Monday, May 01, 2017

Advice for Marrying a British Person

Let me preface this article by making one thing absolutely clear: I am not an internet dating guru. I cannot boast an hono(u)rs degree from the University of Tinder. My experience of the dating scene consists of four awkward incidents, in which absinthe was quaffed and thumbs were twiddled. Simply put, I am a mediocre resource. However...

I might be in a position to advise you on how to marry a British person. After all, I am British. Moreover, I am married to a non-British person, who - it could positively be argued - would be the superior purveyor of advice in this department. Indeed, hopefully she will one day impart her wisdom on to you. But I'd like to approach this article from the point-of-view of the person who was himself wooed. Because what's better than hearing it from the horse's mouth? (To be clear, I am human.)

And so, now that I've peppered you with enough British self-deprecation to last a lifetime, allow me to get down to the very serious business of advising. And to do so, I will need to start by making a very obvious point.

1. You'll need to find a British person
In the 21st century, the world is a smaller place than it was a hundred years ago. No longer do you need to stick an anonymous letter on a pigeon and hope for the best; you can meet your future British spouse in seconds. Perhaps he or she is waiting for you on a dating app like Coffee Meets Bagel or frequenting mutually interesting Facebook pages, such as this. Either way, the existence of the internet means you are closer than ever before to your perfect British flame.

Of course, there is another, slightly more expensive way to get in touch with a Brit: move to Britain (or, better yet, the UK). Depending on your situation, you just might be eligible to relocate to the other side of the Pond. You see, the British government specializes in these things called "forms", and there are a myriad of them on their website. Perhaps one of these is your ticket to a lovely cottage in Cornwall and the Brit you've always dreamed of.  

No matter the method for finding your Brit, the next step will go a long way to determining whether or not the two of you should, in fact, get married.


2. You'll need to like them for more than just their accent
Look, I get it. We Brits do sport irresistibly sexy voices. Sometimes, I can quite imagine how challenging it must be to look beyond the delicious way in which we say the word "tomato." But we must face facts: eventually that lovely brogue will one day have to take a back seat to questions such as, "does she respect me?", "why does he slurp soup so loudly?", and "should I be worried that he's never held down a full time job?" 

Find a way to spend some time together before committing to the act of tying the proverbial knot. Ideally, I would even go as far as to suggest living together first. Of course, if your relationship is largely conducted via the World Wide Web, this could prove tricky. But if you intend to marry, living together will presumably one day be part of the plan. I would hate for one of you to move countries and walk down the aisle, only to discover that you are about as compatible as Tom and Jerry. Actually, if you are a four-legged animal, I'd advise against this marriage venture entirely, simply for legal reasons.

But, as best you can, treat the pre-marriage process the same way you would if you were marrying someone of your own nationality. Just know that the logistics are a little different - something I will cover in point number 3.

3. You'll need to decide in which country the marriage should take place
I'm going to leave things like the wedding size and the religious (or non-religious) aspects up to you. The main thing to keep in mind is where you would like the wedding to take place. Specifically, which country? This is the part where you get to tell one half of the guest list they'll need to book plane tickets. This can be awkward. 

So, unless you plan to elope (what we did), you may want to consider the relative wealth of each family and their monetary ability to travel long distances. This can be equally awkward.

4. Years of Marital Bliss
Let's say you came through steps 1, 2, and 3 unscathed: that is, you met your British love interest, saw through his or her monumentally supreme accent to their well-rounded personality, and made a few calls to that well-to-do aunt in South Kensington. Now you get to look forward to years of marital bliss, safe in the knowledge that the only thing dividing you at this point is a common language. 

So long as you can learn to tolerate bizarre spellings like "aluminium" or peculiar slang words such as "pear-shaped", "chinwag", or "knackered", the two of you will be a peachy keen proper good couple. So here's to you and your new brouse (portmanteau of "British" and "spouse"). May your kids have really strange accents!

Laurence is touring America! Help fund his YouTube travel series by becoming a patron!


Laurence Brown is a British man documenting his life in the truly bizarre and beautiful world of America. Before the end of the decade, he plans to achieve his goal of visiting all 50 United States - highlighting each one in Lost in the Pond's Finding America web series. To help fund this exciting project, consider becoming a patron. Your contribution would be incredibly useful.

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