In praise of Swedish women

Have your eye on a guy? Does a Swedish girl have her eye on the same one? You better act fast. The Swedish girl, when it comes to a guy she's interested in, will likely be more assertive, forward and determined than you are... and chances are, she's totally gorgeous.

Like any cultural observation, you can't apply them to a whole group. I believe it's only fair to say, "This is what I've noticed sometimes/often here...maybe a pattern. Exceptions could be numerous, but it happens more often here than in other places. What I describe certainly could apply to others, not just the group I'm addressing." So. And also, this post is primarily on often noticed things about Swedish girls in how they interact with guys. Other things are harder for me to pick up on, I think because with girls here I've always thought more about how I am similar to them, rather than how they are different from past (American or otherwise) girls I've met.

What I want to say early on is that I'm impressed. Swedish girls are often quite okay with pursuing a guy and saying very directly what they want or are interested in. The vibe I get sometimes as I watch some of them in action with guys is, "Hey you! Yeah, you guy! You look good. Come here. Let's talk. Dance. No, that other girl is not interesting, pay her no attention. My hands look really good around your shoulders, and they're going to stay that way."

It's a fantastic thing to watch Swedish girls when they are abroad, for example, in California. I've never seen a Swedish girl be forward with a guy in that context. They walk down the street, sit down at a cafe, enter a club, and never do any sort of signal sending in order to get approached. I've seen this flattered, startled look of surprise several times when men have come up to them and straight away, asked them out or told them they look like their dream girl. I can see it in their faces (and later they tell me), "This has never, would never, happen in Sweden." Coming back to Sweden can be some reverse culture shock that way... then more effort is required again.

Of course many women here are more timid and shy, perplexed when trying to figure out how to get a guy or deal with guys that want to get them. That's something I can relate to more than the assertiveness...Starting with when I was in fourth grade, and the boy that I actually liked held up a notebook to me from across our desks with a simple line of rhyming text he'd just written that said, "It is true. I like you." I jerked my head away from him in sheer embarrassment and didn't speak to him for days. The nerve.

I've come a long way since then. But still, it's tricky living in a country where the men seem to be looking for more signals that women from other countries are used to giving. These guys will rarely approach with zero input. They look, watch, wait, perhaps even hover. But to initiate contact, if the girl isn't doing it first, they usually need more confirmation. As far as first signals go, responses, etc. between guys and girls, it's not a 80/20 type of thing... really, it perhaps averages out in Sweden at like 55/45, perhaps (not that 80/20 is precise about what it's like in the States, I don't know really, but anyway). I once was talking to a guy for a couple hours last year in a bar, and a pretty girl that sort of knew him and clearly liked him waited around for about half of that time, trying to get his attention back, waiting for an in, asking his friends, until finally he turned to her and kindly gave her a hug, a compliment, and sent her home in a cab. And not before her last ditch effort in telling him that I was probably not really interested in him because I was giving my number to his friend (I was giving my number but thought the friend had asked as a friendly thing). I actually admire the persistence, I am probably (okay, certainly) too bound by pride and reserve. But what is there really to lose in adopting some more assertive actions? Not much, and the girls here know it.

Here's some quotes from girls I've met here:

"I was talking to him and I just decided that he was going to have to make out with me."

"She realized that this guy was giving me more attention and she started elbowing me away. Literally she shoved me away from him with her elbows."

"Yeah he looks good. [tap on guy's shoulder] Hey! Come dance with us. You look fun."

"What I used to say was just, 'Hi I think you're cute. Would it be a waste of my time to stand here and talk to you?'"

And then from a full handful of guys I've met, from different western countries, that all said the same things in varying ways about their different experiences with girls in Sweden:

"I've never seen a girl be that determined. It was kinda scary/cool/hot."

"They are more straightforward. Less BS and mind games. Not that flaky."

"They respect your privacy and don't make a fuss. They don't need to know everything about you just because you are dating."

"If they want you they tell you. Pretty direct in communication."

"They don't expect drinks and dinner or whatever. That's awesome."

I've said before that Swedish guys are pretty crazy about Swedish girls. It's for good reason. And guys from other countries? Well most of them that I know personally who have lived here, even if some Swedish girls have frustrated them or mysteriously eluded their girls do from time to time... these boys still remain hooked.

*One of my favorite photos from a costume party I went to in Sweden (we went out to the park for a scavenger hunt). I have a million photos of adorable and stylish Swedish girls I could put up... but those aren't my favorite things about them. It's their creativity and playfulness... and how willing they are to cover up those pretty faces and hair for a fun costume.


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