Essential Things to Know About Dating Culture in Great Britain

Updated on Mar 2023

When you discover how relationships and marriage look in different countries, the British are pretty different from the rest. We share the main features of British dating culture to allow you to integrate and interact with the native English people easily. We should say that Great Britain dating and marriage culture is informal. Starting from the first date, ending with a marriage, you won’t face any difficulties perceiving love as the representatives of this culture do.

Standard British Dating Rules That the Majority Follows

The first step is to understand how the British behave in the early stages of a relationship. Do they like the rapid development of events and how they communicate with partners? These are the main points that allow you to delve a little into British culture dating, their understanding of the world, and relationships.

The British Do Not Like to Be the First to Call On Dates

The British are polite. A guy who likes a girl is unlikely to dare offer her a drink or invite her to an evening date or a Sunday stroll in the park. They are humble in showing their feelings and are afraid of being rejected. It’s not even worth talking about British girls because they are shy to make the first move. Perhaps that is why foreigners have many chances to impress a British girl and build a long-term relationship.

Modesty and Restraint Even in Relationships

Compared to Italians and French citizens, who say without further thought how much they fell in love, the British will stare at you without saying a word. They may think about how beautiful you are, how you inspire them, but they will never say it. However, if they find a partner from a different culture, they can show them how wonderful it is to speak about their feelings without hiding or concealing anything.

British dating culture

Drinking on Dates Isn’t So Bad

Another Great Britain dating culture peculiarity that can impress foreigners is drinking alcohol on first dates, even on weekdays. Meeting and having a cup of coffee, as the Austrians always do, is not a good choice for the English. Why? Alcohol relaxes, gives vent to inner impulses, and makes the impossible possible.

The First Date Is Not a Big Event

Everything from the first meeting to the first romantic date goes corresponding to an exact scenario. An invitation to the theater, cinema, or museum is something out of the ordinary. Typical first date Great Britain is an invitation to a glass of beer in a pub, having dinner in a restaurant. In the majority of cases, a woman pays half a bill. Gender equality is a crucial topic here.

Flirting Is Not Popular

Do not expect any attractive compliments, beautiful confessions from English men. They are friendly, but no more than that. They also resort to such a technique – to compliment not the woman’s appearance itself but the items of her wardrobe. It is not acceptable in this culture to show concern, even if the couple is already dating. English women know that flirting in Great Britain is boring. When a foreigner appears in their life, it gets new exciting colors.

What Defines British Relationships?

Some of the characteristics of the English culture determine how they build relationships. In communication, they are guided by the principle of simplicity. But after understanding what influences dating and marriage in Great Britain, any foreigner has every chance to win the heart of a beautiful girl.

Fear of Embarrassment

English men and women are constrained. Their biggest nightmare is to be in an embarrassing situation. Most communication codes are structured to avoid or prevent awkward situations from arising. Another aspect of British culture dating is that people there speak allegories or opposite what they think. It isn’t customary to express feelings openly.

Courtship Is Strange

English men don’t know how to flirt. They can make compliments and have a casual conversation within polite etiquette, but no one will be too open. Typical British flirting is about joking and sarcasm. Some men and women have a great sense of humor, but sometimes it gets complicated to decipher whether they feel inside.

Marriage and Dating Culture Great Britain

English men are reserved, cold-blooded, and prudent. Many British women wait too long to get emotional impulses or feelings from them. The reluctance to get married is confirmed: in 2017, the marriage rate in England and Wales fell by 78 thousand compared to 1991. It also indicates that the average age of married men is 38.1, women – 35.8. It shows an upward trend in the average age at marriage compared to previous years.

British men can date women for a couple of years and do not make any proposals. Maybe it’s why men from other cultures or countries have higher chances to marry a stunning English woman. Being familiar with their British dating customs, speaking English is enough to become their spouses.

Most weddings in Great Britain take place in August and September. In the minds of the British couples, this period is successful for future marriage and happy family life. Some prefer traditional weddings; others enjoy a more modern approach.

The Key Particularity of British Dating Culture

The difference between international dating culture Great Britain from other countries is the pragmatism and modesty of people. Working on themselves and constant respect for each other is the key to an ideal relationship. One person wouldn’t pretend to have more rights than the other. Both British girlfriends and boyfriends strive to adjust and understand each other’s positions. It’s one of the important particularities of people living there and their culture.

The same is true in everyday life. The man can cook dinner, spend time with children, and do the laundry if his wife or bride is busy. Reminding each other of gender roles and responsibilities is inappropriate because everyone understands how the social structure has changed in modern society.

American vs British Dating Culture

Historically, British and American cultures are different. Americans think the British are too correct. The British, on the other hand, regard Americans as slobs. What also makes them different is their dating culture.

Independence Is Alpha and Omega

First, Great Britain is a country with a strong history; the British are distinguished by their will, endurance, and independence. They are very patient, considerate, and respectful of their partners’ privacy. Americans are more energetic, active, and adventurous. They love to compete and be independent of their parents.

Being Polite Is a Must

Another difference in dating in Great Britain vs USA is that the British are hyper-polite and expect the same from others. If you ask a Briton a question, you should start with “excuse me.” Americans are also polite, but they accept the culture of social interaction more straightforward. It is also evident how they meet and talk during the first dates and further their relationship. Americans feel like fish in the water, while singles from Great Britain become stressed or confused.

British Prefer the Slower Pace of Life

A calm, well-balanced English person differs sharply not only from the excitable, ardent Frenchman but also from a more lively and dynamic American. If Americans are constantly in a hurry somewhere, then the pace of life in England is somewhat slowed down. Let’s also look at some minor differences between the two cultures.

British Relationships

Dating Relationships in British Culture vs American Culture

Dating relationships in British cultureDating relationships in American culture
Communication with any person involves the expenditure of energy. The British choose those they like to communicate with and spend time together. Not everyone can become their friend.Friendliness is often superficial. They prefer socializing with friends, talking, and having fun, but the quality of these connections is not appreciated.
Humor is one of the confusing aspects of British culture. Unlike in the United States, irony and sarcasm express sympathy or interest.Americans do not like or accept satire and comics criticism. Some claim they don’t understand it and think it’s a waste of time for those who have nothing more to say.
Both sexes value simplicity and tradition in a relationship. It is worth spending a lot of time together before getting married.They often do everything spontaneously and with emotions. Americans get married when they understand that they have found a soul mate.
They do not know how to flirt and show their feelings without masks. British men and women are shy and not creative in showing love.These open-minded people know how to make a wonderful compliment, surprise the person and start a conversation. In a relationship, they are sincere and talkative.
Guys and even ladies spend most free time in the pubs. There they relax, chat and find new acquaintances.Unlike in other cultures, in the American one, people communicate a lot: at work, on trips, in restaurants. They like to go on dates to extreme parks, travel with partners to other cities, and play sports together.

Final Thoughts on British Dating Customs

Should I dress like a businessman when going out with a woman? Should I bring flowers on the first date with a girl? When you try to discover how to date in Great Britain, you will be glad to hear that there are no particular customs or traditions. As mentioned above, British culture is about feelings. You, as a foreigner, have a considerable advantage. By registering on one of the dating sites or communication platforms, you have chances to find a British beauty and surprise her with your openness and originality. Being yourself is enough to impress a girl from this culture.


At What Age Do British Get Married?

Marriage is a big step. Past generations of British men and women could not support their children. These children got married early to start an independent life. Now marriage is not considered an achievement, so many singles take their time to choose a partner. Many ladies and guys decide to marry after 35 years old.

Do British Want to Marry Foreigners?

Those women and men who understand that their culture is not romantic fall in love with foreigners. There aren’t many dating in Great Britain customs, and foreigners quickly integrate into this culture. British people can reveal their inner feelings and make their dreams come true by dating a foreign man or woman.

Who Pays for a Wedding in British Culture?

Gender equality is a popular topic in Great Britain. Many women don’t want their boyfriends to pay for them. When it comes to a wedding, there are no British dating rules, and the whole thing depends on the financial situation of both partners. If a man earns much more than his girlfriend, he can decide to pay for the wedding himself.

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