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While I usually don’t subscribe to most stereotypes, there are always a few that are true enough to merit their labels. Playful—but always polite—conversations can be had between friends, between strangers, and even between married men and women with people who aren’t their significant other (gasp! In other cultures this may raise a few eyebrows, and tempers, but in France it’s just a conversation, there’s no strings attached. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the most concise way I can think to put it.
If something makes you uncomfortable or you aren’t really sure where you stand, speak up.
Lycée International de Londres: Back to school with plenty to celebrate!
It is written by a fellow North American who now lives in Paris with her French Manfriend, officially as a freelance writer but unofficially keeping an eye on things over there and reporting back.
A year into her bilingual cross-cultural relationship, Leonora this month set out a list of fifteen illuminating hints, called Things to Know About Dating French Boys.
What this means for you: Culture isn’t always an excuse.
Don’t accept all behaviors just because you think it might be a cultural difference.
Whether you just got off the Eurostar in search of Erasmus romance or you are knees deep and a few (blissful) years into…well, an Erasmus romance, here are a few more pointers.
And every time I try some kooky thang on before going out –even if I am only going to be seeing English people, I just cannot shake his calm, collected yet firm voice in my head, harsh only in its resonating truth: …I recently had a group of French boys in their early twenties candidly explain, after I enquired, naturally, for ‘research’s sake’, that it would simply be embarrassing for a girl to buy her drink, dinner, even pour her own wine on any of the first several dates. In my experience, insisting will earn you a blank, confused, in some cases even offended look. Less offensive, in modern France, to the declining institution of the Catholic church but more to the cultural devotion to the pillars of looking presentable and eating well. Don’t be shocked if you go from being a total stranger to his grandmother’s confidante at family gatherings in a matter of weeks. Chances are if things are going well after the first date or two, you are his girlfriend.
These weren’t so much advice on how one might go about getting with a Frenchman as what to expect once you have (as far as you can possibly tell) got him locked down, you lucky minx.
I feel, seeing as I too am currently in a similar situation that it is my responsibility to add on a couple of crucial factors that Leo may have overlooked.
They don’t always prearrange dates; expect to get a few last minute calls asking for your company.