As you may remember, a week ago I posted a invitation to ASK ME ANYTHING (the offer still stands by the way!) Some of you guys took me up on this and sent over your questions, a few of which appeared rather similar, or at least interlinked. While I certainly don’t claim to have success in this arena, I will aim to answer them to my best extent!
What is the best advice you can give someone who is new to the Parisian dating scene or what shocked you the most about dating in Paris?
Um.. The fact that men don’t shower?
Joking. Three years later, I have met a few who do.
I am certain I have said this before, and probably sound like a sad, broken record by now, but what shocked me the most is the lack of traditional, old-school chivalry in this country. For example, it is practically unheard of for a man to actually invite you on a proper dinner date, one that entails a reservation and possibly even picking you up in a taxi. It’s not even that these people are cheap, or that they don’t eat, it’s just that everything is done with a certain nonchalant casualness that makes me, personally, yearn for days past when a man booked you in advance and actually made a conscious effort.
The second thing that shocked me, and that every one of you newbies needs to be aware of, is that French men do not pick up women in public. This is a cultural thing, stemming from the fact that French women do not respond well to being approached, and tend to reward the poor fellows with dirty looks and snide repartees. If I had a Euro for every time a guy mimics the stank face a Parisienne gives him if he dares to speak to her in a café, I would be rich. So no, there is no construction worker-style whistling or encouragement to “smile” on your morning walk to work (possibly a good thing), but also no getting approached by a handsome French stranger while reading a book on a terrace, no matter how long you sit there..
Which leads us to Question #2…
Hi I stumble upon your blog looking for some advice about using Tinder in France, at the end I deleted the app, too scared for that, but I actually really would like to know how to meet guys in here, in France?
Oh non, did I scare you off Tinder? Quelle horreur! I am actually quite the advocate of Tinder in Moderation, as I find it to be a great tool for getting the dating ball rolling. (Its like a boomerang – once you put yourself out there, other men start coming your way!) Also, giving the whole “no approaching in public” conundrum, online dating might be one of the better ways to meet people in this city, cutting a bit through the social circles and Arrondissement segmentation. Just one tip: instead of Tinder, try Happen – the guys are way cuter!
Another (far more tiring) way of meeting men in Paris is by getting social life. Most couples here meet through friends, so you may want to try getting a few of those. Honor every invitation that you receive, attend house parties and gallery openings and events, meet people and have them introduce you to more people, drink bucketloads of wine and take up a faux smoking habit – most Parisians meet while smoking, otherwise known as “fumer une clope”, which I find mildly disgusting. And yet, it is at social gatherings, lubricated with cheap white wine, where men actually grow the balls to start talking to you. To express a reciprocation of interest, huddle with them in the corner for an extended period of time, possibly even making out to solidify the notion. I know that may sound slightly slutty and slightly bizarre, but this is how French “dating” works. This is their promiscuous game and they are used to it.
Lastly, since its almost summer, you can try your luck out in the streets and embark on a terrace and bar-hopping mission. In this case, know your Arrondissements! The rule is, the more North you go, the more hipster the men become. The 9th is good for groomed (rich) hipsters, so is Marais (but they are almost always gay). For clubs, try Le Silencio and Le Pompon, as well as some of the daytime Sunday parties on the Seine (Rosa Bonheur sur Seine or Sunday Sundae are always good). Saint Germain is your best chance of meeting a blue blooded bourgeois, and the 8th is your chance of meeting a sponsor for life. He may come from another part of the world and have a few backup wives, but that could be a good thing!
For more info on Paris, feel free to peruse the Dbag Dating Guide to Paris!
Hope this helps and BON COURAGE!!