On average, Swedes spend just over 1,000 kronor ($140) per year attempting to track down that special someone, according to a study by matchmaking website Parship.se.
In contrast, Norwegian singles spend 3,089 kronor, while the Danes fork over the equivalent of 2,159 kronor per year heading out to bars and clubs, or on membership fees for online dating sites.
In fact, out of 13,000 singles surveyed in thirteen different European countries, only those from the Netherlands spent less than the average Swede, with the Dutch shelling out a measly 636 kronor per year.
Europe’s top-spending singles can be found in Ireland, where it’s common for love-seekers to part with nearly 5,500 kronor a year.
The next most generous singles are found in Italy, according to the Parship.se study, where annual outlays in search of a partner average about 4,000 kronor.
Eva Sandstedt from the sociology department at Uppsala University isn’t surprised that Swedes rank near the bottom when it comes to spending money on potential mates.
”Swedes are taught that we shouldn’t devote a lot of money to such things,” she told The Local.
”We can be rather cheap, quite simply.”
Besides being constrained by basic budgetary concerns, says Sandstedt, Swedes are generally not accustomed to treating each other when out on a date.
”Men in Sweden don’t cover the costs of a date like they do in southern Europe,” she said.
Sandstedt believes part of the explanation can be found in Sweden’s comparatively long tradition of gender equity.
”We’ve had a much more active women’s movement here,” she explained.
”Women in Sweden are expected to stand on their own two feet and not to let others pay for them.”
In fact, Sandstedt believes that gestures of chivalry and attempts by men to shower gifts on the object of their affection may actually backfire.
”I think Swedish women would be quite surprised and actually somewhat suspicious,” she said.
”It’s very un-Swedish.”
Moreover, adds Sandstedt, Swedes are not the most outgoing people and thus many may find that going to a bar and spending hundreds of kronor on drinks in hopes of meeting that special someone is simply an exercise in futility.
”In general, people don’t talk to people they don’t know in Sweden,” she said.
”Thus many may decide not to go out by themselves because they don’t want to risk spending the evening alone…it can be very hard to meet someone.”