She explained to me that she had just met this French guy, and that she really liked him. Most French men are quite old-fashioned: they want to be the one to take the initiative and do the first step. The good news is that it usually doesn’t take them as much time as their British counterpart. Come on, I am pretty sure that you don’t need my help. The thing is, I have not played the dating game for a very long time. Here we go…Unlike in the US, there is no specific plan as to what you need to do at the first, second or third date. If you date a French guy, he is with you, and you with him. More controversially, I also say that is all about risk management: take as good care of yourself as possible, and you will limit the chances of him having a roving eye. It is beyond me, because I am a happy-go-lucky sort of person, but it is a tried-and tested thing: if you appear to be too happy, they aren’t interested in you. With that being said, I know you’re all dying to know the rules of dating in France… Well, that’s not exactly true, but let’s say that there are much fewer rules than in many other countries, especially the US (as usual, I’ll compare mostly to the US, partly because this is the foreign culture I know the best, partly because most of the readership is American). Asking someone else out in France is not that different from many other places I guess.Actually, the very concept of dating is not very clearly defined in France. It mostly consists in saying “Would you like to [insert something about dining, going to a movie or similar activities here] together?You only have to walk along the rue for approximately 2.5 seconds before being treated to a cacophony of horns and angry screams.No ‘pardon my French here’, this is real French and it’s all exaggerated gestures and dirty swear words simply because someone dared stop for a Like every other English expat girl, I was raised on a good dose of Hollywood drama, Frenchmen in films were like real-life Prince Charmings; saving the damsels in distress, opening doors for their girlfriends, buying flowers for their significant others just because…Last year, I moved to France (and wrote about the top differences between London and Paris) for the first time in my life. In an even shorter space of time, I realized that really dating a real Frenchman was nothing like the movies.
This year, I celebrate my 25 wedding anniversary with my French husband. My goodness, I’ve lived longer with this man than any member of my own family.
But if #3 is any indication of how they’re catching up, I’d advise you to act now before they figure out that dating five girls at once is an unfortunate common practice in America. Good news for you if he’s into basic jeans, cashmere sweaters, and well-cut blazers.
Bad news if he belongs to the tribe of baggy linen pants and ribbed turtlenecks. You’ll have the pleasure of explaining particularly American concepts such as Snooki, Shamu, Spring Break, Texas and Pizza Bites. He’ll comment on your outfits (positively) and discuss style in general more than an American boy might. He’s probably well-traveled considering that living in France allows you the advantage of hopping over to Italy or Spain for a weekend. Unless he magically learned English from watching episodes of : Angry/hungry, happiness/a penis. He’ll probably do all he can to give you respect and treat you like a princess.
I love deep and meaning philosophical conversations as much as the next person, but can we not talk about the latest episode of Orange is the New Black for once?
If I’ve learnt anything during my two years in Paris, it’s that there are certain measures, habits and role reversals we women might feel the need to adopt when playing the dating game with French men.