Going by the saying ‘if it’s easy, it’s not worth doing’, The Local’s Chris Manion says that dating a Danish woman must be totally worth it. Here are his Valentine’s Day tips for surviving the battlefield that is Danish dating.
The dating battleground can be a fierce, unrelenting and savage arena, and Denmark is by no means an exception, especially when it comes to non-Danes trying to woo Danish women. As an expat, you may have naively left the airport with a sense of safety that the years of honing your irresistible charm will be enough to navigate the minefield of finding love in Denmark. You were most likely wrong.
If dating and love are literally a battlefield, you would be strictly following the Geneva convention while that lovely Danish woman has no problem with a little bit of chemical warfare.
Whilst this may be a slightly exaggerated metaphor for dating in Denmark, there are some unwritten rules in the land of the Vikings that seem to have become ingrained into their psyche. So here are some tips for making it out alive and a few bits of advice that will help you stand out from the crowd.
1. Don’t approach women at bus stops
This particular piece of advice actually applies to most public places, unless alcohol is being consumed (by both parties). While it may have been quirky and charming to go up to a beautiful girl doing her weekly shop and try and spark up a conversation in your home country, if you do so in Denmark you may be seen as completely insane. So not only will you not get the girl, you may also be sectioned, and that is what is universally known as a bad day.
2. Be a little bit outrageously flirtatious
One thing that I’ve heard time and time again from Danish women is that their male counterparts are hopeless at flirting, or at least at flirting well. I’m not suggesting you go crazy but if you can talk the talk it may go a long way, especially with that accent many Danish girls will find adorable – more on that later.
3. Don’t pay for everything, but pay for a few things
Denmark has a fantastic record when it comes to gender equality, and there is no exception to this when it comes to the dating scene. Whereas many cultures in Europe deem it the norm for the male to whip his wallet out at the end of an expensive meal, in Denmark it is more likely the woman will insist on splitting the bill. But she just may find it incredibly charming if you were to pay for her glass of wine or cocktail.
4. Don’t rush anything
Dating is not something that comes all too naturally to Danes, so messaging them incessantly asking when they want to meet next or having the classic ‘are we boyfriend and girlfriend’ conversation after a month is not at all advisable. It may take months and months for anything of what many would call a ‘relationship’ to take proper form. The saying patience is a virtue was created for dating Danes (this may or may not be true).
5. Be yourself
One of the most noticeable traits about Danish women, and Danes in general, is that they aren’t too fussed about your financial position. Just because your bike is a hand-me-down and your shoes aren’t designer doesn’t mean you are out of the running. Most Danish women prefer honesty, compassion and a little bit of excitement over a sports car and a mansion. So don’t try and big yourself up too much and as the cliché goes, be yourself. Unless you’re a horrible person.
6. Flex your Danish language skills
Danish women can’t resist a badly pronounced rødgrød med fløde, it simply sends them wild. You will go from being a slightly grumpy, a little podgy and kind of balding expat to being as irresistible as a cross between a baby Shih Tzu puppy and Brad Pitt circa 1996. OK, maybe not quite, but they will appreciate you attempting their ridiculously difficult Danish language and a little bit of effort goes along way.