Does your British man kiss their guy friends on the mouth?

yankeebean

There’s been another out cry from a fellow expat and I’m opening it up to you lovely She’s not from Yorkshire ladies.  One reader is American, living in South Korea and dating a British expat there.  She’s said that he’s lovely, and funny and adventurous, but does one thing that makes her uncomfortable.

I am concerned about his overly affectionate behaviour with his mates. I just don’t understand it. And I don’t know if it’s just a British thing? Help!

When we’re out, him and one of his best mates will kiss each other (fairly regularly and it’s pretty over the top and drawn out). I find it rather unsettling so I broached the subject one day. He told me that they kiss each other ‘because they love each other’, as well as to get a reaction and he also said that he thinks it’s an acting/theatre thing (they’re both actors).

He said there are other guys AND girls he’s done this with back in England, but it’s not romantic or sexual. He’s also very openly affectionate/cuddly/huggy with his friends (including the guys).

It makes me uncomfortable, but at the same time I don’t want to change who he is.

I want to know if this kind of behaviour is more common with British men – do they tend to be more physically and verbally open and affectionate with their friends? I’ve never seen this kind of thing with American guys so it really puzzles me. I think I also need to make it clear that it’s unacceptable for him to continue doing this with the girls he used to openly kiss now that we’re in a relationship (even if it doesn’t mean a thing!)

If you’re able to give me your opinion and/or any advice, I would truly appreciate it as I’m at a loss.

Well, I would be uncomfortable if Mr. Nice Guy was doing any more than giving someone a peck on the cheeck.  Man / woman, it doesn’t matter – those lips are mine…  But I also know that Mr. Nice Guy isn’t openly affectionate, he’s never liked PDA.  We hold hands, or have a little smooch in public, but other than that, it’s saved for when we’re on our own.  So if I saw him doing this, it would be TOTALLY out of character.

I ran with the theatre crowd when I was in high school and I can easily imagine my guy friends back home doing this kind of stuff.  I think it still would have made me uncomfortable, though.  Hugs?  Fine.  Cuddling?  Borderline.  Kissing?   Nonononooo.  Maybe I’m just possessive, though.

What do you think, ladies?  Does your British man kiss other male/female friends?

***********UPDATE***************

Thanks to Carolina.firefly who posted a link in the comments to a Guardian article about straight men kissing more.  It proves you’re not alone, lovely reader!

When American Expats in Britain Choose Activation over Stagnation

yahooavatar15There will come a time in your  “I am an American expat in Britain” life where you will  be on the cusp of knowing what will make you happy.  I would say this happens about 2-5 years into the expat in game. You might have been living in Britain a while and the excitement has worn off a bit, the excitement of being somewhere new where even builders take tea breaks and you have learned finally what to call all those English Bread products.  The cusp I am talking about is the breaking point between activation or stagnation. The cusp is where you realise  living here is “for real” and unless you: a) find happiness where you are at and figure what is ‘going to do it for you’ in Britain or  b) Make the move back to America, you will forever be feeling like you are unsatisfied.

So, that’ s what us  American 3 ladies did. We chose “a” or “b” and are now activating this week through our decisions , which involves  moving in some way or another (we didn’t plan it that way, just in case you were wondering!) You might have read that Yankeebean is moving ‘down south’. And that Pacificbird is moving back to America. Me? I am just moving down the street. But all three of our moves represent a change in our expat lives to finding our happiness.

We have done the soul searching and have made the action plan about whats going to serve us in the long run. We were all in the same boat when we met randomly here in Yorkshire– late twenties, no kids, great British partners, good jobs. We shared a lot! But, we have all relised that it wasn’t going to last forever. Living where we were wasn’t fuflfilling anymore for our long term vision of our careers, our future kids, growing older.

Yankeebean and Pacificbird will fill you in about what they needed, but I knew that I could not live in my small Victorian Flat anymore. If I was going to stay in Yorkshire with Mr. Chill I needed space and a place to play my harp to my heart’s desire.  Back in America I had a garden. A house. Lots of room to move about in. Privacy from the neighbors. So I knew that if I were going to stay here in Britain I was going to search for that as well… but on a musician’s salary (no small feat) . But, here I am packing boxes as I make way to move into my quirky Victorian terrace house with three sprawling floors and a garden to call my own. I will even have a room dedicated to harp playing!

But, this move was not something that could have ever been immediate (well unless I was Madonna). I will be the first to tell you that upon arriving in Britain as an expat you will no doubt make sacrifices, only because you are in a foreign country. You might not like the flat you are living in decked out in Argos because that’s all you can afford, you will probably be broke from visas, moving and the weak dollar. You will  eat British pastries all too much and you might spend too much time indoors online chatting to your friends back home. You might not know how to make these changes to make you happy. Gee, You might not even know what the hell to call yourself in Britain. You might not feel you deserve to make the changes because you should “just be grateful to be in a foreign country” (I felt that one a lot).

No, it will take a while to figure out what you need. My point is that when you reach the cusp where you don’t have to sacrifice anymore, you should celebrate, because that means that you have integrated and Britain is your new “reality”! That will be about the time you feel like you will know what will do it for you, and you will be on that ever so special cusp to find your own fulfillment in expat life.

An American Expat in Britain tries to find better word to describe her situation

yahooavatar15Sylvia left a comment on our About page last week and wrote:

“Hi, I’m a Leeds lass living in the middle of Kansas and I had a very hard time adjusting when I first got here. The women here were a problem for me as they all had the cheerleader mentality and I couldn’t relate to them in any way at all. After 33 years I can certainly hold my own, you just have to get to know people and adapt. I must say that when we went back to London several years ago I couldn’t relate much to the Brits and so I feel like I’m in no-mans land sometimes. Love your blog. “

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I love our readers. Yes, that would be you, lovelies! You not only inspire me but encourage me to think about life in Britain differently.  Y’all are fantastic.

I am writing this from America right now where I am visiting my family for Christmas. Being here as put a different spin on my perception of “fitting in”. I realize the longer that I stay in Britain, the less I fit in America.

SO if the Americans don’t treat me as one of them:

“So, like, you’re like, living where again?” she asks, “Germany or something?”

“Um, its England” I say apologetically, but thinking she has no clue about her geography

She then says “Whats it like over there– do you all wear bowler hats to work?”

And the Brits don’t treat me as one of them:

“In England we don’t say bay–sil we say bahh–sil, says the English waiter, “and I am afraid  we don’t have doggie bags, whatever those are”

Where does that leave me? Where do I belong?

Am I to move to the middle of the Atlantic ocean where I should live on a mega-boat in the middle of the two?

Like Sylvia in her comment above, I feel I am in this middle place (no-mans land) where I am not a Brit, but I am not an American.

The only word for this scenario is expatriate which I know, I know, comes from Latin, apparently. But it sounds more like ex-patriot, a word which sounds like I have given up my American patriotism! A word that sounds like I have turned my back on my fellow country men!

Surely there is a better, nicer word…

Maybe I could say I am an Ameribrit.

Or how about a Briterican? Hmmm…