So how do you know if someone is with someone? Word games and "the silent treatment" when something is wrong don't work with a French partner; he often prefers a direct, more passionate approach. Of course, this whole system -- and even more so, enjoying it -- is terribly politically incorrect. The more I thought about my nature, the more I blamed my nurture.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, being very fond of a good kitchen myself: This pact is understood; French couples do not resort to the American "talk" about their future together when arriving at this next step, nor do they need to announce their decision to give it meaning. When a Frenchman does give advance notice, you can plan on him arriving late. Of course, there are the real professionals, the full-timers, the ones who use public parks or beaches as a fishing-pond where the least subtle techniques, applied on an industrial scale, will eventually provide a catch.
Different Pace Couples in France do not interview each other like Americans. Remember that the French, whatever their failings, have had a female Prime Minister, and that a higher proportion of French women have careers than Australian women.
Be clear and direct — the French are passionate people. When you become a couple, you get to know one another on romantic walks or visiting museums, rather than a quiet dinner together. When a Frenchman does give advance notice, you can plan on him arriving late.
Going to bed with your partner any time after that first kiss does not label you "easy. In French culture, it means you decided to commit to a relationship while becoming acquainted with that person. After barely a year in this country I was in fact rejected by some politically correct Australian friends ex-friends because they thought I was adapting too well to French society and also because I was letting my hair grow long, although this was more because I couldn't afford to go to the hairdresser than because I was succumbing to the dominant paradigm. I should have known.
No doubt this is why a male Australian friend of mine, who managed, after a year in France, to acquire a French girlfriend, confided "Whew, that was hard work". He will, however, call and text you regularly after he considers you his partner. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, being very fond of a good kitchen myself: He also said that people barged out of the lift in a "survival-of-the-fittest" rush, whereas I had often been quite embarrassed by the fact that people would wait for me to leave the lift or go through the door, etc first.
Posted by: Voodoorisar | on October 2, 2012
Originally published in the September issue of France Today. He also said that people barged out of the lift in a "survival-of-the-fittest" rush, whereas I had often been quite embarrassed by the fact that people would wait for me to leave the lift or go through the door, etc first.
Failing to respond can sometimes be taken as a playful flirt. Even as I listened to warnings about French men during the orientation to my study abroad program, I readied myself for moonlit strolls down the Seine and strawberry picnics in Les Buttes-Chaumont. The playfulness that characterizes early conversations makes such a "cold shoulder" appear to be flirting.
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A Frenchman who does this well -- and many of them are very good at it -- will manage to give the impression, to any woman in his vicinity who has not yet slipped past the Catherine-Deneuve-style-of-grandmotherhood, that he would like to go to bed with her if he could.