What Is It Like to Date a Man from Norway?

What can one expect when dating someone who comes from the stronghold of the Vikings? Many Norwegian men are the typical blond-haired, pale-skinned, and blue-eyed males of strong Scandinavian descent but you will also find diverse physical traits in modern Norway.

Above their external appeal, there is a need to understand the inherent traits and habits of Norway to enjoy dating a Norwegian man.

Once you get to know the cultural predispositions in dating Norwegians, you will surely learn to love their ways, appreciate their different gestures, and understand the direction of the conversation.

Here are some major points to ponder on what it would be like to date a Norwegian man (and here is a guide to Norwegian women, in case you’ve landed in the wrong place)

Let’s start at the very beginning:

Norwegian Attraction – a Very Subtle Affair

There will be no amorous descriptions of your beauty or smart pick-up lines. Norwegian men are, by nature, more of the shy and passive type.

Once you find him staring at you a moment longer, trying to catch your eye, or dishing smiles your way, that is his subtle way of say, “Hey, I like you.”

No, they are not ogling nor are they trying to embarrass you – not at all! This might be the time to come up to him and introduce yourself cordially.

Dates – Set them!

Dating is not a big Norwegian thing. There are no gender roles in Norway. Everyone is treated fairly and equally, so the romantic and chivalrous roles of a man are prevalently absent.

Men in Norway tend to avoid situations that will make a woman uncomfortable – this includes asking a lady out – she may not like him and might find it awkward to refuse.

So, many Norwegian men opt to wait until the women show interest and ask them out. So at least show some interest if you don’t want to be the one making the first step!

When setting a date with a Norwegian man, be casual about the process. Don’t compliment upfront that you like his eyes or that he smells good. This might be too much, too soon.

However, you can ask for his number, call him off working hours. Recently, with the surge of dating sites and apps (these are the best ones in Scandinavia), you can search and if he is on one of them, you can also channel your invitation to connect here.

If you catch him staring at you in a party or a pub, they always say try to catch him after a few drinks, but not when he has had too many. That way, he can muster the strength to talk to you while still have his wits about to remember your name!

Set Something Casual

Dinner is definitely not a suitable idea for the first date in Norway. It is only for established relationships, so do not invite your Norwegian man immediately for dinner. Meeting up for a cup of coffee is more appropriate.

Cash (or Card) – Bring It!

Bill-splitting is normal practice when couples go out in Norway. If you are used to the man paying for the entire first date, this is not applicable here.

Don’t be offended though! He is not cutting corners – this is just their way of respecting you as a woman. Women in Norway are characterized as independent and equals to men.

Being the white knight in a galloping horse is actually a bad idea in Norway. After all, they are Vikings! 😊

Conversation No-no’s – Know Them

Norwegians, in general, have a non-confrontational nature so expect your man to drift towards topics that can be interesting yet non-inflammatory.

Do not talk about religion, especially on the first few dates, as this topic is very personal for them.

Inflammatory politics and controversial stances are also some of the subjects you must shy away from. Drama and hysterics just won’t work with them.

Tête-à-tête Pointers

No to Negative Nancy – Norwegians have been raised to strive to look at the brighter side of things. So, in your conversations, you might get chided if you get too whiny and complaining.

You might need to reorient your thinking a bit, but it will turn out better for your soul in the end.

Positivity is reflected in their calm and relaxed nature, which is most likely why Alfred Noble established the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo despite his being Swedish.

Don’t Pry About Family – Intensely protective of the privacy of his family, the Norwegian man will not consider talking about his siblings or parents as appropriate conversation fodder for the first few dates.

Try to Learn the Language – While most Norwegians are very fluent English speakers, they highly appreciate individuals who go the extra mile to learn their language.

This counts heavily when you get deeper into the relationship and get introduced to the family members. Knowing Norwegian will get you some positive points.

Swedish Jokes – You will find conversations peppered with jokes about the Swedish. It might be downright funny and some may border on the offensive.

Just learn to be open-minded and be assured that he is comfortable enough with you to share jokes of an insider nature to it.

Should your meet-up progress into a second or third date, it is not unusual for Norwegian men to invite their dates to stay the night.

Getting intimate is not a dealbreaker nor is it weighed as heavily as it is in other cultures. Don’t misconstrue it as promiscuity or liberalness – they just consider it part of the compatibility test.

If this does not infringe on your personal beliefs, then, by all means, check out if you are matched horizontally – you will not be judged.

Just have in mind that Norwegian men are usually reluctant to commit. If you really want to get the upper hand in making him 100% yours, this guide is the absolute best and the only one you need to read.

If this progresses to a more serious getting-to-know-you, here are more tips that you must bear in mind.

1. Be Punctual for Their Mealtimes

If your date is scheduled for a mealtime, it would help to know that they have 4 – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and kveldsmat.

Dinner can begin at 4 pm up to 7 pm. Because of their long days, dinner is called “middag” or midday.

So, what is a kveldsmat? You can probably explain it easily as “breakfast at night.” Don’t be surprised if you get invited to one!

2. Be Ready for Sandwiches and More Sandwiches… and Butter

Sandwiches or smørbrød can be served all day long in Norwegian meals so get used to it. Another staple is butter which you will find conveniently on the majority of Norwegian spreads.

You will find everything from jams to herring to pair with cheese and butter on open-faced sandwiches. Just remember to make your sandwiches modest and do not go overboard with the toppings.

Norwegians love to eat simply and if you pile up the pålegg (anything that goes on the smørbrød except butter) you might look like a glutton.

3. The Sacred Sunday Stroll

As your relationship progresses, you will be invited to join your date on a Sunday stroll. Mind you, they can hike, explore, and walk the trails, parks, and forests no matter what the weather.

They simply love the outdoors and walking. Don’t worry though. This is a sort of informal tradition practices not only by couples but also families and individuals so you will find lots of places where you can stop for coffee, waffles, and yes, smørbrød.

4. The Skiing Factor

At some point, expect to go skiing with your Norwegian man. He will most like own more than one pair of skis.

People in Norway love their winters and their national sport which – you guessed it! – skiing. Be ready to learn and tumble in the snow.

Hopefully, this is your thing because it is an inevitability if you get into a settled relationship in Norway.

5. The Cabin in the Mountains

While your Norwegian man may love the warmer months, they do love their winters a bit more. Taking a cue from their affinity to skiing, holidays and vacations are often held in a cabin in the mountains.

It may not even involve skiing! Many families, couples, and even single people enjoy communing with nature and spending time bonding in what is dubbed cabin holidays.

It can go as rustic as a basic lodge with no electricity and a well for water to cottages that are luxurious and modern.

Regardless of the accommodation, you can expect hyttekos (cabin cosiness) ambiance and ample time for some quality togetherness.

6. Be Direct and Open-Minded

In the course of dating a Norwegian man, you might find that he might talk very bluntly, bordering on offensive. Take everything with a grain of salt. They do not mean to offend you.

In fact, culture dictates that upsetting someone is not their nature. It’s just matter-of-fact talk that some cultures find to be too frank.

They might ask about your 5-year plan or chide you if you are acting childish. Remember that women are the men’s equal in Norway. You would not want to be talked down to.

Even though your man might live in Hell (which is actually small village in Norway with a stone’s throw of Trondheim’s international airport), getting to know him and his ways better will bring an enjoyable and fruitful relationship together.

Always remember than when dating someone of a different culture, set aside your preconceived notions of love, romance, and dating. Learn their ways so you can bridge the gap. That way, they will also be open to learning more about yours.

Editor’s note: This article was written by my good friend Mary, who spent the past 7 years exploring and enjoying living in Denmark, Sweden and Norway and during this time she had the opportunity to test, first-hand, how the men in this area are. You can check her thoughts on Swedish men or men in Denmark.

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12 thoughts on “What Is It Like to Date a Man from Norway?”

  1. I have a Norwegian bf. Before I thought we broke up because he did not message me back for 2 days. But when he talked to me again he said it was bcoz he was busy. His work is demanding. Then we got back together. He was sweet and put more effort and time but after 2 weeks he did not talk to me again for 2 days and when back he talks like everything was normally fine. Is it normal for norwegians or is that part of playing it cool thing? are they really not accustomed to talking to their gfs everyday? He didn’t even say sorry or explain why he dont talk to me for 2 days the last time Im getting confused if he likes me or not coz he could go for days not talking to me but we were talking about children marriage and our future life. idk if im being disregarded and unimportant to him or was he just busy and i have to be more understanding or is he unloyal or flirting with a lot of girls? idk what to think here..Can anyone here pls enlighten me Im not really familiar with any European culture tbh

    Reply
    • Hi Janina,
      Hard to say in you’re case, but it would be normal to at least say you’re busy the next days. But rarely too busy to ignore you all day.
      On the other side, if you are too needy, then many would enjoy “some time off”. And in some cases look for other women. But that is global and not just a Norwegian thing I think..

      BR from a Norwegian guy
      Good luck!

      Reply
      • I agree with that. Also Erik may I ask how can one impress a Norwegian guys mother? I’m Greek so we have very different cultures when it comes to dating but my boyfriend is Norwegian and we’ve been pretty serious to the point of meeting each others families and moving in together.
        In my culture you usually cook something or bring cake and flowers to the guys mom but I know that would be seen as something weird in Norway.
        PS he is from Leknes Lofoten (so yeah, he is full Viking descent)
        Tusen takk!!!

        Reply
  2. I wouldn’t say that this is normal, although not necessarily a sign that he doesn’t care for you. Completely ignoring you for two days in a row is a bit much but I think your best bet here is to simply bring this up next time you meet. Maybe thins is just the way he is – but if you’re talking about future, marriage and kids, it wouldn’t be normal for him not to talk to you for two days straight, no matter how busy he is. Especially now when it takes 2 seconds to send a text or a smile via the internet.

    Reply
  3. I have met a guy originally from Norway and moved to the US, I have video chatted with him several times but text most of the time. I am thrown by his voice as it’s soft and sounds more like a female voice rather than what I am accustom to hearing of a US man. Is that normal for men from Norway to sound feminine. He states he is not gay, downlow, or bisexual, not sure what’s up with the voice?

    Reply
    • People from South /South East Norway sounds feminine to my Northern Norway ears. They end every sentence on a high pitch and many people think it sounds feminine I heard from my foreign friends. But the rest of the country doesn’t do this.

      Reply
  4. My Norwegian boyfriend and I have been together for over 2 and a half years in a long distance relationship (I’ll be moving to Norway soon though). We used to see each other about once or twice a month before the pandemic. He only texts me every now and then, and we haven’t had a phone call in over a month. I know that his job is demanding but I need to know if it’s normal in Norway to ignore people you ‘love’? I also feel like Norwegians are very cold and think that cheating on a partner is the norm.

    Reply
  5. Hey love, so as a Greek woman dating a Norwegian guy here is my experience. The two of us are 20-year-old university students atm, we surely got that in common, but our cultures are way too different, and getting together with him was the most difficult thing possible on my end. Let’s say that meanwhile, my culture is super passionate and intimate, his likes to keep their personal space…well…personal.
    Scandinavian men aren’t as attached to their gf as Americans. He still loves you and you’re important to him but you’re not his first priority and he assumes he is not yours either. Also Scandinavian guys, especially Norwegians are loyal af. Not romantic but definitely loyal.
    When I first met my bf I was on a hiking trip with my friends. We had just finished our first year and we wanted to celebrate. After that we went to a small bar and I saw him. He was quiet…something that in my culture is considered rude, and he seemed uninterested, till he got a bit tipsy and we ended up making out. Though the next day when I ran into him he was being all monotone and uninterested looking and kind of awkward…though as soon as I walked a block away he messaged me and asked me to go for a walk with him.
    It took me a whole summer to figure him out and I kid you not when I told him I liked him he said “I mean, you are my girlfriend after all…” I was lowkey in shock. He admitted that he was just being respectful with my personal space. We’ve been together for a year and well…it’s a long-distance relationship (for now, due to the pandemic). I’m planning on going back next year to meet his family and we are planning on moving in together when I do my masters there.
    I hope this was a bit helpful.

    Reply
  6. I think, in the end people arw individuals with individual traits although there might be cultural collective behaviours. Having dated a Norwegian, I must say he was far the most genuine and warm person i have ever been with. The 50/50 split on dates did not apply to him. Yes he was very impressed with me when i learned his language, as I was with him learning mine. Another thing i found common in Norway like skiing was sailing.

    Reply
  7. I married my Norwegian viking, who I met in Oslo many years ago. We were together 31 years before cancer took his life. He was my soulmate. I am Australian. I found Norwegian men loved how some women from other cultures in comparison to their own Norwegian women, make a fuss over them and look after them. My hubby used to comment on that a lot. Because in Norway as this article says, the women there are different to women in other cultures who are still trained to look after their man and his needs and care about if he’s hungry or comfortable etc… If you really want to find a way to a Norwegian man’s heart, that is the key…

    Reply

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