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Dating in France

The Cultural Shock of Dating in France

Dating someone from a foreign country can be a stimulating experience. The rich cultural exchange can have a rewarding effect on a relationship, making it feel more alive and intense, as well as influence your own personality and help you become a more complete person. While it’s true that such nuances as language barriers can sometimes cause difficulties, you may think of them as the salt and pepper sprinkled on top of your relationship that brings out its hidden taste.

When it comes to dating the French you’ll find it fascinating how some social behaviors are vastly different from those in the United States. In France, for example, it’s not common for singles to go out on blind dates. Most people meet through interaction within their social circles: friends and friends of friends. Likewise, the first kiss on the lips is interpreted as a silent agreement between you and your partner to begin an exclusive relationship.

In this article we’ll be exploring the specifics that differentiate the French Dating Scene from the American, so you can approach it without worrying about falling into the numerous cultural traps laid out before you. Sometimes these differences are subtle, other times they can be quite obvious. So, with further ado, let’s begin.     

Advice for Dating in France

In France, everyday life moves at a different pace than in the United States. People often take time in the middle of the day to sit outside a café, enjoy the fresh air and a cup of coffee. The first piece of advice is to Slow Things Down. If you’re visiting Paris – the City of Lights, the City of Love and passion –  do your best to adapt to the local mentality of taking it slow and enjoying everything you do. This general approach to life will go a long way toward helping you connect on an emotional level with French citizens.

Another important thing to remember upon arriving in France is to always Be Open about what you expect from a relationship. You’ll need to clear your head of the stereotypes and prejudices acquired from Hollywood cinema and prepare yourself for a completely different reality, accept it and make the most of your time in this magnificent country.

Dating Protocol doesn’t exist in France – at least not in the same way we view it in the United States. In America, if a single woman accepts to have dinner with a man, it’s generally understood that there’s some level of interest from both parties. In France, however, it’s quite common for a single woman to have dinner with a male friend without there being any romantic strings attached.

Being monogamous is considered a positive quality in France. For some reason, the hookup culture that’s common in the United States hasn´t yet hit the mainstream in France. The French are passionate people who elevate the act of flirting to an art form, yet they enjoy forming couples and building relationships – perhaps they see it as the best way to maximize their feelings of love and closeness to one another.

Communicating Through Language Barriers

Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Everyone understands this and recognizes the importance of delivering clear representations of not only what you feel, but also what you expect from your partner. Most, if not all, arguments and fights begin with a misunderstanding of actions or words. Since you’re already in France, take the time to learn the language, understand how to interpret the slang and mannerisms of the French. But more than anything, learn how to be patient. Language barrier or not, patience will always be required in order to achieve mutual understanding.

Dating a French Woman

French women are generally confident and expect an equal level of culture and intelligence from their dates. If you want to be noticed by a French woman, remember to work on your charm and stay informed of current cultural events. Take an interest in her political worldviews, ask her questions about her background, show her that you want to understand her country’s unique culture.  

By nature, French women are mostly independent. As men, we sometimes regard this need for independence as displeasure or a lack of interest. Not so. Don’t rush; let her have the space she needs. Gradually, if things move in the right direction, she’ll decide to involve you in matters that are more personal.

But above all remember to Avoid Stereotypes. Nobody (man or woman) appreciates being generalized. Not only will such an attitude be considered insulting and rude, it’ll show a high level of ignorance that’ll instantly turn an intelligent woman off.  

The French Kiss

Ah, the famous French Kiss, a universal symbol of intimacy, affection, trust and passion. It can lead to a night of ardent lovemaking and long-term relationships. Whether you’re on a date with a French man or woman, remember that the first kiss may carry more significance than a first kiss in America. In France, kissing on the mouth is seen as a clear interest in forming an exclusive relationship.  

No matter where you find yourself in this great big world, remember to take the time to learn, respect and adapt to the local culture. Your happiness may depend on it.

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