10 Things I Love and Hate About French Men

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A couple of nights ago, I was sitting in a restaurant with a mélange of expats and some poor Frenchies who had the misfortune of winding up in my presence. With three functioning brain cells left to rub together after days of holiday boozing, I took a receipt and started mapping out a list of reasons why the spawn of Rimbaud and Baudelaire don’t seem to be doing it for me in the romantic sense.
While the original version of this document is now lost, I believe that it went somewhat like this. 

1. French men are too skinny and effeminate. Yes, we have had multiple rants on this topic, and, yes, this still remains a problem.
2. French men are cheap. While my friend correctly pointed out that I have a way of sourcing out the biggest losers, I will not be the first to notice that there is a serious deficit of chivalry in this country. After a year of living in France, my standards have plummeted to the point where I am shocked if a man offers to buy me a drink or gives up his seat in the metro for me. Can we please all agree that this is sad? Thank you. 

3. THEY COMPLAIN and bitch and complain and bitch and complain and bitch and complain about EVERYTHING. If French people stopped being so damn lazy and invested half of the time they spend complaining into actually doing something, magical things would happen. Cancer would be cured, the French economy would stop progressively going down the drain, unicorns would fly and procreate.  
4. French men cheat. At this point, my companions proudly nodded in agreement.
5. They are smelly and smoke more than Don Draper. Once again, this was attributed to my talent for “finding losers that embody every French cliché”. However, I will argue in my defense and reinstate that hygiene in this country is suffering. I have two Latin American girlfriends currently in relationships with French men. Both claim that they have to regularly conduct little Hygiene 101 pep talks with their significant others, in which they explain that showing is a daily activity and that sheets occasionally need washing. 
(My hubby-in-law is an exception, apparently his nether regions smell like daffodils.)
I stopped there. A cute floppy-haired French boy was looking at me with big blue eyes and I could not continue scarring him with my jaded judgments. After all, I moved to this country – clearly, there must be something I enjoy. After much pondering, I managed to put together a list of things I appreciate about French men. 
1. They have good taste. While I am occasionally thrown off by their penchant for elaborately draped skinny scarves, I must admit that the French have an unbeatable natural elegance about them. They know their qualité and their savoir-faire and their détails and all the other nuances that the rest of the world tends to overlook. A French man does not need to be taught how to dress or set the table or pick out a bottle of wine. He has an inbred knowledge of such topics, and you are probably better off letting him make these decisions.

2. French men are cultured. Education and cultural growth are highly valued in France, hence people actually continue reading classical literature after high school. French men are well-rounded and as au curant about world affairs as they are about Beyonce’s latests pop-up album. True, they may find the latter vulgaire, but at least they are aware of events outside of the realms of their own little universe. 

4. They love a good conversation. In fact, they have practically turned it into a national sport – what else do you think they are doing in those brasseries while sucking on their cigs? Be ready to partake in long, ponderous discussions about the disheartening state of modern society. Be ready to express eloquent, interesting opinions (preferably in French). Be ready to actually work your brain, which is quite a refreshing change from the pompous self-marketing format of conventional dating. 
 
4. They make time for you. The French are so obsessed with their right for free time and happiness that you will actually get to enjoy full evenings and weekends with your significant other. Not to mention August – the dude is yours for the whole month!
5. They are pretty good in bed. And while they are trying to get you into bed, they are also quite romantic. 
 
Now that we have 5, lets call it even. Like men of any nationality, these guys come with their quirks and perks and downfalls. In the case of French men, these qualities are simply more pungent, just like their cheese and their truffles and their armpits. So, if you happen to have a passion for fine brie, with its rich texture and moldy crust and volatile explosion of flavors, go for it. Just make sure that you have a really strong stomach first. 

15 Comments

  • I’ve lived here for 4 years and met different men. Many are stinky, especially from mouth, they don’t brush teeth at all i think. For me french man-good lover is a myth. They think they are great in bed. Not for me. I’d better jump to a “lazy” brit than “skillful” french guy, they try a lot but not able to be on the top.

  • French men are SO CHEAP. I have been scarred by good looking French men who are REALLY VERY CHEAP. It’s such a turn off.

  • I’m dating a french guy and i’ve noticed some bad habit that i don’t know if this is peculiar to him alone or it is the attitude of french men… He is not a good communicator, we hardly discusses our relationship, usually i don’t know when i offend him because he will never tell you, you just see him reacting terribly. He doesn’t know how to say sorry when he is wrong but you’ll notice he’s regretting his action through his body language but to say sorry, is very difficult. However, the good thing about him is that he sets special time for me to explore the world. Always a wonderful holiday.

  • I’m dating a french man
    I pay for my own food, i pay for my own transpo.
    He paid for one movie night though but i paid for the snack which was more expensive…
    he was lazy as fuck, He has some issue with hygiene and he’s super short tempered. IDK but we’re still dating… Oh and he has numerous woman other than me .. great right? Not what you’d expect from #RelationshipGoals

    • quick tip: DITCH THAT LOSER!! seriously, get out while you can, before he engulfs you in his stinginess and misery. RUN!!!!

  • Hi, I just had to add my comment because I want to talk about some of my experiences. The French being stinky is definitely a true statement, yet my guy is only stinky because he was traveling or working all day, he showers daily. Also he actually quit smoking for me because he loves me so much and I would not SETTLE to be with a smoker. So he quit. He didn’t believe in God or the Spirit when we first got together but now he is reading the Bible in french and really trying to grow his faith and on his own declared his desire to publicly say he believes in God because now he does! We constantly talk about anything we need to and we actually got engaged American style where he got me a small diamond and got on one knee. We talk about our future American/French children and how we are going to raise them…He is exactly opposite of everything you described, he doesn’t care about style or clothes and also doesn’t even like looking at other women or photos I have taken of other women because he wants to be true to me. He never liked porn and never understood it. I know my situation may be rare but I fell in love with a French man and he is everything I ever wanted in a partner. He wasn’t from a big city like Paris though so maybe that is why. The cheap thing I can understand because my guy is in college but honestly he buys me so many silver and nice little gifts and spends money driving me from A to B that I can’t imagine asking for more. And his mom is the most amazing cook in the world and he will often do the dishes and cook for me without being asked. And the lover thing I don’t understand, my man is amazing in bed and knows how to lick and worship every inch of me, I only had to ask and communicate.And he talks with me on skype for an hour or so much longer than most american men would. He is slightly feminine and skinny but super masculine in his mind and actions so I find his feminine side to be wonderful and sexy, not bad. Why are you guys experiencing such a difference? Is it your outlook or did I find the diamond in the rough?

    I also don’t settle for anything less than I am and let him choose to clean up his act to be with me. He is now more than I could have ever wanted!

  • Jaimerais bien avoir un Frenchman…im thirsty for one any Frenchman lives in florida? Email me..allez bisous..je t attends

  • I’ve been dating so many french men i really cannot relate to your statements or to the comments…
    I was curious about the whole “french people stink” cliché, which probably comes from middle-age (when everyone was smelly actually, even us the Brits who made it up^^), and well, I had to realize that… nope. They don’t smell, they do shower everyday and wax (because french girl wax and have smooth skin, they don’t shave like many UK/US girls), they put deodorant on their armpits and sometimes some perfume as well.
    I really wonder how you ended up with loosers like these (that exist in every country in the world tbh), put well, you can always change 😉
    French men cheat, that’s so funny because this is not a behaviour related to a country or a specific gender, this is just a behaviour. Maybe they tend to be less hypocrit than in the US, and accept it from their president or celebrities, but hey, don’t be so bittered 😉
    Concerning the cheap part, i must say i don’t know, because i’ve been invited many times and i invited back.
    I think it’s more of a cultural thing: the whole “going on a date” concept doesn’t exist in France, they do have cafés and drinks together and spend time/doing activities together before being in a relationship, but they don’t have all the formality of “dates”.
    And if we women want equality and to be treated as egal as the men… maybe we should spot having these old-fashioned ideas that the guy has to take care about everything financially on the so-called “date”, or in life in general 😉

  • French men are cold to the bone, they are quite heartless and get over a long term relationship in minutes. They really have very less emotions and in France its all about sex and fitting into their rigid useless and meaningless society. After the french revolution a very strong mentality formed in France which is the worst form of collective individualism I have seen anywhere in the world..they come together for activities but are all alone and friendless people. Friendship in France is very different than it is in UK or Germany. French men are also mean and very racist, they would sleep with all colours but marry only a white or a submissive Chinese if they are desperate and can’t find a white woman. Even in marriage they are very individualistic and cold. I think French men are the worst people I’ve dated in the world , they are extremely charming when they want the first sex and gradually they get bored and lose interest…rarely a French can stay faithful and go on through life with the same partner. Cheating is another huge part of french culture and they see nothing wrong in it. Once you date a few French guys you realise they are all the same selfish, cold, unfaithful, mean, cheap and crazy people. French have a lot of attitude from the past and as their country is getting worse economically they are getting nastier and nastier.

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