We don’t doubt the fact that being raised in a certain culture makes an impact on how people build their love lives. That is especially reflected in relationships where partners come from different backgrounds.
Many American women dream about having a boyfriend from France as they are familiar with the stereotype of a devoted and extremely romantic man. While some of the rumours about dating traditions in France are definitely true, others are not more than an exaggeration. And being romantic in a French way might not be what an American girl needs, so starting a relationship with a guy from France sometimes leads to disappointment.
We decided to make everything clear and draw parallels between American and French dating. So here is what we are ready to present to you: a comparison of dating an American and a Frenchman.
Flirting is on
Yes, both men and women in France like to flirt and they know how to do it. And yes, they do it often, but that doesn’t mean they are into you. If you meet a French man at a party or at a certain event and he shows affection to you right from the moment you get acquainted, don’t overestimate - it is just him being polite.
What really tells about a French guy having serious intentions is him asking you out. Once you go out together - it is a date.
This also relates to seeing the same man in a group of friends regularly. He is going to be nice to you, you will for sure hear plenty of compliments. But does it mean anything? Probably not if you only keep seeing each other at group events. What really tells about a French guy having serious intentions is him asking you out. Once you go out together - it is a date.
And this is a thing that often mistakes American women, as the men they are used to do not flirt. This activity is recognized as feminine and guys only start to show affection if they are really into a woman. And these signs of attraction are not always as romantic as the movies show.
No need to define
In America there is a tendency to mark a definite date when you officially claim you are a couple. It takes a while to understand whether these are serious relations or just a casual hookup. You could be going out for weeks before a guy asks to date him and you become known as boyfriend and girlfriend to everybody else. Not to mention what a big step is to finally get married.
French people believe in exclusivity from the very beginning. Once you went on a date with a French man remember you are important to him and he probably already believes you two are together. Even though it is never mentioned in a conversation, people are seen as special to each other the moment they start going out. And there is no such thing as defining the relationship: if you are together, just take it as it is.
Jealousy is not a thing
If you had an American boyfriend, you probably know what jealousy is. Even though free communication between genders is widely accepted, spending too much time with male friends often causes a partner to be jealous. It is often thought that relationships have to be valued more than any kind of friendship and therefore being with your significant other is much more important than seeing friends.
At least until there is no real evidence of cheating, which will not be the case if you are just spending time with a friend.
In France, however, there is way more freedom in this regard. Your man will never judge you for meeting a friend regularly. As said before, exclusivity is implied from the moment relationships start and men believe there is no need to be jealous as you are their partner and they trust you. At least until there is no real evidence of cheating, which will not be the case if you are just spending time with a friend.
Attention is plentiful
The American mentality often comes with constantly being busy as a career and personal realisation are the main values in society. So even though relationships are also valued, there is no way partners will get much attention from each other, as doing business requires a lot of time, often including free time as well. Men who are still considered the main breadwinners even in the USA have especially much to do and therefore can’t offer much time together, as they also need personal space and hobbies.
There is no way he will leave you alone.
Frenchmen tend to put relationships first regardless of being busy. They understand how much women need attention and try to give them the most they can. If there is a free moment, you will get a suggestion to spend it together. If you have a slight interest in what your French boyfriend does in his free time, you will get involved in it too. There is no way he will leave you alone.
Another way attention is shown is by noticing little details. We are used to men not paying attention to their ladies’ appearance. Even though women put a lot of effort into looking well so that their significant other will appreciate it, chances are high that he won’t even see it.
As we all know, the French understand the importance of looking well. Men care about their appearance too and though they do not invest as much as women do, they still recognize the effort that goes into beautiful looks. So if you changed a haircut or put on a special date makeup or even got a new dress - be ready to drown in compliments as a boyfriend from France values every little change. That doesn’t mean he will not like your make-up less, it only means he will value the work you do.
No pointless time
There always has to be a point in going out and each date is supposed to be truly unique and memorable.
What do you generally imagine speaking about a date? Going to a cafe and talking the whole evening or visiting a cinema to watch a movie. While these are not bad things to do as well as it might be the best way to spend time for some people, this is not a scheme French men follow.
There always has to be a point in going out and each date is supposed to be truly unique and memorable. So you won’t be able to remember two identical dates with your French boyfriend. You will visit art galleries and museums, go on long strolls through beautiful parks, escape from the city once there is a chance to do it and discover nearby places. And even if he chooses to bring you to a cafe you will not visit the same one twice as it can easily get boring and each date should be special.
Women are equal
No matter how much a French guy courts his woman, he still understands she is a personality who demands respect. It is not the same recognizing-as-equal situation as it is in, for example, Scandinavia. In France, men see nothing wrong in paying for their date, holding the door and bringing bouquets. But they respect the demand to be successful and are happy to support you in any of your beginnings.
Not everyone will appreciate their girlfriend paying more attention to a career rather than relationships.
At the same time, even though Americans, as well as the rest of the world, move towards gender equality, there are still plenty of men who think the main goal for women is to get married. Not everyone will appreciate their girlfriend paying more attention to career rather than relationships.
Is it all perfect?
Judging by this description, you might think that dating a French man is a whole lot better than looking for a partner in America. But let us remind you: our cultures are different and no matter how loving your partner is, you might need some time to adapt his traditions. Let’s speak about the things which can cause difficulties:
- Moving too quickly. As a person who is used to making decisions when they are well-thought, the speed relationships with French people develop can be overwhelming. If you feel that everything goes on too fast, better approach it straight to your partner. A good discussion can solve a plenty of problems;
- Flirting. As we said before, French people like to flirt. They flirt not because they fall for somebody, but because it is a kind of good manners they are used to. And while it is a pleasant system when it relates to you personally, when it continues later on when a guy is in a relationship, you might feel jealous. Don’t worry and slowly get used to viewing this approach as totally natural;
- Definition. Dating a French man can be confusing in general. Are you already in a relationship? Is he in love or just being nice? How shall you treat a three-course dinner he cooked for you? Again the only thing we can suggest is addressing the issue to your partner. Only talking things through can help you figure out what is going on between you two.