Photo: Christine Olsson/SCANPIX
Snagging a Swede can be tricky, but it's all worth it. Photo: Helena Wahlman/imagebank.sweden.se
Key to any success on the Swedish dating scene is learning to speak the language. But don't think you can just take any old Swedish for Immigrants (Svenska för invandrare) class and be on the road. Oh, no. There are some key words you probably won't pick up in a textbook before you attempt to snag a Swede. Memorize these and you might just get a chance to 'mysa', or, for the very lucky ones get some 'knullrufs'.
The first rule of Swedish dating? You don't talk about Swedish dating.
Swedes have a strange way of sneaking in their quests for love under the radar. We're not entirely sure why, but to fall back on national stereotypes we'd wager it's down to their generally reserved nature.
This, of course, means that you as the brave (and don't forget exotically attractive) foreigner must make the first move. Waiting for a Swede to ask you out is like waiting for a quality hit to come out of Melodifestivalen – it just won't happen. But when you do, be careful not to call it a date. Ask them out for a 'fika' (coffee and cake) first, and several dates – sorry, fikas – later you can maybe, maybe use the correct term. But by the time that happens you're probably married with two kids and a Volvo anyway.
Swedes are well known for their shyness (see above) and don't easily strike up conversations with strangers. A subtler way of easing yourself into their hearts may be through online dating. Are you a foreign professional, artsy hipster, near-millionaire or just someone looking for love? Check out our list of the ten Swedish dating sites everyone should know about.
Wait, you're still not sure if you want to date a Swede? But they're the most beautiful people on earth, how could you not be? Oh, the lack of chatting and spontaneity? Oh, and the Law of Jante? All right, to help you weigh the pros and cons, we've compiled this for-and-against list for you. At least you'll be prepared if you take the plunge.
For those of you hoping to brave the jungle of online dating to find yourself a Swedish lady, check out this tale of how one of The Local's Irish writers fared. He warns of the Swedes' love of sameness and tendency to follow the crowd, which may make it difficult to tell all the Majas, Annas and Lenas apart at the first click.
If you're looking to land a hunky Swedish man, this American reporter for The Local tells of her desperate attempts to find the passion inside those strong, silent Vikings. (hint: the solution rhymes with snooze)
Still struggling? Here's a top-ten list that will help even the complete dating novice score. It's simple, really, all it takes is coffee and – yes, you heard it right – witchcraft, and perhaps you will be able to say 'jag älskar dig' to someone before next Valentine's Day.
So you've managed to snag yourself a date. How do you go from making the step from awkward hug to a 'puss' (kiss) or maybe even a 'kyss' (on the lips)? The answer is simple: state-owned alcohol stores Systembolaget. It often takes a little help from Mr Absolut to bring out the outgoing party animal that hides deep down inside the Swede, behind all that Nordic Noir.
Photo: Christine Olsson/SCANPIX
Did all those failed attempts at dating a Swede make you feel as gloomy as the Swedish weather in February? Perhaps you made fun of Ikea (just… don't) or failed to split the restaurant bill? Time to give up and just date a fellow expat? This list from The Local Switzerland list gives you all the right reasons why you should (if only to enjoy some Swede-bashing without running the risk of insulting your partner's mum/brother/dog/favourite band/hairdresser/Abba). But maybe after you've tried out some other nationalities you'll start missing those sexy Swedes.
For all their shyness and inability to do small talk, the Swedes make lovely companions once you get to know them. As the final point on our list, read our love refugees' stories of how they managed to net themselves their own Swedes.