Do the Danes even date?
– Cue: not really…
In all honesty, Danes don’t really date… not in the way you might be used to dating at least.
There is no “formalized” dating structure in Denmark, no unwritten rules about who-calls-who or who-pays-on-the-date? The arrival of various dating apps might have changed how often the Danes go on dates with people they don’t already know, but the word ‘date’ is still used just as often about an already established couple who have been together for awhile.
80% of all 19-year-old Danes have had sex – so please don’t expect your Danish date to be a virgin. It does not mean that they are bad people; sex is simply a natural thing for young people to have experienced in Denmark. You have sex-ed all through primary and high school, and it’s normal for Danish parents to let their teenagers’ boyfriends/girlfriends sleep over as well.
Remember to take care of yourself and use protection – condoms are the only things that protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. It’s your own responsibility to insist on using protection, don’t let your partner convince to skip it before you’re in a monogamous relationship and have been tested for STIs. And it’s not embarrassing to tell your sexual partner to use protection – though we admit it can be awkward for everyone, also for the Danes.
Also remember that though many Danes are sexually experienced, you have every right to enforce your own personal boundaries, and say yes and no to intimate activities depending on what you want.
No matter what, sexual intercourse requires consent from the involved partners, so always make sure to have that!
Please note that consumption of alcohol neither negates nor constitutes consent in a Danish legal context. So avoid drinking so much alcohol that you are no longer able to make safe and informed decisions about sex and your body. If you believe that you were sexually assaulted, there are clinics in all of the major Danish hospitals that are designed specifically for this purpose. You are and should feel safe to report it to the police.
Most people meet their romantic partners through friends, school, work or the clubs and organisations that they are a part of, meaning that they’ve often gotten to know that person before getting involved or starting to date.
The Danish word “kærester” is considered more serious and committed than “just” dating, and can mean both boyfriend and girlfriend as well as “live in partner” in many instances.