The marketers behind The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men* sent me an advanced copy of the book in hopes I would write a review. After taking a gander, I can tell you this: if you’re into guides that refer to breasts as pom poms and coin phrases like “mantastic,” this is the book for you.
Part travel guide, part dating manual, Single Girl’s is stuffed with giddy anecdotes about the author, a pretty Vanderbilt grad, and her friends as they tour European bars, clubs, ski mountains and beaches in search of studs to love forever and/or scoop for the night. Cultural tidbits are offered on men from each country – Portuguese dudes are hairy, Brits are shy – and techniques are revealed, including the “Man Meeting Dance Formula” which begins by placing yourself near your target, staring until he’s forced to look back at you then dazzling him with one of your sexiest moves.
Obviously, this book isn’t for the New Yorker reader hoping to land a poet sipping cognac outside the Louvre. It’s for those young chick gaggles we see every weekend wobbling through bars on six-inch heels, sipping pomegranate cocktails and recounting episodes of The Bachelorette. Those gals would dig this book, so I highly recommend it to them. But first, a little criticism.
Firstly, meeting European men is far from difficult. These guys see gals like the author and her chicas arrive in Europe and proceed to become sloppy drunk giggle fiends who screw everything with an accent. Thus, European men think American women are easy and so, are drawn to them like hound dogs on a rutting poodle.
Secondly, though I’m sure the author is lovely, she doesn’t come off well in the book. Stories like “When I Had a Song Dedicated to Me” and tales of bowling over Euro dudes with her killer looks make her sound like your snotty friend who hogs the mirror and thinks you’re lucky to be in her company. She even advises readers to avoid getting a “bubble butt” by doing Pilates. Meanie. Plus, she once ordered ketchup to go with lobster, which disqualifies her from being a legitimate source on just about anything.
There are some silly tips like “flip your hair” and “chew slowly” (because European men appreciate women who savor their meals). But my personal eye-rolling favorite was the suggestion to “catch up on current events” because European men are proud of their cultures. Gee, who would expect these ladies to know what’s happening in the world anyway? They’re only college graduates.
Still, there are good tips that apply to dating anywhere in the world. Though cheesily phrased, the suggestion to “be fast to allure, slow to succumb” may be the best advice to give a young woman today. Hearts are regularly popping across the country as high schoolers, sorority sisters and twentysomething gals are dumped by dudes who don’t want anything serious after these gals so graciously put out. “Hookup culture” has confused too many girls into thinking easy access to booty is the quickest way to a man’s heart. It’s good advice to keep things on simmer for a bit.
The author also tells us a “carefree attitude” is most attractive to dudes across the pond. When you’re away from your own country with its rules and social mores, when you believe any decision made has no consequence in your real life and when rejection from a guy means nothing since you won’t see him ever again, a peculiar sense of confidence permeates your being. And yes, men dig confidence and lightheartedness over the desperation and self-conscious wackiness most women bring to their dating lives. Ladies, try this tip at home.
However, the best tip in the book is also the easiest to execute: stand near the food at parties. All the better if you splash a few drops of beer behind your ears.
As a thirtysomething divorcée who’s already lived in Europe and been married to a European, I don’t have much use anymore for Single Girl’s tips. But a gal gallivanting across Europe post-college with some pals would have quite the adventure testing out the book’s tips and visiting its boy-crammed destinations. Just remember to flip your hair.
And skip the ketchup.
*The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men by Katherine Chloé Cahoon