Saturday, December 17, 2011

"how to win a swedish guy's heart"

The next installment of my discussion on Swedish and American guys...

Something I didn't anticipate when I first posted anything about Swedish guys and girls was what would happen when that post went out into the world wide web. In my site analytics I can sometimes tell what google search words lead to entering this Stockholm Stories page.

And let me tell you something... there are people around the world searching for answers and information about the mysterious creatures that are Swedish males.
The title of this post was one such google search query. I felt for the person that did the search... I understand the feeling of doing an internet search for something that there are probably no true answers for, but trying anyway.

So who is trying and what do they want to know? Some examples...

Germany ("what are swedish guys like")
Norway ("how to get a swedish guy to fall for you")
The Netherlands ("learn more about swedish boys")
New Zealand ("swedish guys who are they")
Thailand ("when a swedish guy tells you how he feels")
Estonia ("things swedish guys like")
USA ("do swedish guys like american girls" and "do swedish men love american women" and "swedish boys vs american")
and then from Amsterdam to Hong Kong to Sydney to San Francisco to Bucharest to Barcelona to London to several right here in Stockholm, just the simple search "swedish guys".

I am not sure what the worldwide rank of most internet searches by male nationality is, and if Swedes are high on that. But I have a feeling now that they are up there. Swedes are impressive travelers, no matter where you go you will find a Swede, as I have on a plane to Uganda or when river rafting in New Zealand, and then of course there were a few in Santa Barbara. So they get around. And clearly, they leave an impression.

Am I qualified to answer any of the searches from above? I can't claim that. But I do think a lot about people and how they work in general, I've read a lot of what people with experience are writing on the topic, and I guess that I and countless girls that I know have what adds up to quite a bit of experience with Swedish guys. A couple weeks before I ever even moved to Sweden, my friends and I were hanging out with a couple Norwegian guys we'd met, and as we all talked and they heard a bit about what my last two years had looked like, they tried to call me a "Swedenizer". I protested and defended myself, saying that yes I was moving to Sweden and had dated and known some Swedes but I was not limited to only that or trying only for that. Then they pointed to what I was wearing. I looked down. Damn.

It was a bright blue dress with a yellow belt and shoes. Exactly the colors of the Swedish flag. I laughed helplessly. Arguing in that moment was futile.

The point is, I will speak of my observations as best as I can at this point, knowing that I am no expert, and accepting that I am generalizing. So, in reference to some of those searches...

What are Swedish guys like?
They are polite and reserved. When sober. When drunk, they are a bit rowdy and don't think anything of bumping into girls or pushing past them to get where they're going.
They love to dance and sing almost more than any guys I've met from any country.
They are affectionate. And really tender towards and about children.
Many of them know how to cook. They are well dressed.
When you talk to them, their facial expressions reveal more of what they are thinking than non-Swedish guys. There is little "small talk expressiveness" that you would find in a conversation with an American, but I can more easily read the overall feeling and interest that a guy has about a conversation and me in Sweden when we talk.
They will check you out more easily than the guys I've grown up around in California, but unlike the men who do that in Latin America or somewhere, they won't say or do anything about it.
They, to me, seem a bit vulnerable at times. At least compared to what I know growing up in California. I don't really know how to explain this one yet.
Swedish guys are hard to read emotionally (sounds like it contradicts with the earlier point above, but now I'm talking about them more in depth), they are conflicted, and they can tend to have a hard time making the first move, and they are proud (like all Swedes, and me).

I hear over and over again from Swedish and non-Swedish girls that Swedish guys are just more confused in general. I've heard these girls say a million times to each other, themselves, me, etc. "forget figuring him out, he's Swedish." But I don't think that's the fairest blanket statement, since I know Swedish guys who aren't confused or confusing and American guys who are. I've asked a Swedish girl friend before if she thought, with all her travels and dating that she's done, if she agreed with that broad stereotype. She said, "I think that in Sweden, it's not as valued, at least compared to some other countries, especially the US, to be super sure of yourself and what you're doing. Wavering or putting off a decision for awhile or leaving things mentally tangled up is more accepted here, so Swedish guys do that in romance and don't think that it's a turn off. But as far as men everywhere go, they are probably all as equally confused inside, it's just that Swedish guys go ahead and act that way." I thought that was an interesting answer.

When a Swedish guy tells you how he feels...
Oh, does that happen? Probably, occasionally, with some of them. ;)
But I believe that Swedish men are more of an 'actions over words' breed, and that they aren't exactly cultured to know how to express what they feel very well. Saying exactly what you want and feel is not exactly a Swedish cultural value in general. A Swedish girl one time saw a message that a Swedish guy had written to a girl that said very directly "I think you are interesting, fun, pretty and I want to get to know you better." She was shocked and asked if he was really Swedish and thought that the message was actually over the top, too much. I laughed... no wonder other Swedish guys would avoid saying such direct things, if many girls here would consider it to be too much. I thought what the guy said was refreshingly straightforward. But being subtle is more the way to go here, it seems.

Things Swedish guys like...
You know what would make my answer here more interesting is if I hold back on my usual diplomacy. I don't love stereotypes. But they often come from somewhere, while still being, to many, unfair. So here, I'm going to be quite unfair for a minute. And not just to Swedish guys.

American guys? They like to wear baseball hats and too-loose pants. They like sports, almost obsessively. They like nice/big cars. They like victory.
California guys? They like to find personal success, create something, be someone. They like skinny girls... skinny equals hot. And they really like (love) California. Much more than your average person likes where they are from, and more than people who go there to live for awhile from another state.
Swedish guys? They like hair products. They like soccer. They don't like women's soccer. They like boats. They like meat. They like (love) alcohol. And they like Swedish girls. Really. They think, like many people in the world point out to them, that their country has the best looking and best dressed girls around, and they sometimes discuss when abroad how the local population just doesn't compare, and feel relieved when they get back to Sweden. And along with this, they really like (love) Sweden. Like the Californians, they can't picture anything other than ending up in this beloved country of theirs, nothing beats it. After plenty of world travel of course, which they also like. Swedish girls are the same on those two counts. That makes things convenient.

Finally... Do Swedish guys like American girls?
Well, to some extent, yes.
Swedes may take issue with a lot of things about America, but at the core they are fascinated by the country, have grown up knowing much more about it than we in the States know about any other country. Visiting the States is always on the travel list for almost every Swede I know. So often, Swedes may be more interested in meeting Americans than someone from some other countries. And particularly if you live here, it's not hard to get attention as an American girl, which is a rare find, and add to that being from California, it's downright fascinating. I've heard before when the conversation is not about me... "oh he has an American girlfriend actually" with a ever-so-slight hint of being impressed. It's familiar but still sort of exotic.
And Swedes love exotic things. There is quite a degree of homogeneity in Sweden, so sometimes it's fun for them to do or see something or date someone different. For a short time.
And then I will refer you to my point just before this. That more than the exotic, Swedes like what they know, and what they know is Sweden. Most of them believe, although they may trash talk their country and even their people sometimes, that living here is the best, and that Swedes are the awesomest. So, if I may quote a Swedish guy I know who once lived in the States... "I tried dating American girls while I was there. Where I lived there was plenty of good-looking ones. But you know what, girls in general are confusing, so if they are from your same culture it's easier since it's less confusing, you can read them better. And I know I want to live in Sweden in the future. So, I ended up dating a couple Swedes that I met when I was in the States. Couldn't help it."

Those of you who search the internet to figure out how to win a Swedish guy's heart, it won't tell you there. And I don't exactly know what to say either, since I don't think I've ever done it. And like the winning of anyone's heart, there aren't guidelines.

You know what you should figure out though, if you haven't already? How someone can win your heart. You aren't just a German girl, a Spanish woman, a Swedish girl, or a California girl. You are an individual and stereotypes may not apply. You deserve to have someone try to win your heart as much as any goodlooking tall blond guy does. Maybe more.


  • Steve-o says:
    March 25, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    You are very good at discussing this Corrine!

  • Verónica says:
    September 12, 2012 at 9:04 PM

    you know what, you right.. I know a Swede guy, and now that I've read this and others... whatever, I'm not interested in a guy like that! He is just too Swedish! I've met guys from different cultures and none of them drove me more crazy than this one. It's very hard to deal with him and I thought that Germans were proud.
    This Swede guy can be very polite but at the same time very rude to me, even if he's not intend to, just because his culture. It's hard to say if he's flirting or not because in a minute he might be but the next one he turns around without a word... and it's hard to approach him too. little I knew about his culture... now that I know that he's 95% culture and 5% his own thinking, honestly what a waste! Even though he's very interesting. I don't doubt he's going to return to his country to end up with a Swedish woman.
    Very interesting article.

  • Rotten Nuke says:
    February 25, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    This is such a nice article about those Swedes. I didn't have that much knowledge about their culture until I have met and hung out with a few of them for quite a time when they had a trip here in the Philippines. Swedish men and women are far most the best people to go with (in my own opinion) even though I also have good friends who are French, Aussies, Brits, Americans...Israelis.. but I cannot explain especially when it comes to guys. There was this one Swedish who really "liked" me and nothing more than the like if you get me. He was more into actions; I always knew he was sincere but at the end of the day I knew he's just gonna go back to Sweden which was totally o-rite with me as I also had my own vacation in my own country. lol And when he returned to Sweden, a couple of days after, he told me he found a Swedish girl he happened to like. :) I didn't feel bad at all but it was such a good experience to get to know a Swedish guy like him. And yeah, sometimes they tend to be confusing.

  • izabela89 says:
    March 1, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Such a cool article. I am a Polish girl who is in love with a Swedish man. He is tall and blonde, so handsome... And I keep getting so much questions from Polish, Russian, Greek, Turkish, Italian girls about Swedish men, since I am experienced about it because I have been dating my Swedish man for 2 years.

    I will send this article to them :).

  • Interesting opinion says:
    March 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Det här är helt sant. Tror också att kombinationen svensk kille - amerkiansk tjej kan vara ganska dynamisk. Amerikaner tenderar att vara ganska högljudda, spontana och säkra på sig själva vilket dock kan leda till kulturkrockar. Där kan vår alkoholkultur vara en bra utjämnare..

  • *corinne says:
    March 28, 2013 at 5:38 AM

    @Interesting opinion...
    Haha, helt rätt!

  • Jay says:
    August 14, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Hi Corrine! Great article and very helpful indeed. Especially the part about swedish men being confused and eing okay with 'being confused'. I really liked this Swede and for the life of me could not figure out why he would act the way he did (aka confused). Finally something that makes sense. Thank you !!!

  • *corinne says:
    August 18, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Very familiar story, Jay! Glad it could help a bit!

  • MYV dini says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    i just fall by sweedish boy, but am asian girl i think sweedih guy don't like asian girl

  • S.Welkin says:
    November 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Your blog article is terrific.

    The Swede guy I know has been constantly flirting with me but he's also implying that there can be nothing definite between us. Oh I give up reading him, it feels like I'm misinterpreting his signals. He goes one step forward and two steps back. He has no idea how horrible he makes me feel. I knew it, he was trouble when we first met.

  • Brenda J. says:
    December 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Your blog has been so helpful Corinne.

    I met this Swedish guy several years ago here in Mexico and we've been in contact via internet for about three years now. He has invited me to visit him to Sweden for about four times. And, now that I finaly decided to go to Gothenburg, I asked him for a pic of him, I mean I really would like to have one before going...anyways, the thing is that now I see that he is so Swedish, he had disappear for two months and I haven't got that pic from him :D Hubris! I won't text him and thanks a lot for your blog.

  • *corinne says:
    January 28, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Man, these comments sound like little versions of stories I hear around Stockholm all the time! I'm sorry, you guys! Hope someone more straightforward and more deserving comes around soon :)

  • Jessica Keener says:
    March 7, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Hello. Your article was informative but a little depressing. I plan on moving to Sweden in a couple of years and in the excitement I was also looking forward to meeting some nice Swedish guys and testing the waters, however after reading this, it seems as if Swedish guys aren't into long-term relationships with American girls and that they would like to stick to other Swedes. I'm hoping that this isn't true for all of them.

  • Pretty Little Secret says:
    March 14, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Hi Corinne,
    I came across to read your article and found it very interesting. I've been living here for almost two years, still, I'm the newbies. All of my friends asked me, how come I'm still single and not dating any cute Swede guys. (well, you know the answer) I said "they are cute and nice and all. 'I just don't understand them Swedish guys." I guess we all have the same opinion on that one. Haha
    Thank you for a lovely article. :)

  • *corinne says:
    April 23, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Hey Jessica! Don't be too pessimistic. Your hope is right, it's not true for all of them :)
    Several real life examples around me (and statistics) prove otherwise :)

  • AR says:
    May 11, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Hi, yeah this is how I feel! I met this Sweden in LA and he was extremely nice. We texted a few times and then he visited the country where I live now (with his friends and not to see me exclusively) we hanged out 12 days and he and his friends very respectful, gentleman, well dressed, smart & you can notice the difference! He told me He liked me, used to hug me all the time when we went out, appreciated I went out with him and his friends. And at the end same story... He said " i think I'm giving mixed signals, I love you as friend" as I was pretty relaxed and cool down, I said I felt the same. He continue hugging me and saying he'd miss me. He doesnt text that often and he has never called. Had made plans to meet me again and travel together. And he has invited me to his country and I'm thinking about it, but Im not sure if I should run after this guy, amazing, good looking, great person but confusing and reserved. I dont know if Sweden guys are too conservative or what they think of a girl visits them in their country. I dont text or call him at all and this is too confusing! I dont know what to do! Any suggestion? Thanks! I loved the article! How to win a Swedish guy's heart!???

  • sohogirl says:
    June 5, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    This is a cool blog...very honest:) its a bit depressing though how a lot of the guys can't express themselves because of their equality with the females in this country....its looked down upon and Odd whenever one man says what's on his mind.....its a bit sad to me. Perhaps they need to travel and explore outside of their country and feel more free with their emotions.....learn other cultures and feel more secure as men. But yes they are good dressers and amazing guys for the most part...... And great cooks:))

  • osos says:
    July 13, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Swedish guys? They like hair products. (No I don't except for shampoo and balsam)
    They like soccer (I prefer Ice hockey, our national sport).
    They don't like women's soccer. (True, football is best played by men)
    They like boats. (Yes, and I love the water too)
    They like meat. (True)
    They like (love) alcohol. (True, but I do not drink myself drunk)
    And they like Swedish girls. Really. (True. Those foreign men (individuals) who trashtalk swedish women are just not made for them. However I love women from a lot of countries)

  • Bengtsson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    He is flirting with you and he trying not to typical swede

  • Bengtsson says:
    August 5, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    There is two types Swedish boys. the city boy and the country boy .the city boy is mostly a player becuse he can. Find a Girl in seconds if he want. A country boy is Lucky if he can find a girl that havent been with any. other if he found that one he want to have her secure with a ring as fast as he can but he have to be sneeky so don run away becuse he is to fast ... Sorry for my English spelling

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