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is not worth throwing away because I am not getting my share of sap, but is it normal for English men to be more withdrawn?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?

A Guide to Getting Your Man into America

Welcome to guest blogger – Wandering Seattleite!  Visit her blog seattleiteimagery

Wandering Seattleite

Wandering Seattleite

Two weeks ago my British husband and I flew into LAX. He handed the immigration officer his sealed manilla envelope, waited in a sterile lounge for an hour, and came out a legal resident of the United States of America.

When I married Dan almost five years ago I had some idea how big a role immigration officers would play in our relational logistics, but this past year it hit home. Every day for 6 months the Green Card was on our minds: How long’s it going to take? What if Dan doesn’t get in?! Moving across the world is stressful enough without all the legalities.

Now that my alien spouse has finally made it into the country, the whole immigration process seems far away. But I’ve had lots of people back in England ask me for tips for getting their aliens into the States. So, whether you’re in the throes of the Green Card application process, or just thinking about what it will look like in the future, here are a few helpful tips.

1 – Have a meticulous husband

I can’t recommend this highly enough. Honestly, my husband’s detail orientation came into it’s own here as I watched him fill out the overwhelming and tedious paperwork I’d have placed in my “to do” pile(s) for months. Don’t worry if your spouse is less than organized though – set aside a few evenings and force yourselves to fill out the boring papers/ locate documents, etc. It feels like a lot of work, but it’s not that hard, so just get on with it. Then reward yourself with a bottle of wine and dreams of Mexican food and Trader Joes shopping sprees.

2 – Do your taxes & get your police checks

It’s easy to forget about your US taxes while in the UK. Very easy. But proof of filing those bad boys is one of the things the immigration office is going to want from you in order to let your sweetheart in. If you’re a bit behind, this guide will sort your out – http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Taxes_filing_with_the_US_IRS_in_London. Another potential hold-up could be waiting for the police checks from every country your alien spouse has lived for a year since age 16. It took about 6 weeks to get the Japanese police check through, so if your spouse is at all nomadic I’d get on it straightaway.

3 – Keep calm and carry on, damn it!

When we were going through the process, waiting for dates, biting our nails, trying to plan our lives, etc., those red WWII posters were everywhere. They were my daily reminders not to freak out, to channel my inner Brit and just keep calm and carry on. This mantra honestly helped. Thousands of people apply for Green Cards and are accepted every year, often without a high school education or grasp of the English language. If they can do it, so can you. It feels overwhelming, but keep it in perspective and stop worrying. You will get there.

4 – Don’t be afraid of Plan Q

Before we applied we had it all figured out. We’d get the Green Card within three months, find jobs from the UK and move seamlessly to Los Angeles to start our lives. Well, Plan A became Plan B became Plan Q. The Green Card took 6 months, we spent the winter in New Zealand with my in-laws (highly recommended) and now we’re living at my parents house on an inflatable mattress in Seattle looking for jobs. Not Plan A, but not the end of the world either. My advice is to reassess where you’re at every week or so with the process and create a variety of plans depending on how long things take. Flexibility is very helpful!

5 – Interview prep

When Dan went for his interview he got all suited and booted and said no one else in the waiting room made an effort. I’m not saying my man’s appearance got him in, but I don’t think it hurts to dress like you’re taking this whole thing seriously either. The interview took just over an hour and was basically a final check of all the paperwork he’d so diligently rustled up. The one odd thing was when he handed the officer a letter proving my London employment, the lady said I needed proof of American employment! This seemed like a Catch-22  – how could I get a job in America until I knew we could both move over legally? Anyway, for some reason they let him in despite my lack of dual employment (because he was so well dressed?), and we didn’t need to worry about it. I’m not sure how other people have got around this though.

This list isn’t comprehensive, but it includes some of the things I found helpful going through the joys of getting a Green Card for my alien spouse. Have you gone through the same thing or are you planning to? I’d love to swap immigration stories.

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!

American in Britain AND Brit in America

yankeebean

yankeebean

Part of being an American woman, and dating or marrying an English man is that one of you will always be living in a land in which you weren’t made.  Or, of course, you’ll opt to jump ship from both your native lands to even the score…

Normally I’m the American in Britain and I’ve gone through all of the exciting, sometimes brain-squeezing adjustments involved.  Whether I like it or not, being an ‘American in Britain’ is a big part of who I am – and how other people see me.  It’s often the way I’m introduced, “This is Yankeebean – she’s American”

But Mr. Nice Guy and I just got back from a 2 week stint in the lovely USA, where he became the Brit in America.  It really brings me back to when I was the new expat in town – I almost couldn’t believe some of the stuff people said to him (especially since, 5 years in, I’m partially Brit-in-America now, too).

A lot of it was about the accent – and many many many of my lady friends in the USA went on and on, right to his face, about how gorgeous he was :D  And I’m not the jealous type so I just kept thinking ‘score one for me!’…

Another common thing is that people would ask him where he’s from, and they would then describe one of their past holidays to London because, to many Americans, London IS England.  Mr. Nice Guy was a good sport about it – even though I could tell he was embarrassed from the top of his spiky hair to the bottom of his man-Sketchers when my friends were fawning over him.  Classic:)

And so it goes!  Either I’m the American in Britain or Mr. Nice Guy is the Brit in America – it’s just the way things are now and, actually, I think we’re getting good at it (finally!  High fiiiiiiiive!!)

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 :)

Getting recommended by a sex advice columnist (or anyone for that matter!) always makes our day

yahooavatar15pacific birdyankeebeanWhen we know that our blog makes you laugh, helps you out–well, frankly that is the best thing we can see as the outcome for our many ramblings!  Since we have been on about lingerie lately (see post below), this feeling of joy was the equivalent as going to TkMaxx and seeing La Perla 75% off in our size (yes it can happen). Our readers can really make our day!! So, naturally we were mega-delighted last week when Dan Savage, a nationally syndicated sex advice columnist in Seattle, posted about ‘She’s Not From Yorkshire’ on his “Love Letter of the Day“. To Dan and our lovely and kind reader “J” who recommended us, thank you!

They wrote:

“I just listened to Episode 148 of the “Savage Love” podcast in which a young woman calls in to ask about a man she met in England. I thought that she might find it helpful to know that she’s not alone; there are many American women who’ve fallen in love with, married, and made things work with a British guy. In fact, there’s a blog She’s Not From Yorkshire co-written by three American women involved with British men. One has married a Brit and is currently living in London, another has been living near York with her fiance but they have just moved back to America to get married and they plan to live there, and the third is currently living near York and is seeing a series of British guys.

I thought this might be of use to her in that the blog has apparently become an unofficial source of information and advice on international romance, and the wonderful young ladies have much to say on several topics, including how to deal with long-distance romance, deciding where to live, and many other subjects.

Anyway. I love your show, and I just thought that this bit of info might be useful to a young woman who’s obviously rather tormented.

J.”

Not that we’re trying to blow our own horn. Well, we are a little–but only because we are  American and are born comfortable in doing so. Oh, and we’re also very proud and very grateful for our devoted readers that always keep us inspired. Now go listen to Dan’s cheeky advice for this lovelorn lady! And of course, what do you think–was his advice spot on?

With love,

Peaceful, Yankeebean and Pacificbird xxx

My English man and our long distance relationship

yankeebeanLots of people find She’s Not From Yorkshire because they’ve fallen for an English man – and so have we!  A comment left recently by Dreamer got me thinking about the logistics of meeting, falling in love with, dating, and possibly marrying and English man.

It’s not the first time we’ve been asked for advice about the long-distance idea, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  But, I always feel nervous about giving any kind of advice, because every relationship is different – and long distance relationships are SO hard and fierce and all-or-nothing… I never know what to say.

All I can talk about is my own experience, so here goes!

I met Mr Nice Guy when I was 16 and living in England.  I knew OF him, but didn’t really know him for 2 years.  But, one fateful prom night, we kissed and that led to us hanging out and getting to know each other more.

After 2 months, we knew were in love and after 4 months I got on a plane and flew back to America to go to University.

So begins the long distance!  Emails at least three times a day and a phone call every day or every other day.  Plus a flight every 3 or 4 months – we both worked our butts off outside of Uni to fund all this, cos what else can you do?  Skype was just a twinkle in the eye of the world wide web, so there was no web-cam chats or anything so glam, but we used what we had.  We got through the initial ‘trust issues’ although the deeply-rooted ‘he’s-going-to-meet-someone-else’ worries never really vanished.

Long distance came with built in worries, insecurities, loneliness, and jealousy but it was counter-weighted with joy, love, laughter and adventure.  I spent 95% of my time waiting for the other 5% of my time to arrive.  And when it did, I would spend 2 weeks with Mr Nice Guy love-drunk, hazy, randy and happy only to fly home crying and already planning the next trip.

It was really hard… but it was 200% worth it.

Everyday, I woke up and asked myself if I still loved Mr Nice Guy, if I still wanted him to be MY Mr Nice Guy and the answer was always ‘yes’.  So I kept emailing and calling (and sometimes flying) everyday for 4 years until we came out the other side.  If, for any reason, the answer had been ‘no’, I would have had to seriously think about what my next step was.

I hate remembering the ‘long-distance’ stuff, but I LOVE that it worked out (and mostly that it’s over and now we have a regular-distance-relationship).  And as much as I hated the ‘long-ness’, it helped (/forced) us to sort through a lot of relationship issues and laid a really strong foundation for the rest of our lives together.

So if any of you are considering a long-distance relationship, or you’re smack-dab in the middle of one, or you’re struggling to keep one alive, we know how you feel!  Any lack of advice is just because we don’t want to suggest something that will feel wrong for you – only you will really know what’s right… but we do understand that it’s a difficult situation – and we’re here for each other and for you guys, too!

You searched: I am in love with an Englishman. Dating a hot British Man. American Woman and Manchester United fan meet-up for a date. Differences between Americans and Brits in bed.

yahooavatar15Dear Reader,

Us 3 American women from “She’s Not From Yorkshire” didn’t start this blog so we could focus all of our attention on English men. Or American men.  Or what’ s the difference? Or  what it’s like to date one (great!). Heck no!! But… according to our trusty Google Analytics, many of our trusty readers have found our blog by typing into Google:

  • “I am in love with an Englishman”
  • “I hate British men”
  • “Dating an Englishman long distance through the internet”
  • “How to make love to an Englishman this weekend”
  • “How to meet and fall in love with an Englishman”
  • “The Differences between American men and English men”

Your searches have made us laugh (because we have searched the same things ourselves!), and our posts about our Englishmen sure do get the hits! We  have figured out what it is…there just aren’t that many resources for American women dating/loving/sleeping with/married to British men, are there?! Its a topic still being researched– oh yes, that along with genetic cloning and alien abduction.

But if you are looking for answers (about as likely as solving the 1948 Roswell incident) and want a little humor about this topic, then have a look at this post to cheer you up when its the stupid Credit Crunch and its cold but  its almost Valentine’s Day so you might be looking for love so this might help.

EXCERPT:

“When it comes to the attractiveness of British men, American women are simply incapable of rendering a proper judgment. Bad teeth, the unibrow, Guinness bloat, doesn’t matter; hell, we think Tony Blair is hot. Studies have proven that British accents are, in fact, the number one cause of hot women dating nerdy men. (Number two cause? Woody Allen.) There’s nothing wrong with dating men who have British accents; Madonna liked her husband’s so much she got one of her own. But there are scoundrels out there—those who use their cute British accents to lure innocent birds to their flat for a friendly game of hide the blood sausage. Sorry.”

(Go on, click over, you know you need to have a laugh. What, its not like WE have any answers either!) And,  in the meantime, we will keep writing and trying to figure out life in the UK with British men too.

Yours Sincerely,

PeacefulYorkshire

An American Woman and a British Man, where should they live?

yahooavatar15Hey our readers don’t need us three American ladies to bring up the issues of being an American in Britain, or having a British partner, or gosh, even being in an International relationship. Our readers already know what its like! One reader “J” commented on our about page this week:
I came across your site by chance and I absolutely love it! I am madly in love with a guy from England, but I live in the US still. He wants to move over here, but I want to move over there… sooo yeah we have a bit of a dilemma, but I’m sure we’ll end up staying in the US. Anyway, thanks for your blog. It makes me smile )

She (or he) has me thinking the exact same thing after just being in America to visit my family. I bet you have thought this one over too.

Although I have been in Britain for 5 years the question still remains: Do I stay here in England and continue building my career here in Yorkshire, or do I make plans to take Mr. Chill and I back to my Desert roots of sunshine and lots of family in America? Its a hard decision. How do you decide? This is a constant conversation between my partner (Mr. Chill) and I!

After “Not from Around Here’s”  post on Australia, It has me thinking more and more…. how about if we were to find a place that was a little bit like America but a little bit British. I am thinking wide open spaces, overly-friendly people but a place still full of pubs, a bit of rain and quaintness (and football says Mr. Chill!). We have lots of ideas.  Australia. New Zealand. Canada. Ireland. Oh, but I need warmth, I complain, how about Spain or South of France? Despite 100′s of conversations, and scrutinizing A Place in the Sun we’ve reached no conclusions yet! So, I resign myself to Yorkshire a bit longer and dream about our “perfect place”.

I’m allergic to English train stations and airports

yankeebeanI’m sitting on a train on my way to Leeds right now.  I’m only going to Leeds for the day, and I’m actually going to meet up with peacefulyorkshire and pacificyorkshirebird which I am EXCITED about!!

But I’ve just left York train station and I feel a little sick and emotional. There’s a lump in my throat, and my heart is beating really fast.  “Why”, you ask? Because I’m allergic to English train stations and airports.   And being an American that’s in love with an English man has made me this way.

I have accepted that I’ll always be pulled in two opposite directions.   That I’ll always miss someone somewhere, whether it’s my guy or my family.   It’s something I have to live with if I’m going to be with Mr Nice Guy, and I AM going to be with Mr Nice Guy, so I better just suck it up.

I dated Mr NG for 4 years while I was living in the US ans he was living in the UK.  FOUR FREAKIN YEARS of long distance.  Looking back it’s just a smear of phone calls, emails, plane trips, all-sex-or-no-sex, crying-and-lonliness or smiling-and-loved-up feelings. Even thinking of it now makes me feel kinda panicky… like a worm hole is going to suck me back to my College years and I’ll have to do it all again.

Over the years, I came to associate train stations and airports with the extreme emotions that go along with a long distance relationship.  I was only ever there because I was saying hello or goodbye to the person I love the most.

So now every time I travel in England, I get this slightly tight and panicky feeling.  And I just saw a couple saying good-bye on the train platform and I felt like bawling.  BAWLING.

I’m only going to Leeds for the FREAKIN DAY!!

They say you can discover new allergies when you move abroad.  Well it turns out I’m allergic to English train stations and airports.