Cultural Differences in Dating

Posted by in dating after divorce, first date success | 0 comments

cultural differences in datingAs a host on my radio show, I have interviewed matchmakers who work with Asian, Indian or Greek populations, and there are many cultural differences in dating in those countries. What surprised me was the Swedish culture. Here’s an excerpt from an article about an American woman dating a Swedish man in Sweden. She was so exasperated by what happened on the first date, she consulted with Swedish dating consultant, Marie Hagberg. She wanted to know whether this man’s behavior was typical for the Swedish culture. I was fascinated by her account of how Swedish men behave on dates. What do you think?

Cultural Differences in Dating

The dinner went like this: I asked a question. He answered. I asked another. He answered again. Not once did a question come my way… When the bill came, I offered to help pay as I always do; a well-rehearsed token gesture of kindness, which I expected to be duly rebuffed. Instead, my Swedish companion “allowed” me to pay for half the meal. And then left me to cover our after-dinner coffee–another sure sign in my book that things were heading in the wrong direction. Three hours later, my stomach full of non-free food and my mind reeling from the piss-poor conversation, my first Swedish date was finally over…

Frustrated, I decided to call an expert: Swedish author and dating guru Marie Hagberg… “You expect a guy to make the first move, but in Sweden he won’t unless he’s really drunk,” Hagberg said. “Men here are very timid.” But why don’t they pay? “Men think women earn almost as much as they do, so why should they pay? I think that’s bullshit,” she said.

I slowly start to realize that a Swedish man on a first date is like a lost puppy trying to find his way. He knows not how to approach a lady, carry a conversation, or to offer to pay. Poor things. I almost feel sorry for them. And I couldn’t help but wonder what could be responsible for stunting the dating intelligence of Swedish men so severely. Hagberg’s answer catches me off guard. “It has to do with our social welfare system,” she exclaims. “Here nobody is supposed to take care of their own life or future and people consider the government responsible for everything. That has colored the world of dating, and gone overboard.”

So my dating failure can ultimately be attributed to an unforeseen side-effect of some grand experiment in social engineering?

Not exactly the culprit I was expecting, but then again, growing up in a capitalist system across the Atlantic, I had always been told that socialism is the root of all evil.

And now…it’s also the reason I’m still single in Sweden.


So, what do you think? Have you had any experience with cultural differences in the dating arena? Please share.

For a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” click here.



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