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Can an accent be a deal breaker?

(101 Posts)
Nebaska Mon 22-Feb-21 15:54:05

I'll try to keep this brief.

I met a guy online who seems to tick every box I ever had ("seems" is important - I know anyone can be anyone online). Not just looks (although he's V handsome) but more, interests, views on life, goals etc etc. He seems keen.

We'd been messaging back and forward for a couple of weeks, and for about a week now have been chatting on the phone. (Can't meet up bc lockdown and can't even do a walk bc I care for someone vulnerable, though they've just had the vaccine so in a few weeks we should be able to have SD walks etc).

Anyway, the problem is I can't really stand his accent. We are chalk and cheese in that department. I come from a very working class family with a strong regional accent that people are quite proud of. In school, you'd be bullied for "thinking you were better" if you put on airs and graces. A lot of people try to lose the accent if they want to "move up in the world" but I'm pretty proud that I never tried to hide where I came from and moved up anyway.

He appears to have had the same background but now puts on this really, really posh accent that's a mix of... I don't even know what. It's hard to describe but it just grates on me. I don't find it attractive, and if anything I find it pretty off-putting. I know we're not in school anymore and this is probably going to come across as ridiculous... but I'm just imagining bringing him home to meet the family and my brothers thinking he is a right prick and wondering what the fuck has come over me. They would never take to him. My mum probably would, but she's been known to put on a similar daft accent when answering the phone etc and we never let her hear the end of it (playfully, of course).

Is this stupid?! Like I said, everything else (on paper) sounds great. Has anyone else been in a similar situation and managed to get passed it?

In all honesty my most "successful" relationships have started out slow burns. That is to say, the two serious relationships I've had, I remember having some hang ups re attraction after the first date, and then for whatever reason the attraction grew and grew the more I got to know them. But that's always been looks, never voice. They've always had really nice voices, and in fact I remember specifically dating an ex-colleague just because I loved the way he spoke and he had this insanely attractive gravelly voice (our mutual friends thought I was mad, but I just really really love the way a man talks).

I'd love to hear anyone else's stories / thoughts. Would you cut loose? Wait a few weeks and go on a date? Get over myself and stop being ridiculous? Can it get better?

TIA smile

OP’s posts: |
SionnachRua Mon 22-Feb-21 15:57:58

You can choose not to date someone for any reason you like! No harm in trying one date but no shame if it's a deal breaker for you either.

I wouldn't date someone with a non-rhotic accent (I always forget which is which but I mean whichever one is the one which adds in extra rs). I've turned down people for this reason before. They get on my nerves.

If you do decide not to date, I wouldn't tell the person why. Accents are such a personal thing.

Wanderlusto Mon 22-Feb-21 16:00:45

Surely the issue is actually that he is FAKING an accent.

(Assuming you are right about this and he is from the same place as you).

It would imply that he was holier than thou and perhaps, manipulative in other ways.

Either that or it is his genuine accent but it just puts your nose out of joint anyway. Not a good place to start if you havent even met the guy and already he has put your back up.

Plenty more fish in the sea!

unmarkedbythat Mon 22-Feb-21 16:02:15

It's not the accent that bothers you though is it, it's that he's putting it on. I was all ready to YABU you upside down before I read your post, now I'm thinking- that would annoy me too.

Elbels Mon 22-Feb-21 16:03:52

How do you know he's putting it on? You barely know the man!

Muuuuuummm Mon 22-Feb-21 16:04:13

Maybe he has a less annoying voice in person. Worth a try.

ravenmum Mon 22-Feb-21 16:04:47

If you found him attractive and exciting, the accent wouldn't matter.
Not having met him, you have no idea if you fancy him, but are you at least excited? As you're focusing on this, it sounds more like he's just good on paper, and you're at best lukewarm about him in person?

Roszie Mon 22-Feb-21 16:05:20

Fake accent? Maybe it's real.

Cameleongirl Mon 22-Feb-21 16:06:46

I agree with PP's, it's the fake accent part that really grates. Why can't he just talk normally?!

Tbh, once you're in a LTR, you don't really notice your partner's accent. I'm British married to an American. My children have now picked up American accents but they say they can't "hear" my British accent, because it's just how Mum talks. Everyone else instantly knows I'm "forrin" but to them I'm just Mum. grin

crosshatching Mon 22-Feb-21 16:07:47

Depends if holding onto his accent would hold him back in his job really. Not all industries or companies are all that accent friendly, particularly if you're raised with one of the less 'cool' accents.

AlexaShutUp Mon 22-Feb-21 16:09:26

If he is putting it on, that would be really annoying, but are you sure that's what's happening? Some people lose their original accents much more easily than others. My mum grew up in a northern city with a distinct accent, but you wouldn't know it if you heard her speak...I am 100% sure that she didn't try to change it, it just happened. I'm the same, my accent is very malleable!

It would be a shame to write off a promising relationship for something that might be beyond his control. Why don't you ask him about it?

Wanderlusto Mon 22-Feb-21 16:11:12

..just a thought- maybe it's his phone voice.
I'm posher on the phone. Unless it's someone I'm really close to.

butterpuffed Mon 22-Feb-21 16:15:21

How do you know his accent is fake, you said he "appears to have had the same background" ?

If it was his natural accent it wouldn't bother me, if it was fake it would.

Viviennemary Mon 22-Feb-21 16:18:38

People sometimes do put on a posh phone voice without even being conscious they are doing it. Seems a bit daft to be overly bothered about this.

Pancake4life Mon 22-Feb-21 16:21:19

has he moved away from home? my accent changed after a few years living away and being surrounded by other accents in London.

RevolutionRadio Mon 22-Feb-21 16:22:29

How do you he's putting it on? I talk differently to my family but I'm not putting anything on, it's just how I talk.

Also I apparently talk differently on the phone, I don't think I do, but many people have said I have a phone voice.

OnwardsEverStridingOnwards Mon 22-Feb-21 16:25:30


How do you know he's putting it on? You barely know the man!

My option exactly!

Nebaska Mon 22-Feb-21 16:27:21

I mean, I don't know 100% that he's faking it but we grew up less than a mile away from each other, and like I said it was the type of place where acting posher than you were wouldn't have won you any friends.

Also, when we were discussing where we lived etc he told me the area and I said "oh yeah you sound like you come from X area" (the poshest area in the city) and he said oh no I moved here X years ago, I grew up not far away from you. This is my work / phone voice.

If he had just grown up in the posh area and that was the way he spoke I think I'd be more on board with it? It's the "putting on airs and graces" part that grates on me, because I'm not sure if he'll keep that up the whole time or if he's still in the "I want to impress her" phase (he's lived in different parts of the world, where maybe that kind of accent WOULD be impressive). Imagine maybe a northern Irish actor who spends a lot of time in America and is speaking very clearly and annunciated, so they can be understood. An American would probably think "oh what a hot Irish accent" whereas someone from the place he grew up would be wondering why he's doing that when she could understand him perfectly if he just spoke normally!

I get that in some work places moving away from your working class accent is the only way to move up. I've worked with a lot of them before and I always respected the ones who didn't partake, because really why should it be something to be ashamed of?

I do understand the "plenty more fish" thing... but honestly this is the only thing that annoys me. Everything else has me pretty excited. I have some pretty specific interests that he's really into, too, and I've never met anyone online who's into it off their own backs. (Think... we're both obsessed with the roman empire and could plan loads of trips there... that kind of thing).

Also... I know this sounds incredibly shallow of me but every relationship I've had, I've always dated "within my class" (maybe because I like the accent 😂) which has meant I've usually always out earned someone by a considerable amount. Which is fine. I have no problems with it. But there's also a part of me that's wondering... if I get past the accent maybe it would be nice to NOT be the breadwinner for once? To send my children to a naice school and "move into" the class he's clearly "moved into". To live in the really posh area and have intellectual conversations with a partner instead of sneaking away to read my book while he watches the football.

I'm not sure if that last paragraph is going to come across very well or the way I intended it too... but just to say I AM interested in him, I just don't want to get my hopes up or waste either of our time if everyone is in agreement (and I agree) that the grating accent thing a deal breaker, you know?

OP’s posts: |
Wanderlusto Mon 22-Feb-21 16:32:03

Well he literally told you it was his phone voice. So...maybe meet him in person and see. Dont you have a phone voice op? xD

sunflowersandbuttercups Mon 22-Feb-21 16:32:43

How do you know it's fake?

Some people pick up accents really easily. I'm from "down south" but have lived up north for five years now. My husband has a very strong local accent and I've definitely picked up a lot of his ways of speaking.

I'm not "faking" anything confused it just happens naturally for me. I've always been like that. When I used to visit family in Australia I'd come home sounding Aussie.

NotGenerationAlpha Mon 22-Feb-21 16:32:59

People can really change accents without being fake. How old is him and how long has he left his home town? I'm from NZ and we have a lot of British immigrants. Some have totally lost their British accent after 5-10 years. I don't think they fake it. I think it's more like Gillian Anderson where they'll change back if they come back to the UK.

Etinox Mon 22-Feb-21 16:39:33

You can date or not date anyone you like, but you might like to think about your prejudices and your family's and consider whether it's serving you well.

Simma2 Mon 22-Feb-21 16:48:08

Do be honest (and you won't like this) but he doesn't sound like the one who thinks he's too good for other people ;-)

Simma2 Mon 22-Feb-21 16:50:58


You can date or not date anyone you like, but you might like to think about your prejudices and your family's and consider whether it's serving you well.

Exactly. I think I'd probably just dump him if I were the OP so that he can go and find someone less shallow.

garlictwist Mon 22-Feb-21 16:54:37

I don't know about a deal breaker but there a few regional accents that really grate on me (won't say which here to avoid being flamed!) and yes, I might find it a turn off if a potential partner had one of them.

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