So you’re free, single and ready to mingle? In a travel environment, you might find yourself with a pick of nationalities vying for your time, and your heart. When you’re deciding who to take for dinner and a dance (or, you know, whatever), here’s why you should give the Irish lad or lass a second glance. You’re in for a treat…
Talk. Talk. Talk.
Sure, it’s a gross generalisation, but most of the Irish are never, ever stuck for something to say, as is shown by the vibrant banter of any pub in Ireland on any night of the week. We don’t hold back on opinions, either, so if you’re into debating about politics, sport, history, travel or just about anything else, get stuck in. The gift of the gab is no myth, after all.
You’ll laugh. A lot
The Irish are funny by nature. Chances are your date will have you stomach-laughing in no time, and if they don’t, you can be sure half their friendship group will have you in stitches, so you can get your craic there, too. You’re going to have a whole lot of fun.
…Or rather those accents (yes, there are quite a few). We can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to listen to the wide variety of Irish drawls, from the west coast twang to the more guttural north Dublin inner-city brashness. Nobody says ‘top of the morning to you’, ever. Instead, you’ll get the wonderful Irish past tense (‘I’m after going’), a total lack of the ‘th’ sound, and a genuinely sensational turn of phrase. Hot.
Freckles. Ginger hair. Hauntingly pale skin.
Your new beau may (or may not) have any or all of the above, but yes, if they do you’ll quickly learn that they’re all fiercely attractive. Apart from when that pale skin gets a bit of time in the sun, at which point most people of Irish heritage quickly turn a shade of pink better described as… erm… beetroot red.
We’re incredibly casual
In fact, the whole ‘going out for dinner thing’ won’t even come up until you’ve hit the pub at least half a dozen times in the same company. Chatting over a few pints for a first, second and third date and getting to know someone is just the Irish way. We don’t take it too seriously. You shouldn’t, either.
We’re about to be unique to Europe
Not to oversell the Irish passport (because we might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves there – it’s only a date, right?), but the Brits are certainly seeing the value in it right now. Ireland will soon be the only country larger than the tiny island of Malta that is both English-speaking, and located in that travel-lovers’ paradise of easy travel, the EU. We’re a good country to hook yourself to, right now.
Apparently, we’re awful at dating
Remember the Irish being casual about dating? The plus side to that is you’re bound to impress us. Seriously, bring a bunch of flowers. Dress up. Take us somewhere other than the pub. Don’t get embarrassingly drunk on a date. All of those are great, great things, and we’re already impressed.
We’ve mostly gotten over our conservative phase
See Ireland’s legalization of gay marriage by popular referendum in 2015 – the first country in the world to do so. While Ireland still outlawed condoms without prescription as recently as 1985, and divorce as recently as 1996, our young people are very much over their conservative hang-ups these days. Trust us, that’s for the best.
We can’t take compliments (and that’s fun for you)
Genuinely, just try telling us anything complimentary, and if we like you, we’ll wince over how to react. We couldn’t possibly agree with your compliment (because that would just be arrogant), but we want more of them, too. Bring on the squirm, you’re going to have fun with this.
You might get to meet the ‘mammy’
Bear with us, that’s not the form of ‘mother-in-law to be’ torture you’re probably imagining (that’s the dad, since you asked!). Irish mammies are a law unto themselves; wonderful specimens, cynical yet overbearing hosts sure to feed you until you can barely stand up. Think endless tea, constant inquiries into your relationship situation, and (in all likelihood) a nice trip to Bally-go-backwards to hang out on a rainy farm for the weekend. Enjoy!
You’ll learn to swear in whole new ways
We’re not going to repeat precisely how but you haven’t heard swearing until you’ve heard it from the Irish. A liberal spattering of bad language in everyday conversation is offset by the way the words are used: sometimes like the phrase has been brewing at the back of an author’s mind for a decade, just waiting to tumble out in all its offensive glory.
We’re extremely family-oriented
In fact, if we’re young and work in Dublin, there’s a good chance we head off ‘down home’ at least once a month just to hang with our mothers and our (likely large number of) siblings. That might not sound like a huge plus now, but the family ethos is exactly what you want in the long run, right?
We’re fiercely romantic at heart
Not in a ‘kiss in the rain in Paris’ way. More in a ‘fall hard and give you everything’ way. Divorce rates in Ireland are still way below the rest of Europe, and while people tend to settle down quite late these days (average marriage ages for men are now over 35, and women over 33) when we settle, we settle well.