The 7 Biggest Differences Between American & Swedish Men

As a notoriously dating Swede spending a lot of my time in the U.S., I often get this question: “What’s the difference between dating American and Swedish men?”

After ransacking my own experiences and discussing with my girlfriends over endless bottles of wine, it all comes down to seven differences. They may be generalized and completely subjective from the points of views of me and the homies, but boy they’re big.

1. The whole “dating” thing

Well, first of all: Swedes don’t date. The whole scenario of boy asking girl out, boy picking up girl and taking her to a restaurant to dinner, pulling out her chair and picking up check just doesn’t exist.

So what do Swedish men when they find someone that sparks their interest if they don’t ask them out? Well, same as us Swedish women do: get very very drunk and go to their place or our place for the night. That right there is the Swedish idea of a first date.

So why doesn’t traditional dating take place with Swedish men? Well, they aren’t manly men in that sense (see next chapter), but also they cannot converse. In a first date scenario Swedes would be shy, dry and a little boring – before they’d get hammered. Where as American guys are open, curious and talkative – and don’t even get completely hammered.

2. When to move in?

So obviously dating in Swedish and American tends to look a little different. Now that the first dates are over with (in the US dinner, movies, walks and talks vs. in Sweden drunken sex a few times), what’s the next step? In America I guess it’s more dating. For months and months or even years. In Sweden it’s to move in together. There is no dating period, there is no “where do we stand” talk. Suddenly you’re just in a deeply committed, adult, monogamous relationship.

3. To pay or not to pay?

Chivalry is dead in Sweden. Some might say romance is too. But I’m not sure. I would rather say Swedish women have a different idea of what a romantic gesture is. Ok, Swedish men aren’t gentlemen in the way of opening doors, treating women like royalty or paying the bills.

On the other hand they are gentlemen when it comes to not treating you as a fragile flower, but as an equal human being just as capable of paying the bills as they are. They cook, they do the dishes and they take care of the kiddies. Swedish men are way more equal and often they’re even full blown feminists — something I’m not even sure most American men even know the meaning of. All of this is of course great but I’m not late to admit sometimes it would be nice to have a door opened for you. Sometimes even a strong modern feminist wants to be taken by storm. A little bit of both would be perfect. Is everything to much to ask??!

4. The lockdown

Maybe this has to do with the equality of Swedish men and/or Americans lack there of, and maybe this has something to do with me rather than being a general phenomena. But in my experience American guys want to know so very soon into an aspiring relationship if I am “all theirs.” They want me to assure them of my strong feelings and loyalty before I practically know their last name. This might pass for some as willingness to commit but for me it’s more about insecurity and possessiveness.

Swedish men would never try to lock down a woman if it’s not in fact love. The other way around, as soon as you hint you might want to hook up again they run the other way screaming they’re not ready for a relationship. But I very much get the feeling that being all theirs and not being with/talking to anyone else only applies to me, the woman, in this not yet relationship.

5. Okay, so who cheats more?

I can’t help but wonder if American men’s obsession with knowing if I am completely devoted to just them while dating has to do with how well they know themselves. They know how sneaky and capable of lying and cheating they are so they automatically think the same about you.

And before you say it: yes, I date assholes, and there are of course American men who would never. But my general opinion by spending a hell of a lot of time in the states taking in the American culture, dating, observing, analyzing, reading, discussing with Americans as well as Swedes, men as well as women, is that American men have a bigger weakness for cheating than Swedish ones do.

Not that Swedes don’t cheat, of course they do. But if a Swede cheats it is because there is something wrong in the relationship and he will eventually come clean due to his tormented conscience and the relationship will end. There is no pride in having a side chick. Which brings me to my next point…

6. Lady troubles

I here by accuse American men to suffer badly from the Madonna/whore complex. This idiotic complex has been so strong all over the world since the beginning of time, so to say it does not exist within Swedish men is of course to exaggerate. But it’s pretty damn close.

Let me try to explain. For a Swede, there is no difference in quality between a girl you wife up and a girl you pound. There is not a certain type of girl who is “girlfriend material” and one that is “just a hoe.” If a Swede cheats it is not because there are needs he cannot have fulfilled with his precious wife so he has to turn to a “hoe.”. If a Swede just wants to have sex with you and not a relationship, it’s because he does not have lovey dovey feelings for you, not that you’re not good for anything more.

This is actually the one area where I hundred percent prefer Swedes over Americans. The Madonna/whore complex is so incredibly ancient and lame AF.

7. Butt stuff

This is a delicate matter and I’m going to try to not step on any Swedish male’s toes here. But of course my ladies want to know about the difference in the sack. It’s a good thing not too many Swedish men will be reading this because sooo many would protest and say they don’t recognize it one bit. But I’ve seen what I’ve seen and I’m just going to put it out there: Swedish men are more into anal action than Americans.

I’m talking about action in their own a-hole. A finger or a tongue up there they are not a stranger to at all, and they’re not ashamed of it one bit. As you’re giving a Swede head do not be surprised if you all of a sudden have an ass in your face.

American guys who are more homophobic in general would call “GAY!” Homophobia is so freaking last century and sexual openness is awesome. But without getting into my personal preference s all too much I would say that also here a mix, something in between — an Ameriswede, if you will — would be preferred.

Follw Hannah Arnhög on Instagram and elsewhere.

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