Norwegian social codes: Dating, relationships and sexuality.

Dating has always been a movie-concept for me. Not because it doesn’t happen, it’s just not how our romance culture is built in Norway. If we can call it romance. We don’t even have a Norwegian word for dating, which is why we call it *drumbeat*: Dating. Norwegians go about finding partners in another order than going on dates – but it has definitely become more normal to be in the dating game here as well. So how do we find a partner and how does dating work in Norway? I’m going to take you through the Norwegian way of dating, explain how and why the concept of dating has become more of a normal thing and why chivalry is dead.

Let’s start with how we come in contact with potential partners.


In my lifetime I’ve seen the development from our normal ways and into the concept of dating. You see, we’ve had two ways of making human contact. Earlier (and now for that matter) Norwegians would find a potential partner at the bar, take them home and if the chemistry hits – they might meet again. Later that might grow in to a relationship. The other way is through a common social setting like a workplace or school. In this setting you would get to know the other person a little, take them home and go through the same development as the bar-alternative. That, or you’ll have a really awkward setting at work for the time to come. Now, with all the dating apps available there’s a third option thrown into the mix: Random dating. Which consists of chatting for a long, long time through the app until both parties has worked up the courage to set up a date (unless it’s just for a fun night out. Shit, we sound like a slutty kind of people).  The development often go as the other alternatives, but it has become more common to go on several dates to see if the interest is thriving.

“Why?” you might wonder. I’ve written a little bit about this before: We are a very introverted people, in lack of a better word for it. We don’t openly socialize with strangers. We stick to our social comfort zone and we let loose over drinks (You can read that post -> here <-). Which might put you on to the question of how we can go home with strangers.. Our sexuality is another story. I’m theorizing here, but as a gender equal country, we are very free when it comes to sexuality and relationships. Actually, Norwegians rarely marry in comparison to other nationalities. We’re not dependent on marriage to live a fulfilling life. Our society is built on gender equality, which means:

1. Equal opportunities

2. Equal rights

…..In our society we’ve also focused upon the strengthening of women. In every position possible. As a Norwegian female you don’t really have to depend on anyone other than yourself.  Actually, in this day and age there are more females than males in higher education. Women here are career driven. I would say that we are free, in every aspect of life. Ah, the freedom of choice. There has been a lot of bickering about low birthrates and so on – often blamed on this.  Anyway, our sexuality is relaxed and free – because we can. And it’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Same with nudity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at a nudist beach.. There’s a lot of them. Norwegians like to be naked for some reason. So the whole sexuality aspect isn’t really a big deal to Norwegians.

What this does do though is kill the chivalry. Chivalry in Norway is dead. the concept of equality has, in my opinion, been confused with gender roles. I’m not saying that one should have them, we certainly do not, but it really kills off romance. Gender roles in romance is nice, I’m not going to lie. I think we just haven’t found a way to have equally strong genders in a romantic setting. It creates insecurities – I guess. I’m being very harsh here, it’s not like everyone is like this , but it is a part of our social concept and our culture. On the other hand we do divide everything between us when in a relationship, so both parties contribute the same.

So now you know our socially awkward dating ways. It pretty much goes like this: Boy meets girl, the hookup, relationship develops, they move in together and live happily ever after dividing stuff equally – maybe. And that’s it.

På gjensyn! 


    1. Thanks for correcting my error! 🙂 chivalry.
      Independence is gold, even if it does create some romantic challenges!


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