When I arrived in Denmark, my dating experience was null. At the time, I still had hopes that my thing with my (now ex-) boyfriend would work long distance. After all, it was just a couple of months. He had been my first everything: my first awkward date, my first awkward sexual encounter, and now my first breakup.
I found myself in a different country, a country with so many great opportunities. So I did what every 20-year-old with free time and a messy love life does: I downloaded Tinder. To my friends, I said, “I probably won’t meet anyone”; I told my mom, “Don’t worry, it’s just a social experiment to meet the locals!”
I told myself I was going to have as much fun as possible without developing feelings. I was completely wrong.
I’ve fallen in love on my bike, and almost literally fallen – because I guess you’re not a true Copenhagener if a good-looking person hasn’t dangerously distracted you
The Danes are beautiful, and they are everywhere (it’s their country, after all). In future, when people ask me what the best thing about Denmark was, I will have a lot of trouble deciding if it’s the great bread or the men in black turtlenecks.
I’ve fallen in love in the train, picturing some kind of love story from a distance. I’ve fallen in love on my bike, and almost literally fallen – because I guess you’re not a true Copenhagener if a good-looking person hasn’t dangerously distracted you. I’ve purposely sat in front of very good-looking guys at the university library only to then complain that I couldn’t concentrate.
I’ve met a few guys throughout these past months. It’s been amazing, but it’s also terrible. I decided the best way to make use of all the experience I’ve had during my time here is to share it with the world. So here it goes. This is what it’s like to date the Danes:
Every date will be a language lesson. I’ve learned ‘kartofler’, spent hours trying to say ‘skildpadde’, been laughed at whenever I pronounced the neighborhood I live in (I lived in Nørrebro… not that hard). Danish is such a difficult language, and you’ll find yourself asking your significant other “What were you talking about?” a lot in social gatherings. But in my opinion, Danish is also a very sexy language. There’s something about those ø’s and the unpronounceable sounds that just get me.
But at some point, you will get hurt: so get your heart ready
Danes are sweet and caring. They remember stuff you’ve said a long time ago, and they ask, “How’s your day been?” a lot. They will bake bread for you in the morning and say goodnight with a cute emoji every night. They will ramble on for hours about subjects they believe are relevant. I’ve had long chats about politics and hour-long conversations about dogs.
There will also be lots of wine because it makes socializing easier. The first date is usually “Let’s go for wine”, rather than the usual beer. And even though they hate the idea of dating, they are very good at choosing locations and turning each occasion into an adventure. I also find it amazingly great that this is a society where men don’t necessarily offer to pay on dates. I’m very happy to pay for my own things; that’s until someone took me to a very fancy rooftop bar and I paid 220kr for our drinks.
Even if all they want is a one-night stand, they will make the effort. This is a tricky one – it might lead you to believe they actually want something else, but keep in mind that they probably don’t. When commitment hits the door, Danes have the tendency to run away.
If you do decide to go for the one-night stand, expect great things. Danes tend to be very experienced and dedicated when it comes to sex. Most of them have been doing it for a long time, and know all the tips and tricks.
But at some point, you will get hurt: so get your heart ready. You might be dumped for an ex-girlfriend who just showed up (seriously, you guys need to get over your exes for good when you break up). You might be completely ghosted for no reason at all after he told you he wanted you to meet his family. You might be dumped because “This is too much for me”.
This was my process: lighting candles, getting a cinnamon swirl (another amazing thing about this country), instantly going back on Tinder, and dyeing my hair blonder. Needless to say, I’m as blond as sunshine now
After so many failed relationships, you might get tired of it all. Heartbroken, I once found myself crying in my favorite porridge place when I saw a couple sharing a plate of porridge. They just looked so effortlessly happy. And there I was, rereading the last “Hope to see you again soon” text I got before the last guy disappeared.
But when all of this happens, remember hygge! Give yourself some time on your own to reset. This was my process: lighting candles, getting a cinnamon swirl (another amazing thing about this country), instantly going back on Tinder, and dyeing my hair blonder. Needless to say, I’m as blond as sunshine now.
He only texted on certain weekdays at 12am, being very clear about what he wanted
But in the end, the best thing I’ve had in this country has been a very casual relationship. The story that my friends and I call ‘sex with a hot stranger’. He only texted on certain weekdays at 12am, being very clear about what he wanted. I thought I’d never show up at a stranger’s place just for sex… until I found myself biking on a rainy night to see the ‘hot stranger’. Thank you, hot Dane, for showing me that casual relationships are a good way to escape from the pain of trying to get into regular ones, and for being honest – the only romantically honest Dane I’ve ever met.
But more importantly, thank you Denmark, for being a land of such amazing opportunities and home to beautiful human beings – on the outside, as well as the inside.