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Finland Dating Guide: the ABC of Finnish Dating Culture

Oh, these tips about dating are pure gold if you have a crush on a Finnish man or woman and don’t know how to proceed.

As a Finnish woman, I am so happy to help my readers to understand Finnish culture and what to expect. There is always room for more love.

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Finland Dating Culture: From A to L

Anticipation. If you haven’t already googled, stalked on Instagram, or spied on Facebook, cancel the date and let a Finn out of their misery. You are not that into us.

Bridezilla. There is a 90% chance you will get a bridezilla if you plan to marry a Finnish woman. Unfortunately, there is no way of pointing out the 10% which are not before you kneel down. There is a 100% chance you will be a bridezilla if you are about to marry a Finnish man.  

Cuddles. There are no restrictions on PDA in Finland. That’s most likely because they are so rare. We show very little physical (and verbal) proof of our love. However, we are still totally smitten with you!  

Darkness. We are a bit somber. The best way to check the level of our darkness is to ask about our music taste. If the reply includes bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica, and Nightwish, prepare for a Finnish metal heart.  

Effective dating. Finns tend to date only one person at a time. If you are dating several people and keeping your options open, please don’t let us know and keep it super casual with us. Or even better, just don’t do that at all to a Finn.  

Flirt. How to flirt with a Finn? It’s really simple. Smile and make eye contact. Proceed to ask their name. That’s it!  

Gig or movie. A good place for the first date with a Finn. Reason for that in the letter M (as in Muteness).

House. The ultimate love testimony of a Finn is when they start building a house for their family. You can also count any massive renovation as a love testimony. Unfortunately, this also leads to the ultimate amount of fights.  

Inferno. A dating inferno for a Finn is when some old relatives ask about relationship status in front of a large group of people.  

Jester. See Jester on a second date if the first date was not downright awful. Talkative Finns (rare but they exist) might use jokes to hide insecurity. 

Kulta. The most common way to say Dear in Finnish. We are quite creative with nicknames so your sweetheart can come up with a much more personal name for you.  

Late. Finns are very clock-aware. If we are running late more than 5 minutes late, we let the other person know. Not whatsupping sorry and new time slot for arrival is rude.

















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Okay, let’s dive into the other half of alphabet!

Finland Dating Culture: From M to Z

Muteness. We Finns are at no point in our lives taught to small talk! Check this post for details. If a Finn is quiet, that doesn’t mean anything negative. Quite the opposite, most likely they are comfortable with you. Try wine, tequila or absinthe, if the situation is desperate.

Nibbling. It is a very positive sign. It means that a Finn is utterly relaxed with you. Particularly we women just love to try out food on another person’s plate. Accept it or be ready to fight for your right to have all the food on your plate. If you have a Finnish man-nibbler, set clear rules to how much you want to eat. If you don’t, your food (especially candies) may disappear within seconds.

Oneway openness. What is funny is that Finns rarely ask you questions when they are getting to know you. On the other hand, if you ask us anything (no matter how difficult or straight the question it might be), you always get an honest answer without blinking an eye.

Politeness. This is catnip to Finns as we have no please in our language. When you are normal, we think you are flirting with us. Personally, as a 16-year-old au pair in the UK, I thought the whole town loved me because of those darlings and sweethearts at the end of the sentences.

Qwerty. Your Finn may be a nerd. That’s okay; we are cute and useful. Just make sure that computer games aren’t a passion because then they, for sure, spend a lot of time with Xbox, PlayStation or World of Warcraft. On the other hand, that’s me-time for you!

Road trip. Finland is a long country so we are used to distances and driving. Pack snacks, good music and take your sweetie up north or to the coastline. We will love it.

Soulmate. In case you were wondering: having a soulmate feels like riding a cotton candy unicorn, being a top-class brain surgeon, and saving the world from all worries at the same time.

Tab. We can split the bill here.

2 coffees on a date

Upset. With us women, it is so damn easy. You can read it from our face with a neon sign. With a Finnish guy, that poker face takes months to decipher.

Voice. If you are in a relationship or dating a Finn, you really need to hear their voice and preferably see the face too. This is the modern age. If you guys are only sending messages it can be a red flag.

Whatsupping. If they are ghosting your messages again and again, move on. I’m so sorry. Most likely, they aren’t that into you but don’t say it out loud, which is stupid and immature.

Ex partners. You can ask about them but don’t let them be the subject for too long. Usually, people briefly talk around these subjects on a first date (How long has your longest relationship been? How long have you been single?).

Young. You do not ask a woman’s age in Finland. Never. Ever. Full stop.

Zone. We Finns have a need for circular personal space about 1-1,5 meters in radius. Step inside it unwanted and a Finn will step backward accordingly. This is nothing personal. It just takes time to make it to our comfort zone. When you’re in it, you stay there forever.

And it’s a wrap. That is Finland dating culture 101!

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BONUS: Long Distance Dating Tips

Even if you are not together physically for a portion of your relationship, most of these characteristics will still apply to dating a Finn. Long-distance relationships are hard, and often need a tiny spark to keep it alive.

Long distance dating in Finland

My friend Jasmin has created incredible virtual date night packages to help couples in long distant relationships. I have been in a long-distance relationship in the past and a solution like this would have worked wonders for us.

Keep in mind that when you suggest this to your Finnish partner that, culturally, they may not be accustomed to a scheduled or creative date. Encourage them to keep an open mind and enjoy a new type of romance during your virtual date night.

If there is anything you would like to know beyond these essential alphabets, just write me a message or comment below!

Looking for more information about Finnish culture and dating? Check out these posts:


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About Varpu
I’m the founder of Her Finland. I love cultural tidbits, aha moments, Finnish folklore, and cinnamon buns. My newest interest is learning bird songs. Read more about me..

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Aileen ( Johnson ) Minto

Friday 11th of November 2022

Do Finns get violent instead of emotional ??


Friday 18th of November 2022

Hei Aileen! That is a great & serious question. I'll do my best to reply. We have recent studies made about gender-based violence. There's a lot to be done regarding this. Here's the link you can google translate: For an overview of violence stats in Finland, this information is from 2016: Couldn't find a more recent reference. I didn't find any research comparing these two factors. If some of our community members are reading this comment and finds it, please link your discoveries to the comments.

Collen A Green

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Your article is very helpful for Finland dating guide I always following your advice and I do bookmark your article. I also have a site on your topic where I write about relationships, dating and marriage. You can visit my site if you want. Then the advice of the two of you will be a good guideline.

Varpu Pöyry

Tuesday 6th of October 2020

Hei there, yay, thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it!


Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Näin suomalaisena näiden ohjeiden lukeminen on erittäin hauskaa :D


Monday 7th of December 2020

Hi, Varpu. I read your blog lately and like the articles you wrote. Especially, bout the Finnish guy.

My Finnish guy, stop answering my messages this week. It never happen before. We used to have small talks (yes.. small talk) Should I be worried?

Anyway, Happy belated Independence Day!

Varpu Pöyry

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Moikka! Kiitos paljon kommentista! Tosi kiva kuulla!


Sunday 24th of May 2020

Hei! I'm dating beautiful Finn woman and we've been out twice. We didn't chat during the time before the first or second date and we now have plans for a 3rd in a week. Is it normal to just not chat when you already have plans? I've read and heard that Fins can be a little quiet and some foreigners must initiate most of the conversation - texting as well? Also - is it weird to ask a woman if she'd like a kiss for the first time? I wound up doing that as I could not really get a feel for how she felt. It was accepted but felt a little awkward for me. Faux pas?

Varpu Pöyry

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

Hi! I hope everything is going well with your dates! I can only give general tips about what tends to be normal in Finland, so please don't take my words as advice for your situation because it's impossible for me to comment on that in detail as I don't know you guys. I would hate myself if my tips would point you in the wrong direction. I'd say there's texting in most relationships. Finns can reply shortly and sometimes forget to reply. When my friends and I are whatsupping, someone always forgets to reply and it takes days until you'll hear from them. It's quite normal, I would say. Generally, it's good to initiate most of the conversation when it comes to Finns, yes. Kissing - you can definitely kiss without asking or ask if you can kiss. No rules for this. :)


Tuesday 10th of December 2019

I have just started dating A Finnish lady,she is magnificent and the majority if your article is spot on at first one feels as if they have gone down a rabbit hole,into a new world dimension but I say this,the richness and meaning one finds in silence rather than small talk is striking.I find her enchanting,genuine and she has bucket loads if SISU.

Varpu Pöyry

Friday 13th of December 2019

Hei Neil! Wow, the cutest comment ever. Thank you for sharing. Best of luck & lots of love to you guys!

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