Six Things Americans Should Know Before Dating a Brit (Guest Post)

Today’s guest post is written by Rhiannon Yee, a California gal pursuing her Master’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations at Richmond the American International University. For her dissertation, Rhiannon is exploring Anglo-American relationships and the cultural differences in regards to dating in London, which is quite a hot topic and one that I am often asked about! Rhiannon is revealing all that our friends across the pond need to know before dating a Brit!

After two English boyfriends, a few questionable Tinder dates, and plenty more interesting encounters with British men in London’s various clubs, pubs and bars, Rhiannon decided to look at Anglo-American relationships and cultural differences in regards to dating in London. The following article is part of said dissertation!

Over the last decade, we Americans have experienced the most fabulous and fashion forward British invasion. I mean, which of us hasn’t wanted to be Posh Spice (and married to Becks), wished to receive a Hogwarts letter in the post, or yearned to have Hugh Grant fawning over our every move? And now that we’re semi full-grown adults, there’s no shortage of British talent to drool over (I’m looking at you Jon Snow!) So, it’s totally understandable why we’re all so obsessed with Meghan Markle and the fact that she’s the first LA girl to marry into the Royal Family. Who can blame us?

After all, it seems like American women and British men go hand in hand. As someone I interviewed put it, “I don’t know if I could move back to America and date there again. British men are such gentlemen and polite and want to be in a relationship…it seems to match well with outgoing, louder American women!”

However, as a born and bred Californian living in London, I can tell you that not every boy with a British accent is going to sweep you off your feet, though a few might try. After looking back on my time on the London dating scene and interviewing a few friends who’ve been in Anglo-American relationships, here are six things you should be prepared for before dating an Englishman…

They ain’t gonna roll up to you in the club…

In fact, if a British dude comes over to chat you up in the club or a bar, he’s probably so drunk he can barely see. Most British men are painfully polite and no matter how many ‘come hither and ask for my damn number’ looks you shoot them, will not approach you. Though their hesitancy can be frustrating, many would say it’s preferable to some American guys who invade personal space before they’ve even asked your name. And besides, it puts the onus on us ladies to take the initiative ourselves! #Feminism!  

“If a British man does approach you, that is very rare. In fact, it is so rare that people usually think they are weird or very drunk. Sadly, this is often very accurate!” – Virginia (AR, USA)

Remember to use your inside voice…

That being said, if you do get the chance to talk to a British guy, chances are your normal voice is about 10 decibles louder than he’s used to, so you might scare him a little. In all honesty, he might need a little scaring, but just be aware that if a British guy is eyeing you with slight apprehension, it’s probably because he feels like you’re shouting unnecessarily. Proceed with caution!

“Americans: stop shouting lol we’re right here” – Charlie (London, UK)

Shall we meet for drinks? Or maybe drinks and after that, more drinks?

In London and the rest of the UK, going on a date almost 100% means you’re going for drinks. In America, there’s more of a mix of activities available for first dates, such as bowling or going to the movies (English people are fancy and call it the cinema). Here on Queen E’s side of the pond, all first dates inevitably involve necking 4 or 5 pints. Also, no one here has any qualms about drinking on a weeknight – something else us Americans are much more sensible about!

“First dates with Brits ALWAYS include alcohol. A coffee date is never an option. Alcohol is necessary to loosen them up” – Erin (CT, USA)

Dress code: no ‘bro’

English lads dress way better than American boys do, there is no question about it. This is due mostly to the fact that they wear clothes that are actually well-fitted – imagine! Someone showing up to a date not in basketball shorts and flip flops? So fab. That said, sometimes British boys and their super skinny jeans can get a little out of hand. We’d like to admire your trousers mate, not think you stole them from our own closet!

“This may be random, but I was surprised at how fitted [my now husband’s] clothes were. I think most American guys wear baggy, loose clothing. His fitted clothes stuck out to me” – Nadia (CA, USA)

You say to-may-toe, he says to-mah-toe…

And you bloody love it. Obviously, the accent is the main reason we American ladies fawn over British blokes (definitely not their dental hygiene), but don’t let yourself get swept away by it automatically! Just because a lad calls you ‘dahrling’ doesn’t mean he’s not talking absolute garbage. Also, sometimes it can be hard to decipher what they’re actually saying in the first place. Case in point? Brits constantly ask if ‘you’re alright’, but that’s just a general nicety, not a request to tell them if you’ve got bad period cramps.

“Americans generally have a strange obsession with British accents. It is easier as a Brit to date American women than British women, because they love the accent.” – Desmond (Doncaster, UK)

They move a lot faster here…

And by that I don’t mean they’re always jogging. Although to be fair, Londoners do power walk like no other, but I digress. What I meant was the Brits are down to get down (and dirty) on the first date, whereas generally Americans are a bit more reserved about the whole shebang. After all, Britain is technically European! Well, at least for another year or so…

“I learned that if a man asks you if you would ‘like to come ‘round for a cuppa tea” THEY WANT TO HAVE SEX. It’s the British equivalent to ‘Do you want to come up and see the place?’ and I was not prepared, I just wanted some tea.” – Emily (CT, USA)

However, when it’s all said and done, just remember…

“Brits and Americans are both equally capable of being fuckboys, just in different ways!”

– Leandra (NY, USA)

*Names have been changed

Written by Rhiannon Yee, fellow American gal and student at Richmond, the American International University 

Rhiannon Yee was born and raised in Southern California. After studying abroad at Kings College London during her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, she absolutely fell in love with London. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a BA in Media Studies, Rhiannon moved back to London in 2016 to work for the University of California Education Abroad Programme. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters degree in Advertising & Public Relations at Richmond the American International University.  When she’s not furiously typing away, Rhiannon splits her time between a part-time job as Events Assistant for the University of California Trust (UK) and an internship at CCD PR.