Women looking for love in Europe, lend me your eyes! (And ears. Or both.) When a copy of Katherine Chloe Cahoon’s The Single Girl’s Guide To Meeting European Men landed in my hands, I was prepared to be entertained — but I wound up a little educated, too.
Part self-help book, part travel guide, Cahoon’s book is an actual field guide filled with tried-and-true tips for catching male attention in Belgium, Germany, England — anywhere within the confines of Europe. Written from the perspective of an American woman abroad, Cahoon discusses U.S. social conventions and flips them to explain the ways many international men think, operate and want to woo a woman.
And, you know. You could be that woman.
Her advice stems from personal experience. Cahoon explains,
This book is for single girls wanting to meet desirable European men who are into them and pass by those who are not — without regret. It arose out of several semesters that my girlfriends and I spent studying in Europe. I toured more museums and was tested on more scholarly material than I can ever remember, but one of the most meaningful parts of my international major — which was not included in the official course work — was my in-depth study of and practical exams on how to meet exciting local males.
And exciting they were.
Now, full disclosure: though I’m getting ready to make a trip to the UK, I’m in no way looking to entice a man into buying me a drink — or an engagement ring. Happily in love stateside, I accepted this one for review from the author because the premise is just too good to miss.
Who doesn’t love daydreaming about guys with awesome accents?
Having a wonderful (American) boyfriend, I read Cahoon’s guide for the travel tips more than ways to flirt — but there are forty of them, and they seemed pretty logical to me. Dress to impress. Look confident and happy. Don’t be deterred by jerks. Always, always be safe — and use your head, not your heart.
But The Single Girl’s Guide . . . shines for me when Cahoon breaks gentlemen down country by country, giving us a little background on the flirting and romance customs inherit in each place. For women taking a college semester to study abroad, I can see how this would be the perfect companion to your travels. “Real-life” stories about meeting men in many of the locations are included, too, along with further suggestions of where to meet certain types of guys (like, say, artsy men).
Because it’s my favorite place in the world, shall we take a peek at England?
“In some other European countries, you could ask a man for directions at a stoplight and he could invite you to dinner,” Cahoon writes. “In England, the most you will probably get is a polite answer with a charming accent.”
Oh, the charming accent.
After a little more discussion of the proper way to approach or allow an English man to greet you, she provides ideas for kicking off your own love connection. Some involve going to fun, hip places; others suggest seeing a play or hopping into a club.
But I have my own suggestion to add: fall flat on your face.
Works every time.
Visiting England back in 2009, I spent a long (and awesome!) day walking around London with a good friend. Studying abroad that semester, Stacy was kind enough to welcome me to her flat for a long weekend and play tourist with me as we hit all the major hotspots in town. I had an absolutely incredible time — a time that solidified my love for the city — but the excursion wasn’t without its bumps and bruises.
And I mean that literally. In Leicester Square.
Cahoon writes, “At night on the weekends Leicester Square, found in the West End district of Central London, is a bustling destination. Since there is always an abundance of man-candy trying to get into the swankiest clubs, the proprietors have representatives roaming the streets searching out alluring girls.”
That may have been true, see, but no “representative” would have scouted me. As local business owners passed out fluorescent flyers for their restaurants, clubs and other attractions, visitors would glance at them before throwing the papers down — to a ground comprised of slick stones. In flip-flops and bustling my way through Leicester Square en route to Trafalgar Square for sunset, my favorite time (and favorite place!), I slid on a discarded flyer and toppled to the ground.
Good thing my knee was there to break my fall.
I couldn’t tell you how many people saw my spill. Intoxicated on the rush of being abroad in such a cool place, I didn’t immediately feel the pain. Stacy cried out and leaned over to help me, but it was a man that appeared out of nowhere — a tall, handsome, Japanese man — that really came to my rescue. Not British, to be sure, but in England. Probably on vacation — just like me.
He wouldn’t leave us alone.
Not in a creepy, OMG-STOP-STALKING-ME way. In a sweet, “Are you really, really sure you’re all right?” kind of way. Lightly touching my elbow, he looked deeply in my eyes as a group of his friends hovered nearby, their faces a mask of concern. He wanted to see if I could stand. If I was going to be okay. If he needed to call for medical help.
“She’s fine!” Stacy kept saying, over and over. Wanting to prevent any additional embarrassment, she practically shooed the cute guy away. “Really, she’s fine!”
He didn’t speak English very well, but it was no matter — there was, however briefly, a connection.
So, you know. If you want to attract a man in Europe, you could just slip on some litter, catapult to the ground and watch a purple bruise blossom on your pale, American leg. Surely that will get you noticed.
But that hurt. And was sucky.
So maybe you want to get this book instead.
Review copy provided by author in exchange for my honest review.