What I Learned From Dating Englishmen.

When I lived across the pond, I found myself involved in a number of random dating adventures. It surprised me, because throughout my four years at university in the States, I hardly dated. I had a few boyfriends, but nothing serious. But it seems like the second I hopped off the plane at Manchester Airport three Septembers ago, I was “involved.”

I don’t know what it is about Englishmen, though. Maybe it’s something to do with their fantastic taste in music. Or the cute way the “R” sound disappears at the end of their words. (Okay, maybe it’s a lot to do with that.) Though, I wouldn’t say no to a charming Irishman. I digress. I met a lot of interesting guys abroad, and some of them turned out to be…well, not so nice. And that sucks. But that’s part of life, part of dating, no matter what side of whichever expansive body of water you choose to reside.

And as much as I’d like to think that not all Englishmen are the same (in fact, I know they aren’t – my best friend is the most lovely Liverpudlian lad you ever could meet), I think the idea of dating them is, for me, officially dead. No offense to any readers. It’s just that x amount of bad experiences are enough to put me off something for good.

One of the main reasons I think I’m kind of through with dating English guys is that the first time I fell in love, it was with an Englishman. It lasted nearly a year. He absolutely shattered my heart into little bloody bits and pieces (I don’t mean “bloody” in that British sense, nor do I mean literally, of course). Something that’s pretty much guaranteed to leave a nasty taste in my mouth, understandably. And since that’s the most recent encounter I’ve had with someone from across the pond, I guess it’s the one that’s left the biggest impact on my decision.

Something I noticed a few times during dates with seemingly nice fellows while I was in between relationships is this odd disappearing act Englishmen sometimes do. I think it happened to me three times throughout my overseas dating adventures. I even sat down and thought one day, “Is it me? Or is it really just a thing?”

I was intrigued. So I Googled it. Apparently it does happen. (Links below!)

One of the commenters from a site I found describes this strange occurrence dead-on. She even gives it a name: “The English Guy Disappearance Act”:

It may happen after a course of several weeks, or several months, but the outcome is inevitable: The man will hit on the girl mercilessly, and initiate all the dates, then act completely smitten and committed to forming a relationship, and go on to discuss future plans, talk about various friends she must meet, and pay her sweet but not overly-done compliments.

Then, one day, he’ll make a date that he won’t keep. He may—may—text her that ‘something came up,’ but only in rare occasions. After that, the girl will probably never hear from him again. He simply vanishes.

Other commenters described how similar situations have happened to them involving English guys, and suddenly I felt less alone. And I certainly felt less faulty, because I honestly thought it was 100% me that was the problem.

One of my disappearing douchebags even had the nerve to email me 9 months later wondering if I were still in the country (I was) and what his chances were of getting laid.

…Really though?

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why they do this, nor do I really care to. Whatever explanation they could possibly come up with does not excuse horrendous dating etiquette.

Anyway, I won’t sit here and detail every bad experience I’ve had with English guys. I don’t even think that would be fair, because 90% of the dating I’ve done in my adult life was while living in England on and off for 2-and-a-half years. So, my opinion is obviously slanted. And this sort of thing probably happens no matter what country a person is from.

I don’t want to write off every English guy in the future if someday I should once again find myself in a situation where 1) I’m available and 2) I’m living abroad. But for now, I think I will.

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15 thoughts on “What I Learned From Dating Englishmen.

  1. Ummm interesting. I’m not sure whether the disappearing act is an English trait or simply a personal trait of some full stop. I have female friends to whom it happened. I have male friends to whom it happened. When I was young and foolish I did it myself to a couple of guys, simply because I couldn’t face seeing their expression when I told them I was no longer interested. I grew out of it, thankfully. Everyone deserves to know where they stand. It is rude not to give the other person a chance at closure, whether you have dated for a month or for a year.
    Hope your next adventure into the dating world goes better. x

    • Yeah I did mention up there that it’s probably something that anyone is capable of. I only have my personal experience to draw from. Anyway, glad you grew out of it. Some grown men in the world need to learn the same lesson. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  2. Commitment phobia. They want to maintain a romantic delusion rather than really get to know the person inside. Eventually, they settle down: Vicbriggs has it right: “Because I couldn’t face seeing their expression when I told them I was no longer interested.” You will learn to control your indulgence, because relationships are often about power plays of keeping your power and allowing the other person to keep theirs. It is a dance of taking chances with love and remaining mature about them.

      • No. That’s the thing. It goes exactly as described in the quote I mentioned in the post. It goes fine. Plans for the future, telling me how much they like me/care of me/want to see more of me. That’s why I decided to share my thoughts. If there were signs then perhaps it wouldn’t be peculiar enough for a post 🙂

      • OK. I am sure I have been as convincing and then after sex I got a wake-up call. I am a commitment phob, except with regard to three women. I married one of them and wanted to marry the other two and there have been others I would have gladly married. I think it was always about being able to support them. I remember spending all my money and saying to my wife at the time, “There’s nothing more that I can do.”

  3. Haha this post made me smile. Funny. Um, what can I say? Being an Englishman, and having many time in the past performed the disappearing act (not any of my prouder moments in life, if I am honest).. I think it is an age thing. As we (Englishmen) get older, we mature. I think we are just very slow maturers. Man, I used to run away from every girl as soon as I felt she was getting a bit too serious, and by ‘getting too serious’ I mean something like wanting to see me three days (or nights) on the trot, for example. Which, let’s face it, isn’t exactly a good example of ‘getting too serious’ to any mature person.

    But yea, we get older, we change. I think.

  4. I grew up in Canada (still very British-inflected behavior there) and it is a fear of conflict…better to just fade away (not) than actually deal with the messiness and emotion of disappointment, pain, rage or whatever else is likely to happen.

    American social culture is far more direct than that of many other countries.

  5. Just thought I’d comment and say I’m amused that people still read this silly little post I wrote not too long ago. I notice it gets a few views each day still, and I don’t understand why, haha.

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