I am not flirting with you. I am just American.

Posted on April 10, 2013 by yankeebean

Hello friendly coffee shop man, I’d like latte, please.

Yes, I’ll have a friendly chat with you.  It’s nice to shoot-the-shizzle while I’m waiting for my glorious latte.


Waitwaitwait.  No, now you’re flirting with me.



When did ‘chat’ become ‘flirt’?  Now I have to cool off so you don’t think I’m flirting back.  I’ll put my wedding ring frosted hand on the counter for good measure.


Does this happen to anyone else??  My friendly Americanness keeps backfiring and innocent chats turn into weird hot-potato situations where I start trying to throw people’s flirtation back at them without having to touch it.

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What Others Are Saying

  1. RJ July 2, 2013 at 2:28 am

    I like your site, and I have never being to a foreign country, lovely reading about the experience of people going to a foreign country of not of their own and the difference between home and their new country (whatever country that is).

  2. northcoastcat April 24, 2013 at 1:12 am

    I’m in a newish relationship with an Englishman (long distance). During my last visit, we were out shopping and stepped into a Lush store so I could by my favorite cream. The young man who waited on me was very friendly and we had a lovely chat about our favorite Lush cream. My friend was rather taken aback by how quickly I was so friendly to the young man.

    About a week later, just before my return home, my friend asked if I needed anything from the shops, and perhaps I’d like to return to Lush and have another chat with the nice young man. Too funny!

    My niece, who is married to a Brit and lives near my friend, commented “Welcome to Americans!”

  3. Elisa (@HipMom) April 13, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    This happens to me all.the.time. I think the Swiss are just not used to a complete stranger being friendly and maybe even smiling to them without strings attached.

  4. Taylor April 13, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Story of my life! Doesn’t matter where I go. Always always always! I’m not flirting… I’m being nice… Sorry that you like my accent.

    • yankeebean April 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

      Do you find that it makes you less nice? Are you cautious about being friendly right outta the gate?

  5. American Burd April 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    It doesn’t matter how hard I try not to be friendly, I end up engaging or being engaged in conversation, which is then construed as being flirtatious, which opens the door to be creeped on! Every time it happens I feel so foolish because I know better, even though I swear I’ve not done anything to provoke the creeping!

    • yankeebean April 11, 2013 at 7:45 am

      The thing that creeps me out the most is when a British guy gets as far as asking me out – then I say that I’m married. But THEN he says something like, “Does it matter?” or “So what? So am I.”


      • American Burd April 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

        Ooftah, that’s awful! When I was engaged it was the same sort of deal and then I’d almost feel guilty like I’d done something wrong or flirted when, in reality, I really wasn’t trying to do anything.

      • yankeebean April 11, 2013 at 2:55 pm

        Ditto! I ALWAYS feel guilty if it goes too far, but some guys just can’t take a friggin’ hint. Even when it’s not a hint. Even when you make chilly eye contact, channel you’re inner super-hero and say, “NO.”

        Still, that it doesn’t come to that often :) most guys back right off once they know the relationship status.

        I suppose the flip side of the coin is when I mention that I’m married and they say, “Oh, right.” then turn and instantly walk away without another word. As soon as they know I’m not put-out-able, all interest in conversation is lost. Always makes me laugh :D

      • American Burd April 11, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        @YankeeBean, last summer I had a man ask me if I had a boyfriend after a short conversation. When I said no, he went in for a kiss! I may be an American (and forward in my own right), but I’m not THAT friendly.

      • yankeebean April 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm

        Cheeky shite!

        I had a guy go for (and achieve) an arse-grab after he found out I wasn’t available. Looking back I wish I would’ve given him a slap because he certainly deserved it…

  6. Peaceful April 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    Hand in the air. yep this happens to me, too… and then when I realize that the British man thinks I am being nice because I want his body or something, and I was only just being my bubbly loud self, well then it is incredible awkward…you said it, sistah. Oh dear.

  7. CK April 10, 2013 at 6:42 pm


    I’ve followed your blog since 2011 when I first arrived in the UK. I’m from NZ, so the comparisons aren’t the same, but hey – there are no kiwis blogging about it, so…

    I always thought your comparisons were somewhat comparable to mine because NZ (social) culture is a weird mix of the UK and US social cultures and a lot of the time, I empathise with your frustrations because they go a similar direction when facing the UK people.

    ANYWAY, I just felt compelled to add that I thought men in the UK are somewhat flirty anyway in that they like to poke fun, use word-play and/or innuendo – but I interpreted that as part of their daily banter (if they deviate from the weather).

    However, now that I think about it, when I first got here, I kept noticing that when I was meeting couples for the first time, the female would get sort of territorial around her man, when I was just trying to make new friends (it doesn’t help that my interests and line of work are more associated with boy-talk – gadgets, etc.)… so maybe you’re right – they thought I was flirting?

    But seriously – I categorically do not flirt and am not even that sociable.

    So, go figure.

    Anyway, I enjoy this blog because sometimes it’s hard to explain why it is so frustrating here and you guys do it for me. :)

    • yankeebean April 11, 2013 at 7:37 am

      “…men in the UK are somewhat flirty anyway in that they like to poke fun, use word-play and/or innuendo…”

      Well said, CK and I couldn’t agree more. There’s a pervasive cheekiness British men seem to have. Even the shy ones seem to have endless quips at their proposal.

      Now it’s making me wonder if all these Brit men aren’t actually flirting with me. Maybe they’re just being themselves and I’M getting it wrong…

  8. Amy April 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

    LMAO… This happens to me ALL the time :) I’ve just learned to embrace it. Everyone thinks I’m flirting with them, when I’m just being my friendly American self.

    • yankeebean April 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

      :) I suspected I wasn’t the only one.

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