If you plop yourself down on a park bench in the U.S. and watch people come and go, you’ll undoubtedly see people of all ages meet and greet each other with a hug. Some are just friendly, quick hugs and others are more loving and romantic. Sometimes a hug is accompanied by a pat on the back, or swaying back and forth, and sometimes there’s a lot of distance between the two people. No matter the type, you will see lots and lots of hugs because it’s a common greeting among Americans. But upon arriving in France, I quickly learned there’s no hugging in France. You don’t hug to say hi. Not even family members.
How’d I learn?
When I jovially put my arms around my French father-in-law who proceeded to just stand there like an animal playing dead, just waiting for his predator of a daughter-in-law to slink away. Ooops. I found out the hard way there’s no hugging in France.
Tom is the only French guy I’ve ever dated, so I had it easy when it came to the whole French dating game. He’s really easy going, spoke a good level of English when we met and was familiar with American culture from TV and movies (and what did I know about French dating culture at the time? Not much!).
Our relationship developed from genuine friendship and wasn’t rushed or forced. But as time went on and we discovered more about dating customs in our respective countries, we felt lucky to have found each other and just let things work naturally. The “rules” and differences between French and American dating culture are definitely there, but if you don’t know about them, you might end up hurt and confused or leave someone else feeling that way. So here’s a handy guide on some of the things you need to know about dating a French guy.
If you’ve found a keeper, want to test the waters, or are just curious…