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Top ten reasons to love (or hate) Valentine's Day in Sweden

14 Feb 2013, 13:05

Published: 14 Feb 2013 13:05 GMT+01:00

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Finding romance abroad can be hard, something many single expats in Sweden know first hand. Different customs, different styles... not to mention different languages can all contribute to making it hard to hook up with that special someone.

While Valentine's Day has been widely celebrated in the US and the UK since the mid-1800s, it was only in the 1960s when Swedes began to catch on to the commercial aspects of the holiday inspired by early Christian saints and cemented into the cultural conscience by Chaucer's love birds.

According to a 2012 survey, roughly half of Swedes celebrated Valentine's Day in 2012, with flowers being the most common gift given by lovebirds to show how much they care.

IN PICTURES: Carlsson's female point of view Swedish Valentine's

According to industry estimates, about 4 million roses are reportedly sold in Sweden on Valentine's Day.

Of course, Valentine's Day has been known to put many singles ill at ease, while others look at it as an opportunity to make a move on a day when romance is in the air.

The Local has been in touch with single expats in both camps for a fun-loving look at how Swedish men and Swedish women can make (or break) one's dreams of Valentine's Day romance.

IN PICTURES: Fine's male point of view on Swedish Valentine's

For American-born contributor Elisabeth Carlsson, February 14th is the one day out of the year that she has come to dread since moving to Sweden.

But Aussie transplant John Fine, on the other hand, has grown to wholeheartedly embrace Valentine's Day after seven years of living in Sweden.

Story continues below…

To find out why, click on the links above to find out whether you agree with each one's Valentine's Day views.

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Your comments about this article

12:14 February 14, 2013 by EP
Agree with the woman's point of view, whilst the male one is typically Aussie ... i.e. arrogant
14:12 February 14, 2013 by Ashlito
Well I see you you like to stereotype, and where would you be from? eh... I want to know so I can paint you with a general stereotype from your country.

It is one view from one person who happens to be Australian, he doesn't speak for all 19 million or so and definitely not for me.
15:20 February 14, 2013 by Solith
Wow. What sexist and derogatory attitudes - from both of them! "The price of equality" and "They're easy"?! Perhaps it's simply a case of a nation not buying into the commercial shallowness nor adhering to outdated and stupid gender stereotypes...
18:57 February 14, 2013 by Migga
What a disgusting article, makes one wanna puke. Horrible comments against a whole nations people. They aren`t clever or funny.
00:31 February 15, 2013 by Emerentia
I think his comments sounded more like something from his fantasies than the truth.

Valentines Day isn´t a big deal in Sweden were single people are lonelier, go out and needs to meet somebody and gets extra drunk? He must have been thinking of some other country or just made something up. New Year, Valborg, Midsummer and Christmas are the days when people feel lonely if they are alone. When one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden, DN, asked their readers "Do you celebrate Valentine's day?" 86 % answered "No". Most people in Sweden don't care at all about days like Valentines day, Thanksgiving or Halloween it's just an ordinary day.
07:28 February 15, 2013 by skogsbo
you need to remember it's just an article designed to get you to click through 10 pages of adverts to keep the web count up. Next will be 10 things about Easter, MidSummer.

As for the flowers, you can't judge Sweden love of valentines day by it's flower consumption as they give flowers out for all occasions like confetti, guys get them for presents and birthdays etc.. so it's a false indicator of anything here. Plus if you sad a bunch of rose had say 5-10 flowers in it, then clearly the % of swedes or immigrants handing them out was actually very small.
00:53 February 16, 2013 by Phillynilly
The Aussie guy is correct on most points. Swedish women do get much looser when they are drunk. although if I was him I would be careful as Julian Assange has found out. What may be a nights fun can turn into a nightmare when she sobers up.... Remember this is PC Sweden of the 21st century, not the fun Sweden of the 90s or 80s.. Women here now are "entitled"... equality is a word that is lost all meaning in Sweden. As any non Swedish man will quickly find out...Women here have far more "equality" than the men....
10:55 February 17, 2013 by Max Reaver
As someone who actually live in Sweden and knows the dating landscape here, I have to say the posters before #7 don't have any clue of how it works, and as a matter of fact, both the Aussie guy and the female POV are correct. The focus is rather on how expat men and Swedish men differ, instead of Swedish women's promiscuity.

The typical Swedish men are pussy, they either rely on alcohol or being approached by women (not saying all men act like this, but most do). IMO this is a sign of a feminist society where female actively practice sexual power over men. Women have far more "equality" than men as #7 pointed out. If you reverse the roles of men and women in the dating landscape of Sweden, you understand it far better.

For the Aussie men's perspective, it definitely isn't only his fantasy. I've seen many expat guys like him getting laid easily in Sweden, far more easier than for my Swedish male friends. Swedish women dig especially French and Italian men. Aussie men are not always 1st option, but still do well. Again, think in terms of role-reversal. If you are a guy in a pub and meet an attractive expat girl, she will seem exotic and you will want to know her. Boasting of having been with exotic *insert nationality* women is not uncommon among guys. In Sweden however, the psyche of the mate-hunting has been adopted by the females, instead of the males as it works everywhere else.
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