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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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Wednesday 14th of February 2024

Article was straight forward and honest. Had some laughs.Good on you Varpo and have fun dating you all :D


Monday 18th of March 2024

Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it!


Saturday 15th of July 2023

Hei. Question on the flirting. If I'm a girl and trying to flirt with another girl, would just smiling and asking her name still count as flirting? Every time I try to imagine it, she assumes that I just want to be her friend.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Terve! I just happened to come across your article (which I enjoyed, btw) while trying to figure out if my Finnish boyfriend is acting normal by his cultural/societal standards 😂 We met online, texted back and forth for a while as friends before it even got flirty and recently he asked if I wanted to make it official with him, and now we're in a long distance relationship, jee! As I'm reading your article, everything was "normal" up until V - Voice. Sooo, strangely, I've heard his voice only because he's sang to me... but I haven't heard his speaking voice. Should I be concerned? Should I just go ahead and ask to hear his speaking voice? He's been so so kind, thoughtful, and one of the most respectful man I've met to date. I like him so much that I started learning Finnish on Duolingo just to impress him 😅 We've spoken about so much, I would've never believed that Finnish people are "quiet" if it weren't for the amount of resources that say otherwise. Any kind of advice for my situation would be greatly appreciated, kiitos!


Tuesday 18th of April 2023

Hello Varpu! I am a teen girl, and since I live in America but am also a citizen of France, I wanted to meet more people. I found this guy named Appa on a penpals app and added him on snap! We have been friends for over 50 days now. It definetly seemed like he was flirting with me at first, but he doesn't really anymore? I think I love him though... But we still talk a lot, he gives me finnish metal songs and I make him listen to classic rock. I just don't know how to read him? Please help!

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.

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