Third Culture Kid Dating; adults who have spent their developmental years outside their parent's culture

English men… it’s the banter

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I’ve been thinking about something.  I find English men incredibly attractive. Their sense of humor: their sarcasm and self-deprecation.  Unsurprisingly, the person I’ve fallen for is in fact English.  It’s the banter.  They find banter so natural and easy because they’ve grown up with it. Their parents gave them banter from age 5. Their friends at school were quick and cheeky.  Characters in TV programs showed them that banter was the norm.  A man that can make you laugh. That has to be what counts.  What else is there?

Well, seemingly quite a bit. After asking some friends on different occasions who they’re most attracted to. I’ve had such a wide range of answers. One of my friends said she thought American men were “so hot”.  She explained the following: American men are sporty. They love their sports: American Football, Basketball, Baseball and list keeps going.  They’re rugged and manly.  They like to be outdoors, love barbeques, and wear casual shorts, plain sneakers and white T-shirts.  They don’t banter in the way British men do, but they’re easy-going and fun.  Of course, this is a huge generalization. But funnily enough, I was straight away able to picture an American guy in a baseball cap in Boston.  Obviously, for her, the banter and dark humor that British men have was completely irrelevant. She didn’t want that. She liked the ‘American’ type.

When I continued asking around, I found so many different responses. Another friend exclaimed that she loved Spanish men!  She explained it was their playfulness. She liked how quickly they’d walk up to you in bar if they thought you were cute and start chatting to you.  There was no coyness or reserve. It’s direct and fun.  I thought about this and realized this was what I found unattractive.  I didn’t like the pushiness and directness.  But then, as a Third Culture Kid, I also wondered if that didn’t have something to do with the fact that I grew up with French and Belgian parents, who unconsciously showed me that reserve is important. And charm is also about not being direct and obvious but keeping a bit to yourself.   What I did wonder was, why, if I spent years in South Africa and time in Austria and Germany, did I prefer the ‘English’ type?  Or what about the ‘TCK’ type? Well, to be honest, I haven’t met enough to know what that ‘type’ even is. Again, of course, this is a huge stereotype!  It’s built on the small number of people you’ve met.  Your opinion starts forming, and it could only really be accurate if you met every single person on this planet.  It doesn’t mean that every British guy will make you roll over with laughter. Or that all American men like to go hunting and after having gone fishing in the lake nearby will have a BBQ ready for you.  Or that there are no shy Spanish men.  Come on. We all know that’s ridiculous. I just find it fascinating that each of us still has our ‘favorite’. And I’m quite curious as to why we are attracted to certain nationalities more than others. If it’s formed by where we grew up. Our past relationships perhaps? Or maybe the customs and culture we experienced at home with our family, which for TCKs could be very different to where we’ve lived.  What do you think? 


One thought on “English men… it’s the banter

  1. Well I don’t have a national favourite “man” but rather a process. Dating South African men is quite different from dating German men! I told a friend about a date I thought went very well and she asked me “Who paid?” “We split it” I said, as this is what you do on a first date in Germany. She skrewed up her face, “I’m soooo sorry,” apparently I was never going to see the nice South African boy again. Through not picking up the bill, he was telling me he didn’t enjoy the date at all. Typical TCK dating pitfall I would say ^-^

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