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Five reasons to date a Swede (and five reasons not to)

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Five reasons to date a Swede (and five reasons not to)
Can you find Swede love? Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
11:17 CET+01:00
Can't decide whether to date a Swede or a fellow foreigner this Valentine's Day ('alla hjärtans dag')? The Local guides you to the pros and cons of hooking up with a Nordic viking.

Five reasons to date a Swede

1) They're beautiful

We know appearance isn't everything, but let's face it, Swedes are the best looking people on earth. Swedish people constantly top the lists of the most attractive people in the world, and why would that not be at least a good starting reason to snag one for yourself? 

2) Gender equality

Gender equality is something the Swedes take seriously. Not only does it extend to nation-wide policies like incredibly generous parental leave, but Swedish men won't be averse to helping out with the cooking and Swedish women don't expect their Valentine's date to pick up the dinner check. The expression may be 'go Dutch', but it should be 'go Swedish'.


Women, be prepared to carry your own luggage. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

3) Sweden is a brilliant country

Why wouldn't you want to end up in Sweden if the dating turns into a proper relationship, which it often does? It is stunningly beautiful (the nature as well as the people, see above), people are happy, and quality of life is great. Just last month a ranking listed it as the fifth best country in the world. So unless you can find a date from one of those top four other countries, go for a Swede.


Everyone's happy in Sweden. Why wouldn't they be? Photo: Simon Paulin/imagebank.sweden.se

4) They speak great English

The language of love is universal, but this is nevertheless a wonderful reason to date a Swede. If you're going to shoot for another nationality besides your own, the odds are ever in your favour of being understood if you pick a Swede (just watch out for these). Plus, you don't have to bother learning to say "my place or yours?" in another language.*


Swedes are very international. Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

*Ska vi gå hem till mig eller dig?

5. … the sex

Swedes are super liberal. The stereotype has to be based on something, right? Swedes are quite comfortable and open about one-night stands, and practice makes perfect, as they say. But be careful: the Swedes don't really date and if you stick around for breakfast in the morning (or worse, fika in the afternoon) it means you are pretty much an item. Get ready to meet your svärföräldrar (parents-in-law) at their sommarstuga (summer house) next Midsummer's Eve.


Just one of the reasons Swedes are awesome. Photo: Karin Malmhav/SvD/SCANPIX

Five reasons not to date a Swede

1. You can forget the chatting

Swedes are not the most talkative people in the world. They often speak in syllables – or even sounds. This places a lot more responsibility on you as the foreigner to make the first move. Whether you are a man or a woman, it is not worth waiting for a Swede to ask you out – they won't. But if you take the first step and invite them to, say, a fika, they are almost programmed to accept. No Swede ever could say no to coffee, cake or a Valentine's date.


How do Swedes manage to hook up with each other? Photo: Nicho Södling/imagebank.sweden.se

2. They're sticklers for rules

If you want a bit of spontaneity in your relationship, you have picked the wrong nationality. Sweden is a country where the buses are on time and your Swedish date expects you to be, too. Don't even think about whisking them away for a surprise mini break – some of them might enjoy the thrill, but you run the risk of ending up with a nervous wreck on your hands. Swedes like to plan, they like to schedule, they like to know what's going on.


If you haven't made a date for Valentine's, it may be too late. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

3. They are difficult to impress

In Sweden, individual success is inappropriate. Don't brag, they don't want to know. Just got a promotion and raise? Nobody cares. Bought an expensive car? Your Swedish date will prefer to take the bus or metro (at least in the city traffic hell that is Stockholm). Subtly impress them instead with understatements, gender equality and by arriving on time.


Proud of your new car? Your Swedish date won't care. Photo: Erlend Aas/NTB scanpix

4. They'll make you eat weird stuff

Swedes love being noticed by foreigners. They will rush to make you try all the country's national and regional delicacies (we use the word 'delicacies' in a liberal sense here). While we agree there are few things better than cinnamon rolls, Swedes also eat some pretty strange stuff, ranging from fermented fish, to pickled herring, to extremely salted liquorice. Want to date a Swede? Make sure you can stomach it. Literally.


Surströmming, fermented herring. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/SCANPIX 

5. Sweden's a great place for singles

Love is great, but it can be a hassle. Fed up with trying to decipher the reserved Swedes? Just stay solo. It's the best country for being single, with several laws designed to make it easier for people to enjoy life without a partner. According to recent figures, one in four Swedes live alone, the highest number in Europe. So in this single paradise (or is it?), nobody will judge you for enjoying Valentine's Day on your own or with a group of friends.


Sweden is just as enjoyable on your own. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson/imagebank.sweden.se

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