In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorce, dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. People became more mobile. Rapidly developing technology played a huge role: new communication technology such as the telephone, Internet and text messaging enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact. Cars extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration. In the mid-twentieth century, the advent of birth control as well as safer procedures for abortion changed the equation considerably, and there was less pressure to marry as a means for satisfying sexual urges. New types of relationships formed; it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without children. Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of sexual orientations is becoming more common. Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through online dating.
People from Scandinavian countries prefer to listen, rather than talk, it’s their everyday way-of-life. When dating a Swedish man, you may find yourself doing most of the talking. And even if you ask him a couple of questions in a row, it’s likely he won’t respond with a question of his own, but don’t see this as a sign of disinterest. Indeed, if you come from a part of the world where women are expected to be seen and not heard, this turning of the tables could be viewed as a refreshing change. And at the same time it’s just another symptom of the slow, measured nature of the Swedes. Don’t be fooled by your contact’s relative silence –while you’re chatting about your work and family, your date is sitting back and evaluating you as a potential partner.
2. European men don’t ‘date’ – in the formal way that Americans are used to. The types of dates seen in movies – the formal ask, the fancy dinner and the entire dance that ensues simply doesn’t exist in the European mindset, in fact, the word “dating” isn’t even a part of their lexicon. Sure, they will go out for dinner and do fun activities, but it’s not packaged up in a formal and contrived manner.