Making friends as an adult in Sweden Posted by Katja on Sep 17, 2013 in Culture, Living in Sweden
Friends are something universal right? No matter if you are American, Swedish, Danish or Japanese you have your close circle of friends and then there are the other people you enjoy spending time with now and again who you call acquaintances. But when did you actually meet your close friends? This is something that has a very deep cultural aspect to it I think.
Recently I have talked to quite a few people about just this question: making friends as adults. In Sweden it seems to be very common for people to meet their absolute closest friends they have as adults when they where in junior high school or high school, maybe even before that. Those bonds seem to be stronger than ones from later on in life, for example from university or colleagues from work. People you meet at university or work can become very close acquaintances but very rarely step into that inner circle of close friends. Now this might be common in other cultures as well, but I have a feeling that this is what a lot of people call the Swedish coldness / reservedness.
If you move to Sweden as an adult, or you even move cities within Sweden you might find it harder to get to know people beyond those polite talks when you meet at the mailboxes. Please correct me if I’m wrong, I’m sure there are very many people who are an exception to this rule, but in many other parts of the world friend making is different than in Sweden. In other cultures you can make become very good friends with people even as an adult which is something I wish could be more true for Sweden in the future.
What are your experiences of making friends in Sweden?