There’s a reason why so many relationships come to an abrupt end just before a year abroad commences; whilst one half woefully endures nine months of being lectured in lectures and tutored in tutorials in rainy, samey Britain, their beau is having a ball in the sun. With only ‘FaceTime’ to keep the flame alive, those left behind feel such pressure to compete with an abundance of foreign, bronzed beauties readily available to the significant other; it’s no wonder so many couples fall at the first hurdle!
Yet as a current ‘year abroad-er’ I can safely say that when it comes to making a move on the local talent, it’s actually no easy ride out here and in all honestly the abandoned, for the most part, needn’t fret. Being placed in the south of Spain has taught me that the etiquette of attracting that ‘special someone’ learned on home soil, doesn’t quite translate to common practice on the continent.
On that account, to all pre-Erasmus alumni under the impression that they can carry on as normal and expect to maintain or even top that ‘Plaaaya’ reputation built over the past couple of years, think again.
However fear not! In a bid to pass on any knowledge I have gained in this field, most of which unfortunately in hindsight, I have provided five pulling tips to see you through this exciting phase of your degree, which I trust will keep any success rates firmly in tact . . .
1.Make it extremely obvious that you’re British
Between tanning up, bulking up or layering the hair extensions for a mane simply not found on an Anglo-Saxon, we British are constantly aspiring to appear almost foreign in preparation for a night on the lash. Although it is in fact the case that the novelty of an awkward Brit abroad is something Europeans find strangely alluring! So ditch the tan, don the shorts before deemed acceptable and give everyone a big drunken ‘HE-LL-O!’ as you pull up a bar stool and order a ‘Pinto de Magners’, you’ll be an offer they just can’t resist!
2.Avoid the Gym
Of course this one could also be applied at home, but the key difference here is that gyms in the United Kingdom have air conditioning. Now I’m not denying that Spanish people don’t sweat, all I’m saying is that their tolerance to intense heat during strenuous exercise is somewhat higher than ours. Moreover with a natural olive glow, any discomfort we display through a beetroot complexion our lucky counterparts are able to disguise. In short the gym just doesn’t bode well for any potential day time digit swapping for us Britons and is ultimately best avoided.
It’s no secret that Erasmus nights back home aren’t exactly the place to pull. Now we are all those freaky fish out of water desperately trying to blend in, have fun and be understood at the same time! A perfect meeting place for Brits all on the same boat and suffering from a bit of a dry spell since September; Erasmus Bars, with their weeknight promos and ‘International Music’, offer a kind of sanctuary and solace for a year abroad student like no other. Alternatively, unlike in the UK, natives in a nutshell view foreign visitors as ‘G’ to the ‘–AME’ and come along for some potential action too, so whether you’re into sticking with Tenants or sampling the new tequila on offer, everyone’s a winner!
Much like number two this rule can be followed in more familiar, hometown haunts. Though while living in another country for nine months where the native language is not your mother tongue, the importance of body language cannot be stressed enough to communicate any objectives or intentions! Persuasive eye contact, encouraging smiles and convincing laughter, even at the wrong or indeed inappropriate time can still score some points. Remember, you’re foreign, cut yourself some slack; God loves a try-er and he’ll put in a good word for those who show willing and power through a language barrier for love, lust and perhaps the rest!
5. Don’t play hard to get
And finally, ‘aloof’ doesn’t translate literally into any other European language, my advice is to then assume and take on board that foreigners will not understand this concept, mostly because it’s true. Almost as important as the actual relationship in Great Britain is the thrill of the chase beforehand. Whereas some thousand miles south, coyness comes across as loss of interest and that babe at 3 o’clock will, in a bid to not waste any precious pulling time, have completely given up and moved onto the next one, all before you can say, ‘Speak English?!’ Foreign flirts are forward and once back in the student union amidst the sheepish unassertive nature of playing the game in true British style you’ll be wishing you had left those airs and graces in the departure lounge at the start of term. Go with the flow and get ready to return home with a list of contacts so cosmopolitan, only a sea of envious admirers will ensue!
And so, a year abroad is apparently an educational nine months in more ways than one! I am almost certain that these suggestions shall guide you through the Erasmus experience almost unscathed after a fruitful and bountiful year on the pull. One to hopefully rival any had so far on the home playing field.