This means French women don't go on a series of formalized, audition-esque dates with a man—or several men—in a specific time period. If someone is berkeley dating website you, they are only "dating" you, but the experience is much less codified than it is in the US. They have the exact opposite set of social codes. So, not having the pressure to be liked, and to be like everyone else, that feeds a sense of self-possession as you're growing up.
That's a really sad thing about American culture. It's not until women get to be 40 or 50 that they're like, 'I don't give a damn,' and then they're really free to be eccentric and totally authentic and do what they want. French women grow up that way. They don't have a culture of self-help the way we do. We are constantly bombarded best dating website for professionals products that will make us 'better,' and it's kind of oppressive, because there's the underlying idea of 'you're not okay, you could always be doing better.
They don't think in the absolutes of total love and utter rejection. They don't pick flowers and ponder love with 'He loves me, he loves me not. I f they don't hear back from a guy, they're not going to be constantly texting him and so forth. If they made it clear to a guy they're into him, that's it—it ends there.
If the guy doesn't pick up the baton and run with it, French women are done with him. They're not going to belabor it, harbor it and process endlessly over it emotionally. They have what is called 'sang froid' or 'old blood,' which is a dramatic way of saying they're just tougher than we are. They're very romantic, but they're also very realistic. And the author went to French bookstores and spoke to French women and she was like, 'Why don't you like my book?
If he's just not that into us, then screw him! We're just not that into him. We American women have to learn the art of not giving a damn in the positive sense of the word, and try to get in touch with a certain sense of authenticity. It all boils down to giving yourself permission not to care, and if something doesn't happen, it's not meant to happen. All the obsessing and processing over a guy who's not right for you and not into you is not going to change anything except for making you more upset.
It's much better to cultivate a sense of who you are, and a sense of strength and freedom. So, when they do date, it's not like 'I'm trying to find my husband for life' or 'I'm trying to find my soul mate.
Here, t here's a lot of dating a french girl on landmark ages, like at 20 you should do this, and at 30 you should do this because your biological clock is tickingetc. Marriage is less of a priority there, so that takes pressure off. The French also grow up knowing l ife can be hard, emotional worlds can be difficult to navigate and there will be rough seas. T hey grow up with a more hardened and realistic sense of the world. Even if an experience with a man doesn't lead to marriage, or he doesn't end up being your boyfriend, it doesn't diminish whatever emotional pleasure or currency you got from being with that person.
Americans are very work-driven. We know how to make a living, they know how to have a life. We need to learn more about having a life.
That's just the path to perdition—it's never going to happen, and it's an unrealistic way of looking at how to make a relationship work. In France, they don't expect men to be as emotionally effusive and open as women are. I think American women want more of that from men, and French women understand it's not forthcoming. I have to be careful saying that because it can sound sexist, and I don't mean it in a sexist way at all.
It's just that in France, they still consider that men and women are different and have different needs and desires, dating a french girl. I would hang out with young moms, and there would be a lot of commiserating about men. In France, you just don't do that. French women love men, a lot.
They prefer men to be in the picture, not out of it. There will never be a war of the sexes in France.
I found romance by myself. I danced alone in my apartment. I dared to tell myself I deserved everything I could think to ask for. I was first introduced to this seductive stereotype through old movies and was immediately taken by her. Effortlessly beautiful with an air of mystery and a touch of ennui, she trumped any It Girl America had to offer me. Then in the mids, every single fashion brand seemed to also catch the Francophile bug, churning out their own version of the jeune fille with trademark messy hair and a cruiser bike.
She was chic yet undone. Social yet rather coy. She enjoyed carbs and butter and drank wine with lovers late into the night but remained dewy and youthful. In a way, the French-woman stereotype feels like a modern-day fairy tale. Earlier this year, I went to brunch with my Parisienne friend, Stephanie, who embodies the French-woman stereotype IRL as much as one can.
She was chatting at length about her previous night's drama with a friend who also happened to be a love interest. During our conversation, I felt a sinking sense that there was a hole in my life, unbeknownst to me until that very moment. Between the two of us, I was the one with the solid relationship and lack of hangover, but I felt insecure and envious. I began to seriously question whether my insistence on stability could be to blame for the lack of excitement and romance in my life.
This summer, I found myself very single and somewhat directionless. Uninspired by my work and going on one unenthusiastic date after another, one could say I was a bit lost. Here, I thought of my friend Stephanie and that long-ago brunch moment. It seemed to me that the French woman had simply laid down strong foundations in what she deserves.
Once that foundation was set, all she had to do was watch everything roll into place. Could I embrace that ethos so that I could be unabashedly alluring? It was not only my right but my responsibility to myself, to become effortless. By being less critical of myself and treating myself instead, I believed that I could find that certain je ne sais quoi that the French woman was so well known for. I watched the crowds go by and waited for the rain to pass before strutting into the office.
The next step in my quest involved streamlining my style. I traded in trends for simple, flattering pieces. Without the bother of deciding on an outfit based on trends, I was able to spend more time and money elsewhere.
I introduced carbs and sugar back into my life. I had only been waiting for this day for five years. I had a spoonful every day. I went on a rampant search for the finest croissant in the city. For 10 whole minutes, I thought only about the dance of butter and sugar and flour while the pillowy bread melted in my mouth.
I am not exaggerating when I say that it was the kindest thing I had ever bought for myself. I noticed that the satisfaction in this less-strict diet actually solved my habit of incessantly snacking at work.
In terms of dating, I decided my personal mantra would be "anything goes. I soon felt the reward in doing this, like a mystery inside of me was glowing outward. Romance found me when I looked at the world in this decidedly sparkly eyed way.
One night a boy took me to a bistro where we sat at a tiny outdoor table and split a bottle of a wine and a charcuterie plate. I half listened to him tell me what cheese was what, half listened to the waitress tell us about the wine.
I fully allowed myself to enjoy glass after glass until we finished the bottle and ordered another. We took it back to my place where we sat on my fire escape and talked about our fears, talked about past relationships, talked too much. The night ended at 4: My lips remain sealed about the second date. Latching onto the question, What would the French woman do? I treated myself like a Very Important Person. There were moments — cooking myself dinner in lacy lingerie with vegetables bought from the farmers' market or strolling the Flatiron District with sunglasses on and a silky scarf around my neck on a cloudy day — in which I convinced myself I simply was a Very Important Person.
I'm not suggesting that we throw ourselves toward every vice but that maybe we can afford to play with the boundaries of self-control. Perhaps the French woman understands that we know ourselves better than we think and that, possibly, the world has been waiting with its hands cupped for us to ask of it to be kind. Maybe the romance of the elusive French woman stems from the idea that when we give in to the voice inside of us that demands beauty, it just might be what we get.
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