Last Wednesday, I met up for dinner with Steve, my best friend in London.
BFF: Steve and me at London's Cinnamon Club restaurant
Over a delightful meal at the Cinnamon Club, a modern Indian bistro tucked away in the Old Westminster Library, Steve and I fell into the easy conversation that has defined our friendship for 17 years now. He told me about his paid sabbatical from PR and how he knew his partner of 8 years was the one. I filled him in on my recent adventures in Dublin and soul searching about what to do professionally post-blitz.
Steve mentioned that many of his co-workers are expats from the US and elsewhere, and how a high percentage of them found love abroad. Steve’s theory is that, when you’re not in the comfort zone of home, you tend to put yourself out there a lot more, making it easier to find love.
We talked a lot about the search for lasting love. As Steve accurately summarized what went wrong with some of my major exes, I smiled, appreciating that he’s known me long and well enough to be there through it all. Old friends really are the best.
The next morning, before checking out of the Marriott London Regent’s Park, I enjoyed a complimentary Champagne breakfast for members of the brand’s rewards program. There’s something about starting the day with a mimosa (or box fizz, as it’s called in the UK) that feels deliciously decadent.
Later, I had the pleasure of meeting up for coffee with Aussie expat and single gal Fiona, 34.
Single Gals In London: Fiona and me
Fiona, who’s lived in London for 8 years now, has found the dating scene to be a true melting pot, with men varying by neighborhood from City bankers and beer swigging footballers to more creative types in East London. What most of them have in common — a healthy amount of British reserve.
“British guys take forever to get the point,” she said. “Half the time they’re hoping you’ll launch in and do it for them.”
London men don’t approach women, unless they’re doing it online. Internet dating has become extremely popular in England’s capital, though Fiona says most guys online are either looking for sex or unsure of what they want.
“Everyone’s searching but they don’t know what they’re doing on there,” she said. “Guys won’t return calls and they’ll stand you up.”
Best part of being unattached in London versus Adelaide, her former hometown?
“You don’t feel there’s anything wrong with being a single girl. London is different from Australia — being single is socially acceptable.”
But, like many other bachelorettes I’ve met on both dating blitzes, Fiona admits to feeling her mentality shift now she’s in her thirties.
“You want to meet somebody, a guy you can engage with and know they’re going to be there for you, that you’re going to grow together.”
Finding that person isn’t easy. Which is why it helps having good friends — old and new — with you along the journey.