by Katie Krantz
You may expect that European men, with their rolled cigarettes and tight pants, represent the finer things in life. You may think that you can attract a prince in Britain. You are wrong, and the princes are all married. Should you leave America and open Tinder in the U.K., here’s what you have to look forward to:
The Edgy Artist
Dean’s uniform is all black, all the time. He’s accessorized with bandannas, carefully disheveled hair, and guyliner nicer than your best makeup look. He seems dark, mysterious and sexy. He’ll make you playlists of alternative artists that you don’t quite understand but pressure yourself to like. His classic move is an art tour of his cheap flat which ends in his bedroom, where you spot a homemade condom dispenser built from an old tissue box. If you do sleep with him, it’ll be just as mediocre as his YouTube channel. Everything in his room smells a little like incense and a lot like curry and chips. The real mystery is how someone can live like this.
Never pass up a Shoreditch-style night out with Tony. He can (and will) drink you under the table on a Tuesday. His classic look is a bum bag slung diagonally across a brand-name hoodie, except for when he’s wearing a dress shirt unbuttoned for maximum man cleavage. He’s toned, manicured, and inexplicably sporting a thick mustache with wireframe glasses. It’s unclear how he can afford his lifestyle, but his income is probably a combination of support from his parents and selling weed. In his bathroom, there’s a hole in the drywall that he’s been using as a makeshift shelf for extra toilet paper. While he’s a fun night out, you’ll wake up in his single bed wondering why he owns a £2,000 jacket but a £20, pre-stained mattress.
The Uni Student
Marcus wants to take you to classic British establishments (at least the ones that serve cheap chips). He will patiently explain all of the British slang you’ve been bombarded by over the last few weeks. His cockney accent and enthusiasm for chicken can be confusing, but eventually you catch on to the appeal of “a cheeky Nandos with the lads.” You’ve only seen him wear one pair of dirty converse and a t-shirt so faded you’re convinced it’s older than he is. He rolls his own cigarettes for the aesthetic even though his dad sends him enough money to cover straights. While he spends a lot of time in his room, he’s great for an introduction to British culture and nice chats about social issues you never knew your were passionate about.
Brought to England for work, Pádraig is the stereotypical Irishman. He loves to relax over a pint of Guinness and will give you an intro to contemporary politics with the aside, “I’m ready to laugh as the U.K. burns to the ground with Brexit.” For the first time in your life, you find yourself attracted to beards, beer, and body hair. He’s gotten into more than a few bar fights, which puts you off in a way you can’t quite describe. He’ll introduce you to Gaelic football, the word “craic,” and the appeal of gingers. However, he will steal all of your hash browns the next morning and remind you of a 163cm leprechaun.
The Posh Boy
Ben will show you the finer side of British culture (if you don’t realize that La Vieille Ferme is from Waitrose and not Bordeaux). He’ll offer to take you out punting on the river, wear dress shoes on the boat, and make you do the rowing. He assumes you’ve heard of the high school he attended, though you’ve only been in the U.K. for a week. The collar of his shirt is eternally popped, usually under a sweater vest. He can talk about his cricket games for as long as the match itself lasted, a full four hours. You still don’t know what cricket actually is. After a week, you’ve learned more about his dad’s job than his personality.
The Perfect Fit
Aaron is everything you want in a man. He likes the same music as you, has a distinctly European style, and a great sense of humor. His posh accent is almost as fantastic as his personality, and you could talk for hours. He shows you the hole-in-the-wall pubs where you’ll make memories that last a lifetime. He may not be perfect, but he’s perfect for you. His friends are just as lovely as he is, and they help you build a life you could settle into here. Just as you decide you’ve found something real, a push notification reminds you of your flight home.