Disclaimer: This is purely a post for fun and it is based solely on the writer's personal experience and if you don’t like opinions or generalizations about other cultures or opinions and generalizations about men, 1. we can't be friends anymore and 2. don’t read this post!
How they dress on a normal day...
Swedes: Jeans and t-shirts are standards. If you are in a small town, you are likely to see guys
walking down the street pulling their pants up like they haven't yet discovered the amazing
accessory called a belt. T-shirts with prints, usually of bands or the local motorclub. Accessories and
brands are not really a priority, and you won't be competing over the mirror in the morning. Do you
want your Swedish smalltown boy to smell like Dolce & Gabbana? Buy him a bottle for Christmas.
Drive to the bigger city and you'll see a more dressy look, but don't expect to meet a bunch of
handsome Scandinavian suited up boys à la Alexander Skarsgård from Big Little Lies unless you
dive into the finer streets of Stockholm or Gothenburg.
Italians: Don't be surprised if he owns more perfumes and shoes than you do. Shirts in different
styles and colors, jeans and sweaters combined with a jacket are standards. Most Italian boys
appreciate details and usually add a pair of fashionable sunglasses and jewelry before leaving for
errands, and shoes that looks like they are attending a formal event. Facial hair is a big thing (Amen)
and so is going to the barber shop. Forget the messy lumberjack look, ladies. And be prepared to
share that mirror in the morning.
How they flirt...
Swedes: Just like Canadian boys they basically don't, unless you are at a bar or club. If a Swedish
boy is into you he will add you on social media first, ask for your Facebook or Snapchat instead of
your phone number. Social media has become a major part of communicating in Sweden, which has
lead to quite a big issue when it comes to actually being social.
Italians: How? A lot. When? All the time. Joking aside, not all Italians are whistling Casanovas on
a vespa. Along with the flirty reputation comes a soft sensitive side, but with eyes that do most of
the work for them. It's impossible to miss if he is flirting with you, but if you are a foreign girl you
will probably perceive him as pushy at first.
How they ask you out...
Swedes: Swedish boys' definition of asking a girl out romantically is very vague. You are most
likely going to end up watching a movie and hang out as friends - multiple times. Being invited to a
party is typically Swedish. But there certainly still exist some old-fashioned gentlemen in Sweden, you
just have to be lucky enough to meet one.
Italians: No need to complicate things here, they just ask you. And you better say yes.
The first date...
Swedes: Since the dating scene isn't a big deal in Sweden (but we love to label everything) it's not
easy to notice if you've had your first date. That first date could just as well be at your own place,
after taking the first step by inviting him over. If you're not heading out to the local restaurant or
cinema, you'll watch a movie and eat tacos together. You will get a goodbye hug while wondering if
you are his friend or fling. It's an ongoing mystery.
Italians: Ever heard the song ”On An Evening in Roma”? Italians often take their dates out for late
dinner or drinks at their favorite restaurant, followed by a long walk in the piazza or along the spiaggia (beach). If your date is taking place in Italy, you could be getting the full Italian experience, like strolling down the streets of Rome or walking along the beach in the sunset of Sardinia.
How they dress on a date...
Swedes: For a date (read: hanging out and hiding the fact that you like each other) he will dress like
it's a normal day. You may notice a distant scent of aftershave. But just maybe.
Italians: Like they dress on a normal day, but depending on the weather and the location of the
date, they will add an extra classy touch to their outfit along with their favorite perfume. If it's a
fancy date, expect your Italian boy to show up looking like Al Pacino in Godfather Part II.
How you know they like you...
Swedes: He likes your new selfie. Sends ”What are you doing?” texts often and once you two have
met in person, he wants you to meet up more frequently. It's most likely that he will express his
feelings for you under the influence of alcohol, or take a risk by confessing it with a text message. It
can be a long and frustrating process so you have to make it easy for him.
Italians: If another man tries to flirt with you he will show his dislike. His mother definitely knows
who you are. He calls you Italian words that sounds like poetry in your ears. Tells you buongiorno
each morning and texts you during the day. But most of all, he makes you feel like a woman.
How you know it's serious...
Swedes: When you've had ”the talk”. Instead of being the one who takes the lead, many guys have
a tendency to wait forever. In general, it's a pride thing among Swedes, you don't want to be too
pushy or clingy. I mean, what if you actually end up being happy and in love?
Italians: You've met his mother more than once and been to the big Sunday lunch with la famiglia.
If it's serious, you will be introduced to his family and answer tons of questions about your values in
life and where you bought that gorgeous purse of yours. Italians are very driven by emotions and
act on them. If he wants you to be his Amore he will not leave you wondering for long. But don't
try to come between his mother or his favorite football team, they are fights you simply can not win.
How you know you're going to get married...
Swedes: There's a chance that your Swedish boy will get down on one knee to pop the big question,
but a growing gender equality in Sweden has changed these traditions over the years and it's now
more of a mutual decision. Once you are engaged, you can go years before actually getting married.
Despite the gender equality you will be responsible for planning practically every detail of the
wedding (except his suit) with your closest friends and family.
Italians: He will ask you to marry him. Be prepared to plan the wedding as a team, which includes
both families. Even though Italy is an open-minded country and the Catholic traditions aren't as
strict as before, a wedding is still considered to be a big commitment between the couple and their
families. The value of family is one of the main ingredients in the Italian society, and perhaps that's
why the rumours about Italian men haven't changed much through the years. Maybe it's the rest of
the world who needs to bring back the heart into the family, to our loved ones and into life itself?
After all, it is called La Dolce Vita.
Written by Nathalie Salomonsson
A million and one thanks to the wonderful Nathalie, my Swedish partner-in-crime and the guest writer for this very important study on the differences between dating in Italy and Sweden. You can follow her on Instagram at the link provided above. If you are non-Italian but have dating experience with Italians and would like to guest post in this "Italian Boys vs. All Other Boys" series, CONTACT ME, would love to keep adding to these. Here's what we have so far in the series:
Finally if you're a bit of a hopeless romantic, read ten very short stories which are now available as a cute collection in my first eBook: This Sweet Life. You can download it for FREE in my store! Or read the included pieces as individual posts:
Creative Writing: Call Me Baby
Creative Writing: The Butterfly Effect
Creative Writing: The Letter R (Explicit)
Creative Writing: Dear Italy (A Love Letter)
Creative Writing: Airport Arrivals
Creative Writing: Tanqueray and You
Creative Writing: A Thousand Lives
Creative Writing: A Sunday Kind of Love
Creative Writing: Perfect Strangers in Switzerland
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
Creative Writing: Mulberries in Sicily
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