Just as cultures are different in every country, so are the dating norms. You might be interested in dating a Finnish man, but you want to know what to expect before you do. From how to find the right guy to how you can build a lasting relationship, these tips for dating a Finnish man will help you navigate the experience.
Know that a Finnish man will not approach you and hit on you if he sees you out in public, so have your introduction ready to use on any attractive Finn you might spot. Finnish men are shy and might even look away when you make eye contact across the room.
It’s not that Finnish guys are oblivious—not more than males from any other nationality, anyway. They’re just more reserved, so flirting isn’t really what they do. A Finnish man will open up to you over time, so it’s worth making that first move yourself.
Introductions in Finland are incredibly casual. Shaking hands is most common, whether you’re meeting a man or a woman. Kissing someone on the cheek is a no-no—that’s way too intimate! If you’re meeting a group of people, you can wave your hand or nod your head, and that’s enough of a greeting to seem friendly.
If you ask, “How are you?” a Finnish man will take time to answer this seriously. This question isn’t used as a standard greeting in Finland, so they see it as a genuine inquiry. If you’re in the habit of using this phrase as a greeting, make sure you pause after asking so you can hear the response.
Don’t give up if you find that you’re always the one to get the conversation started and keep it going. Don’t ask a question that can be answered with a yes or no, because all you’ll get in response is that yes or no. The conversation will be dead in the water before you know what happened.
Ask questions that will start a conversation and make it effortless to keep it going. Questions that express both your desire to know more about the county and the man will show him that you’re interested. Consider asking, “What are your favorite things to do in town?” or “What’s the best Finnish comfort food I should try?”
If you want to know something about your Finnish man, don’t be afraid to ask him! He will give you an honest answer, even if the question is quite personal or difficult. Be aware that he might not turn the question back around to you because Finns rarely ask questions when getting to know someone.
Once you break the ice and get to know a Finnish man, don’t step back and expect him to take control. Finnish men see women as equals, so he most likely will not plan each date—or pay for it. The lack of gender roles can be refreshing to many women, but if you want a guy to be a total gentleman, you might not want a Finn.
A Finnish man would prefer to become friends first and get to know you before asking you out. Some women might feel defeated that a Finnish man won’t pursue them, but instead, you should see it as a sign of respect that they’re not chasing you and instead want to get to know you.
Finnish men see women as equals, which is a wonderful way to start a partnership. Seeing women as equals means that Finnish men want their women to work hard, so you should be prepared to bring as much to the table as what you expect from your man.
That being said, men don’t expect you to make your own money, buy your own stuff, and leave the household chores on your plate as well. Finnish men help out equally with the housework, cooking, and child-rearing.
Finnish men are also handy to have around the house. They pride themselves on their Do-It-Yourself spirit and try to fix anything they can before calling in someone else. This tendency might be seen as veering dangerously close to gender roles, but a Finnish man has no problem with a woman also helping fix things around the house.
Men in Finland have no expectations about how a woman should act. There isn’t a big push for a woman to be traditional or to have particular career aspirations. Therefore, you should feel comfortable being yourself and showing that true self to your Finnish date.
The more upfront you are about your goals, dreams, and even your pet peeves, the more likely you will develop a lasting relationship with a Finnish man. They respect women who show their true selves, thorns and all, so don’t be afraid to let it all hang out.
Since Finnish men like to become friends before embarking on a relationship, make sure you’re laying that groundwork by being a fun person to be around.
Ask about your Finnish man’s background, childhood, and cultural traditions. This will show that you’re interested in more than only him—you want to get to know his country as well. In addition to learning about his history, make sure you’re supportive of it.
This support should be unconditional, meaning that you accept that trait even if he’s an introvert. You give him time alone while you go out to socialize without badgering him to come along. More Finnish men are relatively quiet and reserved.
That doesn’t mean you have to act the same way if you’re outgoing and talkative, but it means you should compromise when you’re with him. If he’s not a fan of PDA, don’t try to be touchy when you’re out in public together. It’s more a sign of respect than you changing who you are.
You should also ask your Finnish man about his hobbies. If you share some common interests, that’s great! If not, be receptive to giving them a try. Showing your guy that you’re willing to attempt to participate in his favorite activities with him is a major vote of confidence in your relationship, and he’ll appreciate that.
Know that a Finnish man will give you unconditional support in return. He is committed to you, so he’ll comfort you through rough periods and times of emotional turmoil and help you through any life changes where he can make a difference.
Do Your Research Before Dating a Finnish Man
It’s important to know about Finland’s culture before you date a Finnish man or even try to fit in with the country. Finnish people are very proud of their country and have a strong sense of national identity.
First of all, you should know that Finnish people tend to date one person at a time. If you’re looking for something casual and plan to date multiple people, make sure you’re upfront about it so your Finnish man can decide if that’s ok with him.
Finnish families don’t get together very often, so if your boyfriend hasn’t introduced you to his family yet, there’s no reason to get offended. Knowing what some of the cultural expectations are can keep you from getting hurt.
Don’t wear shoes inside anyone’s home, whether you’re invited for a short visit or a big party. If you feel the need to wear shoes, you can bring an extra pair of shoes into which you can change. Finnish men will appreciate you leaving your outside shoes at the door and slipping on a clean pair.
Finnish people are pretty strict about their personal space. They act like they have a bubble around them, and if you step into that space, they might back off. Don’t be offended by this—it’s just a reaction, nothing personal. Once you’re in your man’s comfort zone, you’ll be there forever.
Money isn’t a topic of casual conversation in Finland. You don’t ask about someone’s salary or how much property or goods they own. This is a very private matter, and even if you’re dating a Finnish man, you don’t need to know about his money. Since they value equal partnerships, you only need to worry about your own money.
People in Finland are very punctual and view a late arrival as offensive. If you find yourself running more than five minutes late, you should be courteous and let your date know your estimated time of arrival.
If you want to meet Finnish men, check out these Finnish Dating sites and apps.
Embrace the Silence
Finnish men are often quiet and might not ask you how you feel at the end of a long day. It is common in Finland to spend time together in silence, so just because your man isn’t peppering you with questions doesn’t mean he doesn’t care. He’s just giving you the space to be.
A well-known joke in Finland says, “An introverted Finn looks at his shoes when talking to you; an extroverted Finn looks at your shoes.” You’ll feel better if you keep this in mind while you’re trying to bridge the communication gap.
Small talk isn’t a thing in Finland. Being together in silence is an intimate experience, whereas many people see small talk as frivolous. Greeting a person is seen as “small talk” to Finnish people, making room for more substantial conversations.
Silence is prominent even during more lengthy conversations. Finnish men often pause during a conversation to gather their thoughts or take in all the information that they heard. If you say something to your man and are met with silence, don’t be offended; just give him a quiet moment.
Not giving much time to small talk clears the way for you to have deep, meaningful conversations with your Finnish man. Their inclination to be quiet doesn’t mean they don’t like to talk at all, so make sure you have important things you’d like to discuss with him.
Sitting together in silence might feel awkward to you at first, but if you take time to understand the purpose of silence, you’ll start to appreciate it more. Silence is relaxing and comfortable to a Finnish man, so don’t feel like you need to talk to draw him out of his shell. He’s enjoying being with you, just in a different way.
Enjoy Meals and Parties
Meals in Finland are often served buffet-style, with all of the dishes put on the table, so every adult serves themselves. You can take as much as you want, but you must clean your plate. Leaving food on your plate is seen as offensive to the host, and it is also waste from an environmental standpoint.
The most common beverages served with a meal are milk and water. Wine might seem romantic to you, but it’s probably not going to be served with your dinner on a date night. Some light beers might be an option, and you can drink coffee or tea after the meal.
On the subject of beverages, is alcohol being served at parties. Because alcohol is expensive in Finland, some parties may have a note on the invitation, “OPM” or “Oma Pullo Mukaan,” which means “Bring Your Own Bottle.”
If you’re giving a gift to your Finnish man and aren’t sure of something personal to get him, something related to coffee is always a great idea. You can give him some local coffee beans, biscuits, or other sweet treats.
Birthdays aren’t celebrated for adults in Finland, so if you want to do something special for your Finnish man, you’ll have to wait until he hits one of those landmark ages, like 30, 40, 50, and beyond. If you attend a birthday party with your Finnish man, you’ll need to bring a card and a simple gift. Finns don’t want anything extravagant that calls attention to them at a party.
There is a saying in Finland: “Vain rumat ne vaatteilla koreilee,” which means “only ugly people need to dress up.” This says a lot about how blunt a Finnish man can be, above all, but it also conveys the culture’s attitude towards style.
Women in Finland don’t dress up, show a lot of skin, or wear high heels. They tend to dress casually but nicely, and the men dress the same. Finnish men typically look clean and put-together and don’t spend a lot of money on clothes or shoes.
Finnish men often say that a woman looks best with a bit of color in her cheeks, and this is more easily attained by being outside than by applying makeup. Finnish men like their women to be low maintenance when it comes to fashion, makeup, and fragrances.
Finland is proud of its gorgeous nature, and most Finnish people love to spend time outdoors. If you’re not sure what to suggest for a date with your Finnish man, plan something outside! There are plenty of beautiful landscapes and national parks, and Finnish men are always up for a road trip.
Domestic travel in Finland has always been high, with international tourism being less than half of domestic tourism on average. Outdoor spaces in Finland are open to everyone, so you can hike, walk, or bike anywhere, as long as you leave it as you found it.
Finland is an optimal location to see the northern lights, which you can easily spot during spring and autumn. With so much beauty, it’s no surprise that Finnish people love to sightsee in their own country more than they travel overseas.
Build the Relationship with Your Finnish Man
Finnish men are very loyal, which is why they prefer to start a relationship on a strong foundation of friendship. It will take time to develop this relationship, and it might take even longer before you figure out if he likes you as a friend or wants to have a serious relationship with you.
When you’re unsure if a Finnish man is your friend or becoming more, you might have to put yourself out there and ask. These guys aren’t fans of PDA and won’t tell you they love you every second of the day, but they will give you a committed relationship if it’s what they want.
They are very honest, which can sometimes sound harsh if you’re used to little white lies or boyfriends beating around the bush when they have something to tell you. Though a Finnish man might seem quiet, it doesn’t mean he’s keeping things from you. He will tell you what’s on his mind when it’s important.
If you think you’re ready to be in a relationship with a Finnish man, make sure you take all of this research into consideration. You should look forward to spending time outside with him and enjoying the silence together.
Make sure you’re ready to date someone from a different country by researching their history and culture. Try to understand how that culture might have influenced his childhood and behavior. If you make an effort to learn on your own, he will feel honored and open up more to you.
Make sure you can give a Finnish man what he provides to you and what he deserves, which is loyalty, honesty, and commitment.