British Men Are Better Dates Than New Yorkers
American woman Niloufar Shafi says British men are way better at dating than Americans (heh, heh, this is so good...).
Let’s face it, men may not be as effusive as women in dissecting their love lives, but, as I’ve too happily learned from my male friends, you guys worry as much as women – you just don’t show it. And in our newly post-#MeToo world, dating for men understandably takes on an extra layer of anxiety. I may not be equipped to solve your dating dilemmas, but as an actively dating American in London, I can put your mind at ease about one thing: You’re infinitely better at dating than your New York City counterparts.
I moved to London last year to study. In addition to falling in love with the city, I swooned over its menfolk. It wasn’t just the accent and an unusually high number of bum chins (a particular weakness of mine). It was the attitude shift. I felt a consistently higher level of respect from the men here. Dating anywhere can be a soul-crushing drudge of going from one lackluster date to the next. But here I’ve enjoyed and looked forward to all my interactions, even when I didn’t feel a romantic connection.
A caveat: I understand it’s unfair to paint an entire gender and nationality with broad strokes. These points are based solely on my personal experiences as well as those of female American expat friends in their 30s. I lived and dated in New York for the last ten years, so I can’t compare Brits to all American men. But as far as the male populace of the Big Apple goes, you guys are way ahead of the game. I don’t mean to bash all New Yorkers; I had a long-term relationship with a wonderful man in the city. But he – and the others who were around for a shorter period – could’ve learned a thing or two (or all seven, below) from you guys.
So I’m here to tell you: Relax, you’re doing great. Here’s what you’re getting right – keep it up.
1. You Don’t Play Games
I fell hard for the first guy I went out with in London. He asked me out for our second date a day after we met. A day after that, we were at dinner. He showed me men here refrain from playing games. Waiting several days before asking a woman out again is a common, and maddening, ploy used by New Yorkers even in their late 30s. In London, I happily haven’t come across an adherence to arbitrary dating rules many New Yorkers follow.
2. You’re curious
I’ve found Brits to be more engaged in the world and eager to learn more. Katherine, another expat New Yorker, agrees. ‘Brits either inherently have more to talk about, or are less afraid to bring up interesting topics,’ she says. ‘I think there’s more diversity surrounding people here in general, so the drive to conform and not be perceived as weird seems less intense.’
3. You balance work/life well
Ambition is sexy but not if it takes over your life. New Yorkers are notorious for burning the candle at both ends. Here a couple of guys profusely apologised to me when they needed to schedule a date for 8PM, which in New York is prime going out hour. Plus, men here earnestly pursue hobbies, whether its rock climbing or painting, giving their minds a rest from the whirlwind of work. I appreciate that Brits are ambitious but make their personal lives an equal priority.
4. You’re good listeners
When a guy asked me to buy him a drink on our first date, we ended up having a lively but respectful discussion on the ins and outs of this modern-day dating minefield. To my surprise, he ended up agreeing with me in the end. It was refreshing to have such an honest chat. He came at the argument with an open mind rather than stubbornness and truly listened to what I had to say. And that’s been my blanket experience: Men here pay attention without interrupting and always respect my opinions, even when they disagree with me.
5. You’re not afraid of commitment
I was dating like a rock star when I arrived. But I quickly realized I brought my New York City ‘it’s all about the numbers game’ mentality to London. From what I’ve learned, you lads take your time getting to know a gal without courting a dozen others. That allows for a real connection to blossom. Conjunctively, you’re not afraid to express how you feel sooner than what American women are used to. Katherine says what surprised her most ‘is that there are plenty of British men out there who will share their feelings and affection up front, when I expected the stark opposite.’
6. You’re gentlemen
Another way to say it is you guys are grown ups. One finds plenty of gentlemen in New York, but the idea here goes beyond opening doors and pulling out chairs. It is more your attitude I’m referencing. The men here don’t just act mature, they are mature. Too many men in New York live in perpetual university mode. I find that the frat boy mentality has generally subsided in Londoners. You guys know how to have fun but move in and out of ‘adulting’ much more seamlessly. ‘I have found that British men are far better at the chivalry game,’ says Rachel, another American expat. ‘In terms of dating, [they have] been very good at making plans and, in my experience, have put a lot of thought into early dates to make them memorable experiences.’ At the end of the day, nothing beats a thoughtful man.
7. You’re sharp dressers
This is a bonus category, but an important one. Perhaps it’s the European influence, but men here tend to be sharper dressers than New Yorkers. A well-fitted suit and a perfectly coiffed ‘do (again, I’m showing my preferences here) or even a casual yet studied look of jeans and T-shirt with the right accessories adds a level of sophistication that forces me to take Brits more seriously than I did slovenly New Yorkers. A well put together man signals that he’s probably got the rest of his life together too. What girl could resist that?
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