Dating British Men – advice from a woman who loves them
Interested in dating British men?
Today we have a guest post from Gemma, one of the lovely readers who responded to my now famous article 7 things you should know about dating a Spanish girl.
I’ve always wondered what goes on in the minds of Spanish women (or anyone, really) who’s willing to date British guys…
Unless those guys happen to be Daniel Craig or Hugh Laurie.
But turns out there are girls for other Brits too. And humble public servant that I am, I’d like to share what Gemma had to say about dating British men.
I hope you find it useful and interesting. And if you want to write a guest post for the blog, contact me here.
A few tips to date the Brits… and avoid a few arguments due to cultural differences
I’m very fond of the Brits, I wouldn’t be living in England if I wasn’t, and I embrace all these differences.
Having had a couple of British boyfriends has been really exciting and fulfilling but also at times a bit frustrating. These are just a few things off the top of my head.
I hope someone finds it useful, and I’m sure many of you will be able to add plenty more!
Don’t be too subtle when dating British men
I was brought up in Spain, where men use techniques to try and win women’s favours (especially in the South, where I used to spend summers at mum’s home town).
And in Spain, it’s important for a girl to stay put and not give herself too quickly, or men will lose interest and move on to the next prey.
In other words, if we wanted to be truly appreciated, we had to play hard to get.
I first came to England when I was 24 and brought my technique with me.
So if a lad set eyes on me, I would pretend not to be interested and then be disappointed when he moved on.
English men are way shier than Spanish men and more fearful of rejection or confrontation, so they don’t risk it as much as Spanish men.
I soon learnt that I had to be open, direct and a bit forward if I wanted to get some!
Also, the approach of my female English mates at uni in the Midlands helped me understand why English men don’t have to try as hard as Spanish men…
When giving advice trying to help, never start a sentence with ‘What you have to do is…’
If you’re dating a British man, it doesn’t matter what comes after or how wise and helpful the piece of advice is, it will just be taken as an offence to their power of decision.
The best answer you’ll get will be ‘Says who?’
It’s the way we speak, we care and we show our involvement like that, but what they hear is ‘I know better than you even if I know nothing of it, so just do as you’re told’ and is therefore rejected.
Say exactly the same, but change the opening to something milder such as ‘what I would probably do’, or ‘may I suggest’…
When eating in family, no means NO
And this applies to several nationalities.
I once spent a summer in France at my French boyfriend’s parents.
The first few days I left the table hungry, as when they said ‘would you like some more?’ I pulled the polite Spanish ‘no, thanks’, expecting they would insist a few more times and then I’d say ‘oh well, go on then’.
But that never happened!
I thought these people didn’t care if I starved.
And I found my boyfriend a bit rude when he was asked the same thing and straight away said ‘oh yes’. I thought he was being a bit greedy, but by day 3 I didn’t care, I was too hungry so say no and wait to be asked again.
Needless to say, when he came to my parents’ the opposite happened.
Same as with my English boyfriend. Mum is a very good cook, and a very generous one too, and she always cooks an extra portion for fear of being short but then she doesn’t want leftovers, meaning we all have to have a extra spoonful.
Try to explain that to a non-Spanish or Italian person…
And if they say Jamón Serrano is raw meat that tastes funny, just let them, there will be more left for you!
My dad used to insist that my English boyfriend had to try again, as he couldn’t conceive he didn’t like it. I asked dad to live with it and just give him another Mahou, always welcome with great pleasure.
Let them drink…
You might think they drink too much too often, but they have been brought up in a different environment.
When you’re 13 and Spanish, you have to hide from your parents when you drink booze. In some parts of England your dad takes you to the pub to proudly initiate you… and don’t you dare throw up!
So if you don’t want to sound like a bossy mother and ‘do their head in’, just accept it or move on, but don’t try to stop them, they’ll just hide it from you as we hid from our parents back in the days.
P.S. Here’s Gemma’s bio: Born and bred in Madrid, spent summers in Andalucía, studied “filología inglesa” between Madrid and Coventry and in 2002 I quit my crappy job in Madrid for a crappy job in Surrey. 15 years later I have had a couple of relationships (ok, three or 4) and have a cool job as a data quality analyst in a giant pharma company in London. Currently single and spending most of my salary on rent. As parents say, throwing money away. But hoping things will change sometime soon…
P.P.S. A note from Daniel – I hope you enjoyed these tips about dating British men. I agree with basically all of them… Personally, I’ve never turned down more food. And God help the person who ever tells me “What you have to do is…” What do you think? Hit me up, right here in the comments. Thanks!
P.P.P.S. If you like words, or blogs, or articles, you’ll definitely like my new book The Zen of Blogging, because it has all three.