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Riiing, riiing. (Photo via eBay)

Dating a British Man is a ten-part series that will take you through the dating ups and downs, it can be considered a guide as what to do — or, what not to do — depending on how you look at it. Here are some tidbits based on my experiences dating British men from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Not all at the same time!

Phone conversations 

Right, so I have a good ear for accents. I’m no expert by any means. But, I can definitely differentiate between English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. Welsh, typically, is when you’re not quite sure but you know it’s not one of the other three. Sometimes I might surprise someone by guessing their region or village. It’s based on ten years of living in a community with a large expat population. You just get used to hearing different accents and are able to recognize them. That said, the phone is entirely different. I cannot understand someone with an accent over the phone to save my life. The words all blend together and all I hear is a bunch of rolling consonants and vowels going up and down.

What to expect

Now that I’ve had a thought about it, it’s like, “Why is this?” I suppose in person that I can’t 100% understand British accents but I can get most of it and read facial features, body languages and resign to reading lips if needed. And, sometimes, if I can’t understand and don’t want to be rude by asking someone to repeat themself, I just say, “Yeah.” Let’s just hope I’m not agreeing to anything dastardly. I was knocking around with a Welsh-born Londoner while living in London and he thought I was avoiding his calls because I would only text. I explained to him, “I don’t answer your calls because, because … I hate to say this … because … I can’t understand you??” The lad, relieved, replied, “Oy, at’s it? It’s alright treacle. No worries duchess.” Problem solved.

What to do

When in doubt stick to texting. It will cut down on confusion and any awkward misunderstandings. He won’t be offended that you can’t understand him all the time, it’s a hazard when dating a British man.

How do I know this? I’m the American Bridget Jones. She worked in book publishing and transitioned into television. As did I. She is neurotic and unlucky in love. As am I. She had a happy ending. As will I.

Next: Knocking around

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By Brigid Brown