french

If I drew up my own list of ‘Things to do before you die in France’, I would undoubtedly mention ‘Going out with a Frenchgirl’ as my No. 1. Climbing the Eiffel Tower? Boring ! Visiting the Louvre Museum? Never-ending! If you really want a taste of France, just date a “petite française”. The fact is that if France is a fabulous gastronomic country, it is also a fantastic playground for anyone wanting to play the ‘flirting game’. Brigitte Bardot, Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Eva Green, Audrey Tautou : between you and me, I am sure you have always wanted to flirt with a French girl, or at least dreamed about kissing one. Well it’s time to act. A French guy is going to give you a push in this direction: take his tips and put them to good use!

But above all, I would like to thank Monica Ainley – the author of the much-read article ‘How to date a Frenchman’ – on behalf of all Frenchmen, especially those living in London. In fact, I suggest we put together a Kitty  and sign her up immediately to be our head of PR. If you haven’t already read it, she manages to puts a positive spin on our “traits”. Whereas we were once sleazy, we are now “not afraid of PDAs”, we have gone from being chauvinistic to chivalrous… she doesn’t just talk us up, she also gives an insight into quite what girls are looking for in a guy. She enabled us – and she should be awarded for that – to flirt with London demoiselles with complete self-confidence. Now, they no longer blush when we fondle them in the underground, nor push paying for restaurant or cinema as if their lives depend on this. Flirting is so simple now. Thank you so much Monica.

Nevertheless, however much this article was hilarious and light-hearted, I found that it was dramatically unfair if British guys were not given such useful tips to date a French girl. I am thinking particularly about my former English room-mate who is desperately looking for a Parisian romance. He needs help ! This is why I have decided to share some of my favourite tricks – not all of them, mind, one must keep a competitive advantage – but here are 7 pointers that will make you say: ‘Vive la France!’.

1. Flirting in a nightclub

As you will not have a lot of French friends who introduce you to ‘demoiselles’ when you arrive in Paris, your only chance to date a Frenchgirl – unless you have that ‘thunderbolt moment’ in the oh-so-romantic RER B(French tube)  – is to go in a nightclub. But winning a French girl’s heart in a nightclub is much more complicated than chatting up a girl in London, where it is admittedly much quicker- then again I suppose in it’s not so much a question of “heart” here. First of all, don’t worry if other guys stare at you as if you were an alien.  They are just sizing you up as a potential rival. Therefore, should you want to dominate the male crowd (indeed it is a kind of competition), you have to respect some basic rules :

– Do the opposite of what other guys do.

That is to say don’t be one of those sleazy guys harassing the girls on the dance-floor, just pretend to dance without ulterior motive (key word here being “pretend”)…

– Then a small (but polite) chat is welcome so that she does not get the impression  you think she’s “easy” – the ultimate shame for every French girl -. In this connection, compliments are much appreciated, if not not over the top. Your “craquant” (adorable) accent may help you with this.

– A last tip ? Eh, no. Do you expect everything to be handed to you on a plate? This is  a competition ‘mec’ : the ball is in your court.

2. A culture of ‘non-dit’.

Contrary to the very formal Anglo-Saxon concept of dating (1. we date 2. we kiss 3. we are officially in a relationship 4. it’s up to you), French girls are not really keen to define their relationship precisely. So don’t be depressed if after 5 or 6 dates, you are not explicitly going out with her: French girls play hard to get. As Corneille wrote in ‘Le Cid’, ‘triumph without peril brings no glory’, so think how glorious you will be after! I had been dating French girls for months before I came to understand what they wanted from me, whether they were my girlfriend or just a friend. So patience is the key. The fact is that I do believe French girls are not used to being as straight forward as their British counterparts. Therefore, they don’t want you to be too insistent, otherwise you could be branded “clingy” or “overbearing”. As you let things evolve naturally, you will become one of the French charmers expert in the language of innuendoes and masters at understanding the unspoken. You will live in a state of uncertainty, getting the impression you are beating around the bush, so to speak, but this can have its amusements. So just make her laugh, and as the great philosopher Rihanna says : ‘make [her] feel like [she’s] the only girl in the world” (although feel free to forego the singer’s current skin-tights leather pants and red hair style).

3. The Rosetta Stone of French girls’ language

I was visiting the Rosetta Stone at the British Museum when I had this idea : if (British) men are from Mars, and (French) Women are from Venus, would it not be my duty to act as translator ? I definitely love the idea that I could become a sort Champollion of Franco-British dating. The truth is that when you ask a French girl out, her answer will not mean what it is supposed to mean. Let me explain with a fantastic table.

When asking…..’Do you want to have a drink / go to the cinema with me?’

French Girl’s Answer :

Translation :

No, I’m busy

Maybe

I don’t know, Maybe

Yes

I don’t like bars

She wants to go to your place

Yes

That’s done the trick !

No answer

Sorry, but she’s already dating me. You’ve got to be quick around here!

4. Gallantry

You have no choice : you must be charming and chivalrous. In London, I am always surprised by the look of utter amazement on girls faces as I hold the door for them, or carry their luggage. In France, courtship is a must, you can’t behave boorishly. Pull out her chair, pay for the date : it is never over the top if it is sincere. It’s not  being patronizing, it’s called being a gentleman, and this is what French girls want their dates to be. And after ‘the date’, once you are going out with her (let’s be optimistic) : forget all your shyness and your shame because French girls love PDA. So don’t hesitate to kiss her in crowded places. An (admittedly stupid) group on Facebook is entitled : ‘A true boy would  show he loves me by kissing me in front of his friends’. Well, this is exaggerated, but  it has been created by a French girl: so at least you can get the idea.

5. Calling

One of the biggest difference between French and English girls. French ones actually consider that the more the guy phones, the better. So don’t hesitate to max out on your calling credit: it just means you care about her. Just left her after a romantic meeting ? Send her a message. You’ve not seen her the whole day ? Phone her or you will have to face criticism and reproach – by phone, of course -. I have learned that lesson at my own expense. Don’t worry about penning her love notes worthy of Victor Hugo- you can, you will never get bad points for doing that, but the main thing is just to show that you’re thinking about her.

6. Lucky Britons

French girls tend to love British boys, especially the City banker style who wears a tie and carries a leather briefcase. “Trop la classe!” (He’s so classy). Want to be one step ahead of French boys? Then turn your back on Wayne Rooney’s casual style and embrace your slim fit suit and a nice pair of brogues. I know it’s uncomfortable, but nothing comes from nothing, so just do it. Other grounds for being confident : French girls think your atrocious accent is cute. Even if you speak just the slightest bit of French, you get extra brownie points. For more useful sentences to say, click here. It will definitely impress your French date.

7. Last but not least : Sex

The fact is that French girls won’t be up for having sex on the first date. They are definitely afraid of being considered “sluts”. I do believe that the concept of sexual relationships in France is really still quite sexist. Unfairly enough, should a guy have sex with a girl, then he is a hero. Should it be the girl, then she is a whore. As a consequence, at the risk of disappointing you, you will have to wait…And be aware that were she to say ‘yes’ on the first night, then it would have only two meanings: Either it’s just a one-night stand, or….you are very lucky!

In conclusion, you will have to be an all-round ‘athlete’ to seduce a French girl, and maybe you will be turned down several times before succeeding. But the game is worth the reward, I guarantee it. So just persevere ! And if you can’t afford a Eurostar ticket, do not forget that a lot of French girls are living in London. Here are the best places to net one. Bonne Chance !