Dating an American: Don’t be all at sea with a date from across the pond
George Bernard Shaw once described England and America as two countries separated by a common language… and it can certainly feel that way, especially for British singles dating their American counterparts. While the two countries have much in common, dating American men or women is certainly easier once you have a better grasp of how things are across the pond. Read on for more about the differences between US and UK dating culture, and some tips on navigating a cross-cultural relationship.
Table of contents
How Dating an American differs from a British person
Exclusivity is much less important to Americans
While in the UK it’s assumed that if you fancy someone enough to ask them out you’ll only be seeing them, Americans like dating a few people at once before settling on one to go steady with.
First impressions are much more important to Americans
If you’re dating an American, don’t be surprised to see they’re dressed to the nines on the first date. Americans are generally flashier, and more eager to impress, than their laidback British counterparts.
Meeting the parents is a big milestone across the pond
Asked if you’d like to meet Mom and Dad? If you’re dating an American, congratulations, because you just cleared a major hurdle – American men and women only introduce their partners to their families when things are getting serious.
Dating in the US is much more structured
For once, it’s the Americans who are more fussed about protocol; there’s tons of unwritten rules about when to call, how many dates make a relationship, and more. In the UK, things tend to be a lot more relaxed.
When it comes to special events, attitudes differ
When a special event rolls around, not having a date is often stressful for American men and women, because the expectation is you show up partnered. For singles in Britain, however, events are a great way to find their next date.
What you need to know about dating an American
While it’s a big country and no rules apply to everyone, there are still a few things you should know if you’re wondering how to date an American.
- There’s much less drinking While us Brits think nothing of three cocktails or several pints on the first date, you’ll want to slow it down if you want to woo someone from across the pond.
- Remember to tip Servers in the US rely on the tipped wage, by and large, so make sure you remember to tip if you don’t want your date to think you’re a cheapskate.
- Daytime dates are much more common Even if the idea of meeting up for coffee, or a picnic, or a walk around a museum seems like a strange thing to do on a date, your American SO will love it.
- Double dates Double dates are a quintessentially American thing, and who knows? You might get a friend or two out of it.
- They’ll have so many questions They don’t mean to be rude or nosy, I promise. Americans often go on dates with people they don’t know very well, so it’s natural that they’ll want to change that.
- No politics Regardless of who’s in the White House, this is still a good rule of thumb to have. Unless your date brings it up, best not to speak of politics or similarly controversial topics.
- Don’t be afraid of ‘the talk’ While Brits as a rule take pains to talk around things, you’ll find that the American men and women you date might be a lot more direct. This can actually be very freeing, so don’t worry too much about those conversations.
- That ‘separated by a common language’ thing we mentioned While TV shows mean that we’re more conversant with American English and vice versa, you might still find yourself flummoxed by the occasional turn of phrase.
- You might want to hit the gym We’re not saying Americans are shallow or anything, but physical attractiveness does play a major role in attraction, according to a survey by Pew.
Another question that many singles ask themselves – are there actually differences between men and women? We have worked out the most important tips for you.
Tips for dating American women
They’re a lot more pragmatic If you’re dating an American woman, prepare for them to be a lot more clear-eyed and realistic about what they want in a partner than their British counterparts, who tend more towards romanticism
They don’t expect to split the bill While going Dutch is becoming more common, when dating American women, you can still expect to pay the full tab, unless it’s been discussed beforehand. So be sure to pick somewhere that works for your budget, even if you’re trying to impress her.
Tips for dating American men
They’re much likelier to approach you in public Don’t be startled if an American asks you out at the gym, or in a bar, or even simply after having spent a few minutes in conversation; this sort of thing is completely normal and acceptable on their side of the pond.
They’re much bubblier than their British counterparts As a general rule, Americans tend to be louder, more gregarious, and generally more extroverted than British ones. Of course, depending on your own preferences, this might be a con rather than a pro of dating American men, but it’s something to take note of if you’re a British girl dating an American guy.
Dating an American with the help of eharmony
As you can see, when it comes to dating Americans, there’s quite a few things to consider. But don’t let the prospect of cultural differences put you off; opposites do attract, after all. That said, if you’re looking for someone, American or otherwise, whose values match yours, eharmony and its unique Compatibility Matching System is a great place to start. And with the tips in this article, you’ll be on your way to finding an American sweetheart in no time.