From how to interpret that all-important first kiss to what to expect from your French in-laws, here’s all you need to know about dating in France.
Contrary to popular belief, not all French women are high-maintenance fashionistas who are obsessed with their looks. Nor are all French men smooth-talking womanizers who will say anything to get you in bed. However, while it’s always wise to take such cultural stereotypes with a pinch of salt and not generalize an entire nation, no one can deny that there are certain traits you are likely to come across when dating in France.
After all, different cultures around the world have a different appreciation of the qualities that make someone a desirable mate. What might be considered romantic, attractive, or polite in your culture might not be well received in another. With this in mind, this helpful guide is here to help with the following information:
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An overview of dating in France
When it comes to dating, the French like to play by their own rules and these differ significantly from other European cultures. While this may take some getting used to as an expat, it can also pose an exciting challenge. Believe it or not, the French usually don’t date per se. While cultural stereotypes would have you believe that they are the masters of romance and seduction, the reality is actually quite different. Sure, it might be true that both French men and women are generally confident by nature and not afraid to go for what they want. But how they approach the world of dating is arguably far less aggressive than some other cultures.
For one, the French tend to dislike making a date obviously romantic and prefer that dating plays a much smaller role in their lives. Unlike in some countries, where people focus their efforts on pursuing partners via one-to-one interactions in potentially romantic settings, French men and women choose to keep things casual and incorporate finding love into their social lives. This means that it won’t necessarily be just the two of you going on a date. In fact, the French word for a date itself – rendez-vous – literally means ‘meeting you’. Here, the ‘you’ actually refers to people in the plural form. So don’t go expecting any romantic moonlit strolls or kisses along the River Seine just yet!
How to meet people in France
Although the French attitude towards dating differs from other European cultures, the ways in which people meet are generally the same. That said, the French certainly have their own preferences.
Dating within social circles
Generally speaking, the French tend to meet their partners through social circles or friends. In fact, this remains the most popular way to meet people in France. Men and women enjoy going to dinner parties on the weekends where both singles and those in relationships meet together to have pleasant cultural conversations. In other countries, if you happen to meet a nice man or woman on datingranking.net/nl/alt-overzicht such an occasion and find each other interesting, you would most likely expect a date.
However, in France, things go a little differently. The French way is to invite you on a walk or a catch-up with friends. This will likely be a laid-back affair too; so don’t be too surprised if you receive a last-minute invitation.