry to much about what others think. You also seem to exaggerate the meaning of others certain behaviour to satisfy your own faults. When faces with that you turn to blame everyone else. I guess that helps to write stories like these.
14:17 September 12, 2012 by CharlieStockholm
1) Don't learn Swedish, speak it. All the time. To everyone. Blend.

2) Europeans don't date the same way Americans do: they get with who they know. So expect to get together with someone who you know for years and years; be patient.

3) Or, I suggest meeting someone through work. Everyone else has a life and a circle and doesn't need someone else in it, especially if their language skills make them hard to bear.

4) Move to a smaller town and go fishing; there must be lonely guys there.

5) Most important: STOP LOOKING!!! Works every time.
15:00 September 12, 2012 by Charon
If you are looking for that special one that will be with you for the rest of your life, Sweden is not the right place.

Relationships in Sweden are mostly taken very lightly. It is being pushed in a very young age that boyfriends/girlfriends can be replaced as often as you wish. Most youth in Sweden already had 3-4 temporarily partners at the age of 14, and that is not getting better as years go by as I'm sure you can imagine.

Of course, as in all countries, there will always be exceptions. I'm sure there are some men in that country who's looking for true love as well, but finding them is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack. My advice is that you forget about finding a partner in Sweden, and look elsewhere.

In Germany for example, relationships are highly valued, and treated with the respect they deserve. People in Germany know what love is, and stick to their partner no matter what. That's what I did, and I am now happily married with a wonderful German man, so I can only recommend you try your luck outside Sweden as well. How about Finland, Switzerland, Or maybe Austria? Europe is pretty big after all. Sweden is a cold place, and I am not talking about the weather. It is a very rare thing to find a couple there that doesn't have a lot of broken relationships in their backpack. So take a hint.

One of the reasons by the way, that you might be marked as the "foreigner" in Sweden, is most likely because Swedes are in general pretty stuck up people, believing they know it all, seen it all, done it all. It could be that they see you as "less" of a person because you where not born there, as tragic as that is. They like to prance around like they would be so "accepting" and tolerable towards other countries and other cultures, but that is just blablabla. In reality, they will smile in your face and make a fist in their pocket towards anyone that could be considered "better" or more successful then them.

So again, If you are looking for that one true love to spend the rest of you life happily with, Sweden is NOT the place. Sweden is the country you go to if you want temporarily one night stands, and stuck up attitude.
18:00 September 12, 2012 by oddsock
Yes, Charon said it.

Swedes like the rush of falling in love but not the emotional investment and commitment needed for staying in love. Or emotional investment and commitment in general.

That's why they have the highest divorce rate in the world.
21:12 September 12, 2012 by Migga
@Charon

So in general all Swedes are stuck up, all-knowing, cold, racist and bitter? You sure write in very general terms and make up a stereotype. Your opinion lacks value.

@oddsock

I thought it was because of the social safety nets, secularism and liberal values that made women less dependent of men.
22:50 September 12, 2012 by philster61
Swedes are among the most emotionally laziest people in the world. If it requires too much effort then they back out after a short time.......But that's how they always been.....
03:54 September 13, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
Are you attractive enough?

The reality is that many women are looking for a Porsche on a bicycle budget.

I have not found Swedes to ever be stuck-up. Rather than wildly rage and yell if they want you to go away (thinking of some funny incidents involving Italians and New Yorkers) they just ignore you. Rather civilized I've always thought.

When a woman is desirable there are men lined up out the door with permanent relationship offers. I can think of one who is married who had at least 6 men who had asked to be her next husband if the current one dropped dead.

Advice: Develop a hobby and enjoy life.

I always found Finns harder to understand than Swedes...........
14:26 September 13, 2012 by Charon
@ DavidtheNorseman

Aren't you just confirming what I wrote?

" When a woman is desirable there are men lined up out the door with permanent relationship offers. I can think of one who is married who had at least 6 men who had asked to be her next husband if the current one dropped dead."

Sounds in my ears like a confirmation of what I said that relationships in Sweden is not taken seriously. If a married women is being hit on by other men and has them beg her to take them as soon as her husband is dead, doesn't that kinda sound pretty shallow and disturbing?

And secondly, the fact that the first thing you ask is if this women is "attractive enough" once more confirms what I wrote about Swedes having way too high thoughts on themselves, just as it confirms that relationships doesn't mean anything to them. Why? Well, if the only thing that matters to Swedish men is that the women is visually looking like Scarlett Johansson, then there is no intention for an everlasting relationship to begin with. If you only base your "love" on the look, obviously sooner or later you will leave the partner, as soon as the age starts to hit where the boobs gets saggier or the skin has a few wrinkles. Just on a lite sidenote, do you believe that all male swedes would be "too hot" for her? You need glasses.

Love is not something based on makeup or high heels, David. And if that is how you see it, it doesn't take much to realize you too are one of those people switching partners as soon as they get "visually boring".

I am sure that you find Finns harder to understand then Swedes, because their values are on a completely different level. There too, Relationships are highly valued and respected, and NOT the size of a women's tits or ass.

An everlasting relationship needs to be based on inner connection with your partner. If you love a person you will automatically find him/her attractive no matter what shape or size that person has. Something Swedes, and that is a FACT, have trouble understanding. In Sweden as I said before, relationships is something that comes and goes. They find someone they think is hot, go to bed with this person a few times, then dump him/her again when someone else seems more interesting. You define that as love?

That is not something I would call a relationship, but if anything a product.

Get it, use it until it gets boring, then throw it away only to get a new toy to tinker with.
16:13 September 13, 2012 by oddsock
@migga

Most of Western Europe has the things you describe, it's not like Sweden is the only secular, liberal country in Europe with a social safety net.

And you assume that I am talking only about women, but I have noticed this attitude in Swedish men as well.
23:20 September 13, 2012 by dizzymoe33
It will happen when you least expect it! So don't worry so much about finding Mr Right. Just go out and enjoy life it will happen when it happens.

Just saw a license plate yesterday saying "Help me, I married a Swede"!! LOL
03:38 September 14, 2012 by wikblom
I am an American Swede who lived in Latin America for more than three years. I had many affairs with local women and got serious with some. However, when I got older and ready to marry I found that I had most in common with an American woman that I eventually married. We have more in common than any relationship I ever had and I think you would find the same result with an American man.
14:39 September 14, 2012 by Efferus
Twenty two year old American from Florida. I moved here with my family and well. Seems guys get the idea that me being an American; means I am an easy lay. They don't want a relationship, they want a so called exotic frolic in bed.

So stop looking, suck it up. Your an American. Not some woman who cant function unless your with a guy. Get a good job, a nice hobby and live life! If you want to meet someone, then join groups have some fun and don't bother yourself trying to find mister right. Worse comes to worse, go back to America. -Shrugs-
14:50 September 14, 2012 by fakeempire
Keep looking. You will find someone. Just be persistent in what you want, but some men will really enjoy your foreign side. I married a Swede and we are different in many cultural ways but we make it work. We compromise. I couldn't be happier!
15:53 September 14, 2012 by ckn
I can relate to this, as an American guy who has lived here off and on since the 90s. Its been very much hit or miss for me. Though I seem to have gotten lucky, though with another invandrare....

Like the saying goes you cannot win if you do not place a bet. So eschew your fear of heartbreak, and put yourself out there. Use the internet (happypancake, badoo, mötesplatsen), hit the pubs, and take an evening course or two on a subject you are interested in, at least then you will have something to talk about with the men you meet.

lycka till!
16:42 September 14, 2012 by LadyMarMalade
I read your two articles, this and the one about Swedish men not keen on using condoms -

If it is of any consolation, in London is exactly the same.

I´m Italian, I lived in Stockholm for a few years and now I live in London. I´m older than you and I thought it was only men in their 40´s who were reticent in using condoms. I thought that younger generations would be more sensible, being growing up in the HIV scare.

Also I find that British men (and women) like to say they had an Italian or a Spanish love when they were at Uni - it sounds very exotic - but when they want to get married or get serious they will settle for someone with the same cultural background.

But if it gives you some kind hope my husband was Swedish, so you might find someone you like and who likes you, but it takes a very clever man to accept, really accept, diversity and find it an interesting challenge rather than a scaring burden.
19:25 September 14, 2012 by demon dog
Reduce your expectations of the Swedish male (or female). You actually may not want what you get in the end, were you to find someone. Emotionally undeveloped, psychologically weak, with a penchant for narcissism, self-preoccupation, and a distinct superficiality. Emotionally insecure. Is this really the kind of person that you want? A generalization? Sure. That leaves 5% of the population which is maybe worthy. I agree with the above about the stuck up attitude, but this is a very Stockholm thing. My guess is that it stems from insecurity, low self-esteem, and a general confusion of identity. Save your eggs for someone else.
22:31 September 14, 2012 by shinnam
So you had problems in the US and problems here. It is time to look at yourself. Once I did that I met my sweet Swede in Laos. It may not be happily everafter, but I would trade him for any American man.
06:10 September 15, 2012 by Az1986
I have heard these statements before but I think what the author of the article is forgetting is that people brought up in America are raised with this mind set of "I want this, I have to have it, I have to have it NOW" and that more present in relationships because we have people that meet one week go out on a date the next week, are engaged the week after that and by the forth week are married, its crazy.

I will say I am sure that there are people who don't want to have any type of long term relationship with an immigrant for whatever reason but they are not just confined to Sweden they are everywhere. I happen to like this slower way of dating because it give these two people the time to truly get to know one another before getting married. That being said all people are different some people, Swedish or not may be ready to make a commitment faster than other.

You talked about having kids, I know when I have kids yes Im going to want to visit my family in the states but not move back there, my parents can fly over here as well.

Judging every Swedish man or really every European man on the few that you have been with is asinine and very American. That's like judging ever person of one religion by the actions of one person or a small group of people.

Maybe its time to step back and take a long hard look at yourself, because if you want to find the man of your dreams you have to be the woman of his. That a two way street it's not all about what you want in a relationship. You're not the only one in that relationship.
10:01 September 15, 2012 by sgbsse
I wonder if all these people who wrote about Swedish men are Swedish themselves? I am a foreigner happily married to a Swedish man for more than 20 years. His1st foreign wife unfortunately died after 36 years of marriage. All our friends and family have been married for many years with only 1 friend in exception and he always make it clear from the start that he is not the married type.

@Charon

Relationships in Sweden are mostly taken very lightly. It is being pushed in a very young age that boyfriends/girlfriends can be replaced as often as you wish. Most youth in Sweden already had 3-4 temporarily partners at the age of 14, and that is not getting better as years go by as I'm sure you can imagine.

My husband had many girlfriends when he was in his teens but it is one after the other and is always committed, never having several girlfriends at the same time. My husband is very proud of the fact that his parent were married for 72 years and died within 2 weeks of each other, his father ( no medical problem) gave up after his mother died.
10:34 September 15, 2012 by Dilia
If you believe in love, love will find you. Have faith in that. Stop looking or overlooking. Stop acting like finding a man is the main mission of your life everyday. Stop also imagining how it will be like to have kids with every man you dated or go out to have dinner with, maybe that will scare people away-like...what is this, is married the only thing in her head? I am very traditional. I let my min popped the question. I let him decide if he wants me or not. Never throw yourself to a guy. Once you do that, they can always feel like they own you.

I am married for more than 4 years now. I think my Swedes husband will never want a too confident or strong woman who demand things. I think it's like being with a bestfriend, deciding everything together rather than any one party controlling the other.

At the end of the day, marriage is just on paper. It's what going on in the relationship that counts.
12:01 September 15, 2012 by winkel
"..it's because the men that I date here in Europe always see me as the "foreigner."..

Yes all of the the men, every time, are thinking the same. Yet the only ingredient in this mix that doesn't change, every time, is the author. I wish you good luck but somehow doubt this article will improve your short to longterm chances.
17:50 September 15, 2012 by Just_Kidding
It is interesting that Swedish guys marry women from Thailand but an American female fails to marry one.
18:25 September 15, 2012 by halvnilsson
"Swedes like the rush of falling in love but not the emotional investment and commitment needed for staying in love. Or emotional investment and commitment in general."

Is this true? Then how is it Swedes are lauded across the developed world for their emotionally balanced families, precocious world-conscious kids, and general dedication to a better version of humanity than this crap we have in the US?
20:56 September 15, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Just saw an awesome t-shirt at the local market a guy was wearing and thought of this article. It says "I may not be Mr Right, but I will f*ck you til he comes along"!! Loved it way too funny!!! Don't be so serious about it all it will work out.
22:16 September 15, 2012 by weballergy
Ok, I have nothing else to contribute with, the rest of the guys have said everything I would have said, but this:

Don't smoke cigarretes,

Don't take any drugs,

Don't go out at night,

Just Fu****...

Tom Neville (Just F****)
10:55 September 16, 2012 by valerius.u
Hi,

I am swedish man with condoms.

I advise to take a look in the mirror first then ask your parents and do as your farther says. If parents are not alive, then be yourself.

Hope it helps,
13:54 September 16, 2012 by oddsock
"Then how is it Swedes are lauded across the developed world for their emotionally balanced families, precocious world-conscious kids, and general dedication to a better version of humanity than this crap we have in the US? "

Thanks to a truly world class propaganda machine.
12:48 September 17, 2012 by Charon
@sgbsse

"My husband had many girlfriends when he was in his teens but it is one after the other and is always committed, never having several girlfriends at the same time."

And how is this disapproving what I wrote?

Just like I said, in Sweden relationships are taken very lightly. It is being pushed into kids already in first grade that it is "important" to have as many boyfriends/girlfriends as possible by asking "do I have a chance on you", later on it is gymnasium, in which everyone has the "love of their life's" which funny enough seem to switch every month, then it moves over to temporarily relationships, cheating and broken up marriages. Like I wrote, Swedes get it hammered into their heads very early, that relationships can be very easily switched out as soon as it gets too demanding.

Let me quote you something I once read from an elderly women I believe from America, what she answered to a reporter when she got asked how she and her husband managed to stay happily married for over 70 years.

Quote: " We grew up in a age where if something was broken, we would fix it."

That is admirable, and that is what makes a relationship work. Everyone will sooner or later have some obstacles in their relationship, and that is where most Swedes back out. As soon as the first problem arises, they decide to leave it and go for another partner instead of trying to solve what they have, because that is a lot easier, and they already know they can find another partner just as easily as they found the one they just dumped.

I am happy that you have been married for such a respectable time (specially for a Swede), but you have to admit that you too just agreed with me on the fact that in Sweden, men and women have a lot of partners throughout their life's.

I was born there, I went to school there, worked there, I have friends and family there, and I've witnessed all of this in close to every person there. As I first got engaged with my husband, happily and full in love, people in Sweden actually tried to hook me up with other men! In fact, as soon as they knew we where together (also to mention, he is my first and my only), people there did everything to try to come between us. Why? Because of jealousy. A stable, happy relationship in Sweden is highly unusual, and not appreciated by those who chooses to live their life's with partner switching. (which is as I mentioned, probably 98%of them).

As you mentioned your husbands parents, well, I am talking about the younger generation, and the "marriage" age of today. My grandparents have been married for over 50 years too, and my other grandmother refuses to ever get a new man after 21 years since her husband died, out of love for him. But that is the older generation. The younger one does not think that way. Love is something you will not find in Sweden. Most of them don't even know what that is. There is a reason I left that country, and married my German husband.
17:34 September 17, 2012 by Swedishmyth
Sweden is the most anti-masculinity country in the world. The maleness of Swedish men is simply put diseased. Frankly it baffles me that any Westerner would move into, rather than out of Sweden. It's really rather crummy as far as Western countries go.

There are good men there, but the problem is that a good man would want to either isolate himself from Swedish culture and society, or simply move abroad. So they're hard to find.
00:26 September 18, 2012 by pcgomes
As we say in my home country: meanwhile you do not find the right person, keep humping with the wrong ones.

Then, when you least expect, and lower your expectations to find a Jude Law, you will meet a Jack Black, and start to notice his charm.
13:21 September 18, 2012 by Migga
@ Charon

So all Swedes are emotionally lazy, jealous and don`t know what love is? Or is it all the younger Swedes?
17:44 September 18, 2012 by Charon
@ Migga.

Unnecessary question. I already explained all of it in my postings. If you are unable to understand what I wrote, then I suggest re-reading them.
10:28 September 19, 2012 by Migga
@ Charon

It`s to my understanding that you generalize about a huge group of people. That`s what I understand from reading and re-reading what you wrote.

Is it only Swedes that behave in this manner? Is it bad? Is it good? In relations to what? Could it be that you are wrong? If not, why?
13:31 September 19, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
@Charon

You either totally misunderstood what I wrote or are willfully dense. You claim that you bed-hop hoping for a long-term relationship then are disappointed you can't get what you want that way - and imply that what you REALLY want won't even look at you.

I pointed out that for a certain level of attractiveness in a mate (and you started it :-) with phrases like, "handsome foreigners" and "the beautiful Jude Law" ) you must have the physical beauty yourself to attract such.

I then pointed out that if you already have such beauty then totally without bed-hopping people are lined up to offer you permanent relationships.

If you aren't willing to settle find a hobby and enjoy life.

As for Finn's I simply find them a tad more unpredictable on what they will find attractive - especially emotionally :-)

Swedes seem to be pretty normal - just distancing themselves from people they don't want to be around rather than yelling and screaming as in some cultures.

As a gift of wisdom from my Grandmother, "Those getting free milk don't buy the cow."
13:48 September 19, 2012 by Charon
@Migga

So you read and re-read my postings, yet you still do not understand what I am writing? I guess I have to go down into baby language then.

"Is it only Swedes that behave in this manner?"

Majority of Swedes do. And this article is about relationships in Sweden, isn't it? So I will speak my opinion and my experiences with people and their relationships in.. hm, that's right, Sweden!

"Is it bad? is it Good?"

Is that an honest question?

I would say that the lack of emotional commitment, the coldness and the selfishness of most people there, would classify as more towards the "bad" side, don't you think?

"In relations to what?"

I am assuming that you are born and raised in Sweden, and I am also assuming that you never lived abroad, at least not for a longer period of time. So in that sense, you do not know any other ways of living then the way Swedes live. If you go to any other country, you are going to see that almost all of them have happier and longer relationships then people in Sweden do. Like I said, Finland, even though it is right next door to Sweden, does not have the same divorce rate. Sweden, actually has the highest Divorce rank in the WORLD, with 54,9%. You can look that up anywhere on the web, it's not exactly that difficult to find if you could let go of your Swedish pride and accept that your opinion doesn't speak for the rest of the world.

" Could it be that you are wrong? if not, why not?"

I am not wrong. Why? Like you should have read already, if you did indeed read all my previous postings on this article, you would have seen that I have had more then enough experiences with this topic in Sweden. I also have the advantage of seeing how relationships work in another country, as I moved away. Therefor, I can compare my experiences with Sweden, to in this example, Germany, and see that Sweden really has a huge problem when it comes to commitment, weather you like that fact or not. Aside of my own experiences throughout life, like I just wrote above, the FACTS speaks for them selves. I suggest you take a few minutes of your time and actually read a little more into what statistic Sweden has when it comes to relationships compared to other countries, and not just focusing on what the native born swedes, (who never sat their foot in another country, nor cared to read about any other ones) say about their home country. If you see Sweden, from an outside perspective, there will be a lot of things that will make your stomach turn.

If you still have questions after this, then I guess you are simply too stubborn to take in the truth. And if so, then I will not stop you from clinging on to some distorted reality ( like a lot of Swedes do, thanks to the Pro-Sweden Media there), then that is your choice. I am also pretty confident that you yourself had quite a lot of relationships in your life, since you so far did not actually speak up against anything of what I said as being untrue.
21:45 September 19, 2012 by Migga
@ Charon

It`s a shame that you turn to patronize me and use such a degrading wording. I can assure you that I`m no baby.

You have the right to make yourself heard and state your opinion. I also have the right to speak my opinion and disagree with yours. Hopefully I can do so without you insluting me.

As you yourself said your opinion is based on your experience. But just because it`s your view it doesn`t make it true for the rest of us. You seem to be the one that needs to realise that the rest of the world might not agree with you in everything.

What you consider bad, cold and selfish could mean something different for someone else. Cold could mean respectfull and selfish could mean individual, which is good.

Have you considerd why Sweden have the rates that they do from a societal perspective? It`s funny that you meantion FInland since I have good insight there and I can tell you that the gender roles in Finland are very conservative. Especially in relation to Sweden.

You claim Sweden have a huge problem and make it out as if it`s something unique. I don`t think it is. I think it`s a normal sized problem like everywhere else and not very unique. If it`s anything unique then it`s because females in Sweden have better opportunities to break free from a bad relationship then females in most other countries.
02:24 September 20, 2012 by Charon
"It`s a shame that you turn to patronize me and use such a degrading wording."

Trust me, youll live.

"You have the right to make yourself heard and state your opinion. I also have the right to speak my opinion and disagree with yours."

Thanks for stating the obvious. Its called discussion I believe.

"Cold could mean respectfull and selfish could mean individual, which is good."

Except that it does not mean any of that "by definition" and has zero to do with being either respectful nor individual.

Ever bothered to look up the definition and meaning of both words?

They are, if anything, negative attributes no matter how much you try to twist it around. And the fact that there are people realigning these words to their own moral codex changes nothing about their actual meaning.

"Have you considerd why Sweden have the rates that they do from a societal perspective?"

Oh yes I did, and I actually wrote about it.

Trying to sell off people already running apart based on tiny little problems as a success and sign of freedom is ridiculous at best. And just FYI: I meant both genders.

"It`s funny that you meantion FInland since I have good insight there and I can tell you that the gender roles in Finland are very conservative. "

And that proves what?

All women in Finland are auto-oppressed and unhappy and depressed people?

In case you did not know, it does not really take a partner count of 50+ or more to be happy or in a happy and stable relationship. Which is practically the one and only thing this "self-implanted-pseudo-freedom" you are babbling on about is leading to. Did not drop the amount of rapes committed (since that does not even require a relationship, fyi) and sure as the dickens did not reduce the amount of violence towards women.

"You claim Sweden have a huge problem and make it out as if it`s something unique."

Sweden has many problems, and this over-driven frog-jump shallowness that's being sold off as "individual freedom" is one of it.

"I don`t think it is."

Of course you do not. Talking to a Swede is like talking to a wall.

You have no problems and really are the most divine and untouchable folk in the world.

Everything Swedish = good, everything else = bad or mediocre.

Guess why I left the country?

"If it`s anything unique then it`s because females in Sweden have better opportunities to break free from a bad relationship then females in most other countries. "

Which has zero to do with my initial argumentation.

I talked about relationships being seen and handled like a business commitment, taken lightly and dropped extremely rapidly, regardless of which side does it. 99% of these cases do not even come close to anything one would call an abusive or violent relationship. So you kinda missed the spot there, this is not even about women's rights, but much rather the complete inability and aversion to have and keep and long-term relationship in the first place.
08:49 September 20, 2012 by Migga
My point is that what you consider cold and selfish could be something different from someone else. I`d think that a person who value respect for others and individualism would identify such attitude in another light from someone who values collectivism.

Well your societal view differs from mine. I belive that the fact that Sweden is one of the worlds most liberal, gay-friendly, secular and equal allowes a high level of individual freedom. I`d say that this allows for tabus to be far and few between.

It`s obvious that you aren`t buying the notion of individual freedom and have your mind set around it. That`s far from my standingpoint. To value individual freedom doesn`t mean that one is emotionless, lazy or doesn`t know what love is.

Are all Swedes problemless, divine and untouchable? You are coming off as extremely generalizing and stereotypical again.

I think that the will to break free from relationships are much more common then you think around the world. More in line with the figures in Sweden. The issue is that people can`t, or are to afraid to, break free because they would be left for dead economically, religiously and socially.
12:39 September 20, 2012 by Charon
"My point is that what you consider cold and selfish could be something different from someone else."

And? Thats what I wrote about. It still does not change the fact and yes, common sense that these are negative attributes. Just look it up and if you are so confident about that, fire up an ad stating exactly that. "Cold, selfish Person looking for partner to be dumped after a few weeks". Good luck with that. ;) You're running in circles.

"I belive that the fact that Sweden is one of the worlds most liberal,(..)."

Which has 0 to do with the initial topic of treating relationships like a throw away toy, so stop the propaganda tape.

"Are all Swedes problemless, divine and untouchable?"

Actually none are even though you'll most likely disagree there too which just proves my point.

But when you are spoon fed nothing else than "you are the finest people in the best country in the world" ever since your mother squeezed you out then yeah, people tend to believe into their own BS and the smoke and mirrors media does its additional share.

Seen it all the time for almost 2 decades, like I said, I know why I left the country.

What you also seem to forget, even if its a little off topic, is that Sweden much like the rest of Europe are going to be streamlined into one generic swamp over the coming 2-3 decades. The starting point has already been set.

Result? Out breeding of the humper-dumper-swedes and an inevitable takeover by people with values that are a billion times more incompatible with your "anything goes" views than I ever could be.

But hey, none of that is true of course either, right?

They really taught you how to be good sheeple, close your eyes, pappa staten has it figured out.

"To value individual freedom doesn`t mean that one is emotionless, lazy or doesn`t know what love is. "

It does not change the fact that being selfish by definition means being willing to damage and hurt others for personal gain.

"I think that the will to break free from relationships are much more common then you think around the world."

I never denied that it does not happen anywhere else, just not on such a shallow and plastic scale.

Having 3-4 girl/boyfriends within a time frame of 6-8 months and designating that as "perfectly normal" is preposterous.

"The issue is that people can`t, or are to afraid to, break free because they would be left for dead economically, religiously and socially. "

Ah yes right, the honor killings, rapes, forced marriages etc. are all made up then? This fact alone versus the claim to be so way ahead of everyone else just shows how corrupted and indoctrinated the entire Swedish self-understanding is. As usual, the truth lies in the middle.

And yeah, it happens in other EU countries too, but those are not waving the "we are all one happy family" BS flag as Sweden does which could not be further from the truth.
18:17 September 20, 2012 by Migga
"And? Thats what I wrote about. It still does not change the fact and yes, common sense that these are negative attributes."

Respect and individualism aren`t negative attributes. Your definition or labeling of Swedes behaviour isn`t law.

"Which has 0 to do with the initial topic of treating relationships like a throw away toy, so stop the propaganda tape."

It`s relavent to the topic at hand because that`s a more likely answare then the one about Swedes being unable to love and being selfish.

"Actually none are even though you'll most likely disagree there too which just proves my point."

So it`s just your normal stereotypical talk.

"Out breeding of the humper-dumper-swedes and an inevitable takeover by people with values that are a billion times more incompatible with your "anything goes" views than I ever could be."

I have no idea what you want to say with this. If it`s true shouldn`t you be happy?

"It does not change the fact that being selfish by definition means being willing to damage and hurt others for personal gain."

You are talking about being selfish but I`m talking about individual freedom, no wonder we aren`t going anywhere. They don`t go hand in hand in my view.

"I never denied that it does not happen anywhere else, just not on such a shallow and plastic scale."

So you don`t deny it but you think it happens to much or often? Well could there be some other explanation to that except for all Swedes being cold, brainwashed and selfish?

"Ah yes right, the honor killings, rapes, forced marriages etc. are all made up then?"

Do you mean honor killings, rapes and forced marriages in Sweden?
20:47 September 20, 2012 by Charon
"Respect and individualism aren`t negative attributes. "

And who said they are? Do you even know that you are highly contradicting yourself?

Seriously, you are leading your entire conversational structure ad absurdum.

You wrote it yourself:

-Cold could mean respectfull and selfish could mean individual-

No, cold means just that, cold.

And selfish means just that, and both are negative attributes.

And once more, that's common sense my friend. ;)

If you mean respectful, say respectful, if you mean individual, say individual and don't create some hybrid upside down meanings to words just because they mean something different in your head.

"Your definition or labeling of Swedes behaviour isn`t law. "

Its closer to the truth than you indoctrinated babble ever will be.

"So it`s just your normal stereotypical talk. "

Whats the dodging for? Why don't you simply answer? Afraid to admit something?

"I have no idea what you want to say with this. If it`s true shouldn`t you be happy?"

Oh I believe you that. ;)

But no, I am not happy about it.

It is always sad to see an army of people willingly running into a chainsaw and smile because they actually think they are on the right track.

"You are talking about being selfish but I`m talking about individual freedom"

See above. I am not going to play the broken record here.

"So you don`t deny it but you think it happens to much or often?"

Copy & Paste:

And yeah, it (honor killings etc.) happens in other EU countries too, but those are not waving the "we are all one happy family" BS flag as Sweden does which could not be further from the truth.

"Well could there be some other explanation to that except for all Swedes being cold, brainwashed and selfish? "

Personally, I do not think so. But even if there were an additional component it wouldn't make the overall situation look any better.

"Do you mean honor killings, rapes and forced marriages in Sweden? "

Do you mean those crimes mentioned above that are downplayed with a jackhammer in Sweden but yet somehow do exist anyway?

Hint: Google Fadime Şahindal for one of the "popular" cases. ;)

And I am not even going into the topic of jewish people.

For that, I can recommend this site to you (and others that may be interested): http://swedenisrael.blogspot.com

Have fun reading.
21:51 September 20, 2012 by Migga
"No, cold means just that, cold. And selfish means just that, and both are negative attributes"

Yes they do but a behavior that you interpret as cold could be interpret as something different for someone else. Same thing regarding selfish. That`s my point.

"Why don't you simply answer? "

I don`t belive all Swedes are the same. I don`t belive all Swedes are divine, problemless and untouchable. Just look at you and me.

"Do you mean those crimes mentioned above that are downplayed with a jackhammer in Sweden but yet somehow do exist anyway?"

I`m well aware of its existence. Honour killings, rapes and forced marriages are symptones of the collectivistic, emotional, religious, conservative and homophobic thinking gone wrong. They are the direct opposite of the dominating values in Sweden today with liberalism, rationality, secularism, gay-friendliness and equality. If it means that these values leads to high divorce rates then I`d rather live with that then the honour killings, rapes and forced marriages.

I guess this is the battle between these both sides that you were speaking of in your earlier comment when you were talking about Sweden being sieged by an inevitable takeover by people with the other values.
12:17 September 21, 2012 by Charon
"Yes they do but a behavior that you interpret as cold could be interpret as something different for someone else. Same thing regarding selfish. That`s my point."

When I talked or talk about cold people, I do mean cold people. And the "cold Swedes" I encountered in my life had little to do with being respectful.

"I`m well aware of its existence."

Good!

"Honour killings, rapes and forced marriages are symptones of the collectivistic, emotional, religious, conservative and homophobic thinking gone wrong."

Or simply part of a background that cares about nothing that its own "values".

Either way the results are not and will not be pretty, for nobody.

"I guess this is the battle between these both sides that you were speaking of in your earlier comment when you were talking about Sweden being sieged by an inevitable takeover by people with the other values. "

Precisely.
13:06 September 22, 2012 by alecLoTh
I came, I saw, I returned to keep my sanity. Been there done that. Dated a hot, intelligent blonde for many years - eventually didn't work, cashed in my chips and playing again where at least my odds are even with regards social stature, language and career advancement.

Good .uck to others, follow your heart OP.
22:37 September 26, 2012 by Seraphina
Of course you can see a subjective tendency how certain people seem to be in certain places, cities, countries. But this kind of sterotyping isn't helping anybody, because you can only have your own, very limited experiences with a very small group of people, (in realtion to a whole population in a country) , even if you live somewhere for years.

I, for example, experienced the Swedes as very likeable. Those I met seemed unobtrusive, very polite and ready to help. Concering males, yes, there were many handsome guys, especially in Stockholm, but they didn't seem reserved nor overeager. They look you in the eye, interested, but they don't make a sudden move on you. They seem to wait what you do. Yes, they might be a little narcissistic, but there are many good-looking man and women, they seem to care about their food/diet, they seem to excercise, and I've never seen fewer overweight people in any European metropolis than in Stockholm. So actually, they can afford being picky. So, alltogether I felt quite comfortable there, because I feel quite the same about many of those things.

In Helsinki/Finland on the contrary, I experienced very incommunicative young men. I lived there for two years, and without exception, I only met young guys totally into mobilephones (Nokia), computer games (ego shooters) and paintball. None of them cared for the environment, and they all lived off Junkfood. They were totally into having a big bank account, being better than their colleagues, showing off, and (in 2001) having that certain silver Mercedes Benz everyone had to have to be in the hip-group. All of them verbally bashed Sweden, and they had very conservative ideas about women and how to treat them. But that was just MY personal impression and I'm sure there are other Finnish guys with different behaviour and ideas. So of course you stereotype for yourself, and of course there are certain tendencies, but that doesn't mean a 100 % of the population are like those you personally met.
10:49 October 7, 2012 by joshua017
fika?? I'm foreign too...(NZ)
09:23 October 8, 2012 by iv06
Best to live your life and make way for small event, can be the new beginig of relationship, do not be granted with be aware of what is too good to be trueand and do not belive in any stereotype. Myself I,am a foreigner OH ! thanks God for that,

when daily meeting people who can not handle anger and other agressiv behavior but in Sweden there is nothing wrong with that ! and to be unstable.I,m sure ther,s so many disturbed persons out there. Well I,m sharing your thoughts,and although it can be as much attractive is incredible difficult to meet a man who is attractiv and

well educate,ther,s also very few who have the right point of view acording other countries due the specific learning you geting in pablic.My advice is that you put more emphasis on academic people and who

has contacts in other countries. Good Luck!
Today's headlines
New coalition
New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Green Party leader Åsa Romson. Photo: TT

New coalition reveals 'compromise' budget

UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's Social Democrat-led coalition has revealed its first budget proposal, listing plans to spend more than 20 billion kronor. READ  

Royal family
Swedish royal couple set wedding date
The couple pictured in the summer. Photo: TT

Swedish royal couple set wedding date

Sweden's Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist, who got engaged earlier this year, have announced they will marry next June. READ  

Analysis
Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: TT

Sweden Democrat threats 'just a show'

There is talk that the nationalist Sweden Democrats could trigger a fresh election, by rejecting the new coalition's budget. But leading Political Scientist Li Bennich Björkman tells The Local that the party is just game-playing and should be focusing on getting its fatigued leader back. READ  

Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Chocolate and liquorice are on the menu in Gothenburg this weekend. Photo: Shutterstock

What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st

A secret gig in Stockholm, a short film festival in Uppsala and a gastronomy event in Gothenburg have caught our eye this week. READ  

Science
Astronaut helps launch first student satellite
Christer Fuglesang on a previous space mission. Photo: TT

Astronaut helps launch first student satellite

Sweden's debut astronaut Christer Fuglesang is helping students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology to become the first in the country to make their own satellite and send it into space. READ  

Weather
Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow
Kiruna, in far northern Sweden, has already been hit by snow this season. Photo: TT

Sweden braces for ten centimetres of snow

Sweden's weather agency has warned that up to ten centimetres of snow are on the way for Sweden. READ  

Business and Money
Global profit boost for Handelsbanken
Handelsbanken is Sweden's second largest bank. Photo: Bertil Eriksson/TT

Global profit boost for Handelsbanken

Sweden's second-largest bank, Handelsbanken, has reported a rise in third-quarter profits, boosted by higher income from its loan book as it continues its expansion overseas. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search
Navy vessels remain in the archipelago. Photo: Lars Pehrson/TT

Sweden pulls back 'submarine' search

Sweden is pulling back part of the naval operation which has been searching for a suspected Russian submarine off the coast of Stockholm for nearly a week. READ  

Julian Assange
Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden
Julian Assange at Ecuador's embassy in the UK. Photo: Anthony Devlin

Assange prepares for court ruling in Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he is "confident" his asylum status will be resolved, as he awaits an imminent ruling on his case by a Swedish court. READ  

Opinion
'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'
The submarine hunt is now in it's sixth day. Photo: TT

'Why were we kept in the dark for years?'

Military expert Johanne Hildebrandt tells The Local that the biggest question in the Stockholm submarine hunt hasn't been answered yet - why don't we know more about the "other operations" from the last few years? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
Blog updates

21 October

Denna & den här (The Swedish Teacher) »

"?Denna? or ?den hr?? Swedish language students often ask question about different pronouns. One pronoun that especially..." READ »

 

19 October

Getting it (Blogweiser) »

"Follow Joel Sherwood on FB Few watch baseball in Sweden. This is excellent when your team loses..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Politics
Ten new minister faces you should know
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

978
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN