Massachusetts Daily Collegian

When in Rome (a girl should date) says new book

By Ashley Berger

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Courtesy Jackie Hutcherson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT

24-year-old author and Vanderbilt graduate Katherine Chloe Cahoon wrote “The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men” as a tip book and guidelines for any girl going abroad with this dream, and she is currently working on a movie adaptation of the book.

“The Single Girl’s Guide” offers young, curious women tips for dating overseas, advice on how to pack for the trip, firsthand insights of Cahoon’s and her cohorts’ experiences in Europe, looks at the hottest spots in Europe, fashion tips, and suggestions on how to avoid European prowlers.

Cahoon spent her college summers in various European locations, but did not originally go abroad with the intention of meeting a man.

“As an international media major, I wanted to go somewhere to study. It just worked naturally that I met so many men,” she said.

The book delves into Cahoon’s experiences, and in a phone interview Cahoon further explained one of her most memorable escapades at a Spanish car race. Cahoon wanted to attend a car race, but since none of her friends wanted to attend, she decided that she would go alone. An usher ended up selling her a VIP ticket. Out of pure coincidence, she was wearing the colors of Fernando Alfonso, a famous car racer.

At the end of the race, Cahoon was followed by photographers and fans because they thought she was Alfonso’s girlfriend.

“You can’t duplicate that experience,” she said. “People still make jokes about that, but it is something I will always remember.”

Cahoon went solo to the event, and discussed how European men find it completely acceptable for women to be by themselves when they are out and about.

“Most girls get too scared or nervous to break out of a circle of girls,” she said. “Guys won’t break through a circle of girls in the same way a girl wouldn’t just go up to a circle of guys.”

“European men notice a girl who is by herself,” she went on. “They will come up to you. They’ll ask you if you are okay or need help finding something. They want to help you. However, a girl should only go by herself during the day, only when it is safe. But the largest number of girls that should go out in a group is three. That is a number that guys will feel comfortable talking to and breaking in with.”

“It is fun to go somewhere that you know the language because then you can always improve,” Cahoon said, regarding the language barrier and how she did not find it to be that much of an issue. “The men want you to get better. As long as you make an attempt to pick up key phrases and words and be mindful, they will encourage you to learn. The guys I met thought my poor Spanish and American accent was charming.”

“You tend to learn more from one date with a foreign man than in a whole semester of a foreign language,” Cahoon noted about dating and languages.

Cahoon also discusses how different European men dress and take care of themselves. “In swanky clubs, you will find the best dressed guys. Arguably, men get more dressed up to go out, the like to look nice,” remarked Cahoon. “It’s important for the men to dress up. It’s more of an etiquette issue.”

“Sometimes you find great business men who just came from work at a nice bar,” Cahoon described. “But in the outdoor sports parks is where you would want to go to find the guys who have the best bodies because they spend all their time outdoors.”

Though the book describes excursions all around Europe, Cahoon does not think she can pick a favorite place that she went, because each place was so special to her.

“Each place has its own special, hidden features. Each person has their own expectation and goal when they go abroad.”

“You have to go to Europe to do what you want. My goal was to study and be wined and dined. My friends had different goals in regards to European, but we all came home feeling satisfied with the experience,” Cahoon revealed. “Set your own goals and go achieve them.”

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected]

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