Because French men and women prefer to meet people through their social circles, they rarely go on blind dates and prefer to get to know each other in person. In fact, 38% of the French men and women polled in the Statista’s Global Consumer Survey in 2019 said they used online dating sites or apps. Furthermore, 56% of men aged 25–34 years old and 68% of women from the same age group had already experienced both romantic and sexual relationships with someone they had met online. In addition, about half of those questioned considered it possible to encounter one’s soulmate online. This suggests that online dating is not only an accepted way to meet a partner in France, it is also taken quite seriously.
As a result, there are now hundreds of different dating sites on the Internet in France; all designed to match sexual or romantic partners. Tinder, Bumble, and Happn continue to remain popular among the millennial generation. Meanwhile, older adults are turning more to paid online dating services to find relationships. The most popular of these are Badoo (which 42% of respondents use) and (with 33%). The latter also happens to be among the top five most downloaded dating apps in France.
Another way her to meet people in France is to join Meetup groups and attend local events. There are numerous groups throughout the country that cater to various hobbies and interests. Many of these are specifically designed for singles who are interested in dating, too. These groups provide a fun and safe way to meet people and develop both friendships and relationships. They usually cater to specific age groups and sexual preferences too, so members can meet like-minded individuals.
Dating etiquette in France
The French like to play by their own rules and this transcends to dating etiquette too. For instance, the kinds of dates you might go on during the initial stages of getting to know someone can be unique.
A typical dating scenario in France
In many western cultures, a typical dating scenario usually involves meeting for a drink, going out for dinner, or catching a movie at the cinema. In France, however, dating can look very different. For instance, sharing a meal with someone has no romantic implication in France. In fact, it is considered normal for two people of the opposite sex to enjoy dining together; even if one is single and the other is married or in a relationship.
Instead, the French prefer to keep things casual during the initial stages of getting to know someone. This means that dates will likely involve meeting up for casual drinks with a group of friends or taking an afternoon stroll. However, this shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign that a man or woman isn’t interested in having a romantic relationship. It just means that they are more focused on getting to know a person before they become involved. And if they do want a relationship, they will certainly let their partner know about it. After all, the French are renowned for being direct when it comes to matters of the heart.
Dating behavior in France
While it might be unfair to stereotype a whole nation, there are certain behavioral traits that you are likely to come across when dating in France. Furthermore, these can differ significantly from other European countries.
Flirting and body language
The French might like to keep things non-romantic but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for flirting – and plenty of it. Whether you are single or not, you should expect to see a lot of amorous behavior being thrown around; regardless of marital status. You might say that flirting is an art form in this playful nation; this goes for both sexes, too. French women, for instance, are expected to play to their feminine side and be admired for their beauty and wit. They might smile in excess, blush, and laugh at your jokes, all the while playing with their hair. French men, meanwhile, regard flirting as a harmless game; even if they know very well it won’t lead anywhere. Interestingly, many find the game more important than the catch.