> Dating advice > Online dating profiles > When cultural diffences come into play

Online dating profiles

When cultural diffences come into play

20 dates on and I still can't get to date two - is it because I'm American?

When cultural diffences come into play

Dear Nafsika,

I am in my first month of membership with Parship, but I have tried several other online dating sites previously. I am 30 years old, well-educated, well spoken, and I am told by both male and female friends that I am good company. I have had several long term relationships and, if one were to judge the number of contacts made and dates gone on, then I've been rather "successful" with the internet dating. I am an American that has lived and worked in London for just over four years as a literary agent. In the US I was very successful with men, but here it seems that though I have long dates that go on for hours with laughter, interesting conversation, and sometimes even a kiss, the men never want to see me again!

The problem is that I never seem - at least in Britain - to be able to get past the first date!

I am not the only American woman that has the problem, as several of my fellow countrywomen complain of the same thing with the lovely men of these shores. Back home a date that stretched on - by the man's own suggestion, not mine - from drinks, to dinner, to after dinner coffee, with conversation throughout - and then possibly even a good-night kiss would mean he was interested in at least getting to know the woman better! But the trend seems to be that I will let a few days go by, then drop a text or email thanking him for the date - I won't suggest another date myself, as I have been told that is too forward for British men - only to be told "I didn't feel that spark" or something similar. It is really taking a toll on my self-esteem.

This has happened 20-30 times. I am not exaggerating. I am not aggressive or pushy or shy or any of the stereotypical things that would turn a man off. It seems that I can engage in good conversation and emails, even telephone conversations prior to the dates ... I'm not a supermodel, but I'm also fairly attractive. I am 5'3" tall with long dark hair and a size 12 - just as pretty and about the same size as most women walking around London. I'm complimented regularly on my fashion sense and dress well, sexy but not revealing. So I'm not sure that appearance is the issue... but I suppose it could be! That is the only thing that is starting to make sense, which is of course not helping with the confidence issues developing from all of these first-date only experiences.

I am hoping that Parship will be different, given the Personality Profile Test and it's matching capabilities. Thus far I have had 2 "First Date Wonder" experiences with Parship and tonight I have a date scheduled that I am rather hopeful about... he seems very nice.

Any advice that you could offer would be much appreciated.

Sincerely, Jenny

 

Dear Jenny,

I don't think your appearance is the issue at all. You may not be everyone's type but you are certainly pretty enough for plenty of people to fancy you.

One issue is probably a cultural one. Dating is something very new to Britain which has come about mainly as a result of internet dating. Before that, hardly anyone went on dates, or if they did, it was just the one date, which changed a relationship from a friendship to a romantic one. British people like to pretend they are 'just friends' until the relationship becomes physical so even if they arrange to go out together alone, they don't call it a date -that would be too risky -you'd be telling someone you're interested in them before you know whether they like you back. Most people go out in groups in pubs and bars and when somebody is attracted to someone, they stay behind together and chat, eventually someone plucks up the courage to kiss the other one (usually this phase is aided by copious amount of alcohol, so that if rejected they can explain themselves by saying they were drunk), and after this happens a few times they call themselves a couple. I realise this may be hard to believe but if you ask any British women who have been in a serious relationship for the last 4-5 years they'll tell you -most people don't remember ever having been on a date and certainly not more than one or two.

All this means that British men don't really know what they're supposed to do with dates and may not even consider themselves to be on a date. There are no set of rules that everybody knows and interprets in the same way -except that women are expected to buy rounds of drinks same as the men, and they should offer to split the bill at a restaurant. Also British men are shy and they expect women to take the initiative, so a mere kiss goodnight could be interpreted as quite dismissive. British men are also less sexist than most other men and less likely to jump to conclusions about women being 'easy'. I completely disagree with the idea that suggesting a second date would seem 'too forward' I suspect it may often be the only way to get anywhere. The absence of a 'spark' that you mentioned could be because they interpret your behaviour as cool or uptight (how's that for reversing stereotypes?). Also, because 'dating' is not part of British culture, a lot of men view dates as a one-off interview and if by the end of it they don't think they will fall in love you, or sleep with you they don't see any point in asking you out again.

It is also possible that you may come across as a little bit 'hard work' or 'high maintenance' and British men certainly don't like that. This could be purely because you have certain justified expectations of how a man ought to behave on a date but even simple things, like booking a table, arranging a place to meet can seem to them like hard work. It could also be that while you are excellent company when you are with your friends, when you are on a date you are nervous and behave quite differently. This is obviously true for everyone but it may be more true for you, especially if you feel that you are being unsuccessful.

It could also be your choice of men. Any chance that the men you date have an inflated opinion of themselves? There are plenty of men out there who consider themselves too good for mere mortals and who enjoy going out on streams of first dates feeling very proud of themselves for not 'settling' for anyone who they think is below their standard. Clearly, not being asked out by them a second time is not a great loss.

So to sum up, my advice is avoid arrogant men and when you go on a date, don't have very high expectations and be relaxed -treat it more like two mates going out for a drink. If you like someone, make sure he knows it -Britain is not the place to try out THE RULES.

Best Wishes, Nafsika

If you want to ask Dr Thalassis's advice send an email to coaching@parship.co.uk

Start looking for a partner

Register now

Try out PARSHIP for free
  • TÜV Süd Your data will remain confidential and will not be disclosed to any third parties.

By clicking on 'Find a partner' you are accepting our Terms & Conditions and confirming that you have read our data protection policy.

The PARSHIP principle

The PARSHIP principle

PARSHIP helps you find someone who really is right for you - someone to build a future with. 
more

The PARSHIP principle

How it works

PARSHIP’s matching compares 30 essential personality characteristics and recommends potential partners who balance and complement you. 
more

PARSHIP Mobile

PARSHIP Mobile

The PARSHIP iPhone app and the mobile website allow you to connect with your highly compatible matches - even when you're on the go. 
more