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Swedish Dating Analyzed

by ATinNM Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 01:35:58 AM EST

Reading through my Bookmarks and came across this:

The Local: Swedish women equate jogging with sex: survey

... according to the survey of 1,774 women between the ages of 15-60, jogging is equal only to sex and time spent with the family. A third of the women replied that pounding the streets was in fact preferable to exercise between the sheets.

Further in my Bookmarks I discovered a background analysis by Moonlight on the Swedish Dating Ritual posted on the Lost In Stockholm blog which starts:

With one of the highest birth rates in Europe, the Swedes seem to be pretty prolific when it comes to making babies, but even after six plus years of living in Stockholm, I'm still not sure how Swedish relationships actually happen.

and goes in an exhaustive analysis of the subject.

I thought would be of interest to the ET community.


She, I assume (no Swedish male or a male having even  one gene that once passed through Sweden on its way to the Crimea during the Age of Migration would talk about this stuff,) goes on to analyze thusly [Note: My notes will be in square brackets headed by the word "Note" and a colon ":";  see the notation at the beginning of this Note for an example of how I shall note my Notes]:

In a nutshell, it goes something like this:

[Note: My notes will reside outside the blockquoted blocks.  As this one is.]

A) Meet at a mutual friend's party.

B) Get really, really drunk.

[Note:  It is a puzzlement why resealable bottles of anything containing ethyl-alcohol is sold or purchased in Sweden.]

C) Make out. Sex is optional.

[Note: Jogging seems to be not an option at this stage.]

D) If you're lucky, you are sober enough to save the other person's telephone number in your mobile, AND to put it under the correct name.

E) Send a text message along the lines of "last night was nice. Shall we have a coffee sometime?"

F) Spend hours analyzing the various ways in which aforementioned text message could be misinterpreted. Get your friends involved.

[Note: this is another hint of girlish origination.  A Swedish male may, or may not agonize over being misinterpreted.  He would definitely NEVER involve his friends.]

G) Have a "fika."

A "fika" is a Swedish word for an ambiguous meeting that may or may not be a date, or better explained as a non-date, or a date that is pretending-not-to-be-a-date.

[Note:  Or that might have been a date, or could have been a date, or will have had maybe have been a date - I'll text you.]

It is also worth mentioning that one can also have a fika with a friend, colleague, family member, or neighbor. Hence the ambiguity of the whole affair.

[Note: Once one has grasped ambiguity in all its tastes and flavors one has grasped the essence of Sweden.  Swedish has the words "Yes" (Ja) and "No" (Nej) but they are never used in polite company.  In fact, Swedes had to import the word "Ja" from German during the Hanseatic Era (c.13th-17th centuries.)]

During this "fika" Swedish non-date, things are a little stilted and awkward as both parties pretend that nothing happened last Saturday night, and politely and awkwardly ask questions about the other person, usually beginning with "Where do you live?," descending into a discussion about the difficulty and frustration of the Stockholm housing market, and complaining that you have had to move seven times in the course of six months.

[Note: The Stockholm housing market puts paid to old myth Swedes lack a sense of humor.  Only a people deeply encompassing and appreciating the entire range of comedy from the most intellectual use of irony all the way to pie hurling slap-stick could even conceive, much less tolerate, the Stockholm housing market.]

Now, where were we...oh yes:

H) At the end of this date pretending not to be a date, give each other an awkward hug, or possibly a handshake, ended with the statement, "Vi hörs!" or "Hoppas vi ses snart!" ("I'll talk to you soon." or "Hope we see each other soon!")

I) Spend the entire next week pondering over who should make the next move. A WORD OF WARNING: It is not assumed here that the guy will take the lead. More likely, the opposite is expected. If the Swedish guy is brave enough open his mouth and say something at all during this date, he may feel that it is now the girl's turn to put herself out on a limb.

[Note: Male genes for emotionality were removed from Scandinavia and Sweden in particular over a thousand years ago.  Those males who got easily twitterpatted and bent of shape ended up dead through feud, holmgang, ambush, ship raids, having their house burned down with them inside, & etc.  And if you're dead you don't have all that many children to pass your genes along to the following generations.]

J) Spend many more hours analyzing your feeble attempts at text message"flirting," agonizing over whether you should or should not use the word "mysig" (cozy) or "trevlig" (nice), fearing the former may be too much, and the latter may not be enough. Once again, enlist the help of your friends.

K) Repeat Step A.

L) Repeat Step B.

M) Repeat Step C, all the while pretending it never happened the first time.

N) Sometime after several more renditions of Steps B and C, go out to dinner.

[Note: This is why Swedes make such excellent engineers.  Recursion, iteration, and negative and positive feed-back loops are inherent in the culture.]

O) Since it's a little harder to pretend you are not on a real date in the formal atmosphere of a restaurant, drink massive amounts of the house wine.

P) At the end of dinner, closely examine the bill to make sure each person pays for his or her appropriate share, including the extra five kronor for dressing on the side.

Q) Get kicked out of your way-too-expensive second-hand rental contract because the person you were subletting from didn't take 10 study points and lost his/her contract for student housing.

R) Get drunk again, and commiserate on the horrors of the Stockholm housing market.

[Note:  See Note re: Stockholm housing market, above.]

S) Move in together.

T) Go shopping at Ikea.

[Note: Before the existence of Ikea everybody in Sweden sat on rocks and slept in a fern covered hollow dug into the ground.]

U) Take a romantic trip to the Canary Islands.

V) Move to the suburbs, buy a Volvo and start collecting "Vuxenpoäng."

[Note: "Vuxenpoäng" translates, kinda, as "Adult Points" but it's a much subtler concept.  Generally speaking one collects Vuxenpoäng by preforming an act or purchasing a material object voluntarily - Key! - of what is deemed, conceived, or classified to be of an 'Adult-type' attributes or properties.  I direct people to Starvid and/or a swedish kind of death for further, and expert, elucidation.]

W) Have a child.

X) Name it Johan, Erik, Fredrik, or Henrik if it's a boy or Sara, Anna, Lisa, or Emma if it's a girl.

[Note:  All female names in Sweden end in the letter "a."  This was mandatory in the Västgötalagen, (ca. 1225-1250 AD) the earliest text of Swedish Law we have.  Anthropologists and archeologists specializing in Scandinavia history suspect a tradition reaching back to the Late Bronze Age Jastorf Culture, 600 BC to 1 AD.]

Y) Two months after you go back to work after having Johan/Erik/Fredrik/Henrik/Sara/Anna/Lisa/Emma, repeat Step W.

[Note: Or, if female as the aforementioned research states, go jogging.]

Z) Enjoy an additional 18 months of parental leave.

Å) Get married for your 20th dating anniversary.

[Note: It makes no sense to rush into anything.]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Reading those two things caused me to bust a gut laughing.  At myself.  Even tho' I'm three generations away from my Swedish ancestors, it's humorous ... I think it's humorous, anyway ... how much of that cultural patterning was passed down through the family and I imprinted without stepping one foot in Sweden.
 

Display:
Cultural continuity is one of those areas where the US and Europe doesn't match well.  (I'm guessing.)  Most Americans, and definitely most Lefties, don't place much value on it, either; we grant a higher value to cultural change, flux, and The New.  

So it was an eye opening experience to realize continuity - in broad strokes - in my own "doings."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 01:47:06 AM EST
European Tribune - Swedish Dating Analyzed
if you're dead you don't have all that many children to pass your genes along to the following generations.

<light flickers on>

Oh. So that's what Darwin meant.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 02:23:05 AM EST
I was startled also.  One of the wonders of the internet is being able to delve into these scientific mysteries and come away with previously unknown, perhaps unknowable, insights.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:11:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lol.

Interestingly enough, alcohol consumption among teenagers has gone down the last few years, a sharp contrast to almost every year since Sweden joined the EU, and had to dismantle some of the alcohol control.

European Tribune - Comments - Swedish Dating Analyzed

Å) Get married for your 20th dating anniversary.

Something like that yes. I think I have been to more weddings with people who already got children, then the other way around. Having looked at the legal side of it, young couples without children does not have much incentive to marry. Taxes, health insurance, the Stockholm housing market and such are not affected by marriage status. Sambolagstiftningen covers couples that live unmarried together and basically states that stuff bought for the common household is common property.

When people get children they start to plan longterm and that involves marriage, because the inheritance laws are quite different if you are married or not.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 07:30:46 AM EST
Heh. My cousins parents got married like last year, after having three children (the oldest older than I) and living together for like 30 years. The reason: my aunt read a newspaper article about inheritance laws.

The next day they went to city hall and got married. Afterwards they had pizza.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 09:27:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An article about Stieg Larsson's estate, presumably?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:12:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps, but there are other tricky things except people leaving unclear wills.

Say that two persons are married and has children, and they only has children within that marriage. If one of the parents die, then the surviving parent inherits, the kids are going to inherit it all one day anyway.

If on the other hand the parents are not married, the kids inherits. If a minor has sizeable wealth (say a portion a house in Stockholm) the local government appoints a legal guardian to make sure that their wealth is managed prudently. I have heard of cases where the surviving parent and the guardian disagreed on whether it was a good investment to fix up the house they lived in (and the kids owned half of). It is a potential nightmare, and marriage makes a bad situation a bit more manageable.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 07:38:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, it was not an unclear will, it was a will that had not been filed or witnessed properly. According to said will the Socialist Party's Umeå chapter inherited all, and they in turn declared that they signed over any claims unto Stieg's girlfriend as they do not believe in the limitations imposed by the bourgeois ritual of marriage (or something like that).

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 07:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 11:01:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
need a lot of carbs for all that (horizontal?) jogging!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 09:20:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's funny because it's so Swedish.

To Do List:

  1.  Make breakfast

  2.  Clean dishes

  3.  Clean Kitchen

  4.  Wash the front entryway

  5.  Get Married

  6.  Take family out for pizza

  7.  Go shopping for children's clothing:
    (a) shoes for Sonja
    (b) Erik needs some new underwear

  1.  Grocery shopping for various foodstuffs (in tubes)

  2.  Answer text messages

etc, etc, etc.



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 08:42:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly enough, alcohol consumption among teenagers has gone down the last few years

You mean they've discovered it IS possible to stop before everything in the house, including the aftershave, is consumed?

Wow.

:-D

When people get children they start to plan longterm and that involves marriage, because the inheritance laws are quite different if you are married or not.

Scandinavian culture hasn't, to my knowledge, ever placed a lot of social stigma on children born out of wedlock.  Has put a lot of emphasis on inheritance and inheritance laws.  I think it stems from the fact up until about 100 years ago agriculture was the mainstay of the majority and the more kids the merrier -- they can help with all that darn work during the short summers -- combined with the somewhat limited amount, considering the total land area, usable for farming.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:58:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ATinNM:
Interestingly enough, alcohol consumption among teenagers has gone down the last few years

You mean they've discovered it IS possible to stop before everything in the house, including the aftershave, is consumed?

Wow.

:-D

Actually, I would bet that the amount drunk per drinking binge is about the same, but the frequency of binges has gone down. Ungdomsstyrelsen (The Board of Youth Administration?) credits computers as online activities are not a social setting that includes much alcohol.

ATinNM:

When people get children they start to plan longterm and that involves marriage, because the inheritance laws are quite different if you are married or not.

Scandinavian culture hasn't, to my knowledge, ever placed a lot of social stigma on children born out of wedlock.  Has put a lot of emphasis on inheritance and inheritance laws.  I think it stems from the fact up until about 100 years ago agriculture was the mainstay of the majority and the more kids the merrier -- they can help with all that darn work during the short summers -- combined with the somewhat limited amount, considering the total land area, usable for farming.

It has gone up and down. Before Christianity there does not appear to have been any notion of difference between kids born in marriage or outside. And all land belonged to the ätt (clan). With Christianity the difference was introduced, though kids conceived under promise of marriage was legitimate as long as the parents eventually wed (preferably before the child was born, but it was not legally necessary) and under medival law (1340, but it is still medieval in Sweden) there was a difference between frillobarn that were out of wedlock, but accepted and horbarn that were out of wedlock and not accepted. Frillobarn could inherit, or as the law puts it:

Magnus Erikssons landslag - Wikisource

XVI. Moþer skal föþa frillobarn sit þer til þet þriggia ara gamalt ær, siþan föþe þet faþer til þes æt þet ær siu ara gamalt; ligge þo bæggia þers varnaþer a þer til æt þet ær siu ara. §. 1. Nu leghis barne foster moþer, ok fordæruas þet barn af vanrykt, þet agher biskoper at skoþa, huar þet barnit skal ater fasta.

XVII. Nu kan frillobarne pæninga væxa, falder þet barn fra ok æru þer pæninga æfter, ok liuer æftir faþer ok moþer, taki faþer tua lyti ok moþer þriþiung; ær annat þera æfter, taki alt saman. Æru ei þe til, gange sua þet arf sum all annor arf. §. 1. Frillobarn skal æruas sum all annor arf, æn ei ma þet mera ærua æn tua marker æfter faþor ok ena æfter moþor. Fa aþalkunu barn arf til siæx marka, þa taki frillobarn fulla þre marker, huat þe æru flere ællæ færre; ær aruit minna, taki alz ænkte; hauer han mera, taki ei þo mera æn þre marker.

XVIII. Aflar man barn i hordom, frænsæmio, guzciua lagh ællæ {skylskap} [sifskapspiæl], þe barn se skild viþ all arf.

Things got worse for kids born out of wedlock, but as soon as the mid 19th century Stockholmsäktenskap was coined for the habit of living together under marriage like circumstances, but not being married. (Particularly common among the working class in Stockholm.)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 07:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An excellent text, and spot-on!

When it comes to Vuxenpoäng I'd not translate it as "Adult Points", as that sounds like Adult film or something. A better translation would be "Grown-up points", and they are collected by doing stuff like getting a drivers license, moving to your own place, buying a dog or an IKEA sofa, actually checking that orange pension envelope they send you, trying to plan your taxes so as to reduce them, wearing suit and tie at other times than graduations and funerals, and so on.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 09:23:15 AM EST
Tack.

Most of the credit needs to go to Moonlight.  I tagged along behind her keen insight.  :-)

Went round and round trying to find the right translation for vuxen.  According to Norstedts online dictionary either "adult" or "grown up" is correct lexically, I wasn't sure of the extra-dictionary - call it - group of mental associations 'tween the two.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:08:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well Adult may be more correct in Formal writing, but in  the badlands of the internet, the slang meaning is more likely to be taken, especially when surrounded by quotation marks and it can be read as euphemism

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:35:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's cognate with German wachsen and the archaic English to wax meaning to grow. The past participle of the Swedish verb växer is vuxit, grown.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tack Tack

are things arranged very differently in the other scandinavian lands?

where's the finn's eye-view? still unpacking?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jul 16th, 2010 at 09:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
6 boxes to go, but until the kitchen is finished I'm in limbo.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jul 17th, 2010 at 02:43:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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