English bloke, American girl
Like many people in our generation, I met my girlfriend Abby through Tinder. But there is a difference between us and most couples. Around 4,000 miles is the main difference. I’m from West London, and my girlfriend is from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I will not lie, a year and a half ago if you had asked me to place Wisconsin on a map, I’d have been clueless, yet I’m currently sat here in her apartment in Madison, somewhere I never dreamt I would ever be.
Abby was surprised that I had asked to meet her on the day we started talking. This is standard practice on London Tinder. London is a place where everything must be done yesterday and so we don’t want to waste our time. From her experience, it’s different than in the States, but I think it’s better to be a bit more forward about meeting up (in the least creepiest way). Abby seemed worried about this initially but later warmed to the idea.
There was an anxiety when I met her. I had very barely ever spoken to an American before (except when I met Mickey Mouse at Disney World in Florida when I was 10), and so was nervous. I had no clue about what a “Wisconsin” was and had little points of reference. Do I try to engage in conversation about baseball and American football? Do I bring up the president, do I not? It was a very alien experience for myself. Before, I had been on dates with Londoners or English people, so you know what to speak about, but this encounter had me a bit dumbfounded. I felt my best option was to have a drink and hope it would go well (which it did, obviously).
So, what was different between dating a Londoner and dating a visitor? Really, it was a breath of fresh air. I could visit the touristy places in London. It allowed me to go on adventures and be a tour guide and show my world to someone who means a lot to me. I also learnt about a culture I hadn’t encountered before. And I’ve gotten the chance to visit Wisconsin and experience the icy April weather and cheese curds for myself (and can now tell you where Wisconsin is on a map).
Whilst the distance has been less than ideal, it has been worth it as it has introduced me to a whole world I didn’t know about and has allowed me to find one of the best people I have ever met. London is a big city with a population of 8.8 million, but I found a visitor that hit every note with me. It is and was a gamble which has been worth every second.