Dating Danes: learning the (missing?) language of love in Denmark artwork
What The Denmark | Danish Culture for Expats, Internationals and Danes

Dating Danes: learning the (missing?) language of love in Denmark

  • S3E7
  • 49:40
  • January 18th 2023

For a culture that is normally so practical and matter-of-fact (see Separate Duvets), Danes seem to find it surprisingly difficult to talk about relationships.

Compared with other cultures, it’s rare in Denmark to ask someone out on a date in person (unless drunk) and there’s often missing vocabulary around defining what relationships are (there’s no direct translation for “dating”).

All this means that non-Danes (and to some extent, Danes) can really struggle with navigating the world of relationships in Denmark. 

In this episode we seek to explore why, and offer advice on what to do!

Sam and Josefine are joined in the studio by Line Kirsten Nikolajsen, a radio presenter at DR (the Danish national broadcaster) who used to present Giftekniv, a show all about helping young people in the world of dating. 

In the episode we cover:

  • Advice on how to approach a Danish person you think looks hot
  • How to do a first date in Denmark
  • A warning on saying “I love you” to a Dane
  • Differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships
  • The gender (in)equality in Danish relationships
  • Danes (perhaps) being more comfortable dating friends than strangers
  • Experiences dating in Denmark vs abroad

And several times investigating the sense that Danes (as a general rule) struggle to talk about romantic feelings, and how that is reflected in the Danish language.

We had some additional help on this episode from student journalist Frida Rottländer who joined us in the studio, and Sue-Angel Nyleti who conducted additional research.

A few things that we spoke about include

If you have any thoughts on this episode please do comment on our Instagram - we’d love to hear what you think!


This episode is sponsored by Talent to Denmark's "State of Denmark" campaign.

Denmark is actively looking to attract international talent to move to the country. If you're interested to learn more about jobs in (one of) the happiest countries in the world, head to


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What The Denmark | Danish Culture for Expats, Internationals and Danes

Danish culture can be pretty confusing, especially if you are not from Denmark.

This podcast is on a mission to resolve cultural confusion in the country.

Co-hosts Sam Floy (British podcaster, "The Outsider") and Josefine Volqvartz (Danish TV journalist, "The Insider") speak to experts and members of the public to understand and explain why something so normal in Danish culture is confusing to outsiders.

Rather than simply point fun, or say something like "Danes have an ironic sense of humour" we go deep, by speaking to experts to explain why.

Importantly, this show is as much for Danes as it is non-Danes.

What The Denmark is an educational, entertaining and inclusive show where we take a curious look at things that seem normal in Denmark, and get to the bottom of why.

If you've ever felt that you want to understand more about Denmark and Danish culture, then this is the podcast for you!

Learn more at