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If the expat partner isn’t happy living here then the Swedish partner may feel responsible." Lax adds that people from certain cultures and personality types are more likely to clash with a typical Swede, noting that in the US and the Netherlands for example, the value placed on assertiveness might not mesh well with the Swedish philosophy of 'lagom'.The Swedish view of gender roles can also influence romantic relationships, both in a positive and negative way."One thing that really surprised me and had never happened before [in other countries] was 'ghosting'," she says, using a term referring to people who cut off all contact with a partner with no explanation.
While it's not an exclusively Swedish term, Kathy says that from conversations with friends, the concept of ghosting is unusually common here.
"In other countries, I found it easy to tell if a guy was interested or not.
"I think people often move here, especially women, and feel unattractive because people aren't making so much eye contact or looking at them.
But it just takes a bit longer to build that connection." The researcher also points to the role of technology in dating, saying that if you go to a restaurant or cafe in Sweden, it's common for most of the customers to sit staring at their phones.
Kathy says her experience of dating and being ghosted taught her that communication was key, even more so as a foreigner.