Dating rules in France: An A to Z guide for Valentine's Day

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Dating rules in France: An A to Z guide for Valentine's Day
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Valentine's Day is upon us so here's the A to Z guide of dating in France, courtesy of French blogger Muriel Demarcus.


A is for Always be safe. Always have (at least) one condom in your purse. Because sleeping with him/her on the very first date will not be held against you. That said, don’t get your hopes up.

B is for Bubbles. No beer please. Champagne is the only acceptable drink to celebrate.

C is for Compliment. The man is supposed to compliment the woman at every possible opportunity.

Photo: encrier/Depositphotos

D is for Dinner. Coffee won't cut it, especially on Valentine's Day. Take a look at these romantic restaurants in Paris for inspiration. 

E is for Early (don’t be).  Always be at least 15 minutes late. Personally I hate it but that’s the way it is. We French are always late. And no cheap date please. McDonald's or Burger King won’t make the cut.

F is for Flesh. Women should avoid showing too much flesh. In France, it is always better to suggest rather than be half-naked.

G is for Gentlemen. The man is supposed to pay for the romantic dinners, the drinks and the outings. In fact, he is supposed to pay for everything, or at least suggest he will. Women can protest a little bit but if he insists you have to let him pay.

Photo: nejron/Depositphotos

H is for Hard to get. Men need to be very forward. Women expect the whole shebang: flowers, dinners, love declarations, text messages and even small gifts. French women need to play hard to get. Sad but true. My tip for him: text her as soon as the date is over to tell her you already miss her. For her: always look busy, and never accept a date immediately.

I is for Initiative. The guy has to take the initiative. It sounds old-fashioned, but that’s how it works. But if the woman does take the initiative, she has to make the man believe that he did all the work. It’s exhausting. But if you don’t do it, you will look needy.

J is for Jean-Paul Sartre. Read the existentialists and as much boring French stuff as you can (Tip for you: the summaries on Wikipedia should suffice). We French love to boast about our culture. We are obsessed with complicated words too (here are a few that you can use: gabegie, flavescent, lenifier. Prepare your own list to shine during dinners with family and friends. 

K is for Kitchen. If you’re a man, get in the kitchen and start doing your bit. According to French extra-marital dating site Gleeden, husbands not doing their fair share of the household chores is one of the top reasons cited by women for why they cheat.

L is for Lying. If you have the slightest doubt of whether he/she is faithful, then he/she probably isn’t. Cut your losses and move on.

Photo: shotsstudio/Depositphotos

M is for Mistress. No, not all French men have mistresses. There are some decent French men. It is all about finding the right one. Avoid politicians at all costs and you should be OK.

N is for Names. If you make it to babies then note that medieval names are making a comeback: Corentin and Tugdual for the boys, and Isabeau or Alienor for the girls.

O is for Orgasm. French women are more likely to fake an orgasm than any other women in the Western world, a 2015 study found. Men: take note, your French Valentine might not be as into it as you think.

P is for Pout. Don’t smile. Don’t look happy. Pout. I know that this sounds completely counter-intuitive, but it works. We French love making things complicated. He/she will notice you. Just don’t smile.

Q is for Quote. The French love a bit of poetic language, so quote some idiomatic French expressions on your dates to get yourself fluent in the language of love.

R is for Romance. Once you’re together, hold hands, be romantic. You are in love. In France, it is OK to say/text/email ‘je t’aime’ ten times a day. Unleash your inner softie. And yes, we French are very, well, physical. You will spend days on end in bed. Be prepared.

Photo: nd3000/Depositphotos

S is for Sex. Having sex is part of we French call ‘conjugal duty’. And if you are not having it at least a few times a month, well, he/she is probably having it elsewhere, and everybody will understand why.

T is for Twice. If you decide to get married, you might need to get married twice (with the same person, obviously): once at the town hall, once at your local church.

U is for Uber. If you’re hiding another lover from your Valentine, perhaps don’t borrow their phone to book your Uber ride back from the date, or they could end up finding out more than you intended, as one man recently found out.

V is for Valentine's. Spending Valentine’s alone in the City of Light? Take a look at the places to avoid on the 14th of February before making a touristic blunder.

W is for Women. French women aren’t easy to please, and can have quite specific requirements of their prospective partners. For example, never approach a French woman on the metro or the street, save it for the soirées. Get to know the guidelines on seducing a French woman before you attempt it yourself.

X is for X-rated. more than a third of young French men say that watching porn has given them a complex about the size of the penis. So be careful what you say to a French man in the bedroom, as you might inadvertently hit upon a sensitive topic.

Photo: vchalup2/Depositphotos

Y is for Youth (of the eternal kind). In France, you don’t grow older, you get better. Studies say that even the sex gets better when you age. Think Catherine Deneuve or Francois Cluzet.

Z is for ZZZZ.  After taking in all this advice, you can finally relax, be happy and look happy. Because whatever everybody says, living in France has a lot of advantages.

To read more from Muriel, visit her blog French Yummy Mummy or you can join her thousands of followers on Twitter @FrenchYumMummy



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