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Opinion

Dating the Danes | When you're ready to throw in the towel


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

January 17, 2014
08:30

by Emily McLean


Not long ago, a TV journalist posed the following question on a couple of Danish expat websites: “What’s it like dating Danes?”

So I took a look at the comments you made and thought I’d add my five cents in the hope that I can encourage you all to ‘hang in there’ when you’re ready to throw in the towel.

It’s hard to know if they’re being friendly or they’re interested … they send mixed messages.
Yes. They do. Danes love to flirt for the fun of it, so don’t read too much into that. Plus Danes really aren’t used to being forward, so they just feel things out for a (very) long time. But just because they send mixed signals, doesn’t mean you have to. Play your own game, not theirs, and if you don’t catch them, then go and find another.

They have a hyperactive sense of independence that means the commitment aspect can create resentment.
Honestly, if you’re just out to “put a ring on it”, then I suggest you try a more ‘old-fashioned’ country such as New Zealand or Australia.

Many take themselves too seriously and lack the ability to have a giggle if it gets a little awkward.
Dating doesn’t come naturally to Danes, so they put a lot of pressure on themselves to get it right. Often they act rather seriously because they’re worried about losing face. Unlike us Antipodeans, Danes aren’t used to freely laughing at themselves – especially around people they don’t know very well.

They don’t have fight; they give up very quickly or get bored.
This could have something to do with the fact you’re not a Dane. It’s what I like to call the ‘Fascination and the Foreigner Complex’. It’s exciting, new and novel to be with someone from abroad, but after a few dates, when the novelty wears off, it becomes a pain to speak English, and they realise any kind of commitment may mean moving away from their beloved Denmark.  

Often a date can be misunderstood as a friendly meeting.
This reminds me of an American guy who took a Danish girl to a castle for lunch. He then asked whether he could cook her dinner, but she refused because it would “feel too much like a date”. He then replied: “So what did our castle trip mean then?”

You’re in a predicament here because if you use the word ‘date’, a Dane will run, but if you’re too passive, then you’ll end up hopelessly confused. Go out with them three times and if you’re still confused, then drop the date word and see how they respond.

They stick to established friendships groups that makes asking someone out very awkward or appear very forward.
While you may be feeling awkward, Danes just think you’re being ‘a foreigner’ and will probably find it rather complimentary.

Good luck guys, and if it feels like you’ve done everything right, but it’s all going wrong, just remember it may not be you, it’s probably them.




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