This frequent phenomenon, paired with the romantically timid disposition of many English men, works wonders."Most British men are terrified of rejection," said Jean Smith, a cultural anthropologist living in London.The directness with which some American women approach relationships can be refreshing, as well as ego-boosting: "American women will probably pay men a lot more attention than English women, so for English guys, it's great.They are delighted to be paid attention to," Smith said.Related: Jennifer, 29, an American married to a Londoner, thinks a lot of the initial attraction to Englishmen boils down to the persuasive power of romantic comedies starring Hugh Grant and the irresistible, charming English human weapon known as Jude Law."It's definitely those English romances that make British guys seem so attractive, funny, witty, and proper," she said.It's certainly true for me and other American women who live by Jane Austen's canon and never miss an episode of Downton Abbey: We're primed to put English men on a pedestal.
(Emily Blunt and John Krasinski are an exception.) After interrogating men and women from both sides of the Atlantic, as well as consulting an expert, a few theories emerged.
Related: "American culture is about bigging yourself up, but if an American guy walked up to an English girl and started talking about his great job or how much money he made, the English girl would be like, 'Who is this loser? "English women want something more subtle."A mismatch in personality could also play a role.
Native Londoner Christina, 35, just moved back to England after spending the last eight years living in New York. "If I was joking, they tended to take offense or find me peculiar," Christina said. The truth is that after two years, I stopped noticing his accent, which was fine, because, ultimately (and perhaps for the first time), I fell in love with the man, not "the Englishman." I still do love the way he says "cheeky," though. She and her friend Rachel wrote an epistolary memoir about their post-college years living in Beijing and Paris (and dating Englishmen).
One of the reasons she moved back was because she couldn't see herself settling down with an American guy. Personality played a factor for American Jeff, who lived in the UK for two years, as well: "I just don't think American bro culture translates very well to English women.
I mean, imagine Schmidt from New Girl hitting on Lady Mary.