Picnic-Date-IIBy  | Posted on January 21st, 2014

I may not have gone on a first date in over a decade but this much I know: dating in Britain happens at night. There’s alcohol involved. And if you don’t end the night with a snog and cursory fumble then it’s safe to assume that one or possibly both parties was more turned on by the cutlery you used at dinner than the person sitting opposite. Here in the U.S., different rules apply.

Prepare to juggle multiple potential partners
In the U.S., serial dating is as common as eating cereal for breakfast. There’s not a one in, one out policy. Furthermore it’s okay—expected even—for you to mention that you’re also seeing other people. But this is not—I repeat NOT—code for “I am having sex with everyone I’m dating.”

Dating is like a hobby here
Americans approach romance like it’s a recreational activity. The word “dating” is a U.S. invention designed to sanitize the process of mate selection and make it seem less murky, awkward and heart-rending than it actually is. And so Americans discuss dating like they might talk about being on a bowling team. Brits traditionally take a more bumbling, less formal approach.

Don’t assume someone’s into you just because they agree to go on a date
As mentioned above, Americans are dating hobbyists, so you might find people prepared to go out with you just to keep their hand in, so to speak. They may not actually fancy you even a tiny bit. On an American date, it’s perfectly acceptable to turn up with platonic intentions, admit this early on and still have quite a nice time.

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