Maybe you’re in England studying and you’d like to fall in love with your (Insert famous Brit here). Or maybe you have a longstanding Mr. Darcy obsession. And just to clarify, don’t let that sexy accent fool you. Just because he speaks like Colin Firth doesn’t mean he is educated or douche-proof. Let me give you some tips on dating an Englishman.
We ride trains very enthusiastically.
#1. Football (soccer) will be mentioned frequently.
Be prepared to start caring about football (soccer) and potentially cricket or rugby as well. I haven’t met a single man in England who doesn’t have a certain team that he supports regularly. Sam’s team is Sunderland. I feel like I know a lot about them now. I know that they lose a lot. So if you want to date an Englishman you are going to have to accept that enjoying football isn’t a pastime, it’s a damn way of life here. If he only cares about football, you are getting off easy. Sam cares about pretty much any and every sport in the entire world. He even listens to cricket on the RADIO.
If you are wondering who my team is- it is anyone that Sunderland is playing that week. I like to keep a healthy spirit of competition alive and present in our relationship.
#2. You will go to a lot of pubs.
Start picking out a “go-to” pub drink. You will be going to a lot of pubs when you first start dating. Bars, in America, are an important part of dating, but bars will never be cultural in America in the same way that pubs are in England. So pick a beer, wine or cider that is your consistent go to pub drink. Learn from my errors- cocktails are not typically served in pubs aside from maybe a gin and tonic- never, under any circumstance, try to order a whisky sour.
#3 Chivalry isn’t dead, but it is different.
This probably won’t shock most girls, but I went to college in the South, and I can honestly say that my date/dates picked up every single cheque on a night out. It’s part of the Southern American man mentality. Even if I offered to split the cheque, the answer was usually “no.” However, in England, if you offer to split the cheque be prepared for him to say yes. The man paying for everything isn’t as cultural here. The best rule of thumb is that whoever planned the date, who asked who out, is the one that will be paying for that date. And if you are drinking at a pub, be prepared to take turns buying the round. Whether you are out on a date, or just out with friends, familiarise yourself with the notion of rounds. The first time I came across it in England, and someone offered to buy my drink I was just like, “Sure!” not realising that I then was pretty much obligated to by the next one. It’s a no brainer really, but if you don’t expect it then it can be a surprise.
#4. Englishmen tend to be reserved.
Of course, this is just from my personal experience, but getting an Englishman to talk candidly about his feelings is like pulling a sword out of a stone. Damn near impossible. On our first date I told Sam that I wasn’t going to have sex with him that night. (Just wanted to make it clear that I wasn’t the American college girl having flings all over Europe like in the movies.) And he looked like I had slapped him. I don’t think a woman has ever said such a candid thing to him on a first date ever. His response, “Erm, yea, I didn’t expect to?”
But the reluctance to display emotion is the first layer in the British stiff upper lip, and can sometimes come across as coldness. This also includes politeness and reluctance to speak out. Sometimes it makes me feel silly because I seem so over enthusiastic and loud. Whatever, I like being emotional.
#5. Don’t read too much into things.
He calls you “love”? That doesn’t mean he loves you. He ends his texts to you with two kisses instead of the standard one? He probably does that to his roommate as well. I once sat around with some girlfriends for 2 hours once discussing the fact that a boy my flatmate was seeing forgot to end a text with any kisses at all. In America, ending a text with “x” or “xx” isn’t really a thing, so it’s just one more thing girls have to stress over when dating in the UK!