Six Scandinavian Boyfriends We’ve All Had

There are so many Scandinavian men out there. So many beautiful Scandi-boyfriends. And don’t assume we’re being heteronormative here, because there are all kinds of boyfriends to their boyfriends. Boyfriends! Let’s talk about ’em.


List Marker: Number 1The one who wants you to be Scandinavian

This hot Scandinavian guy is great one-on-one but when you’re in a group he seems vaguely embarrassed that his friends have to switch over to English to accommodate you. He keeps talking to them in Danish/Swedish/whatever, about you, in front of you. And they keep looking at you questioningly. It gets fucking weird.

He probably doesn’t explain traditions until it’s too late and expresses exasperation that you don’t already know about them. He references obscure Icelandic personalities when you discuss international politics and rolls his eyes when you don’t know who they are. He sends you articles to read….in Norwegian. He buys you a Georg Jensen Christmas tree ornament as a holiday gift even though you’re Muslim.

Warning: one day you will wake up to him hovering over your bed with a bottle of peroxide or etching your likeness into a Royal Copenhagen serving platter.




List Marker: Number 2The one who’s attracted to you because you’re “exotic”

“I just love your accent!” this boyfriend constantly tells you. He likes it when you talk to him in various languages in be even though he doesn’t understand a word you’re saying. The first thing he says when introducing you to his friends or family is that you’re “not from here.”

When your eyes first meet across a dance floor, he made his way over to you and whispered in your ear, “I’m so attracted to the way Latin men dance” and then was completely turned off when you told him you’re actually Canadian.

This guy is working through his natural objectification and other-ing of his romantic relationships. Depending on where he is in the process, you might be able to salvage this one. But when he starts telling you he’ so excited to have “mixed babies,” it’s time to get the hell outta there.

Alexander Skarsgaard Zoolander
via from Zoolander


List Marker: Number 3The one who struggles with Scandinavian identity

You’ll have some really interesting conversations about cultural differences and he will always express, inappropriately, that your culture is superior. He says things like, “I don’t usually date Danish girls, they’re so [insert off-putting personality feature here].”

This guy is blonde as they come but insists he has “light brown” hair. He may even dye it. Double points if he wears colored-contacts to convert his baby blues to dark browns.

Maybe he’s already lived outside of his home country – he definitely wants to at some point. He is alternately compelled by your foreignness while being baffled that you chose to make his native land your home, resulting in a hot-and-cold relationship until you get frustrated enough to end it. You will have to end it, by the way, because he will never give up the opportunity to move to wherever you’re from.

via giphy



List Marker: Number 4The other expat

This guy is from England or China or Cote D’Ivoire. He is not Scandinavian and clings to that identity with a fervor that makes you slightly nervous. His only friends are other expats. He constantly talks about how different (read: bad) Sweden is compared with his home country but makes no plans to move back.

When you invite your Danish friends over for a dinner party, the only conversations he will involve himself in are whingey ones in which he accusingly questions each dinner guest as to why Danes DO THAT THING HE HATES. He cannot be around Danes without having this conversation which has made him unemployable in the country.

He refuses to learn how to speak the country’s language and mocks you when you try to order your beer in the local tongue. This guy will eventually dump you when you “lose your identity in your eagerness to integrate” by buying a bicycle.

via askarsgard


List Marker: Number 5The one who is only into you because you’re leaving in a month

Ugh, this guy. This guy is barely a boyfriend. He’s more like a Scandi-hookup. He asks other women for their phone numbers while you are on a date with him. He refers to you as his “wingman.” You will never meet his friends and he may actually not have any because he’s just such a dick.

He likes you because he does not have to learn anything about you or invest any time or emotion in your relationship. If you were both in it for the sex or brief companionship it would be fine, but he has actually pursued a relationship with you based on the fact that you can’t have a relationship. Double negative equals proof positive, you guys.

via giphy



List Marker: Number 6The one who hooked you

This guy is your guy. He’s your person. It doesn’t matter where he’s from, or where you’re from. There’s just something between you that renders any cultural or language difference a small bump rather than a deal breaker.

He listens to you, he asks about your life. He’s interested in your home country without being fetishizing or generalizing. He loves his country but recognizes its problems too. Basically, he’s a person with a good sense of perspective and an open mind.

This guy is the reason you’re staying in Sweden or Norway (or, one of the reasons; hopefully you have friends and a job too). He’s hooked you: welcome to Scandinavia, sucker. You live here now.

Did we miss a Scandi-boyfriend? Did we miss YOUR Scandi-boyfriend (or ex)? Tell us about him in the comments!



Cover image: Alexander Skarsgård in the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of GQ Style Australia, photographed by Steven Pan, via askarsgard.

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Rebecca Thandi Norman

Rebecca Thandi Norman is a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Scandinavia Standard.