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Dating While American: Mahogs In London

While having a conversation with a friend last week about her experience dating men in Europe, it dawned on me that when it comes to dating men from other countries, many times the differences are a lot more complex than the obvious. Language/accent and basic cultural differences are the easy parts. What can literally make or break a potentially good situation is misunderstanding the differences in how we perceive the relationship process.

Coming from the US, we can balance two, three or four dudes (during high season) all of whom may have a different status, depending on our wants and needs.
We may have the friendly guy who’s nice and good for male company,  the funny guy who’s good for advice and a nice laugh or Mr Fix-it who can hook up a nice lighting fixture in our living room. Then you have the main one, for which you would drop all three if and when he ever decides to commit. We balance all four, each holding their own potential until someone decides to make it “official.”

Well it certainly works a lot differently on this side of the pond in England. Most people meet, have sex and right away, they’re “in a relationship.” Hell, I’ve met a few people who, after three or four months of “dating” moved in together, partially to save money from the ridiculously high rent, but hey. That’s virtually unheard of in the States, unless you’re ready to start taking regular trips to Tiffany’s.

So what happens when an American woman meets a British man and while she’s racking up her “team” for the season, he’s expecting to lock it down?  The same can be said of Brasilians who operate very much as Americans do when it comes to dating freely. Unless that conversation is had, you could be seeing someone with totally different expectations.

So after our conversation, we decided that the next time we start to “date” someone (whatever that means… ) it might be safe to ask: are we American (or in my friend’s case, Brasilian) dating or are we British dating? Because obviously there’s a huge difference.

– Sniff Sniff! We miss our Sherry, aka Mahogs, who is doing her thing in London right now! – SW

Last 5 posts by Sherry J. Bitting

  • This is a good post. A lot of women, myself included, can play the ‘naivete’ card when it comes to dating a foreigner. But what must be understood is that the intentions on both sides can’t always be understood through a smile and flirtatious joke. The stark differences in cultures and cultural traits is more extreme than just black and white. Understanding on both sides must be dealt with in the beginning stages.

    I wish I had realized that earlier on, instead of acting oblivious to an obvious elephant in the room: what the nature of the attraction truly entails.