Dating British Men – advice from a woman who loves them

August 22, 2017

Interested in dating British men?

Well, okay.

If that’s your thing…

Today we have a guest post from Gemma, one of the lovely readers who responded to my now famous (or perhaps infamous) article called 7 things you should know about dating a Spanish girl.

I’ve always wondered what goes on in the minds of Spanish women (or anyone, really) who are willing to date British guys…

Unless those guys happen to be Daniel Craig or Hugh Laurie.

But turns out there are girls for other Brits too.

And – humble public servant that I am – I’d like to share what Gemma had to say about dating British men.

I hope you find this information useful and interesting. And if you want to write a guest post for the blog, contact me here.

If it’s fun or interesting and Spain-related, I’m probably into it.

Anyway, here’s Gemma…

A few tips to date the Brits… and avoid a few arguments due to cultural differences

I’m very fond of the Brits, I wouldn’t be living in England if I wasn’t, and I embrace all these differences.

Having had a couple of British boyfriends has been really exciting and fulfilling but also at times a bit frustrating. These are just a few things off the top of my head.

I hope someone finds it useful, and I’m sure many of you will be able to add plenty more!

dating british men
Millennium Bridge and the City of London… prime hunting grounds if you’re looking for British men to date.

Let’s go…

Don’t be too subtle when dating British men

I was brought up in Spain, where men use techniques to try and win women’s favours (especially in the South, where I used to spend summers at mum’s home town).

And in Spain, it’s important for a girl to stay put and not give herself too quickly, or men will lose interest and move on to the next prey.

In other words, if we wanted to be truly appreciated, we had to play hard to get.

I first came to England when I was 24 and brought my technique with me.

So if a lad set eyes on me, I would pretend not to be interested and then be disappointed when he moved on.

English men are way shier than Spanish men and more fearful of rejection or confrontation, so they don’t risk it as much as Spanish men.

I soon learnt that I had to be open, direct and a bit forward if I wanted to get some!

Also, the approach of my female English mates at uni in the Midlands helped me understand why English men don’t have to try as hard as Spanish men…

When giving advice trying to help, never start a sentence with ‘What you have to do is…’

If you’re dating a British man, it doesn’t matter what comes after or how wise and helpful the piece of advice is, it will just be taken as an offence to their power of decision.

The best answer you’ll get will be ‘Says who?’

It’s the way we speak, we care and we show our involvement like that, but what they hear is ‘I know better than you even if I know nothing of it, so just do as you’re told’ and is therefore rejected.

Say exactly the same, but change the opening to something milder such as ‘what I would probably do’, or ‘may I suggest’…

[Note from Mr Chorizo: totally true. We’re serious about politeness and “What you have to do is…” doesn’t pass the test.]

When eating in family, no means NO

And this applies to several nationalities.

I once spent a summer in France at my French boyfriend’s parents.

The first few days I left the table hungry, as when they said ‘would you like some more?’ I pulled the polite Spanish ‘no, thanks’, expecting they would insist a few more times and then I’d say ‘oh well, go on then’.

But that never happened!

I thought these people didn’t care if I starved.

And I found my boyfriend a bit rude when he was asked the same thing and straight away said ‘oh yes’. I thought he was being a bit greedy, but by day 3 I didn’t care, I was too hungry so say no and wait to be asked again.

Needless to say, when he came to my parents’ the opposite happened.

Same as with my English boyfriend. Mum is a very good cook, and a very generous one too, and she always cooks an extra portion for fear of being short but then she doesn’t want leftovers, meaning we all have to have a extra spoonful.

Try to explain that to a non-Spanish or Italian person…

And if they say Jamón Serrano is raw meat that tastes funny, just let them, there will be more left for you!

My dad used to insist that my English boyfriend had to try it again, as he couldn’t conceive he didn’t like jamón. I asked dad to live with it and just give him another Mahou, always welcome with great pleasure.

Let British men drink

You might think they drink too much too often, but they have been brought up in a different environment.

When you’re 13 and Spanish, you have to hide from your parents when you drink booze. In some parts of England your dad takes you to the pub to proudly initiate you… and don’t you dare throw up!

So if you don’t want to sound like a bossy mother and ‘do their head in’, just accept it or move on, but don’t try to stop them, they’ll just hide it from you as we hid from our parents back in the days.

Happy hunting!


P.S. Here’s Gemma’s bio: Born and bred in Madrid, spent summers in Andalucía, studied “filología inglesa” between Madrid and Coventry and in 2002 I quit my crappy job in Madrid for a crappy job in Surrey. 15 years later I have had a couple of relationships (ok, three or four) and have a cool job as a data quality analyst in a giant pharma company in London. Currently single and spending most of my salary on rent. As parents say, throwing money away. But hoping things will change sometime soon…

P.P.S. A note from Daniel – I hope you enjoyed these tips about dating British men. I agree with basically all of them… Personally, I’ve almost never turned down more food. And God help the person who ever tells me “What you have to do is…” What do you think? Hit me up, right here in the comments. Thanks!

P.P.P.S. If you like words, or blogs, or articles, you’ll definitely like my new book The Zen of Blogging, because it has all three. Get your copy today!

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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  1. Also born and raised in Madrid and these 2 points made me go mad:

    -‘no, thanks’, expecting they would insist a few more times and then I’d say ‘oh well, go on then’. (talking about food)
    – So if a lad set eyes on me, I would pretend not to be interested and then be disappointed when he moved on.

    OK, you say “No” – then expect people to magically understand “Yes”. The 1st point about food makes little sense to me, but the 2nd one: there’s a huge movement trying to get people to understand “NO MEANS NO” particularly in these situations. It’d be dangerous and risky for a man to go after a a woman who is implicitly or explicitly saying “NO”.

    Interesting article, please don’t play mind games though 🙂 ! (may I suggest..)

  2. Young British men have grown up in a “no means no” culture, so probably 4 out of 5 men won’t be persistent because they’re going to get a hostile response. Be more worried about the guy who doesn’t take no for an answer. You play the numbers game, find somebody who takes to you straight away.

  3. The second and third point are general culture differences in my opinion. I’m a Canadian chick and I was raised the same way. Perhaps it’s common in Anglo Saxon region but I’ve never lived in a another Anglo city to say. I can’t say the same about the drinking part though!

  4. Genuine British man (34) from London – if you want advice ask me, any questions send my way. I’ll give you honest answers and in return I would like some questions answered….sound fair?

    1. I’m
      Interested, but I’m not fan of texting, what about if you add me on wats app, can you send me your full
      Phone number,

    2. Hi Daniel, I am not sure if this message will reach you. In the hope that it does, here is my long story with a british man – We e-met online, talked and exchanged messages for a few days before meeting up. The e-meet as well as the physical meetup happened in a span of 8 days during my trip to ENG in august 2019. I live in California USA. The day we met, we had sex. I think we both were under the impression that it was just a one-time fling. I flew back to USA the very next day. But, the texting didn’t stop, things got a bit more serious. He came to CA to visit me two months later, not without my persuasion but nonetheless he came. We spent two weeks together and both got really sad when he flew back home. We were sad because we obviously had feelings for each other but he called it a pickle because of the distance. But since we both enjoy looking forward to seeing each other again, I made travel arrangement then to visit him in March 2020, 4 months later. But in January 2020, he flew to CA again to SURPRISE visit me! It was the MOST ROMANTIC thing I have ever experienced in my life! I didn’t realize that brits are capable of being so romantic, until he pulled that off!! Of course we had great time together and when he left, we weren’t sad because we both knew in two month, it’d be time for me to visit him in London. So all this is the rosy side of things. Here’s the not so rosy part (at least to me) – in the early stage of our “distant” pickleship, he used to occasionally threw at me some erotic and explicit remarks and comments. I didn’t really care for them but they didn’t offend me either. I guess I didn’t feel for him as much before. But as time went on, those things completely went away, even when I tried to be flirty with him, he would just say “haha” “lol”. I found myself developing feelings for him more and more and have been very expressive about it, but he just seems very reserved, and everytime I say something (like a hint) to him and expect something sweet back from him, it’s like, nothing. I talked to him about this that his replies and textings are making me very confused because from the way he reacts and communicates, I cannot tell if he’s really serious with me, or maybe just being polite and not wanting to hurt my feelings. But again, who would fly across the atlantic ocean to see someone they aren’t interested in? So I am well confused. He almost gives me the impression that he’s so elusive, and so reserved as if he doesn’t want to show how he really feels, unless he really doesn’t feel it. I am convinced that he does have feelings for me, and that he cares and all, but to me, it just feels like I don’t have a grip on this whatever relationship is. Till today, 9 months after our first meet and three 2-week dates later, we are still texting every day. If it wasn’t for the COVID pandemic, we’d be having our 4th date either in the US or the UK. When I visited him in the UK, I met his friends. I didn’t meet everyone of them, and it wasn’t a specific arrangement made FOR me to meet his friends, it’s just that he happened to go to a football game with his friend and asked me come along since I was visiting him in LONDON. Woman’s instinct is usually right on point and he doesn’t strike me as a playboy or a womanizer, but his seemingly “aloof” or “distant” textings does make me wonder sometimes what his mind is really up to. When I ask him, he just apologizes for making me sad or upset, but never really gives me an answer or somewhat of a solution. He says he’s practical and likes to see the steps or a plan leading to a solution, and he doesn’t see that, because neither he nor I could move to a different country right now. I am so baffled because I don’t know where I stand with him, and asking him is no help. What do you think?

      1. I can’t believe it. I have lived similar situation twice. At the beginning a British man looks like so interested, romantic and you feel that you are the one for him. Suddenly he changes, he just stops texting the same and romantic way and when you ask him for the reason, he just apologises but doesn’t explain what happened. Does he feel scared of being honest, “just say it, that’s all, nothing bad would happen” if there is not solution or a way to improve the relationship then …. let’s move on”. British men behaviour Is very confusing and hurt

          1. HI Daniel, i do have similar situation like Jessie, could you kindly comment and try to clarify this “myth” for us? Can you also give some suggestions on how do you know when to let it go, or is it worth to keep it going? Thank you so much! NIchole

      2. Hi Jessie, i’m totally with you, I have been going through exactly similar emotions as you, i’m also confused and wish there will be a British man come to clarify this for us? Let me know how it goes, are you going to have a talk with him or continue with it?

      3. First of all just asked him straight instead you know so you dont need to keep guessing. Your mental well being is more important than anything in this world including any guy. Dont tolerate his bullshit, love yourself more men can test you how far can you go , if that is the case he is not worthy i dont care if he had the most beautiful accent in the whole world. Real men dont play games sadly he is a boy not a man at all

  5. “Try to explain that to a non-Spanish or Italian person…” ? what do you mean? I am Italian (from the South) and what you are describing happens everyday, not only when we have people over. However, I know that in few parts in the North of Italy it is completely different.

    I loved your article, but don’t generalise with Italians as Southerners are very attached to this piece of cultural tradition!

  6. Thanks, It was fascinating. Im from Iran and have just the same traditions and behaviours as yours. 😁😁😁 and quite get what you say

  7. I am an African, precisely a Nigerian. But I find all these foreign cultures interesting. I wish I could travel out of my country someday.

  8. British men are mostly racist especially towards south and East Asians , however, they will worship black urban culture and black men who they see as something to fawn and fetishise. British men are emotionally stunted to the point where you can start becoming lonely and depressed. They think any expression of there limited emotional range is a show of feminity and makes them suspect homosexual. They are so dumb and fearful and repulsed by emotion in other men that they would rather there ‘mates’, suffer from severe depression and worse than listen or talk to them . They would rather drink beer and talk football/ sport whilst there ‘mate’, self combusts right next to them with seven depression. They love showing cringe buffoon like displays of toxic machismo e,g lifting 4 boxes at once even though they’ve just had s knee operations. They are very detached and have an easy time dumping girls and male friends with the blink of an eye. They don’t value make friendship atall unless it revolves around beer, sports, fighting and talking about money . There’s huge arrogance around job status too . One of the worst aspects is the shallowness of the British male . Most have no interest in real culture ( unless it’s black ghetto rap, black sport culture etc) or politics and would rather talk about superficial things like money , working out in gym , beer beer beer and sports , sexual prowess over girls . Unfortunately many of them are proud of not showering and being unhygienic and living like a pig is a badge to be worn proudly as it means they are a ‘man’. Keeping oneself clean is a sign of femininity to them and it’s something ‘gay’ men do. Most of this is especially applicable to the northern (and cities outside the southwest)working class male in cities such as Manchester ( the worse!), Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham etc . Men in the southwest especially London – excluding east London and Essex, are often a lot more refined . Same applies to the small pockets of more affluent areas in the south east .

    However, Go out in any British town/ city and you will see how aggressive, violent and obsessed with hating feelings the British male is . They act like Neanderthals.

    So, go ahead and sycophant over British men and try to date them just remember to have a brick in your room who you can get more conversational and listening skills out off , keep a supply of shower gel and remember beer, cars, fighting and football are god lad culture is there religion . Thanks

  9. Hi!
    Very interesting and useful what it’s written here!
    Was brought to this site as I’ve been living in the UK for 4 years and I have a British colleague interested in me.
    Issue is this is the first time a British guy shows such a deep/powerful interest in me, good thing is I like him, he’s quite handsome, intelligent, my same class level, went to Uni like me, lots of matches between both of us, BUT…..and I don’t know how to react to his courtship.
    That’s why when you said the next I felt relieved, because it means there should be a right way to react to his courtship/approach.

    “Also, the approach of my female English mates at uni in the Midlands helped me understand why English men don’t have to try as hard as Spanish men…”

    So I was wondering, what was the approach your females mates at Uni used so that English men didn’t have to try hard?
    I do not want him to move on!!!!! I really like him!


    I really don’t understand british men!! I met a brit here in my country (Mexico) and we talked very cool and had s*x, he went continue traveling and then he just returned to my city and we “loved” eachother again hahaha, he returned to the UK and he continued talking to me by now for six months but he is like “i don’t want a realtionship, you are so beautiful and intelligent, but we will just be freinds cause we cannot be more, we are very far from eachother blablabla”. But when I treat him like a friend he gets very very grumpy and a c*nt, and when i treat him like if we were on a relationship he gets scared!! aaah!!! we talk almost everyday! so i have tried to disattach from him but he is just like “pleaseeee don’t leave me!! you are very special and i don’t want to lose your FRIENDship” and then he start getting bored of me and he is like “yeah whatever” and it’s like wtf!? if you’re acting like you hate me, why do you keep looking for me!?

    He is so rude!
    HELP ME BRIT PEOPLE, me tiene hasta la m*dre este precioso hombre

  11. Fortunately, my first boyfriend was an Aussie one. And, except for the language, I can see there is an abyss between their mindset and behavior. He was (He still is, I hope) a charming and reliable person.
    Otherwise, I have a friend who lives in England and whose couple is a Londonien, and she often complains about how cold and distant he is. After having lived together for 15 years and with a daughter in common.
    As we say in my country, a word to the wise is enough.

  12. I have a same stiuation with a British man,we met and started with him very well on internet and I liked him, we started a relationship, first times he was so caring and a kind of romantic then he started get distance like dont care about me…but still he is texting me sometimes though I dont text to him, so confusing, when I asked him he is just saying :sorry I dont want to hurt you and so like no answer!.. what the hell that???? Please could someone explain 😡

  13. I think that a lot of British men have attachment issues because they were mostly all taught to ‘man up’ and not show emotions when they were kids. When the relationship starts to develop they get scared and pull away. I’m British too.

    1. Mmm… if attachment issues mean “don’t want to settle down” or something. I don’t really know, though, I’m not in the dating British guys game. Thanks for commenting!

  14. If you’re interested in dating a British man or navigating cultural differences in a relationship, this post provides useful tips. It suggests ways to communicate effectively and navigate cultural differences.

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