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8 things you need to know about dating etiquette in France

PUBLISHED: 11:11 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 08 February 2017

Dating rules in France differ from those in the UK and the rest of the world ©Thinkstock

Dating rules in France differ from those in the UK and the rest of the world ©Thinkstock

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Looking for love in France? Then keep these dating rules close to your heart

Meeting

The French tend to meet for the first time through social circles or friends. They rarely go on blind dates and prefer to get to know each other first.

The date

The French dislike making a ‘date’ obviously romantic as it is all about courting, testing, and playful conversations. Rendez-vous are more laid-back, unlike the more formal English or American rules of dating, so don’t be surprised to be invited to a meet-up with a group of people or to receive a last-minute message such as ‘on va boire un verre?’ (‘shall we go for a drink?’) or an invitation to go for an afternoon walk or a catch-up with friends.

Turn up late

This is all about not appearing too eager, and the French, and more specifically those from the South of France, are notorious for being late. There is even a name for it – le quart d’heure de politesse! Make sure you wait a few minutes extra for your date to show up, just to be sure.

The love wall in Paris © Iamhao The love wall in Paris © Iamhao

Don’t take non for an answer

If you have asked a French person to go out on a date and they have said no, all is not lost. The ‘non’ can be interpreted as a ‘maybe’, ‘convince me’ or ‘try harder’. You can message more, but don’t be too pushy, if the ‘no’ keeps cropping up, read the signs and leave them alone. Being clingy is not considered attractive.

First kiss

Traditionally, the first kiss on the lips seals some unwritten agreement that you are starting a relationship and will begin to be exclusive.

Different pace

The French don’t have ‘the talk’, rather they let the relationship evolve as both parties get to know each other in a romantic way. The relationship becomes serious once you meet the family. It is not unusual for the words ‘je t’aime’ to come quite quickly but this really depends on the individual.

Call me

Make sure you keep your phone turned on because, in between dates, the French like to keep in touch. You can expect a text message or call a day after the date itself.

Communication

Trying the silent treatment when you want to end a relationship or indicate that you are not interested does not work in France. Failing to respond can sometimes be taken as a playful flirt. Be clear and direct – the French are passionate people.

Related articles:

6 romantic places to stay in France

8 of the most romantic places in France

Valentine’s Day in Paris

Setting up an online dating business in Provence

Living France guide to romance in France

10 things you need to know about French etiquette

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