What Is It Like to Date a Man from Norway?

What can one expect when dating someone who comes from the stronghold of the Vikings? We’ll find out in today’s article that gives you a complete guide to Norwegian men.

Many Norwegian men are the typical blond-haired, pale-skinned, and blue-eyed males of strong Scandinavian descent, but you will also find diverse physical traits in modern Norway.

Above their external appeal, there is a need to understand the inherent traits and habits of Norway to enjoy dating a Norwegian man.

Once you get to know the cultural predispositions in dating Norwegians, you will surely learn to love their ways, appreciate their different gestures, and understand the direction of the conversation.

Here are some major points to ponder on what it would be like to date a Norwegian man (and here is a guide to Norwegian women, in case you’ve landed in the wrong place)

Let’s start at the very beginning:

How to tell a Norwegian man likes you

couple in Norway

There will be no amorous descriptions of your beauty or smart pick-up lines involved in most cases. Norwegian men are, by nature, more of the shy and passive type. So he might never tell you directly that he likes you.

Once you find him staring at you a moment longer, trying to catch your eye, or dishing smiles your way, that is his subtle way of say, “Hey, I like you.”

No, they are not ogling nor are they trying to embarrass you – not at all! This might be the time to come up to him and introduce yourself cordially. Or at least look at him and smile to give him the hint that he can make the next step.

If you want to make sure you know everything there is to be known about making him realize that you’re the perfect woman for him, check this site out. It’s the absolute best and extremely helpful!

You should set up the dates

Dating is not a big Norwegian thing. There are no gender roles in Norway. Everyone is treated fairly and equally, so the romantic and chivalrous roles of a man are prevalently absent.

Men in Norway tend to avoid situations that will make a woman uncomfortable – this includes asking a lady out – she may not like him and might find it awkward to refuse.

So, many Norwegian men opt to wait until the women show interest and ask them out. So at least show some interest if you don’t want to be the one making the first step!

When setting a date with a Norwegian man, be casual about the process. Don’t compliment upfront that you like his eyes or that he smells good. This might be too much, too soon.

However, you can ask for his number, call him off working hours. Recently, with the surge of dating sites and apps (these are the best ones in Scandinavia), you can search and if he is on one of them, you can also channel your invitation to connect here.

woman texting

If you catch him staring at you in a party or a pub, they always say try to catch him after a few drinks, but not when he has had too many.

That way, he can muster the strength to talk to you while still have his wits about to remember your name!

Set Something Casual

Dinner is definitely not a suitable idea for the first date in Norway. It is only for established relationships, so do not invite your Norwegian man immediately for dinner.

Meeting up for a cup of coffee is more appropriate, as it is the case with Swedish men for example and their fika culture (coffee culture). Expect to see this very casual approach to dating throughout Scandinavia.

Prepare to split the bills!

Bill-splitting is normal practice when couples go out in Norway. If you are used to the man paying for the entire first date, this is not applicable here.

Don’t be offended though! He is not cutting corners – this is just their way of respecting you as a woman. Women in Norway are characterized as independent and equals to men.

Being the white knight in a galloping horse is actually a bad idea in Norway. After all, they are Vikings! Speaking of which, here are some amazing Viking name ideas for boys and girls in case things turn our really well with your partner.

Conversation No-no’s – Know Them

handsome Norwegian man

Norwegians, in general, have a non-confrontational nature so expect your man to drift towards topics that can be interesting yet non-inflammatory.

Do not talk about religion, especially on the first few dates, as this topic is very personal for them.

Inflammatory politics and controversial stances are also some of the subjects you must shy away from. Drama and hysterics just won’t work with them.

Tête-à-tête Pointers

No to Negative Nancy – Norwegians have been raised to strive to look at the brighter side of things. So, in your conversations, you might get chided if you get too whiny and complaining.

You might need to reorient your thinking a bit, but it will turn out better for your soul in the end.

Positivity is reflected in their calm and relaxed nature, which is most likely why Alfred Noble established the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo despite his being Swedish.

Don’t Pry About Family – Intensely protective of the privacy of his family, the Norwegian man will not consider talking about his siblings or parents as appropriate conversation fodder for the first few dates.

Try to Learn the Language – While most Norwegians are very fluent English speakers, they highly appreciate individuals who go the extra mile to learn their language.

This counts heavily when you get deeper into the relationship and get introduced to the family members. Knowing Norwegian will get you some positive points.

Swedish Jokes – You will find conversations peppered with jokes about the Swedish. It might be downright funny and some may border on the offensive.

Just learn to be open-minded and be assured that he is comfortable enough with you to share jokes of an insider nature to it.

Should your meet-up progress into a second or third date, it is not unusual for Norwegian men to invite their dates to stay the night.

good looking man from Norway

Getting intimate is not a dealbreaker nor is it weighed as heavily as it is in other cultures. Don’t misconstrue it as promiscuity or liberalness – they just consider it part of the compatibility test.

If this does not infringe on your personal beliefs, then, by all means, check out if you are matched horizontally – you will not be judged.

Just have in mind that Norwegian men are usually reluctant to commit. If you really want to get the upper hand in making him 100% yours, this guide is the absolute best and the only one you need to read.

Tips to know when dating a Norwegian man

If this progresses to a more serious getting-to-know-you, here are more tips that you must bear in mind.

1. Be Punctual!

If your date is scheduled for a mealtime, it would help to know that they have 4 – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and kveldsmat.

Dinner can begin at 4 pm up to 7 pm. Because of their long days, dinner is called “middag” or midday.

So, what is a kveldsmat? You can probably explain it easily as “breakfast at night.” Don’t be surprised if you get invited to one! Make sure to get there in time.

And always ask for a specific time – not “around dinner time”. Set a time and get there in time. It’s not customary to let the man wait.

2. Be Ready for Sandwiches and More Sandwiches… and Butter

Sandwiches or smørbrød can be served all day long in Norwegian meals so get used to it. Another staple is butter which you will find conveniently on the majority of Norwegian spreads.

You will find everything from jams to herring to pair with cheese and butter on open-faced sandwiches. Just remember to make your sandwiches modest and do not go overboard with the toppings.

Norwegians love to eat simply and if you pile up the pålegg (anything that goes on the smørbrød except butter) you might look like a glutton.

3. The Sacred Sunday Stroll

As your relationship progresses, you will be invited to join your date on a Sunday stroll. Mind you, they can hike, explore, and walk the trails, parks, and forests no matter what the weather.

They simply love the outdoors and walking. Don’t worry though. This is a sort of informal tradition practices not only by couples but also families and individuals so you will find lots of places where you can stop for coffee, waffles, and yes, smørbrød.

4. The Skiing Factor

Norwegian man outdoors

At some point, expect to go skiing with your Norwegian man. He will most like own more than one pair of skis.

People in Norway love their winters and their national sport which – you guessed it! – skiing. Be ready to learn and tumble in the snow.

Hopefully, this is your thing because it is an inevitability if you get into a settled relationship in Norway.

5. The Cabin in the Mountains

While your Norwegian man may love the warmer months, they do love their winters a bit more. Taking a cue from their affinity to skiing, holidays and vacations are often held in a cabin in the mountains.

It may not even involve skiing! Many families, couples, and even single people enjoy communing with nature and spending time bonding in what is dubbed cabin holidays.

It can go as rustic as a basic lodge with no electricity and a well for water to cottages that are luxurious and modern.

Regardless of the accommodation, you can expect hyttekos (cabin cosiness) ambiance and ample time for some quality togetherness.

6. Be Direct and Open-Minded

In the course of dating a Norwegian man, you might find that he might talk very bluntly, bordering on offensive. Take everything with a grain of salt. They do not mean to offend you.

In fact, culture dictates that upsetting someone is not their nature. It’s just matter-of-fact talk that some cultures find to be too frank.

They might ask about your 5-year plan or chide you if you are acting childish. Remember that women are the men’s equal in Norway. You would not want to be talked down to.


Even though your man might live in Hell (which is actually small village in Norway with a stone’s throw of Trondheim’s international airport), getting to know him and his ways better will bring an enjoyable and fruitful relationship together.

Always remember than when dating someone of a different culture, set aside your preconceived notions of love, romance, and dating. Learn their ways so you can bridge the gap. That way, they will also be open to learning more about yours.

If you have personal experiences and advice about men in Norway, don’t hesitate to let us all know by commenting below.

Editor’s note: This article was written by my good friend Mary, who spent the past 7 years exploring and enjoying living in Denmark, Sweden and Norway and during this time she had the opportunity to test, first-hand, how the men in this area are. You can check her thoughts on Swedish men or men in Denmark.

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24 thoughts on “What Is It Like to Date a Man from Norway?”

  1. I have a Norwegian bf. Before I thought we broke up because he did not message me back for 2 days. But when he talked to me again he said it was bcoz he was busy. His work is demanding. Then we got back together. He was sweet and put more effort and time but after 2 weeks he did not talk to me again for 2 days and when back he talks like everything was normally fine. Is it normal for norwegians or is that part of playing it cool thing? are they really not accustomed to talking to their gfs everyday? He didn’t even say sorry or explain why he dont talk to me for 2 days the last time Im getting confused if he likes me or not coz he could go for days not talking to me but we were talking about children marriage and our future life. idk if im being disregarded and unimportant to him or was he just busy and i have to be more understanding or is he unloyal or flirting with a lot of girls? idk what to think here..Can anyone here pls enlighten me Im not really familiar with any European culture tbh

    • Hi Janina,
      Hard to say in you’re case, but it would be normal to at least say you’re busy the next days. But rarely too busy to ignore you all day.
      On the other side, if you are too needy, then many would enjoy “some time off”. And in some cases look for other women. But that is global and not just a Norwegian thing I think..

      BR from a Norwegian guy
      Good luck!

      • I agree with that. Also Erik may I ask how can one impress a Norwegian guys mother? I’m Greek so we have very different cultures when it comes to dating but my boyfriend is Norwegian and we’ve been pretty serious to the point of meeting each others families and moving in together.
        In my culture you usually cook something or bring cake and flowers to the guys mom but I know that would be seen as something weird in Norway.
        PS he is from Leknes Lofoten (so yeah, he is full Viking descent)
        Tusen takk!!!

        • Hi Serena , how did it go ? I’m curious to hear your story because I can somehow relate to it. I’m also dating a Norwegian guy who is hot and cold . My heart wants me to love him but my brain says he is not the one for me.

  2. I wouldn’t say that this is normal, although not necessarily a sign that he doesn’t care for you. Completely ignoring you for two days in a row is a bit much but I think your best bet here is to simply bring this up next time you meet. Maybe thins is just the way he is – but if you’re talking about future, marriage and kids, it wouldn’t be normal for him not to talk to you for two days straight, no matter how busy he is. Especially now when it takes 2 seconds to send a text or a smile via the internet.

  3. I have met a guy originally from Norway and moved to the US, I have video chatted with him several times but text most of the time. I am thrown by his voice as it’s soft and sounds more like a female voice rather than what I am accustom to hearing of a US man. Is that normal for men from Norway to sound feminine. He states he is not gay, downlow, or bisexual, not sure what’s up with the voice?

    • People from South /South East Norway sounds feminine to my Northern Norway ears. They end every sentence on a high pitch and many people think it sounds feminine I heard from my foreign friends. But the rest of the country doesn’t do this.

  4. My Norwegian boyfriend and I have been together for over 2 and a half years in a long distance relationship (I’ll be moving to Norway soon though). We used to see each other about once or twice a month before the pandemic. He only texts me every now and then, and we haven’t had a phone call in over a month. I know that his job is demanding but I need to know if it’s normal in Norway to ignore people you ‘love’? I also feel like Norwegians are very cold and think that cheating on a partner is the norm.

    • This is not true at all. Norwegians hate cheaters with a passion. We normally take great pride in our honestly and loyalty.

      We’re not cold either, we just come of that way to others because we’re blunt and have different ideas about personal space and equality than many other cultures.

      It’s not normal to ignore people you love. For few days maybe if there is a lot going on and it’s nothing urgent, but not all the time. If by “ignore” you mean he’s not called you without any indication that you want him to call then it’s different. We’ll try to assess how much attention you want based on how much attention you give us.

      If you’re used to him always messaging first or calling first then he might have just started to assume that you don’t want very much interaction. Or maybe you talked a lot at first and then it just naturally died down when there wasn’t that much left to talk about.

      We don’t normally love talking on the phone or texting, so he might think you’re the same way so he’s just giving you your space. Maybe he figures you’ll have plenty of time to talk when you get there or something.

      I don’t know, but if you’re texting or calling him often then it definitely wouldn’t be natural to ignore you.

  5. Hey love, so as a Greek woman dating a Norwegian guy here is my experience. The two of us are 20-year-old university students atm, we surely got that in common, but our cultures are way too different, and getting together with him was the most difficult thing possible on my end. Let’s say that meanwhile, my culture is super passionate and intimate, his likes to keep their personal space…well…personal.
    Scandinavian men aren’t as attached to their gf as Americans. He still loves you and you’re important to him but you’re not his first priority and he assumes he is not yours either. Also Scandinavian guys, especially Norwegians are loyal af. Not romantic but definitely loyal.
    When I first met my bf I was on a hiking trip with my friends. We had just finished our first year and we wanted to celebrate. After that we went to a small bar and I saw him. He was quiet…something that in my culture is considered rude, and he seemed uninterested, till he got a bit tipsy and we ended up making out. Though the next day when I ran into him he was being all monotone and uninterested looking and kind of awkward…though as soon as I walked a block away he messaged me and asked me to go for a walk with him.
    It took me a whole summer to figure him out and I kid you not when I told him I liked him he said “I mean, you are my girlfriend after all…” I was lowkey in shock. He admitted that he was just being respectful with my personal space. We’ve been together for a year and well…it’s a long-distance relationship (for now, due to the pandemic). I’m planning on going back next year to meet his family and we are planning on moving in together when I do my masters there.
    I hope this was a bit helpful.

  6. I think, in the end people arw individuals with individual traits although there might be cultural collective behaviours. Having dated a Norwegian, I must say he was far the most genuine and warm person i have ever been with. The 50/50 split on dates did not apply to him. Yes he was very impressed with me when i learned his language, as I was with him learning mine. Another thing i found common in Norway like skiing was sailing.

  7. I married my Norwegian viking, who I met in Oslo many years ago. We were together 31 years before cancer took his life. He was my soulmate. I am Australian. I found Norwegian men loved how some women from other cultures in comparison to their own Norwegian women, make a fuss over them and look after them. My hubby used to comment on that a lot. Because in Norway as this article says, the women there are different to women in other cultures who are still trained to look after their man and his needs and care about if he’s hungry or comfortable etc… If you really want to find a way to a Norwegian man’s heart, that is the key…

    • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like you both shared a very special connection. I hope that with time you can find peace and healing. I just want to say that I’m Australian and I can relate to you falling for a Norwegian. I have been learning the language and slowly figuring out the cultural differences along the way. Even though Australia is isolated from Norway, it is lovely think that we can still bond and learn so much about each others cultural differences.

  8. I’ve been talking to a wonderful Norwegian man online for the last 4 months, he was messaging me every day and we would talk for hours on zoom calls but for the last 3 weeks he’s seemed distant and i’ve only had a handful of messages and not spoken to him on zoom for over a month.

    I am flying to Norway to meet him next month but he hasn’t set anything in stone but reading above this is normal? I have been feeling like maybe he’s losing interest and i don’t like to message him too much as i don’t want to annoy him but having read the above I wonder if having not heard from him for 5 days I should message him so he knows i’m thinking about him….

    I’m from the UK and aware that the cultures are different so I don’t want to leave it and have him think i’m not interested as I think this could really be something special.

    • I would always say that in situations like this, it’s better to have a chat. No reason to fly to a foreign country to see that he actually lost interest in you.

      Such a sudden change in attitude could mean that something’s wrong. Or maybe he doesn’t have as much time on his hands as before… but do ask him about this.

  9. Hello, Daniel.

    I would just like to ask for some advice on how it is with dating a Norwegian guy since it’s my first time having a boyfriend from Norway.

    So, last month 2020 we met online but we haven’t talked a lot. I wasn’t serious and so was he. Then 2021, he started video calling me or audio calling me, our communication was better. We talked a lot about our previous relationship, about our life in general. Fast forward, he was telling me that he loves me and that he would want to see me but of course, the pandemic hindered it. He had this habit of being hot and cold. Sometimes he is very expressive and sweet when we talk. Sometimes just very short answers. But we often exchange I love you’s already. We talked for two years before we met personally due to covid 19.

    I was constantly asking him if he’s going to come and see me personally. He always had the same reply. He said he’s coming to meet me. I believed him though I had doubts but my guts were telling me to and I am so happy I did.

    This year he finally came and met me in person. We talked and drank. I still didn’t know if we were exclusive or not or maybe I was just paranoid. The second night we were together, I asked him if about “us’ and he said that I am his girlfriend. I was very happy to hear about it because I love him so much as well and I can see myself having a family with him.

    My concern is that he sometimes goes off and on. I mean he goes off for like two or three days without messaging me or giving me some updates. When were together, I actually asked him about it. I told him that I am afraid that when he goes back to Norway, he would do the same thing, like wont reply to me for a couple of days. He replied, he did it because we did not meet at that time yet. He knows that I don’t like it. He wants me to visit Norway but I don’t know his plans yet.

    I love him and I don’t wanna ruin this relationship just because I don’t QUITE understand the dating culture or Norwegian guy.

    I have no other complains only that sometimes he goes off without giving me some updates or messaging me.MY questions are: Is it normal for a Norwegian man to go off for like a day , two days or even more? Am I just being paranoid? How should I deal with this on and off thing?

  10. Hi, I have met Norwegian man online and twice we meet in Person and we have a good conversation. He told me he likes me and we plan to meet again. But I saw his phone chatting with another woman the same country as mine.

    We argue about other woman and he told me he didn’t want to commit unless we go intimate to see if were really compatible. Do you agree about this?

    Thank you for your advice

    • While it does make sense for somebody to commit once they’re sure they’re 100% compatible with their partner, I would still consider it a red flag.

      He might use this just to convince you to do the “wild thig” and still be interested in other women. You can’t really know for sure, so in the end the solution depends on your risk tolerance.

  11. It’s so interesting that they talk here about such a feature as ignore, coldness in communication, and cheating, and they mean Norwegian men… it seems to me that nationality here, in principle, does not matter! This is a feature of character, upbringing… I came across this and these men were not from Norway.

    • I would rather agree, but probably such a character and such behavior of men still takes place. There is such an expression as Nordic character, northern… cold… local people reflect the nature around them. I like Norwegians, although I have never dated a Norwegian, there is something attractive about them!


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