I get a lot of mail from readers of this site, but a lot of the mail I get is on one particular topic.
Here’s one from this week, from Teddy in Ghana: I WANT TO KNOW IF DANES WOMEN WILL DATE A GHANAIAN MAN. I AM VERY MUCH INTERESTED. And one from last month, from Alex: “Hi, I’d like to know if Danish girls would date a bi-racial Brazilian guy.” And one from late last year: “I’m a gay African American male who would like to date a Dane. Any advice?”
Basically, a lot of the mail I get is from men, wanting to know how they can get some action in Denmark.
I can understand this. Danes are very beautiful. And I can tell you now, most of them will not immediately reject you because you have a different skin color. I know of several babies of mixed heritage here in Denmark.
While I can’t offer any personal insights on gay dating in Denmark, I can tell you that male-female dating in Denmark is hard, even for the Danes, and it will probably be hard for you too.
Usual tactics won’t work
That’s because the process that works in much of the rest of the Western world doesn’t work in Denmark. In most parts of the world, a man will see a woman he likes, and he’ll approach her. He’ll try to start a conversation. Maybe he’ll ask if he can buy her a coffee, or some other type of drink. If they’re in a nightclub, he might ask her if she’d like to dance, or maybe go outside and get some fresh air.
These tactics will get you nowhere in Denmark. In fact, they will get you rejected, and then you’ll worry that that you’re being rejected because you’re a foreigner. No. Danes are not good with strangers, any type of stranger. Generally, they don’t talk to strangers. They talk to their friends.
I’ll tell you how to get around this in a minute.
Don’t tell her how much money you make
But first, let me tell you another thing that will get you rejected. I’ll call it Manhattan behavior, because it was the way people dated when I lived in New York City. Men would tell a lady how much money they made, and how much money they were going to make, how much power and influence they had, and how expensive their watch was.
This will get you nowhere in Denmark. First of all, if you have money in Denmark, the government’s going to take it all away. The tax department will have your number, real fast.
Second of all, Denmark is a very non-hierarchal society, very flat structure. I think it’s fair enough to say most women will prefer a man with a steady job, but saying you have a top management position just means that you have to spend a lot of time working and not as much time with your family and friends. That’s not very Danish.
Show off your good works
So instead, if you want to impress a Danish woman, talk about how your work benefits society at large, particularly how it benefits people who don’t have a lot of resources.
For example, there are a lot of foreign engineers in Denmark. Don’t tell a girl, as I have seen done, yeah, I’m an engineer, it’s pretty boring. No, say, I’m an engineer, and I’m helping people in developing nations access clean water.
Hmmm…pretty good. Another way to impress a Danish women is showing how your work benefits the environment. I’m a petroleum engineer. My job is to rethink drilling to minimize the danger to the environment.
Hmmm…sounds great. Creative industries, like design, and digital media, and video, are also popular in Denmark. Whatever you do, frame it in a way to show how it’s helping people. I really suggest guys prepare a little speech to this extent before they start to meet women in Denmark. 2 or 3 sentences, that’s all it takes.
As a matter of fact, if you’re hoping to meet women in Denmark, do a little preparation beforehand.
For example, check out how the local guys your age have their hair cut, and what they’re wearing. I’ve seen foreign guys in nightclubs with tight business shirts and shiny business shoes on, and they’re getting nowhere. Do some reconnaissance first, maybe do some shopping. Danes are casual, but not sloppy.
And light on the cologne, guys. It’s actually not necessary at all, but if you insist, use a very, very light touch.
Meet the guys first
Now, as I promised, back to how to meet women in the first place. Danes, as I mentioned, aren’t very good with strangers. They talk to their friends.
What you need to do is come into their circle of friends. I suggest talking to one of the guys in the group. Talk to him about sports, the deejay, how he knows the host if you’re at a house party. And after a few minutes of chatting with him, you can ask him if who that girl in the brown jacket is, and if she’s here with a boyfriend. If she’s available, now you know the lady’s name, and she’s seen you with someone in her group, so you’re a complete stranger any more.
Go over and introduce yourself, and say you hear that she’s a petroleum engineer, whose job is to rethink drilling to minimize the danger to the environment. And that’s fascinating, because you really care about the environment. And I think you can take it from there.
This is somewhat how the Danes do it themselves, except that there’s a lot of alcohol involved.
Basically, Danes go through all the same steps, but they’re very shy, so they do it while drinking a bottle of wine, or sometimes a bottle of vodka. If alcohol vanished from the Earth, so would romance in Denmark.
Hear all our How to Live in Denmark podcasts on Spotify and on Apple Podcasts (iTunes).
Get the How to Work in Denmark Book for more tips on finding a job in Denmark, succeeding at work, and understanding your Danish boss. It can be ordered via Amazon or Saxo.com or from any bookstore using the ISBN 978-743-000-80-8. Contact Kay to ask about bulk purchases, or visit our books site to find out how to get the eBook. You can also book a How to Work in Denmark event with Kay for your school, company, or professional organization.
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Image mashup copyright Kay Xander Mellish 2020