Dating in France: The OTHER Reason I am Still Single

Sigh. The French Dating Scene.

Or lack thereof.

I’ve been talking a lot about this topic with a few of my French friends lately and I’ve realised that this is probably a bigger reason for why I am still single than the 17 other reasons I gave you in a previous blog post.

Disclaimer: Of course each person and relationship is different so this may not apply to everybody. I’m discussing what I’ve experienced, observed and discussed with french friends and other Europeans.

So what is the “French dating scene”? Well it is DEFINITELY different from the ‘North American/Caribbean’ module that I’m accustomed to.

In fact, I would say that most French people don’t really “date”.  They kind of just get together in a relationship and then figure it out.

Ok so let me qualify what I mean by “dating”. When I say ‘date/dating’ I mean the courting period; the “get to know each other” phase; the “who/what are my options?” segment.

Yea, they don’t really do this at all. Also you can’t date more than one person at a time. Like there is no option, no way, no how you can do this. If the other person finds out (even if it’s a few days after you first met that person) consider yourself dumped.

What generally happens is they meet a guy/girl (usually at a party); verify mutual attraction; and 1-2 weeks later they’re in a relationship.

Strange, I knooooooww.

Yea, I was like wtf? Three weeks and I’m somebody’s girlfriend? No thank you.

Actually, the guy may think you’re not interested if you don’t want to be his gf after 3 solid weeks of love, affection and attention.

Hahaha silly me to want to “take it slow” and “get to know” the guy before I make him my boyfriend. The French generally do this the other way around…they get in the relationship in order to  get to know each other. They find it weird that we “North Americans” expect to know anything meaningful during our so called “dating.”

BUT the french don’t usually ask the kind of questions we do. They don’t play the game of 20 Questions (and sometimes 120 Questions). They don’t ask (or wanna know), in the first 3 months for example, what the other person’s ambitions are; where they see themselves in 2yrs; how many kids they want; if they plan on getting married; their dreams and aspirations; blah blah blah.

The French focus mainly on the good feelings; the fact that they’re having fun, etc.

date-night-group-friends-interracial-couples-dating-travelwanderwish

So in all fairness, they are right. You won’t learn anything meaningful IF you do it the “french way.” But if you go about it “ninja detective style” then yes, you can learn a buttload of stuff about your “potential bf/gf”.

Different strokes for different folks!

Even worse, if I emphasize the “virginal christian” values of the Jamaican/US dating system then I’m surely doomed. I tried to explain that it’s not weird at all to court someone for 1-3 months without sex (example: the 90 Day Rule). I was greeted with bulging eyes. This is impossible in France.

Remember I said “they verify mutual attraction”? Weeelll how do you think they “verify” this? *wink wink*

Like they just can’t fathom the concept of maintaining intimacy and attraction without sex. And also how to avoid sex for such a long period when you are attracted to each other? Personally, 1 month is doable (2 is pushing it), after that I become a starved crazed animal (don’t judge me!). <— This is STILL too long for the French. They are all for instant gratification and they wanna make sure all the mechanics are fully functioning and up to scratch 😉

There is also a trend that I’ve noticed in France that I may NEVER get accustomed to:

Kissing random folks you’ve just met in a club.

Yea, no. Just ewww.

This is apparently the easiest, fastest and popular way to get a boyfriend :S

Can You Imagine the Catastrophic Misunderstandings I’ve Experienced?

  • There was this one guy I dumped in a blink of an eye because he called me his girlfriend after like 3.5weeks 😮 I ran like the wind! Every cell

 

  • Another guy dumped me because he thought I wasn’t interested because I wouldn’t respond to his texts immediately and because I was not interested in seeing him every single day of the week, the first week we started going out. (I’ve decided to explain that I’m slightly claustrophobic/agoraphobic; maybe that would help…???)

 

  • Speaking of which, the French, from my experience (and observation) are waaaayyy more attached than I can handle. I remember I had a bit of a challenge explaining to one of my exes that I needed some “me time” and that I was gonna just stay home to “do nothing” that night. Or the fact that I dont think he should come with me on every outing. (Hmmmm, maybe he was just jealous/insecure and this had nothing to do with French dating.)

 

  • Although it seems to me that once a french person gets a bf/gf they kinda just disappear and spend all of their time with said person. Not that anything is wrong with that…it’s just not for me (not yet anyways).

 

In retrospect, I may have been quite distant and cold from a French point of view. Not ‘may have’ lol, I was. This was confirmed by an ex. But now that we’re good friends, he’s admitted that I’m not cold at all but that I just have different ways of dating and he didn’t understand it at the time. Oh well.

Honestly, this whole dating scene has been kinda stressful – for both parties, I’m sure. BUT that’s a part of the package when you decide to move abroad. Sometimes the new culture gels really well with your own. Other times? Not so much.

I’m still learning and exploring and laughing at the complete mess I’ve made of my lovelife. My french friends laugh all the time…I was REALLY clueless when I first arrived. Now I get it a bit more and I am able to say which things I will not budge on (ie. kissing random males) and those I can adjust.

It’s a learning curve 🙂

#travelwanderWISH

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11 thoughts on “Dating in France: The OTHER Reason I am Still Single

  1. Diedre viaLife says:

    It's a bit of both isn't it? People do get married and/or stay together for years based on this “system” so that's a bit of method there. People also have rships lasting only 2 or 3 months. It's kinda similar to 'our way'.Few differences I've observed though (ie. madness)…1. My french friend said she had a bf for abt 3wks. She considers him an “ex”. I would never consider a guy of 3wks to be an 'ex' Another said that once the rship has started then it's started. So it's a rship from Day 1 (this was a guy btw so no apparent gender biases). C2. I've heard many stories of couples “having problems” a month into the rship. This is not so common in the caribbean/NA model. If the french couple had taken the time to date and make sure they are a decent fit, then the first 3-6months is bliss.But on the flipside, they think it's equally method and madness that we drill our dates like they are on a job interview.To each his own really…#culturaldifferences

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  2. Stacy Reid says:

    lol. i think you should throw caution in the wind and try it! cause ummm Dusean and i may have tried it that way unwittingly….the french way!. we met in may 2000 and one week later we were getting hot and dirty and we now blissfully married. lmao.

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  3. Jean Ayoub says:

    The whole dating one person is such a paradox with its harmonious acceptance of mistresses and wives/menage a trois situation in France. The dating scene sounds like very similar to the concept of arranged marriage without the headache of marriage non?

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  4. Lucile Rebeschini says:

    Ok i really like you Diedre 'cuz fu****** google erase everything i wrote!!!!Here i go AGAIN:As a french girl, i have to react to this blogpost!First of all: i'm so proud of you Diedre!!! FOr the first time i read 'bout your blog, i think you've REALLY understood one of our cultural “particularity” and you say it without “judging”, i mean without saying “The French” in a “hard way”(you know us, we're susceptible!)so: YAY YOU!!!Now, 'bout the real point in here, yay it's true our way to date is basically based on our attraction to the guy we met, it's kinda the first thing that matters to us….(BUT it could be physical attraction, or humour attraction or chatting attraction….well yeah ok, he has to be goodlooking….who am i kiding?No, to be serious, it's true that generally, you go on a date with a guy once you've kissed him. It generally comes after first kiss and is you FELT the stuff! BUT, because there's a but, your BF is not generally someone you randomly met in a bar (love at first sight, i mean really?), it's usually a friend of a friend you've met in party, or a collegue, someone you've had the time to learn about and talk to…..well yeah ok, you've had the time to look at!ahahahNo, to be serious you almost NEVER date the guy you randomly kissed in a club, this is more like the stuff you do when you're out with girlfriends to be more confident 'bout your seduction skills!lolzFor the rest, it's pretty much what you said: you kiss the guy, and then you figure it out, if it works: well great, if not?Well: NEXT! ahaha(or you can still hide in your scarf!!ahahaha!)No, to be serious, it's weird for us to do the all date stuff, if a guys asked me on a date to seduce me, and does not kiss me at the end of the evening, i'll be like “whaaat? do i have a big spot on the middle of my face? am i uggly?”…..as you said: we're so different!To conclude this:We're all about “feelings”, you're all about “be sure it worst it”, in the end: when it comes to love, i'm not sure there's a good and a wrong way to do it! It's all about chemistry! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lucile Rebeschini says:

    ohh and i forgot: even for us, it's kinda weird if a guy you're just starting dating wants to be with you like every single day!And one more thing : it's not because you kissed a guy that he automatically becames your BF, and you can “be” with that guy like several times without calling him your BF….It generally goes like this (after for example 1 or 2 “dates”= party you see eachother or restaurant):her: “soooooooo….i mean..hummm….we're like together?”him : “well, yeah, i mean i like being with you..”her: “ok” (headvoice: YAY!)ORYou never ask this because you know the minut you kissed him he's not that kind of guy : he does not really like you “for you”…it's just “fun”….Shit even for me it's complicated: give us YOUR RULES DUDE!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kei DUBB says:

    I. LOVE. YOUR. BLOG. lol. Good job Deej and this blog is dead on! I ended up having a few “misunderstandings” myself being over there. I learnt a couple things…like NEVER smile at a guy in a social setting if you do not plan to be his woman at the end of the night! Dwl…as you said, different strokes for different folks. Makes the world interesting I guess :). Eagerly awaiting the next blog lol 🙂

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