International Dating

British people are rubbish. We rock charm and sophistication like a fat bloke rocks a flouncy dress. Our men are all emotionally-stunted football hooligans. Our women fall over, saddlebags akimbo, in the street. Yeah, British people are universally appalling. I don’t why I’ve been on dates with so many of them.

The guys I’ve met online have, it is true, been diverse in many ways:


but their nationalities have been disappointingly homogeneous:

Consequently, I’m starting to wonder whether I’ve been missing out. Particularly since that stuff about rock stars and office drones was only partially true.

I’d like to know whether Italian men really are so passionate. Whether Spaniards sizzle, and Greeks smoulder, and the French are meltingly sexy as their accents and insouciance suggest. I’d like to see how I’d fare with a sharp-talking New Yorker, or a buff Australian beach bum, or any other national stereotype likely to feature in the Mills and Boon style-guide. (Germans I’ve left off the list because their national stereotype comes from films in which a moustachioed bloke pops round to fix the fridge.)

Perhaps the time has come to expand my horizons. Since the British approach mostly just consists of drinking and wincing, I could probably stand to learn a trick or two.

My worry is that my British brain might struggle to process unBritishness in a mate. I’m English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh, for frig’s sake. I’m a walking one-woman ‘three men walk into a pub’ joke. Were I to hook up with the proverbial Italian stallion, I would probably just laugh nervously at his love poetry and prick my finger on the rose he gave me, before – well, falling over in the street.

Visitors to London who message me, wanting to be shown round? Sorry, I’d make a terrible tour guide. Plus, the day my boudoir is interchangeable with the London Dungeons is the day I know I need to tidy it.


About Abi Millar

British freelance journalist living in the Netherlands
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11 Responses to International Dating

  1. Dustin says:

    I’m distressed at the lack of Canadian stereotypes mentioned. Get on that:

  2. Nick says:

    All you need to know about the British is encapsulated in our relationship to food – rather than being a sensual exercise, it is largely about refuelling. Yes, we like to pretend that we are all foodies now, but in truth Borough Market is far less representative of the UK than a can of smart price beans from Asda. And, I have nothing against beans, and yes, I’m British, but I recognise that we have a somewhat functional relationship to pleasure.

    Yet, we are becoming more international, and mystifyingly the Americans continue to find us charming, as do the French (sort of).

    • Poliorcetes says:

      The French find us charming? Really? Maybe they find you charming…

      • Nick says:

        Sure, the nature of French relationships is often around game playing, and sometime they tire of that – so slightly more prosaic Brits can be a welcome change. But, yes of course there’s a personal element.

        As for Americans, and now I come to think of it Japanese, we have the advantage of positive assumptions.

  3. Poliorcetes says:

    Hmmm – got the embed code on that all wrong. So I’ll just give a link:

  4. Alex says:

    I get the impression you’re either being way too picky here or not nearly pick enough!

    Also, I can’t help but think it’s somewhat natural that you’ve met mostly British men, being a British girl in Britain. Isn’t it pretty natural to be attracted to people in your own race/culture predominantly? Okay, that’s all a bit cynical, but I’ve made my point. As a European Brit, I’d certainly like to think of myself as more charming, but I’m not sure this is the specific or general case… I’d actually like to take your line here and blame it on the sort of people OkCupid introduces to you. 😛

    • Abi Millar says:

      Oh, they haven’t all been so bad – I’m predominantly just dealing in stock clichés with this post. What’s a European Brit in any case? You get to keep the charm *and* the irony? 🙂

      • Alex says:

        Yes, I sensed as much! Just the Brit in me wanted to take the piss slightly…

        Not quite sure myself what a European Brit is, actually. Only that my heritage gives me a torn identity! Still waiting for the charm to surface…

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