College Traveler: Dating and Mating in London
If you ever venture into the self-help dating section of a bookstore, you’re sure to find a few books about dating rules. You can learn how to think like man but act like a lady, find out what Jane Austen would do, understand why you’re not married or find love in 30 days. While each book promises a new and improved way of thinking, acting and/or going about getting that ever-so-coveted relationship, one strong rule remains true: wait.
You must wait two dates before you kiss, wait for him to hold your hand, wait to have sex and wait to say those three precious words. Everything is about waiting. However, the opposite seems to be true in London. All you need to know is that whoever can get to the gold first there, wins.
Men are generally known for being the pursuers. But not in London! There, women are just as likely to approach a guy and take the lead. I’ve seen a number of girls introduce themselves to a guy simply because they found him attractive. This definitely clashes with the American ideal of the man taking the lead and introducing himself first!
As for the norm in how the British begin dating, there seems to be two ways: either you know each other and someone finally pipes up and lets the other person know they’re interested (probably via text), or two people have met randomly and the guy or girl approached the person of interest and gave them their number. Courting is very informal, and while I’d like to say their way is more difficult, it seems to be ... fun, actually.
There is no waiting around for “so and so” to figure out you’re the girl of his dreams. Dating someone is light and fun, and you figure out if you click. If you do, things happen on their own.
If you don’t really know each other and just met somewhere like a club, there is typically a preliminary coffee date just to make sure you’re not crazy. Once he knows you’re sane, he’ll contact you to go out on a date or to “see each other again.”
Attention, ladies: the British strongly believe in not leading someone on. If a Londoner isn’t interested, he won’t pretend that he is. Heck ... he may not even be nice about it. But if he is interested, he’ll be knocking at your door for a coffee date. So really, you can’t lose.
By: Danielle Mair | Image: Source