After studying abroad in London, I came home with more than just a different experience in culture. I came home with a British boyfriend. The most commonly asked question everyone asks me is, “How did you meet him?” Instead of feeding them a romantic story, I always answer with no shame: “Tinder y’all.”
Yes, I feel the judgement, but he’s worth it every time. But while I swiped right on him, I swiped right on other boys too (sorry hun). I realized just how different British boys were in comparison to American boys through each conversation. After my personal experiences, here are some of the key differences I noticed:
1. Being straightforward
British culture (or at least London culture) is far more reserved than American culture, which affects personality. Boys on Tinder in America seemed to be much more forward with their advances than British boys. British boys have a tendency to hold back their intentions until you meet in person.
2. Meeting in person
British boys, within the first 10-20 messages, would ask to meet in person. It surprised me because I was used to American boys talking to me for a few days and then cancelling last minute. My boyfriend and I scheduled to meet after talking for a few hours. British boys were more eager to go out for a drink and just have good conversation. I think this is due to the fact that it is difficult to meet new people in a normal London environment because of their reserved behavior, whereas people are much more extroverted in America.
In my experience, British boys had much better manners than American boys. I know that this is harped in British culture so it’s more engrained in them. American boys are polite, generally speaking, but the politeness is just much clearer in British. They constantly say “Sorry” and “Thank you” and overall have a different attitude. This isn’t an insult to American boys, it’s just a difference in culture.
4. Talking points
British boys may not have a lot of context about American girls besides movies like Mean Girls. The first couple conversations are dominated by discussing the differences in each other’s cultures, and then it gets into your personal lives. When it comes to talking points with American boys, you usually don’t discuss culture and instead learn the surface level of them. With British boys, you learn culture and then the surface level. There are a few extra steps, but it’s worth it.
I got lucky with Tinder swiping while in London, but this wasn’t always the case in my personal experience and with my friends in my flat. If you decide to use the app while in Europe, hopefully these points will be helpful when meeting your British beau.