Why Brits Don’t Date


Online dating is a peculiar concept for a country which doesn’t really do dating. Whereas in America, to all accounts, they have an organised, sensible approach, here in the UK we just lurch about trying our chances. If it weren’t for the existence of alcohol, I doubt we’d even reproduce.

My picture of how it works elsewhere owes a lot to TV. New York, for example, exists to me only as a  glossy chimera – I would fully expect to locate both Ugly Naked Guy and Mr  Big on any given trip. Nonetheless, my sources suggest that America’s pretty bloody good at dating.

Let’s say a guy (an American guy) sees a girl (an American girl) in a supermarket. Guy likes the look of girl. As they stand in the veg aisle, he initiates some small talk about, say, turnips. Doesn’t matter. Who cares. They swap business cards. He calls next day. They arrange a Friday night dinner. They both sip one drink daintily all night while she grills him about his business acumen, family relationships, political affinity, Yale fraternity, thoughts on paternity and five-year-plan. They assess their compatibility. If if’s good, they have sex on date 3. At a later stage, they decide to become ‘exclusive’. All of the above is  accomplished compos mentis.

The above scenario has never, ever,  since records began, taken place in the UK.

Here, we are so staggeringly, constitutionally dependent on booze that they really should make it free on the NHS. After all, marriage increases life expectancy and nobody ever took the first steps towards wedlock while in full possession of their faculties. No, here we are more likely to get drunk and accidentally hook up with a friend. To get drunk with a colleague and abuse the photocopier at the work Christmas bash. To get drunk in a pub and grab the person we’ve been making a play for all night. To get drunk and redress our tendencies to stand about, dithering, constipated with doubt like Mark from Peep Show.

A lot of people I know have never even been on a date.

So this being the case, our chances with online dating are rather poor. We’d be an awful lot more comfortable with online pulling…


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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2 Responses to Why Brits Don’t Date

  1. Sloth says:

    When I spent some time in Europe, albeit not the UK, my only experience with dating on non-US soil… I liked the casual behavior of people just being people and not having a plan setup. I liked that you could be out with a friend or on a date and not really see the difference, it gave everyone a lot of outs. As things went on though, I wanted the clarity, let’s be honest, I was there for a reason. The best dating experience I had was ‘easy’ because I could just talk and not try to play games. I said lets just go hang out or lets go on a date and get all dolled up. *shrug*

    TL:DR Honest and Straight Forward regardless of geographic location.

  2. Tom McCready says:

    Yale only has one fraternity. Why? In the 1930’s, Yale built dormitories which had amenities, such as dining halls. They called these, “residential colleges,” probably because Yale was imitating Oxford and Cambridge. Over the years, fewer men joined fraternities. One by one, the fraternities closed. Yale helped them on their way out by not letting them stay on land owned by Yale. By 1972, only one fraternity was left, and it did not have a building.

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