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French men are known for their smoldering good looks and great romance, and in Paris it’s easy to fall in love 10 times a day: he might be sipping a café noir in St.-Germain-des-Prés, ambling through the Jardin des Plantes or reading Sartre on the metro.
But for an expat or visitor to Paris, dating French men can be an entirely different experience, challenging the tactics you’ve spent years perfecting.
By the time a British man would have taken you out for dinner, you could have been on a minibreak with your French boyfriend, and met his mother.
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.
While in the US and the UK “dating” is seen as a series of meetings that adheres to certain rules and protocols—waiting the proper amount of time before calling someone, arranging a date, wait appropriate number of dates before initiating appropriate amount of intimacy—before the time comes to have the boyfriend/girlfriend talk, the French tend to have a more laid back attitude.
Italians are stereotypically viewed as being a hot-blooded, intense Mediterranean people with a close-knit family structure and a passion for food and wine.
Many Italians are, in fact, disturbingly handsome and even if you manage to find one who isn't, he will compensate for it with his charm, sensitivity, romantic nature, and good taste in fashion.
They will “make love” to them on the first night, spouting lines and making moves that rival the best movie scenes ever filmed.