The Differences Between Dating British Men vs American Men

By: Rosie Valentine |

Online Dating

I lived in London for a few years growing up, and ever since found myself completely obsessed with all things British. So it’s no coincidence (well, ok…it’s a total coincidence) that I work for an online dating site headquartered in the UK. Which is to say, the obsession continues. I’ve always wondered what dating British men would be like, but since I was very young when I lived abroad and am now quite smitten with an accent-less California surfer boy, I haven’t been able to test the waters myself, so to speak. I recently had the chance to chat with an female NYU grad who now works in digital marketing in London. The thing I asked her about? Dating, of course! Check out her insight into dating abroad, falling in love on holiday and of course, the key differences between British and American guys.

1. Are there any major differences between dating British men vs American men?

Yes, there are major differences.

Men in the UK are not as animated as American men might be, they are more subtle and toned down; to American women, sometimes this seems a bit serious or lacking in expression. Typically, this is just their way of masking any nervousness as most English men struggle to socialize with pretty girls without holding an alcoholic beverage; they loosen up when half a pint is down them.

Physically, English men are much taller than American men. As university was free for many decades in the UK, it’s quite likely British men will have attended college and hold a degree. Lastly, British men do a bit more grooming than American men, so be prepared for straightened hair (this is not unusual), well groomed eyebrows, and open shirts revealing a bit of chest hair.

Also, men in the UK don’t cat-call after women or touch women while on a dance floor, so women here feel much more comfortable wearing more revealing clothing on dates and to clubs. As a New Yorker, getting used to girls (who are not hookers) walking down the street with their bum cheeks popping out of their shorts is still a bit shocking.

Sadly, I’ve sometimes found that men in the UK believe it’s politically correct for women to pay 50% of a tab early on in the dating process. The English measure money with great attention to detail, and all restaurants allow for individuals to pay separately. Once, the bill was placed on our table and my date asked “cash or card?” I looked about confused and asked to whom he was speaking; it was our last date.

2. Single girl from the US moves to Europe for work/school, etc..what are the best ways for her to meet eligible British men?

Online dating is a great way to meet people, and quite popular in Europe. Joining a local organization is a great way to meet men, be sure to sign up for mixed (men and women) team sports clubs playing tennis, handball, etc. With regards to targeting eligible men, be sure to hustle your way into the nicest venues (private dinner clubs, VIP areas) around.

Lastly, always use that American accent to your advantage, if there is a language barrier be sure to speak quickly and act as if you’re meant to be there, the door guard will probably just give up and let you in.

3. What about dating while on vacation/holiday? Since you know you’ll be going back home sooner rather than later, is this something you’d advise against? What happens if you fall for the hot bartender?
The hot bartender is always tempting for a fling, but he’s probably done it before. I recent read a story about a woman who fell in love with a local in the Caribbean and got AIDs – so do be careful with your choices while letting your hair down.

I’ve met married couples who found each other on holidays in Eastern Europe and Sharm el Sheikh, so I’d advise turning your attention to fellow holiday makers. If you were drawn to a certain part of the world to holiday, chances are other singles have similar interests, geographical roots, socio-economic background and outlook on life to match yours.

4. What has been the best thing about living/dating abroad? What has been the most challenging?

The best thing about dating abroad is the lack of competition. If a man wants a cute American “girl next door” chances are, you’re the only one he’ll be following. So the odds are quite decent that you’ll snag someone based on your rarity.

The most challenging thing is cultural differences. European men assume after a second date, you’re definitely a girlfriend and committed. This may be too much too soon and narrows down a girl’s options, when actually you’re still surveying the field. Many times, I’ve had men I’m dating ask if I’m still seeing other people to be shocked or mildly hurt when I answer yes. My rule has always been, if the man hasn’t said the word “exclusive” it’s still open season.

Have you ever dated abroad?

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