Dating the Danes | Flirting with disaster

A while ago I read the most enlightening article on dating Scandinavians. According to the author, I’m meant to get drunk, not expect the guy to pay the bill, not expect him to flirt with me or ask me out, and be okay with him being rather impolite, introverted and extremely slow on the uptake. But once I’ve stuck that out, I’m expected to have a great partner in life.

If I had known that’s what I was in for, I wouldn’t have come here.

It’s a bit immature
Firstly, I think that if a guy hasn’t got enough courage to meet you sober, then he’s not worth meeting. Going to an oral exam is also scary, but do you drink six cans of Carlsberg before that? Man up.

Secondly, not expecting him to ask you out leads to a life of confusion and frustration. Mainly because every other piece of dating advice from Antipodean countries clearly states that if he’s not asking you, he’s just not that into you. However, when I apply that logic here, I’m met with hordes of conflicting views.

Rarely does someone here point-blank say to me: “He’s just not that interested.” Instead they say: “He’s just shy, you should ask him.”

Thirdly, isn’t the ‘We have sex first and then we go out’ mentality a tad immature? I can see why Danes don’t date then. To do that without an element of sexual tension must be extremely boring.

To a Dane though, this is a far more ‘enlightened’ way of getting together (and the rest of the world should take note).

Expectations aplenty
Perhaps I have come to expect too much of Danish men, and that’s where the problem lies. If a guy flirts with you and writes to you, then I’d expect him to ask you out. If I’m dating you, I’d expect you to limit the amount of time you spend with other women (and yes, this includes your female friends).

And yes, I’d expect us to define where this is all going after a few months.

So enters the inner-conflict: the desire to keep my standards versus the pressure to bend to the Danes’ way of doing things. I know that dating for Danes spells expectations and pressure – two words they’re extremely uncomfortable with.

But dating without, at the very least, some semblance of standards equals an anarchical state of drunken hook-ups, confusion and boundary issues.

We need a rule book
I’ve come to realise over here that when I say I’ve been rudely treated, I often don’t have a leg to stand on. Primarily because there were no explicit Danish standards I could hold someone to in the first place.

Now at this point, you might very well ask: ‘Who are you to inflict your standards on a different culture?’

You’re right, I shouldn’t. But to me, holding onto a few ‘good’ standards is the difference between assimilating and integrating.