I recently wrote an article and filmed a video with my favorite Kiwi and “Not Even French” YouTube extravaganza Rosie about the things we wish we would have known before dating a Frenchie. Naturally, a lot of the things on our list were there because they create tension points in our spunky, bi-cultural relationships. So, even if it was all in good fun, I got multiple comments about what we think are the positive points of dating a Frenchman. I clearly married Robin in all his fabulous Frenchness, so while I could list hundreds of positive reasons, I’ll stick to 8 so you don’t conk out mid article :p
Oh and if you love all things Rosie like me, check out our 2nd Valentine’s Day collaboration about the top things France does better than the US and New Zealand here!
1 | Players Gonna Play
I’m not a game player. Some people live for the cat and mouse chase and it makes the reward at the end of the race all more delicious. I have seriously no patience for it and the not knowing if someone is in to me when I’m interested in them, leaves me feeling more like an creepy ass stalker than some kind of seductress.
So alas, France is perfect for this potential wierdo. There seems to be very clear-cut rules to dating. If you meet someone on a night out and you kiss, snuggle, have an adult sleepover and then you plan to see each other again, consider yourself officially off the market. Kisses, hand holding or even dinner when you’re sober is considered a relationship. Beware, that this doesn’t mean that the “relationship” will last very long. Only time will tell. But don’t wait for him to ask you to be his “copine.” It’s just an accepted thing as soon as you’re swapping spit when the sun is out.
2 | PDA Hooray!
Oh, the public displays of affection in France. They should have a travel warning for all tourists coming from historically puritan countries explaining what to expect in French parks during the summer. My grandmother would not be able to handle the shock.
The French just let those hormone ridden teenagers roll around on the grass dry humping each other in public while families stroll around, holding hands and smiling at them like “oh young love, those were the good ole days.” I grew up in a protestant area of the US. My parents wouldn’t let any boys anywhere near my room, the lights in the basement were always on when they were over, and my little sister often came downstairs to check on me if there was any one-on-one time going on. I should add that my parents were considered super chill. I think you get the picture, PDA is more like private displays of affection in the US and most certainly, an activity reserved for adults. It is really so liberating to date someone who’s been raised in society that is so open and accepting about affection. It’s just a natural part of life, right?
3 | No Shame Cocktails
Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule, but men are generally more in touch with their “feminine side” in France meaning certain behaviors that are socially acceptable in France, could be considered emasculating in the US. One of these things happens to be a favorite of mine: ordering those deliciously, girly, sugar induced cocktails.
They make consuming alcohol taste as good as a giant pixy stick at the fair when you were nine and French men have no problem ordering them too. Don’t get me wrong, wine, beer, liquor, really all types of alcohol are popular in France. I’m not suggesting that if you walk into a bar all men are casually sipping on drinks with little umbrellas in them. It’s just not surprising to date someone who cannot only enjoy a good mojito with you, but doesn’t even flinch when he waves the bartender over to order it.
4 | Zee Famous French Accent
Oh la la, zee ever so popular French accent.
This goes without saying that whether you’re interested in someone or it’s just your local postman, the rolling z’s on every other word will make you instantly melt. Robin quickly learned that disagreeing in English gives him the upper hand since it’s hard to stay annoyed when hes saying “but cherie, zis is how it iz in la France.” Right, right, right la France my butt. You are just getting what you want because of that ridiculously adorable way you pronounce Cherie. And then don’t even get me started on actually speaking the French language. They don’t call it the language of love for nothing. The French can be literally bitching out the next-door neighbor and it sounds delish. So when someone you are dating is whispering sweet romantic nothings into you ear, in a park, while engaging in some serious PDA….ladies you’ve lost the fight without even realizing it.
5 | #TravelTribe
Coming from a large family in the US, we traveled a lot by car around the States since flying for six was too expensive and international travel was a real luxury. Europe is dominated by high-speed trains and low cost flights giving easy access to immerse yourself in a new country with a different culture, language and history.
This means most Frenchmen have at least spent some time devouring pizza in Italy or throwing back beer in Belgium. A year abroad is also compulsory for many top schools in France, so they often have an experience living abroad too. Traveling usually makes you more cultured, more understanding of diversity and more aware of the world outside of the comfy bubble you live in. Dating someone that has spent significant time outside of their own country can be hella refreshing. They recognize the best sides of what France has to offer and also the less appealing sides. (cough, cough, French customer service). And it challenges you to do the same about your home. (cough, cough, US consumerism)
6 | Free & Flawless
The French take the old Maybelline slogan, “Maybe she’s born with, or maybbbbbeeee it’s Maybelline,” real seriously. French guys love a good makeup free woman. That’s not to say US guys expect you to put your full face on every day, but I’ve heard multiple French guys criticize women for being too made up, but never for not putting in enough effort. Now, I personally don’t shy away from makeup, and I certainly didn’t ditch my makeup routine when I moved to France. However, I do find since dating Frenchmen that I have a newfound self-esteem for me. I comfortably run errands, go to work or go out for a drink without makeup… when I want to. I don’t feel the need anymore to put on makeup so I don’t scare my colleagues. I put on makeup for myself now and that feels pretty damn good.
7 | Tardy To The Party
France is without a doubt a time-flexible culture. You quickly learn living here that if you’re invited to someone’s house at 8:00 pm, it’s pretty rude to show up at 8:00 pm. The host of your festive soiree planned on guests arriving more around 8:20 or 8:30. Warning, please don’t start showing up 2 hours late for activities and blame my time-flexible advice when people are pissy about it. Running a little late is expected, anything bordering on 45 minutes or more will be classified as tres rude. What’s fabulous about this and dating Frenchmen is that you can say goodbye to those glares, sighs and “hurry up, we’re late” comments when you’re still running around putting on an earring and a dash of perfume at 8:10. Being a little behind schedule is something Frenchmen are so used to with their sisters, friends or mothers that it doesn’t even create a blip on their radar.
8 | Livin’ & Learnin’
I couldn’t write this article without including the constant learning curve that envelopes any bi-cultural couple. While some of this process can be challenging and really call into question my values and what I believe to be true, other things are as light and charming as learning that tiny pasta noodles with ham and Parmesan cheese is the Kraft mac and cheese of all French kid’s childhood. We have such different references for everything from classic movies to holiday traditions that the teaching, explaining and blending of our two cultures in one home is constant task that we both find fascinating and intriguing.