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. :)

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.

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!

Getting a UK Visa: One woman’s saga

yankeebeanThis post can’t come with a big enough disclaimer, my lovely peeps – A reader asked us to write about our ‘getting a visa’ experience so I thought I’d amble over to She’s Not From Yorkshire and get started.  But this only reflects my experience, pleasepleaseplease don’t take this as advice.  Visa laws and requirements change about every fifteen minutes so make sure to check with the Big Dudes (http://www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/).  I (unfortunately) know how stressful and heinous it is to have an application rejected for not doing everything right, so don’t take anything I write as gospel…

*deep breath* Ok… brace yourself, this is going to be a long one…

After I met Mr. Nice Guy, I went back to the US for University – we did the long distance thing for 4 seemingly endless years and then it was time to move.  So it begins…

Visa #1: BUNAC work-abroad programme = Accepted

Cost: 300.00 USD (ish…)
My location when I applied: USA
Valid for: 6 months
Received: September 2004
My age: 22

Bunac were the people that allowed me to first set-foot and work in England for 6 months as part of a work-abroad programme.  The exact programme I came across for doesn’t exist anymore (I imagine I wasn’t the only one that used it as a blatant weasel-in-to-England scheme).  Basically, they got me in the country and guaranteed me an English bank account – then they left me to it to find a job and a place to stay (which was the easy part).

I had two choices for my next visa.  One, find a job that would hire me and go through the visa application process on my behalf.  Two, marry my guy (I know, it doesn’t sound very romantic.  But I already knew I wanted to marry him, so I thought why not now?).

Visa #2: Work Permit = Rejected

Cost: Blissfully unaware
My location when I applied: UK
Valid for: However long I was employed by a specific employer
Received Notification: Early 2005
My age: still 22

I found a job in a standard beige office with the hopes that they would go through the second round of visa applications that needed to begin almost immediately.  They agreed (I still can’t believe they agreed) AND they said they’d pay for it (best news ever).  I was put in charge of all the research, paperwork and evidence required to get the Queen to let me stay.

Applications completed – One.  Evidence supplied – substantial.  Time spent researching – infinity.

Application status – rejected.  Ugh…

My application was rejected because it would only have been valid if it was for a job that no other person in the European Union was capable of doing.  I must’ve known deep down that there was no way it could work…

Visa #3: Fianceé Visa = Accepted

Cost: 350.00 GBP
My location when I applied: USA
Valid for: 6 months during which I was not allowed to work
Received Notification: April 2005
My age: 23

SO, me and Mr Nice Guy hadn’t decided to get hitched yet because we needed to make sure we were doing it for the right reasons.  To buy time I went back to the States and applied for a Fianceé Visa.  I had to bring evidence of our relationship for the past 2 years including stuff like letters, pictures, plane ticket stubbs – you get the idea – in addition to filling out yet another giant form of doom.  I went back home for 5 weeks during which I paid a little extra to apply in person, went to the UK Embassy in the big-bad-city, thumped my paperwork on the desk of some lady, left it there and went and had a coffee/panicked/waited, and then received a call from the UK Embassay informing me that I was successfully engaged to Mr Nice Guy.  :)

Not exactly a romantic proposal, but I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of refief that washed over me when I heard those lovely words of acceptance.

Visa #4: Temporary Marriage Visa (take 1) = Rejected

Cost: 750.00 GBP
My location when I applied: UK
Valid for: 2 years
Received Notification: October 2005
My age: 23

Fastforward past all the wedding excitement (Best Day Ever! :) ) and we arrive at the next visa.  Technically I was applying for Temporary Leave to Remain.  The rules for this Visa were that I had to 1) be married to a UK-type and 2) stay married for 2 years.

When I began this application process, I did everything I was supposed to (or so I thought).  All the evidence was in place, I’d even called the UK Visa Office to make sure I was using the right form for what I was trying to do.  But (I kid you not) between the time that I received what WAS the correct form, and completed and posted said-form…

They changed the form… so I sent in the wrong form.

Sure enough, 6 weeks later almost to the day I received my letter of rejection because I’d sent in the wrong form.  Enter drama from stage left – I criiiiiiied when I got that one.  Blah…

Visa #5: Temporary Marriage Visa (take 2) = Accepted

Cost: They rolled-over my first payment of 750.00 GBP (thank God)
My location when I applied: UK
Valid for: 2 years
Received Notification: Late 2005
My age: 23

I re-confirmed which form I was supposed to use, re-filled out every last detail, re-posted it to the appropriate red-tape-central address, and received my acceptance letter with a complimentary truck-load of relief…

Visa #6: Permanent Marriage Visa = Accepted

Cost: 750.00 GBP
My location when I applied: UK
Valid for: Ever (yay!!)
Received Notification: Late 2007
My age: 25

Technically what I was applying for is called Indefinite Leave to Remain – this was the one I had been waiting for.  This was the Visa that meant I could stay and never have to apply for another Visa unless I wanted to.  I had to supply evidence the me and Mr Nice Guy had been living in the same place for the past 2 years in terms of bank statments and things.  They had some rule that, if your bills were in a joint name, you need evidence spanning 2 years from 5 different sources.  However, if you didn’t have your bills and stuff in joint names, then you needed evidence spanning 2 years from 5 different sources EACH.  We (of course) didn’t have our bills in our joint name, so we scraped together about a foot of paper between the two of us.

Another giant form was filled in.

Another wad was posted off.

Acceptance arrived around Elevenses one morning while I was in the middle of a First Aid training course.  Mr Nice Guy called me on my cell to tell me the stellar news.  It was a good good good good day…

Visa #7: British Citizenship = Pending

I haven’t actually applied for this yet, but I will one day.  I was worried that becoming British would mean I wasn’t allowed to be American anymore, but for now I don’t believe that’s true.  I’ve been to many an Expat forum where people have said that America will not force you to solely be an American citizen.

However, I’ve also heard people say that America doesn’t really want to know if you’re a citizen somewhere else.  It would be a ‘use your American passport to get into the States’ and ‘use your UK passport to get into the UK’ situation.  The one warning I have heard is that you should never let your US passport expire if you’re also a British citizen because the US are unlikely to renew your passport if this happens.  Again, this all just stuff I’ve read on forums, but it’s good enough for me for now…

Bloody hell, I need a cuppa tea… I apologise if I bored the bejeezus out of you, but don’t worry, it’s over now :)

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

Dating a British man–perhaps lacking in romance, but at least still buying you that raunchy lingerie…

yahooavatar15Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Oh, but we did, darlings, we did! Perhaps your British man will only order kinky lingerie for you over the internet, didn’t go bonkers for you on Valentine’s Day, and rarely writes you sappy poems or a song… and its not just us 3 Shes not From Yorkshire lasses that have noticed. Its just that some British blokes (the ones with a stiff upper lip, I think) might not be as cuddly wuddly and over the top as you hoped (well, when compared to your last American lovah). It is just the way it could be for you here in Brittania. What? You thought all English men were like Mr. Darcy and Hugh Grant? Ummm…..

It seems that British men might not be as romantic as you want them to be says a new study. As an American women who is used to a different style of wooing, this could come as a shocker for an uninformed new woman abroad not- in-the-know.  British romance from those silly movies you’ve seen? Sorry, honey. This little fact is one that you might discover as an American women coming to the UK. Roughly, it is in the same category that a) attempting sex at an English B&B is debatable b)you really should descale your tea-kettle every so often, c ) you could think that English radio is a dictatorship, and d) that public toilets in England will generally have no loo roll.

The Times just published a little blurb about British men and their um… deficiencies last month (19/7/09):

British men are among the least romantic in the world. In a study of 6,500 men and women from across the world, psychologist Richard Weisman found that British men were 10% less likely to make romantic gestures then men from other countries. Only 32% of Brit men have written a song or poem for their loved one, compared with 41% of non-British men, and only 44% had taken their other halves on a surprise holiday compared with 51% elsewhere. The study also found that British men mistakenly  believe that buying sexy lingerie is the key to a woman’s heart, when what really want are little gestures and a cup of tea in bed. (I say Oh the ecstasy!!! The rapture!!)

But wait! Before you despair over the lack of recieving impromptu holidays to Torremelinos and Lindt semi-dark, take heart as this seems to be the average British male behaviour.

ps. Funnily enough, the most romantic British man I’ve come across would be Mr. Chavtastic.

British Men– murderers, self-depricating, and not loved by British Women?

yahooavatar15Oh, we have tons of posts about British Men. When the mood strikes, we write about our experiences because our British Men are a big part of our lives. We’re dating them, sleeping with them, married to them, bickering with them, getting visas for them…But enough about what we think! What do other ladies think about British Men?

Click here for a blogger who thinks that “British men can be scary” because of  manky murder cases she read about in Britain (well if you only read the murder stories you would be scared, right?). This lady wrote this in jest… I think.  Here is an excerpt:

“British men have been in the news a lot lately, but not for their admirable qualities. In fact, these men are rather jealous and insensitive and, oh, have a habit of murdering their partners. EXHIBIT #1: Colin Scully, a jealous husband, admitted to police that he strangled his wife Tracey to death after she called out “Paul” while they were having sex…”

Then there is Alexandra Hope, a British feminist. She gives us her take on what British women think of their male counterparts– and its not good. She writes that in comparison to her peers, even Americans ‘in their lack of sophistication’ are at least bunny boilers. I am not sure if she wishes British women were bunny boilers too? Does this make her sad? This specific bunny boiler comment makes me feel very patriotic, of course. “Well God Bless America” is what I say to you, my little feminista honey!. Anyway, here is an excerpt of her post:

British men are the way they are is because we, British women, do not love them. Yes, you heard me right – We, British women, do not love Men. In fact, I am not entirely convinced that we ever did. If we cast an idle glance in the mirror of world history and relevant literature, a rather uncomfortably impassionate image stares back. And that image is enough to give the rest of the world a right to label British women as largely frigid.…”

Oh and then there is this Telegraph article that gives the run-down of British men from ladies from all kinds of international ethnic backgrounds. These single ladies from abroad give their viewpoints while they try to get English men to “put a ring on it”. (Pick your favorite opinion!)

“Part of the problem is that the goal of British courtship is not simply to find a life partner. It is also about doing everything possible to avoid what we hate most – making fools of ourselves. No wonder, then, that extravagant compliments, overt flirtation and official ‘dates’ – all considered normal virtually everywhere else – fail to thrive in the land of the stiff upper lip. Terrified of humiliating rejection, British men, it seems, will do almost anything to avoid showing their true feelings until they are certain they will be reciprocated.”

Last there is a Ellie Levison of the Independent who writes that if you really want to get a British man to fancy you then you better be prepared to be a self-annihilator. Yes, wipe out that confident little American charm from your walk, darling! Well, I say yawn to that approach! Oh wait I mean, I mustn’t yawn I am so STUPID to yawn, I can’t believe I am such a fool to yawn! How could a guy want to date me when I want to yawn? (Ridiculous!)

“The study, by the anthropologist Gil Greengross, looked at the seduction techniques of British people, and found that taking the mickey out of yourself makes you more desirable. This is a peculiarly British form of humour, allowing you to both show off your achievements and show a sense of modesty and, found the study, rarely works when used on foreigners, who tend to take what we say at face value.”

And you, lovely reader, what do think? Do you agree with any of these stories based on your experiences?

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!