Great seeing you at the royal wedding party back in April, I had a great
time and so did my friend Carl who came across the pond with me.
Anyway I was talking to a girl who I made contact with via your website,
mostly just recommendations for cool places I could eat, drink and hang
As I happened to be in NYC a few days before the party we decided to
grab a pint at an Irish place. We hit it off great and had a great night
out, we met up several times whilst I was in the country.
Six months after that initial email I am writing you an email from her
laptop in the UK, to say thank you.
We are very much in love and have made plans to be together throughout
the coming year; including me living over there in the summer and
raising a glass with her at new year.
There is a pint waiting
for you from both of us when you want it!
Anyway once again thanks for helping us to find each other.
Jon & Kristi
Posted on 08 April 2011.
By Leila Molana-Allen,�(Image courtesy of datebritishguys.com)
When Michael Selig created a profile on iloveyouraccent.com in
February 2010, he didn’t think much of it. Selig had been involved with
online dating before, but it had never come to anything. But after a
string of difficult relationships in his suburban London hometown of
Barnet, he tried to keep an open mind.
Little did the 45-year-old export businessman know that just one year
later, he would be happily married and living halfway across the world
in Miami after meeting 39-year-old Florida native Juliette Stone on the
site. After several months of regular communication via email and Skype,
and a couple of visits across the Atlantic, the two were married in
August 2010, only six months after they met.
This is not an uncommon scenario for clients of iloveyouraccent.com,
which connects international singles with a penchant for particular
foreign accents. The online dating business has been booming in the last
decade, with premier sites such as match.com and eharmony.com offering a
variety of specialized profile-matching techniques, and boasting
memberships upwards of 50 million, respectively. On its website,
eHarmony claims that an average of 542 adults in the U.S. marry every
day after having met on their website.
Yet the market for niche sites such as Iloveyouraccent.com is
growing. Dating sites are now operating for singles interested in
connecting with people who went to similar colleges, or share a mutual
love of particular pets, pot-smoking and even Star Trek role-playing.
Accent and nationality-themed dating websites are becoming popular
for those� interested in international dating.� Iloveyouraccent.com was
launched last February by London-born Rochelle Peachey, who now resides
in Orlando, Fla. While the 45-year old writer and relationship expert
originally created the site to connect U.S. and U.K. singles, she has
now extended it to allow members from English-speaking countries all
over the world. Including the Seligs, the site claims responsibility�
for seven trans-Atlantic marriages.
Londoner Ben Elman, 31, and his American wife Becca Elman, 25,
started a rival site, datebritishguys.com, after they found their
friends were interesting in dating people from across the pond. While
the two met in London in 2005, Elman relocated to New York where he and
Becca were married in 2009 after a� 10-month relationship. “About eight
new relationships started between our friends at our wedding,” says
Elman, “So I thought, there’s a business in this.”
While the site was initially intended for British men living in the
U.S., the launch received so much press in the U.K. that there are now
almost 600 U.K.-based men signed on to the site, according to Elman, who
believes that with the ease of travel today, and the fact that many
people travel regularly for work, a trans-Atlantic relationship through
the site is workable.
The site’s advertising plays heavily on the theme, featuring busty
models wearing British flag T-shirts and inviting clients to help “Save
the British accent” while finding their very own David Beckham, Hugh
Grant or even Prince Harry. The Elmans are planning a New York City
viewing party for the upcoming Royal Wedding. However, despite the
similarities to Peachey’s site, which launched two months before
datebritishguys.com, Elman says it is in no way a copy. “I had been
planning this for about a year before we launched. Anyway, I think they
cater to a much older market than ours,” he says. He is considering
launching a sister site for American men to meet British women.
When Peachey moved to the United States in 2008, she was constantly
surprised at the number of times she heard “Oh, I just love your
accent!” on a daily basis, and the repeated requests she received from
friends to set them up with British friends back home. Then when she
home to visit, she heard the same thing from her friends and family in
England. With an idea for a new business forming, she sat down to lunch
one day with her husband Phil, 47 – to whom she credits the company name
– and bought the domain name for the site, which launched� on
Valentine’s Day 2010.� The site now claims over 8,500 members.
Peachey does not believe in the typical dating site approach of
matching users by their interests. “I honestly believe a man and woman
could have everything in common, but if they don’t fancy each other, the
game is up,” she says.�� To her the idea of connecting people to
singles with accents they are attracted to� is simply an initial hook,
after which the normal rules of attraction, or lack thereof, still
Donna Barnes,� a life and relationship coach for ABC News, believes
that accent-centered dating� is understandable when viewed in the
context of common dating patterns. “Most people are attracted to things
in others that they feel deficient in themselves,” says Barnes. “So if
they don’t feel they are cultured enough, or haven’t traveled enough,
something foreign seems really exciting.”
Yet Barnes is concerned that niche sites like Peachey’s cater to a
false illusion that a shared interest in one type of trait can make a
successful relationship, and that such focus drastically reduces the
large variety of potential partners that online dating makes available.
“I don’t think you should limit yourself unless it’s a necessity,” she
For Selig, however, his love of his new wife Juliette’s accent and
nationality has led to a� happier life in America. “I must admit I do
play on my Britishness, they like it,” he reveals bashfully. “They
expect us to be more intelligent, which isn’t a bad thing. I can do a
bit of Hugh Grant or the David Beckham, whichever works best, it doesn’t
bother me. Life in Miami is a bit more glamorous than Barnet …”