01 October 2008

American Women & British Men

Finally. We get to the heart of the matter. 

Just what is it about British men? And why do we American women love them so?

Think of the laundry list of American female celebs who have fallen into the arms of British men: Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Jerry Hall, Marsha Hunt (the inspiration for Mick Jagger's "Brown Sugar"), Gillian Anderson, on and on. 

Funnily enough, even among my own circle of friends, I can count a higher than average number of American female-British male couples.

I blame MTV. 

I grew up a child of the '80's. Wham, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Flock of Seagulls, Kajagoogoo, The Cure, Culture Club, Pet Shop Boys, and the list goes on and on. We were inundated with images of gorgeous, perfectly coiffed, and often heavily made-up, British men. Who didn't want to be "Rio," or that girl who got to roll around in the jungle with Simon Le Bon in Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" video? 

Then, there were the Merchant-Ivory films. I mean, who didn't want to be Helena Bonham-Carter in A Room with a View, with that "win-win" choice between Daniel Day-Lewis and Julian Sands? 

But, what is it really, about the Brit boys that drives us mad, and makes us sooooo weak in the knees. Can it just be the accent? No, I think it goes much deeper than that. In a recent article in The Hindustan Times (don't ask), Englishboy cutie-pie Jude Law reckoned that American women go ga-ga over British men because:

"It's the use of words. We [British men] use words like 'lovely', and 'naughty'. I think they quite like that."

...Um, yes, Jude, we do rather like that. But, more than word choice, I think there is a larger issue here: the fact that words are being used at all. What I mean is, the fact that a British man is actually talking to you -- and listening, in fact. A conversation is being had, and, in my experience at least, a very engaging one at that. Yes, I think that might be it. I can honestly say, that for me and my D.E.B., it was a meeting of minds, first and foremost. We could actually talk about things, he actually wanted to share and know my opinion, and he loved/loves and relished/relishes how smart and sassy I was/am. 

And besides, a man who knows his Jane Austen always, always, always wins! I will never forget the time, early on, when the D.E.B. signed off on one of his emails thus: 

"Ever yours, Mr. Darcy -- or, Colonel Brandon, which do you prefer?" 

My heart skipped a beat, my pulse began to race, I broke into a sweat, and my brain melted out of my ears. In that moment, I could have crossed the Atlantic on foot!! A seduction of the mind.

Of course, I know not all English or British men are "D.E.B.s." Just like not all American men are mindless neanderthals, who can't hold a conversation. The bottom line is, I suppose, just one of individual preference. But, really, what is there not to love about an Englishman? He knows how to dress, can hold his own in a conversation, isn't afraid to be romantic--even in public!--has good manners, knows which fork to use, isn't afraid to cry, loves his mum, *SIGH* I could go on and on...  

History is also on the side of the alliance of the elegant American woman and her charming Englishman. Our greatest standard bearer was of course, Mrs. Wallis Simpson. What a woman of class, style and grace! What a beauty. Although a well-to-do socialite from a good family, to the British press and British public she was: "An American, two-time divorcee from Baltimore." 

I found an article the other day that said, when it became clear that King Edward had "feelings" for Mrs. Simpson, several groups formed around the country in protest, such as one group of women, who started a campaign called "Mothers Against the King."

Wow. Just imagine the hate mail Wallis Simpson must have received. 

Shakespeare wrote: "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind." When Edward looked at Wallis he could see what others could not. And so great was his love, he gave up his crown, his kingdom and his country for her. Now, that is love.

And perhaps, that is what is so very appealing about Englishmen. Their grit, their almost majestic resolve and determination, and their incredible passion, coupled with great sensitivity. These are what have, and continue to attract, entice and beguile us American damsels.   


Joanne Rendell said...

some US men have attracted one or two english gals too! for those girls, it's too many episodes of starsky and hutch and MASH which are too blame

londongirl said...

And let's not forget *the* bachelor featured on the US channel ABC--Matt Grant who dashed out of a red callbox near big ben to sail across the sea and trip the light fantastic with any number of hopeful young ones...so we finish the season wondering if the daughter of lorenzo lamas will keep him by her side...

Here's to marmite sandwiches for two...

Elizabeth Harper said...

You're so right with all the reasons you listed above.

My EM quotes both Shakespeare and a variety of other poets.

He builds things with my comfort in mind, like a pergola so that there's always a shady spot in the garden for me. He revamped a closet so I could have most of it, and made cabinets and bookshelves for my things.

He grows his own herbs and is an excellent and willing cook. He speaks multiple languages and though I'm a bit ashamed to admit it, he knows more about American politics and government than I do.

He's big into outdoor activity, preferring camping to the Four Seasons,(okay...that's an adjustment, but one I'm willing to make) he's the only person I've ever met who's been to base camp at Mt. Everest and he's climbed, hiked, and rappelled his way through many other countries and can still out walk me even though he's a bit older and I run long distance.

He's creative with a camera and builds his own computers. He got male friends that he's had for 30 years and he listens to both opera and, to my surprise, Madonna.

He's been teaching me to sail and knows his flowers, herbs, and berries so well that a afternoon walk can turn into a snack as we munch our way around the countryside.

But the thing that really got to me was when he quoted the lyrics of a song he remembered as a favorite of his grandmother.

How could I not fall deeply in love with a man who said with great tenderness, the words below to me.

" when he fancies he is past love
it is then he meets his last love
and he loves her as he's never loved before"

As my good friend Scott likes to say, " That man just does it for you, doesn't he? "

American men versus English, for me, there's just no comparison anymore.

PeacefulYorkshire said...

Hi there!
We liked your post so much we posted it on our own blog over at


I am sure we have lots of stories to share--

Anonymous said...

It was rather interesting for me to read this post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.
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KimberlyJ said...

I am so excited to have found your blog. It was through one of your subscribers. I too am in love with a wonderful English man and plan on making the move across the pond in the next year or so. This was the first post I read, I can't wait to read more!

Tri_girl said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your blog. I stumbled upon it in a google search. I was looking to find someone that had some experience with dating a man from the UK. I have recently met one via an online dating site and he lives here in the US. I was a bit liery about getting to know him before i made sure he was the real thing. So many scams out there and ive not fallen victim to any of them just keeping a sound mind to myself. But as i get read your blog i started to notice some of the similar things you mentioned in him. Ive never met or been around a man from the UK before so this is a first for me. So once again im very thankful to read your blog. Its helping me alot.
And like many others on here i look forward to reading more of your blogs.
Thank you..

L.D.K. said...

Just "met" an English man via Facebook. There's SO much to admire! It is a meeting of the minds in our case, too. Unfortunately, he lives in the UK and I live in the US. :(

Cathryn said...

I just stumbled upon this blog and have to say I love this post. You're soo right about having actual and intelligent conversation where my opinion are valued and respected. It's a breath of fresh air to talk back and forth, with no one dominating the conversation. I'm in college and just met someone over the summer and have been talking and talking a lot. He's very polite but still relaxed and I wish guys in America acted similarly! Aside from my own brother, I haven't met anyone who acts like he does. Maybe they should offer workshops for guys? haha :-) thanks for the post!


Anonymous said...

I too am in love with a man from the UK! We also met on a dating site! He has been in the US since 1994, and knows more about America then most Americans do! lol He is an amazing and interesting man to be with! We met in June 2013, and have been exclusive ever since! Have lots in common - i.e. Nascar, which we are fans of and riding on his motorcycle. Have taken several trips together on the motorcycle which included going to Washington State and back to NC in 17 days! We really got to know each other on that trip - and enjoyed every minute of it! He is affectionate, but not overly so, if you know what I mean! Is reserved and respects me, unlike some Americans I have been with! We accept and respect each other, which makes a relationship successful!

Anonymous said...

I been in a relationship with a wonderful English man for a few years and even to this day he can make my heart skip a few beats. He doesn't come from money has a nice swagger and toughness....but also a cheeky grin and a way with words that melts my heart.

We have a child together and this man has a passion for us his family, he would move heaven and earth and lay down his life for us....even with my older two children from a previous marriage.

I was married to an American, and everyone I seem to date was the same. They loved their sports, played video games and we're over coddled by their moms. I had to work 2 full time jobs, while my ex husband worked 4 hours 3 days a week. I came home to another child who couldn't feed himself, or bother to take care of the kids. He didn't care about food in the fridge, or bills he just wanted a new game.

For once in my life I'm with a adult male protector, provider with a sense of maturity who makes me feel loved. In return I respect, love and cherish this man....I would never ever go back.

I see many of my own family members who are disillusioned by their American men, they think if they support the football team they will be loved....not really, or just one more Nascar race and my husband will notice me...he don't. It's sad, I once saw a woman literally cut her husband's food up while he takes the piss out of her...very sad existence.