dating in france

7 dating differences between French and American culture

The movies make it appear utterly romantic, but on the face of it there surely can’t be much of a difference between relationships in the US and France, right?

Well, there are – and there are plenty.

The movies tend to be exactly right in what they depict. Dating in France is much more traditional and some might even call it classic. To highlight the point in detail, let’s take a look at seven dating differences between the two countries.


Group dates are completely in fashion in France

In the US, it would be fair to say that there’s a time and a place for a group date. Usually, this is a long way down the line, when couples wine and dine with other couples.

In France, the opposite is true. Rather than starting with a one-on-one date as is the case in the US, they go out in groups. Dinner parties are attended by several single friends and if a spark is present, a further group “date” might be held.

Ultimately, it means that the experience is much more laid-back in comparison to the US. There is a lot less pressure on each person in a group environment.


The French have traditional dating “roles”

In the US, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the various roles that each sex should take on during the dating game. In other words, one woman in a relationship might be quite flirty and pursue a man, while another might be much more passive.

In France, it’s much more traditional. Men are regarded as being far more active as they pursue women, while women tend to be a little shyer.


The first kiss is much more important in France

As we all know, there becomes a point in a relationship in the US where a “talk” is needed. The talk is basically stating where the relationship is, and if it’s “serious” or not. In other words, if you are considered “girlfriend” and “boyfriend”.

In France, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The real seal comes in the form of a kiss. Once a couple of kiss, they are regarded as girlfriend and boyfriend; no questions asked.


It’s not called “dating” in France

This next point isn’t about a direct translation for “dating”, but more the meaning of the word. In fact, there’s no such word in France.

Instead, the closest translation is “rendez-vous galant”. However, this actually translates as “appointment”, which is hardly an accurate representation of how a person based in the US would describe it as. Even a lot of French men nowadays think that this approach is too formal.

Bearing this in mind, most will simply say that they are “seeing someone” – which is the modern-day equivalent.


The French won’t ask a stranger on a date

In the US, it’s not overly uncommon for a waiter to ask someone out who they are serving in a restaurant. This approach is something that would certainly not occur in France.

The French need to get to know someone very well before asking them out on a date. Knowing someone for a few minutes certainly doesn’t constitute this.


The differences in PDA

At this point we should add that all couples are different, but the general practice in the US is to hold back when it comes to excessive PDAs (public displays of infection, for those unaware). Sure, most couples will hold hands and may lightly touch their other half but in general, this is as far as is socially acceptable.

The French meanwhile have a much more forward approach. They are more than happy to display their affections for the world to see. It might explain why the term “French kissing”, is called that!


Relationships are always serious

Again, as we all know, relationships in the US don’t always have to be serious. When it comes to France, this isn’t the case though.

Every relationship that a person gets into is serious. When you start “seeing someone”, you have already considered that this is a person that you could marry.