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

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.

Wait.

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

Nono.

Crap.

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.

Dating a working class Englishman

Behold!  One of the most popular search terms that people are using to find us at the moment – ‘Dating a working class Englishman’.  This must mean two things:

  1. There are a lot of working class English men out there getting some action
  2. There are a lot of confused women out there dating them and Googling them

I’m sorry to say that I’ve never dated a working class Englishman.  In fact, I tried to date mostly gay men until I was 17, so I’m probably the opposite of an expert.

HOWEVER!  I bet we have some readers that can provide some hints and tips that can come in handy when you’re dating your lovely working class Brit.

Consider this an invitation.  I’d love to hear about any of the following from all you lovely readers:

  • What are quirky things that your working class Englishman does?
  • What are his friends like?  How do they get along?
  • What does he do for fun?
  • How is he in the bedroom? (ooOOOOOOooooo!)
  • Is he a good kisser?
  • How did you meet your working class Englishman?
  • What was the first thing you thought when you met him?
  • What made you decided that he was the guy for you?

I can honestly say – I’m freaking EXCITED to hear what you have to say.  And I can promise that you’re not alone because people are searching for this information.  You’ll be donating your knowledge to a good cause. :)

What did you American ladies get from your British men on Valentine’s Day?

We got this comment today about Valentine’s Day gifts and I actually shook my fist at my laptop screen when I read it!!

my husband bought me a cd . . . that he wanted. : ((((((((

yankeebean

Noooooooo!  What ever happened to flowers?  Candles?  CHOCOLATE, for God’s sake!  You can never EVER go wrong with chocolate…

To our sassy commenter, I hope you got him a massage for you for his present…

It made me wonder what all you lovely expat American ladies are getting from your British hunka-hunkas this Valentine’s Day.  Mr Nice Guy and I are making a super fancy dinner together as our present to each other.  Including gin and tonics (our fave) and tiramasu for pudding.  Mmmmm… I’m hungry…

So what did you guys get??  I’m ready to celebrate and/or commiserate with you as required…

This is a not so subtle hint to all the gorgeous British men for Valentines Day…

yankeebean

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and you know what that means.  LUUUUUURVE.  And romance.  Two things the Brits aren’t exactly famous for.  Except for Colin Firth…

I lucked out, because my British man is one romantic sumna-bench.  He gets it – thank God!  But too many times we’ve had our lovely readers (okok, us too) lament about the oh-so-British attempt at wooing.  Perhaps a misplaced thong or an erroneous nipple tassel

Well Valentine’s Day is not a time to get it wrong, so I’m going to point all the gorgeous charming British men (lucky enough to be dating fiesty expat American ladies) EXACTLY in the right direction.

For British Men

Get something like one of these smelly-in-a-g0od-way lavender gifts (I’m a complete sucker for lavender stuff).  But don’t stop there.  Don’t just buy bubble bath – take a bubble bath TOGETHER.  Don’t just buy her nice oil – give your hot mama a massage.

Or buy her a voucher to her favourite spa.  Spa gifts are basically one of the best things on earth.  Join Groupon and you’ll get some great offers (a lot of which involve spas or other pamper-tastic things).  There’s an offer for roses that’s only good for today, or a sea food hamper that would make for some good eats (2nd Feb, 2011).

Or keep it simple.  Make her dinner, pour her a glass of champagne and tell her you love her.  It doesn’t get much better than that…

Now there’s no room for error!  American ladies – send your Brit love-machines to this post so they know what to do.  Or maybe you can do me one better.  What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s Day?

Is it normal for British men to be romantically retarded?!

I had an email from an American reader in turmoil looking for advice about, you guessed it, her British man…  She’s long-distance with her Brit and they’re about to see each other again after 2 years of being apart.

While I DO have a prolific long distance relationship history, I HAVEN’T had a prolific dating history because I met Mr. Nice Guy when I was so young, so I’m going to open this one up on the floor.  Here’s her dilemma…

I tell him how I feel via letter. I told him that I was in love with him, that I wanted to be with him, would wait for him…etc etc all of that sappy stuff you hear in films and all…and it’s truly how I feel. When we were on Skype I asked him what he thought. And he just laughed “You know how I feel…I’m talking to you now, aren’t I?”

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!

He’s always like that unless he’s got a bit of a drink in him–then he gets sweet and tells me he misses me, wishes I were there, blah blah… But what I want to know is

IS IT NORMAL FOR BRITISH MEN TO BE ROMANTICALLY RETARDED?!

When we were together the last time in person, he couldn’t get enough of me. So affectionate, loving, sweet…sure, I get a “You look lovely” every now and then…and a pet name here or there, but never anything worth writing home about. This relationship is not worth throwing away because I am not getting my share of sap, but is it normal for English men to be more withdrawn? I just hope that when we are together in person again it’s the same.

You girls are my only hope! What are your experiences?

I know every relationship is different, but if this was me and Mr. Nice Guy during our long distance extravaganza, it would have freaked me out.  Long distance is friggin’ hard enough even WITH constant reassurance from both sides.  My only piece of advice is to not be afraid to talk openly about it – talking is all you get with long distance, so go for it.  And be honest with yourself about how things are really going.  I’ve always loved Mr. Nice Guy like crazy, but I knew I had to keep an open mind that he might meet someone else and break it off – it’s one of the rubbishy truths about long distance.

But the good news is that it can also work really well :)

So, SNFY chicas… what do you think?

You’re still searching: British Men In Bed

Hi there Readers,

There’s something us three gals have been meaning to talk you about. We’re loving our chats. You make us laugh, you make us think, and you ask the best questions! But there is a bit of an elephant in the room isn’t there?

I mean, there is something you still want to know. Don’t be shy. We know you’ve been searching for it, ’cause we see it in our Google analytic stats:

British men in bed.

There. I said it.

In fact, we did actually mention this once before.  But we’re not really experts in the topic. You know, monogamy and all…

So we kinda need your help here. Otherwise we may have to resort to posting links to ridiculous Daily Mail surveys ranking men in bed by nationality. Desperate indeed.

So…. who wants to go first?

Oh, and thanks in advance for keeping it classy when it comes to comments. You’re the best.

PS. I’m still the same PacificYorkshireBird, I just fancied a new picture. Hope you don’t mind.

When your British boyfriend asks to marry you, an American woman’s perspective

peacefulyorkshire

” Peaceful Yorkshire, will you marry me? ” said Mr. Chill, my British darling from the Northern lands of Cumbria on his sweet little knees, his hands on mine.

Time froze as on our brown corduroy Ikea couch, his blue eyes waiting. I was sitting very unglamorously in my pink fuzzy robe after consuming a pancake birthday breakfast. Possibilities raced through my mind:

Shocker! Wow- what a surprise – on my 29th- and on our Ikea couch who would’ve thought- I didn’t come to this country to get a British man- I came for my career  -you are actually going to be marrying a Brit if you say yes- I didn’t expect him to ask me-oh, then you shall learn to master the art of a fine Cottage Pie recipe -and he in turn will learn the art of the beauty of a Krispy Kreme-gosh I miss those-

his refined ‘mum’, with all those blue plates of the Queen on her wall, yikes, she’d then be my mothah-in-law, in fact I will now be eating her Coronation Chicken Sandwiches for the rest my dual nationality life- I feel more official -I now won’t  feel so transient- if only we could afford to  have two completely different weddings in two different locales- gal you’re neveh going home-

wait till I tell Yankeebean and Pacificbird- wait until I tell my collegues- they will say ‘lucky you get to stay in the UK for good’ -and what kinds of visa forms we be should be looking at- marrying Mr. Chill means our future kids will be dual citizens- but not until after my PhD is done-

this feels right -this is how it should be-a good feeling -telling the family over the phone just isn’t the same wish they were here – I love him so much -oh my god he’s for real -this is not a joke- he is really asking -wow didn’t think this would happen like this on our Ikea couch- this feels so right- so say yes- say yes….

“YES!”, I said

And that, my dear readers, is the crazy jumble of emotions that went through my head for about 5.5 seconds–while I pondered being a newly engaged American laydeh to an amazing British man– it feels fantastic. I would highly recommend it.

p.s better go update our ‘about page!’

How do you bring up ‘the fiance visa’ thing?

yankeebean

yankeebean

We recently had a comment on the post ‘Getting a Visa: One Woman’s Saga‘ that got me thinking.  Dreamer asked how I brought up the ‘fiance visa’ issue with my English guy after I completely ran out of  ’how to stay in the UK’ options  (her original comment can be read here)

I’ve got to start by saying that my heart goes out to you, Dreamer – it’s not a easy situation to be in, but I know you’ll make it through, no matter what happens.  I think it takes a certain type of person to make a long-distance relationship work for over a year – and you’re clearly that type of person.

The Facts

There are several facts that both parties in an expat-dating-situation almost certainly know:

  1. Staying together is going to take a lot of paperwork, red tape, patience, perseverance and (cha-ching!) WONGA.
  2. There are about a thousand ways to get into the UK – and a thousand way to get to STAY in the UK, none of which are guaranteed to ACTUALLY work when it comes down to crunch time.
  3. The ONLY way to stay together, might be to get married – which is obviously not a decision to be made lightly…

The Elephant in the Room

So, I’m assuming both of you – both you and your partner – KNOW all of these things.  Of course you do… you’re smart people, you read all the forums and the blogs and the articles and the advice.

It’s also possible that, even though you know these things, you don’t really talk about it with each other much.  It’s just a giant, stupid elephant in the room that keeps getting in the way while you’re trying to do regular relationship stuff together.  Because who wants to have that conversation??  The one that essentially boils down to, “So, if we don’t get married right now – are we going to break up?”

I mean, what the hell kind of option is THAT??  When it’s the person you love most in the world??  I’ll tell you what kind of option it is – the kind that makes your throat tight and your eyes water whenever you try to bring it up.  It’s the kind that makes the atmosphere in the room thick and tense – until you could cut it with a knife – and if you DID, it would actually bleed…

Man, the memories of those days come flooding right back.  And I mean flooding – fast…

How Did You Bring It Up?

Tearfully is the answer – tearfully and mucus-y and breathlessly – and hopefully… hoping that all I had to do was mention it and he would produce a ring like a rabbit out of a hat.  Hoping I would just have to whisper the words fiancé visa and he would get down on one knee… just like that.

Did it happen that way?

No… I’m afraid it did not…

The first thing we did was go out to lunch… When my ‘last-chance-at-non-marriage-related-visa’ rejection letter came through (and I was no longer hysterical and bright red) we went out to lunch.

We talked about normal stuff, every day stuff, for most of it – a lovely table for three – me, Mr Nice Guy, and that bloody elephant.  Only near the end did we discuss that, now, the only option left was marriage.  We did it in an almost observational kind of way – I think it was more about acknowledging it’s existence than anything.  Just admitting that we both knew what it was going to take if we were going to make it.  We both knew we wanted to be together forever, so at least that was unanimous. :)

Part of me thought he might propose then and there, but he didn’t, and looking back I understand why.

The next couple of months involved a lot of emotion and pressure.  I knew that I wanted to marry him, I was ready.  He knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, but he hated the pressure of having to decide because of a stupid piece of paper that would be glued in to my passport…  I was waiting for him to propose every second of every day… he was waiting for the moment that ‘felt right’ – which would never come while I was so riled up about it.

It was like a big relationship game of chicken… ugh…

How Did You Decide?

In the end, it all boiled down to a very simple, very emotional conversation – good Lord, I remember it like it was 5 minutes ago.

I knew I had to book my plane ticket home.  My current work visa was coming to an end and I had to book my plane ticket – and the choice I had to make was would it be one-way, or return?  So it boiled down to two simple questions that I asked all those years ago.

I asked/cried, “Do you want me to come back?”

He said, “Of course I do”

I said, “Then I’ll come back”

I asked, “Should I apply for a fiancé visa while I’m home”

He said, “Yes.”

And that was it – decision made.  We were engaged…

What Happened Next?

I went back to the States and paid the extra cash to apply for my fiancé visa in person rather that in the mail (because I had to have it when I re-entered the UK).  I went back to England and had to sponge off of Mr. Nice Guy for 4 months until we were married and I could legally apply for work.

At the time I remember being disappointed that everything wasn’t more romantic.  I didn’t have a big romantic proposal, I didn’t have much time to plan the big day, I didn’t have an engagement ring…

But when we got married it was just the best day.  Any doubts that I had about us being rushed in to a decision vanished when I met him at the end of the aisle – I knew he meant his vows and I did, too.  What more can you ask for?

And on our one year wedding anniversary, he proposed – because he said he wanted to do it right… :)

So even though I might have missed out on a little but of romance at the time, what I got in the end was far better…

So, Dreamer, I guess the same advice applies as always – you’ll know what’s right.  All you can do is make the best decisions possible with the information you have right now.  Knowing you want to spend the rest of your life with someone is the hard part, and if you’ve done that you’re a lucky lucky person.  I’m not saying the rest will be easy, but also know that you’re not alone!

When your American-self imagines breeding some British children

peacefulyorkshire

peacefulyorkshire

I am not  hoping to get knocked up my English boyfriend. But! I can vouch that when you are a lay-deh approaching the big 3-0- your mind just starts thinking about kids, biological clocks, your eggs disappearing….I know, I know before you think this post is ‘cliche-arama’,  hang on: It is different when the ‘eggs and time ticking’ happens when you are living as an American woman in England. Doesn’t the thought of having your own kids in a foreign country make you think about things differently?

For instance. Somehow in my ‘happy family fantasies’, my offspring all speak American(well, like me!): Hey therrrr Mom, can I have som’more them Nabisco Waaaaayferrrs? My good-natured-well-rounded-children would do happy things like celebrate the 4th of July while they squirt lines of E-Z cheese on their Oscar Mayer wiener*.

But if I imagine having kids here in the UK,  I start to feel uncomfortable at the thought. What would it be like to have kids that speak in a British Accent? (Oh Motha dear, could I trouble you foh some of that lurvely Ribeeena?). As if! In my fantasy they wouldn’t sound like that- I have them down sounding more like da Ali G.

The ‘what-ifs’ eat away at my brain. I freak out that they would have to grow up in a council estate because we couldn’t get on the UK property ladder anywhere else.There my British children would become little chavsters and enjoy burning out wheelie bins. I wouldn’t able to send them to a public school on my meagre income and all the good state schools would be oversubscribed so their brains might rot. I would worry they would have sex at age 11 and drink Thunderbird mixers in secret alley ways (you know, the ones with the orange lights!). My family in America couldn’t help raise them because they are too far away. Gollee, my unborn British children really freak me out right about now. Bring on that free NHS contraception.

Yankeebean’s post that midly freaked me out enough to inspired this one…. Click here

*that would be a hot dog and not the dodgy UK defintion of ‘wiener’ just to clear up any confusion as it would confuse the meaning of this post somewhat.

An English man looking for a woman – If only I could put him on Ebay

yankeebeanIf there’s one thing I’ve learned from writing this blog with my fellow sass-pots it’s that American women want a big ol’ hunka hunka burnin’ English love.

Well, if that’s true, then I’ve struck gold – I’ve found a lovely English guy that’s lookin’ fo’ luuuuurve.

I don’t mean for me.  Nononononono, I’m ubertaken – but I’d run outta fingers pretty quickly if I tried to count the American ladies I know that are looking for some crumpet.

But there’s not a single flippin’ thing I can do about it!  I certainly can’t ‘out him’ on this blog – can you even imagine?  I feel like I could make a fortune if I put him on Ebay :D

I did flat-out tell him that, if he wanted to be surrounded by interested women, he should go to America.  He wasn’t convinced…

Keep the faith, lovely American ladies!!  Single English dudes are out there – this one is a musician and he lives in the South West, but that’s all I can say without feeling like a pimp :)