Your Guide To Dating in France as a Foreigner

Dating in France is unlike what they show in the movies, where you romantically date each other and get married. How do you even know you’re dating in a country where the concept of exclusivity talk doesn’t exist?

For wannabe-Parisiens, Bordelais, and Avignonnais, there’s one question to answer: How do you go about dating in France? Compared to other European cultures, the French like to play by their own rules. Foreigners may take some time to get used to this dating setup. However, it can also be exciting. 

Indeed, French people don’t date, and if you’re not familiar with this, you might mistake their actions for one. They are less aggressive than other cultures when it comes to dating. So, if you want to go to France to find love, you must read this article until the end. 

All You Need To Know About French Dating Culture

The perception that French women are high-maintenance fashionistas who place a great deal of emphasis on appearance is incorrect. In addition, French men are not all smooth-talking womanizers who will say anything to lure a woman into bed.

While it’s always best to keep cultural stereotypes in perspective and not generalize an entire country, dating in France comes with particular traits you can’t ignore. To successfully date in France as a foreigner, you must understand these traits.

The qualities that make someone a desirable mate vary across cultures. Other cultures might not appreciate what you consider romantic, attractive, or polite. With this in mind, here’s all your news to know about French dating culture to help you out. 

There’s no dating code

Other western countries, such as the US, have a sort of dating code. A date is when you ask someone out, take them to dinner and a movie, and so on. There are distinct milestones to achieve to succeed in this kind of setup.

France, however, doesn’t have a similar system. 

In other words, this means:

  • When you go on dates, they don’t necessarily mean you’re dating.
  • It is normal to have dinner with someone. Regardless of whether you are single or the other person is married.
  • The “third date system” that exists in American culture and others doesn’t apply here.

Despite what many people think, French men and women are capable of becoming intimate with someone. In the end, the attitude toward certain things as a whole matters. In the US and other countries, dating is very different from what the French do.

Flirting is plenty

Flirting is another aspect that’s open to French people. Flirting in other cultures is usually directed at strangers or people you are interested in. However, regardless of whether or not you’re married, flirting is plenty in France.

Flirting can be viewed as a form of art by both parties. Hence, you will see it around a lot.

When it comes to women, they flirt due to the following:

  • Culture in France dictates this. Women must meet a certain standard.
  • A French woman’s beauty and wit are to be admired, and flirting ensues as a byproduct of that standard.

On the other hand, the specific standards that bounds women don’t apply to French men. Their flirting is primarily motivated by:

  • There is some expectation for men to flirt, just as there is for women’s beauty and wit.
  • Despite knowing there is no chance, flirting still becomes a “dating game” for them. There is no harm, so it’s good enough for them.

In general, flirting is a versatile tool in this game. The French can use it to hook people in, or it can be innocent comments that don’t hurt anyone.

Body language makes all the difference

In France, body language plays a vital role in dating. Why is that? Here are two scenarios to help you understand it better:

  • There’s a lot of flirting in France, as already mentioned. Whether innocent or not, or single or married, flirting is prominent. A foreigner who comes in and gets the wrong idea will create a complication. There’s no guarantee that someone is interested and available just because they’re flirting.
  • Kissing is the second scenario. Kissing is an act of deep affection among Americans and other cultures. However, kissing is common in France as it’s their way of greeting people.

French women make the decision

Remember we mentioned that going on several dates doesn’t mean you are dating in France. Well, the culture of French women dating could explain why. 

Women are subject to all sorts of standards, but they also get perks. Among them is deciding whether or not they are dating someone. 

The fact that it takes several dates to convince a woman to date you implies that:

  • It suggests that the French value the opportunity to get to know someone more.
  • In addition, it encourages the French man to work hard for the affection of the French woman and the opportunity to date her. The tenacity and romanticism of French men may be due to this reason.

What makes this game so fascinating and amazing is that, regardless of whether the girl says yes or no, the game is not over. Neither party has any expectations or obligations.

Love and sex are exclusive

Since French people take their time to get to know someone, love and sex are more exclusive for them. (Well, when you get to that point).

The French tend to flirt more directly than the rest of us, so their true affections are more reserved than those of other cultures. While their flirting isn’t devoid of emotion, the idea of dating and having sex is a deeper form of affection than in other Western countries.

Talking about sex is just as intimate as having sex. It’s common for people to wait until they meet that special person to share their first experience with.

Pros and Cons of Dating a French

While dating is complex in France, French people are excellent for love and marriage. Since they take time to get to know you and confirm their feelings for you, you know that their decision is steadfast. But, aside from that, there are many pros and cons of dating a French person. 

Pros:

1. They are good partners in life

Personal and financial independence is essential to the French people. Working and building a career is the norm for most of them. People in France don’t wish to marry early or have children, and most French women prefer to get married after their 30s or 35s.

As a result, French wives are the ideal partners for men since they possess their own funds, cars, and properties. Similarly, a woman having a French husband will reap the same benefits. 

2. No kiss and tell

If you are concerned that they will tell their friends all the details of your relationship with them the next time they go out, don’t fret. They’re not like the person to kiss and tell.

There is a fine line between what a Frenchman conceals and what he reveals. Each story is embroidered with just enough details to leave you wishing for more- like Scheherazade with a better wine list.

3. Virgin complex doesn’t exist in their culture

People, especially women, who have sex without commitment are usually mistreated in other cultures. But when you date a Frenchmen, they wouldn’t care about your past. A Frenchman doesn’t shame a woman for that reason.

Cons:

1. Communication

Most French don’t try to learn English. They know the basics, but no more than that. Because of the language barrier, trying to be funny or sarcastic is hard most of the time. They will either perceive you as too childish or too harsh. 

2. Fighting against the stereotype

Many movies portray what it’s like to fall in love with a French person. That’s why we got too many stereotypes about them.

For example, we thought for so long that French men were womanizers. So, when you have a relationship with one, and they tell you sweet things, you want to roll your eyes. That’s because you think that they are like this with everybody else. 

But, the truth is, the moment they go into a relationship with you, their longing for exclusivity intensifies. It’s just you, and the words of love and appreciation are genuinely just for you. 

3. French women take their time to marry

You might fail if you are looking to tie the knot soon with a French woman. Women in Europe don’t marry or have children too early. It’s okay to fall in love with a French woman of 20-25 years old, as long as you can wait for her to graduate, get a job, finish an internship, and realize who she is in her career.

The process usually takes between five and ten years. Additionally, you will make all family decisions together, considering her interests and thoughts.

Best English-speaking Dating Sites in France

So, you now know everything about dating in France as a foreigner. But, there is still one remaining question: where do you find some French man or woman to date?

Well, dating has become easier nowadays. That is because of the popularization of online dating sites. With a simple swipe and click from your phone, laptop, or tablet, finding someone to mingle with became a piece of cake. 

In France, online dating sites are surprisingly popular for men and women. Statista’s Global Consumer Survey in 2019 shows that 38% of French men and women used online dating sites or apps.

In addition, 56% of men and 68% of women aged 25-34 had already been in a romantic and sexual relationship with someone they had met online. Here are two of the best English-speaking dating sites in France: 

eDarling.fr

eDarling.fr conducts a detailed personality test so you can get better matches. The process is mandatory and lengthy. But, this process ensures that if you’re looking for your ideal partner, you’ll find plenty of other French singles who feel the same way.

You can’t check out profiles on your own. Instead, you receive “partner suggestions” based on your test answers. However, you need to upgrade to premium to communicate with your matches.

Tinder

Tinder is practically a necessity if you’re under 40 in France.

It’s still one of the most popular free dating apps worldwide, with all kinds of French singles looking for everything from hookups to marriages. Despite that, most users still associate it with casual dating.

You know the drill: swipe right when you like what you see, left when you don’t. Matches are created when both people feel in love and can communicate.

You won’t have to pay to use the app if you don’t anticipate liking more than 100 profiles within 12 hours. However, Tinder Plus may be a better choice if you swipe more often. With the upgrade, you won’t be forced to take a break once you reach your quota.

Anna

Anna is an experienced expat and writer. She has been living abroad for over 6 years.

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