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Re: what a Finnish girl likes and loves??
I'm a Finnish girl but I not sure if I represent the stereotypical Finn. I can still give you my opinion.
When asked what's the important most quality in a good person most Finns will answer "Honesty and sincerity" A Finnish person will respect someone who can state their opinion clearly and articulately according to their opinion. That means that when you have an opinion you should be able to back it up with some good reasoning. It also means that bullshit (sorry for faul language) small talk will make Finnish feel uncomfortable. So if you don’t have anything real to say just shut up. It sounds harsh but we really are a quiet nation. When it comes to girls one should avoid over complimenting random stuff. It makes the girl question your sincerity. Also telling her how you feel is crucial. Flirting is not as essential part of Finnish culture than many other cultures (f.e. American) and that’s why some Finnish girls might be unable to read “signs”. Just tell the girl how you feel or else she will just think you as an friend. You might fear that that ruins the friendship but I Finnish girls (and people in general) have a very practical way of looking at things and will not dwell on the matter for too long. Honesty still should not be interpited as arrogance an know-it-all-ism. Because modesty is the next thing on the “qualities of a good person” list.
As you might know Finland is one of the most sexually equal countries in the world. I think it really shows in dating and relationships. Finnish women want to be treated equally and if they feel that this is not the case they will fiercely tell that to you. Every girl loves a gentleman who will carry heavy groceries and pay the bill every once in a while but acting like a macho “I‘m in control” man is SO (sorry for teenage language) out! It is also very acceptable for a Finnish girl to have “manly” hobbies and vice versa (almost). Don’t be surprised if you see a twenty-something guy knitting a pair of mittens or if you meet a girl obsessed with world of warcraft.
I’m not sure but I think that the equalization of sexes has lead to women adopting “manly” sexual behavior. Having casual relationships and hitting on the opposite sex is just as acceptable to women as it is for men. Unfortunately this applies to faithfulness in relationships. A lot of people are out there just to have fun. So when you meet someone you should make sure that you’re looking for the same thing. The expectations in more serious relationships are varied. I often feel that peoples values don’t match my traditional family values. The status of marriage has declined dramatically over the past two decades and that really shows in statistics.
Equalization also shows in drinking habits. Many foreign people are shocked by how much Finnish girls drink. Drinking plays a big part in the Finnish social scene. Many Finns are a little shy and reserved when in the company of someone they don’t know so drinking is a quick fix to this. A good idea is to take a girl out to nice bar with live music or something. The key to a success is NOT to act like a Finnish guy and get ridiculously drunk and cop a feel but to release the tension. You must think “that goes without saying” but I’ve gotten some bad experiences and that’s why I don’t date Finns anymore!
Another options for dating… hmm. I think that dating is very similar in Finland than in other western cultures. Going to a coffee shop is a very safe choice because almost all Finns LOVE coffee. But when I think about couples in my social circle I realize that most of them never went to any official dates but somehow friendship turned into a relationship. This is common in many other countries too but especially common in Finland because it takes a LONG time for Finns to get comfortable being around a new person so going on a date would create additional pressure, sometimes too much to handle. Sometimes I find myself waiting for a guy (someone who has given signs of interest) to make a move (as said, I’m traditional and want the guy to initiate) and when he never does I think “I guess he didn‘t like me that much”
There are both pros and cons for foreigners in Finland. The biggest pro is that most of young Finnish people speak good English. Foreign people will also always spark some extra interest but I think that Finnish girls will get over that soon and (hopefully) start seeing you for the person you are rather quickly. So not too much riding on the “exotic foreigner” wave, sorry. The con is that there is still a lot of racism in Finland. Especially in the countryside. But I presume from your username that you are a TKK student and live in the Helsinki (or Espoo, Vantaa) area. Helsinki is an international city and people usually don’t have anything against foreign people (at least when they are sober). But what kind of treatment you will receive really depends on your ethnicity. For example Russians get often horrible treatment in Finland because of the long and painful history between Finland and Russia . But lets say Japanese will get a lot of positive attention because Japan is “in” right now.
Good luck with getting to know my beautiful country and its culture!