The Norwegian Dating Culture

Written by eric erickson
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The Norwegian Dating Culture
Norway's cold climate belies its romantic atmosphere (midsummernight@norway image by muehle from Fotolia.com)

The dating culture in Norway reflects, in many ways, the culture of other developed European countries and the United States. However, Norwegian culture is also reflective of its own small, homogeneous population.

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Norwegian Culture

Norwegian men and women have among the highest life expectancies in the world and fertility rates among European countries second only to Iceland and Ireland. Although Norway has an ageing population, it has no shortage of young adults starting families. As with other Scandinavian countries, Norwegian men and women have developed dating practices that are outwardly progressive while remaining humble in spirit. With a recent influx of asylum seeking immigrants that has altered the homogeneity somewhat, Norwegian men and women are open to outsiders in the dating world, as long as they are not subject to archaic traditions and values. Class stratification is rare in Norwegian social interaction and the culture instils the notion that mates should be chosen based on compatibility and with goals of equal partnership. While marriage remains popular, Norway has seen cultural acceptance of unmarried cohabitation and alternative lifestyles.

Jante Law and Dating

Jante Law consists of cultural premises that have influence in many facets of Norwegian life. The law, which has tenets of humility, fosters the goal of equal partnerships in dating. Women may be accepted as just as aggressive as men, or as passive. Concern for the other person, and concern for the greater community, are stressed over one's own needs. Balanced against the modern trend of individualistic pursuits, Norwegian singles enter the dating world armed with few precepts of gender expectations and blessed with a freedom from cultural baggage.

Egalitarianism and Equality

Norwegian women have made strides toward gender equality since the 1960s. Norwegian state schools enforce the absence of gender roles and Norwegian women have achieved great success in business, politics and with overall earning. Economic and cultural equality, and the egalitarian philosophy prevalent among Norwegians, strips the dating environment to its most basic. Neither men nor women are expected to initiate a relationship, and neither gender is expected to be the breadwinner of the household or the homemaker. Males seeking a submissive partner will have trouble finding one among Norwegian women, and Norwegian women may be shocked to find that Western values may wish to confine them to traditional gender roles.

Marriage and Divorce

According to everyculture.com, 38 per cent of adult Norwegians are married, a figure that has decreased by 9 per cent since 1978. During this period of time, the divorce rate has doubled, prompting many to blame progressive cultural trends and gender equality for the destruction of marriage as an institution. In 2008, Norway legalised gay marriage under strong opposition from traditionalists who felt that this would further destroy the nuclear family. However, according to the "Nordic Statistical Yearbook," divorce rates in Nordic countries have stabilised since 1990.

Internet

Norwegian singles are demographically well-educated, humble and egalitarian in their beliefs. According to Statistics Norway, 70 per cent of Norwegians use the Internet daily. They enjoy the resources that the modern world of dating provides, including Internet matching sites, singles clubs and nightlife in cities such as Oslo and Bergen.

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