What You Should Know About British Dating

By Holly McClain
May 12th, 2023
What You Should Know About British Dating

If you’re new to dating in the UK, you may be surprised at some of the cultural differences. You might not be sure if you’re doing things correctly or if you’re just being polite.

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about these differences if you know what to expect. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when dating in the UK.

1. Drinking culture

In the United Kingdom, dating often revolves around a night out at a bar or pub. However, there are also growing trends for quirky dates in larger cities.

As a culture, the UK has a reputation for drinking excessively. Even though this may seem to have changed in recent years, the truth is that a lot of people still enjoy a good drink.

Moreover, the characterization of the British drinking culture as one of excess is simplistic and is based on limited data.

Using detailed diary data, a practice-orientated model was developed to provide a typology of British drinking practices. It shows that socially integrated, frequent but moderate drinking is more common than is acknowledged in policy debate and is less likely to involve high-risk drinking – a finding that is contrary to current popular and policy discourse.

2. One-on-one dates

The UK has a different approach to dating than many other countries. They prefer to go out with one person at a time, instead of going on double dates or meeting multiple people at once.

Americans are accustomed to group dates, but that isn’t the norm in the UK. It’s more common for singles to go on individual dates, according to BuzzFeed.

Brits have also been revealed to be incredibly polite on dates. They will greet their date with a handshake, and once they’ve got to know them better, this could extend to a kiss on the cheek.

British people are also renowned for being creative on their dates. More than a third would take their partner to a new cultural experience, such as visiting a museum or attraction. This could be to impress their date or to add some fresh energy into the relationship.

3. Sex on a first date

In british dating, sexual encounters are often considered inappropriate on a first date. But this may not always be the case, as research shows that genital contact is a common part of many dates.

The findings also show that a lot of sex is still re-scripted on the interpersonal level rather than being dictated by cultural scripts. This is a positive thing, as it means that there’s more room for negotiation on a date, particularly when a date veers off from the traditional scripted narrative.

Brits are also very into conventional first date activities like going out for coffee and dinner, drinks at a bar and a romantic walk. They’re also quite enthusiastic about taking a museum or art gallery trip and visiting a castle or other landmark.

4. Parental approval isn’t as important

It’s no secret that parental approval isn’t as important in Britain as it is in the US. Taking your new love to meet their parents is the most important dating milestone for many Americans, but it’s not the requisite first step in a relationship here.

Although parental approval isn’t the first or last thing on a British couple’s agenda, it is an important part of a happy and healthy relationship. It’s also one of the most valuable gifts you can give to a prospective partner. The key is to be the best parent possible, while letting your partner know that their opinions count. The best way to do this is to be open and honest about your own feelings. Ultimately, this will build trust and confidence between you two.

5. First kisses

It’s no secret that the first kiss can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a date. It’s also a moment that can feel romantically charged, which is why it’s important to know what to expect when you first go in for a kiss with someone new.

To prepare yourself, try to think of how you’d like to ask your date if they’re ready for a kiss. Often, this can be as simple as smiling at them and asking, “Do you want to kiss me?”

Once they answer yes, plant your lips and gently touch theirs. This can be a great way to get to know each other and feel comfortable with each other. It’s also a good way to see if they’re interested in pursuing a deeper connection with you.