Sex + Dating

12 Things You Should Know Before Dating a New Englander

Hipster in plaid shirt wearing Boston Red Sox cap with speech bubble
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

New Englanders are unlike any other people in America, and thus, unlike any other people on Earth. There's a special brand of precious difficulty when it comes to forging a romantic relationship with us that can be as alternately tumultuous and pleasant as springtime in Hartford. 

If you're an outsider, you shouldn't embark on a relationship with a New Englander without some background info. Here is that info, best enjoyed with some lobster and "Sweet Caroline" on repeat.

We walk wicked fast

No matter how fast you think your legs can take you up a hill, ours are double the speed and twice the size. You think we're going to take our time roaming those windy, frustratingly irregular Boston streets, or hiking up the somehow windier White Mountains? NOPE. If you aren't moving at what feels like a brisk jog, you're moving too slowly.

Yes, we do actually own some nice clothes beneath all that fleece

I know what you’re thinking: does that L.L.Bean vest ever come off? Yeah, buddy, it does. Once we wash all the crap off our faces and buffer out the salt stains from our boots, you’ll find a whole different person underneath. You think that Brooks Brothers outpost at Bradley International got there by accident?

We're as ♫ cold as ice ♫

We’re as cold as the ice you have to scrape off your windshield every morning and we’re never going to change. If you want to talk about emotional crap and all that stuff, you’re going to have to do some deep digging. But hey, it’s not our fault. There wasn't much time for emotional intimacy when our Puritan ancestors were busy trying not to starve to death in the winter, hanging witches, and slut-shaming the Hester Prynnes of the colonial world. Our parents handed that emotional withdrawal down to us, and we'll one day pass that icy torch.

But we eventually warm up

Sure, it’s hard to scratch the surface of our frosty exterior -- but, once you chip away with that ice pick-shaped muscle called the heart (and move past all the cold-themed metaphors), you’ll find that the way we love is as hard and honest as anyone else. Except way better. Remember the end of Good Will Hunting when Will drives to California to win back Minnie Driver’s heart? Yeah, focus on that and... forget everything before that point.

Coffee dates will only happen at one place

Starbucks? Wrong. Seattle's Best? Wait, do those even exist anymore? Peet's? Peet's is actually pretty good, that might not be a bad idea... but, NO!

We're going to Dunkin' Motherfucking Donuts, baby.

Of course you should order the largest possible Dunkaccino AND a croissandwich. We're generous like that. Plus, we still have money on that gift card our Nana gave us two Christmases ago. So yeah, things are going pretty well here.

You're 100% going to see our parents' summer house in Cape Cod

Wait, not in July, our grandparents have it that whole month. No, the second weekend in August is no good, Uncle Paul's taking that blackjack dealer from Foxwoods he just started dating, although that'll probably be over by June. Hmm Labor Day weekend MIGHT work but we'll have to check OK FINE YOU CAUGHT US IT'S JUST A TIMESHARE.

Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore from Fever Pitch movie still
Courtesy of Fox 2000 Pictures

We don't all have friends named "Sully"

Like, there's my friend John. His last name? Well, it's Sullivan but we don't call him -- well, I mean he goes by Sully SOMETIMES but whatever, let me get him over here. John! John? Ugh. SULLY. See, here comes John now. You're gonna love him. He's nuts.

You're absolutely going to Fenway for "date night"

How are you enjoying the obstructed view from seats that still cost $50 over face? And that Fenway Frank? No, it's definitely NOT just a regular hot dog with part of the bun missing. My jersey? Yeah, it's a Tom Brunansky throwback. Who's Tom Brunansky?! You know, this might not work out. Oh look, it's my good friend John Sullivan! 

Don't pick an argument with us

Dare you have any idea how many highly esteemed colleges there are in New England? Harvard, MIT, Yale, BU, Middlebury, Tufts, Dartmouth. Well yeah, sure WE went to Trinity, but we spent plenty of weekends visiting friends at those other places. And arguing with them. Just don't try it.

We'll never have a relationship like Luke and Lorelai from Gilmore Girls

People like that from Connecticut simply do not exist.

You're going to hate being in the car with us

Let us drive and watch us recklessly cut people off on Route 2 while swearing at other drivers in between making ill-advised sports talk radio calls. Or you could drive and deal with all the other maniacs doing the exact same thing.

Don't bother dating anyone from Rhode Island

Just trust us.

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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and proudly grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts.