French dating culture and customs

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To Carol, who dated a French man for years, it seems a given in French culture that men and women are different and that those differences are to be celebrated—not ignored.

“French men pay attention to things like women wearing make-up, perfume, dressing well, and they enjoy a woman’s sensuality.” This doesn’t mean they expect women to be mere ‘eye candy,’ though.

You have croissants, crème brûlée, self-possession, paid maternity leave . To clarify, we’re referring to dating here as a long-term relationship.

But dating in France—or dating a French guy on American soil—presents a whole new world of romance that can’t necessarily be ordered à la carte.

I've been on first dates in France that I couldn't drag even long-term boyfriends to in the U.

S.: museums, theater, music that doesn't involve earplugs,” shares Tamara, a commercial real estate consultant living in Paris.

"“I love that in France a man thinks nothing of complimenting a woman that he doesn't know; he compliments her on her smile or her hair or whatever—and it doesn't mean anything more than, ‘I appreciate you,’” shares Carol.

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“French guys don't necessarily want to just go get a drink or see a movie.

Tamara shares her perspective: “It feels awkward to gaze deeply into a stranger’s eyes.

And I’ve actually had to say things like, ‘I don’t know you yet, so I’d prefer not to hold hands.’”Different than in the United States—where there’s often a moment when you define the relationship (DTR) as a couple—the French believe that there's a mutual understanding after a kiss or successful date. Abinet experienced this after a three-week vacation to France to see family friends. “I ended up on a first date with the first man I’ve ever loved.” He considered her to be his girlfriend and formed a sense of commitment immediately after that first date went well. Abinet moved to Paris just three weeks after her initial trip ended.“Couples just don't have ‘the talk’ in France,” Eileen adds.

In other words, the reality lies in those grey zones.

) holds the possibility of its counterpart (he loves me not! Your french partner won’t get the message if you simply stop calling.

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