Dating the Danes | Know thyself, know thy Danes

There should be a small handbook given to any foreign woman who comes here and attempts to date the Danes. Along with your ‘How do I get a CPR card’ brochure, you should also receive the ‘How to date Danish men’ leaflet.

Now I don’t consider myself an advice-giver in the arena of Danish men. My past credentials clearly prove that. However, in the past month, several women have approached me around town … not to comment on what I’ve written, but to ask for advice. So on behalf of those women, and for all of you still stumbling in the dark, I will attempt to impart a few small and very humble pieces of advice.

1. It’s not you. Because there are no dating rules here, you may be tempted to second-guess yourself ALL the time. Stop. The equations we use at home don’t work here. Two dates + two smiley faces on a text + one ride on the back of his bike do not equal what we think it does. Even six months of ‘hanging out’, as Danes call it, may not even mean he’s into you. Danes have a different way of doing things.  The solution? See #3.

2. Don’t try to be Danish. He probably likes you because you’re not. You don’t have to go and dress in an oversized black tunic or wear those little ear warmers. Only you can introduce him to new phenomenon such as ‘talking to checkout operators’, and for heaven’s sake, don’t try to play the Danish dating game − you’ll end up more confused than the last time you filled in your SKAT form.

3. Make it obvious. If you’re from the motherland or a subsequent colony, you’ll feel pretty brazen doing this. Don’t worry. Even though you may feel like a harlot, you don’t come across as one to a Danish guy. That extra ‘xo’ you put on your text message does NOT translate in Denmark to “I’m ridiculously into you, think you’re hotter than Oliver Bjerrehuus and can’t wait to see you again.” Here it means an ‘x’ is sitting next to an ‘o’.

4. Learn something about Denmark. At the heart of every Dane is an introverted patriot. So while I stand by point #2, you have to make yourself at least credible here. Learn how to say “du er for lækker” or at least learn the difference between Mikkel Kessler and Mads Mikkelsen. You’ll not only score extra points for being interested in a country that very few people are, but your poor Danish accent will actually come across as ‘charming’.

Ny i Danmark is clearly in need of my services – expect to see a leaflet around town very soon.