CPH Post


Dating the Danes | No, I don't want to be friends

Swapping New Zealand for Zealand for her second tour of duty, Emily McLean isn’t, as far as we know, getting hitched anytime soon. She’s out there kissing frogs to find her prince – nobody ever said Dating the Danes was going to be easy.

June 21, 2014

by Emily McLean

There’s a lot I find odd about Danish men. Their lack of small talk, the way they wear spandex when running and their general enthusiasm for cooking. However, the strangest thing I’ve encountered is their tendency to want to be ‘friends’ with you before they ‘date’ you. 

Your dream, my nightmare

Now, I have just described many girls’ ideal scenario there. No pressure, no expectations, very slow and very casual. 

Unfortunately for me though, it’s not mine. 

In my opinion, the ‘friend’ stage is merely an excuse for wimpy men who haven’t quite made up their mind about what they want to do with you. They’re not quite brave enough to come out and say “I’m interested in getting to know you romantically,” but they’re interested enough to sort of ‘hang out’ once in a while.

Mind you, that ‘once in a while’ can turn into a few times a week. But don’t worry girls, you’re safe, because it’s unlikely he’ll show his cards, which means you never have to show yours. Oh, and if you do end up making out, it’s just a ‘friendly kiss’.

Frailty of friendship

It’s no wonder then, that I see a huge amount of my friends entering into these emotionally promiscuous flings where you’ve got no leg to stand on if you’re treated unfairly because “Oh that’s right, he wasn’t really interested in you in that way in the first place.”

And to be fair, Danish women here are as much to blame as the men. Many have accepted that a good way to get a guy is to befriend him, take it at his pace and try and let him play the part of ‘the man’ while they secretly sit there and endure a stage that feels somewhat like a relationship minus the commitment. 

At the heart of it, it seems the Danes use friendship as a way of protecting themselves. By using friendship as a front, you’ve essentially taken out any vulnerability on your behalf (and we all know that being a fool in love is one of the worst emotions a Dane can endure). 

Damaged goods 

But don’t get me wrong, I have wholeheartedly embraced the Danish culture of being friends with the opposite sex, but to an extent I think it ruins my chances of finding a mate. 

I know for most Danes the date word is a scary one. Many are seeing therapists because a foreigner used that word on them once.  But the word does create a sense of boundaries to ensure the friendship zone isn’t entered into.

Seriously guys, I’m not interested in spending copious amounts of time with you to see if we’d make a good match as ‘buddies’. I have enough gay friends for that. 

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