Parisian women are so sexy and elegant. There’s no way an American girl could compete, right?
There are, of course, as many ways to snag a Frenchman as there are French men, but in my humble experience and observation, there are elements a girl should keep in mind as she searches for her Prince Charmant.
First and foremost, be yourself. I know, I know, I sound like your mom. But she isn’t totally off base here. It’s important to remember that you have something all those elegant, well-heeled Parisiennes don’t: you’re American.
You just might come from someplace exotic like Miami or Los Angeles or – that holy grail of all cities in the Parisian mind – New York. And even if you don’t, you still have the halo of something fresh and new about you, which can be just as seductive as a pout or an arched eyebrow.
Second, we aren’t French and really shouldn’t try to be. For a Monsieur, Mademoiselles are a dime a dozen. They’re at school or work or on the metro. Depending on what has brought us Americaines to France, we may be gone in a few weeks or even a few hours. The opportunity to get to know us, and to test the accuracy of a few mythical stereotypes (Does she know how to find France on a map? Can she eat steak that isn’t as tough as shoe leather?) is irresistible. And a man, is a man, is a man. If there’s one thing that piques his interest, it’s knowing that time is limited.
Third, we say “Why not?” My now-husband loves to tell stories about all the tiny out of the way places he took me for weekends when we were first dating. Years later and he’s still astonished that I was willing to say, “Hey, why not, let’s give it a try!” Apparently, this was not his experience with French women, who would not have considered the train-bus-car trip to the “spa” in the middle of nowhere a romantic “adventure”. We tend to be more positive (and naïve) as a group; therefore, we’re more optimistic and less difficult to please than our Gallic sisters.
Fourth, a list wouldn’t be a list without a caveat. Be optimistic and open to new experiences, but do not be afraid to disagree with him. If there’s one thing a Frenchman worth keeping can’t respect (apart from “OMG, OMG the Eiffel Tower! A Baguette!!!” – that does need to come to a stop. I’m forbidding you from saying OMG right now), it’s a woman who doesn’t have her own mind and opinions.
If you don’t like the wine, say so. If you don’t feel like eating foie gras, say “no thank you,” politely and without disdain. Bad manners never got anyone anywhere, but there’s nothing enticing about pushovers either. Speak your mind fairly and you’ll earn the respect of even the toughest French rogue.
Just remember, you are your best asset. Be who you are and do what you feel like doing, and chances are your enthusiasm and confidence will make you completely irresistible. The advice on finding love in Paris is the same as finding love anywhere else. No need to feel intimidated. You aren’t in direct competition with the Parisiennes. You’ve got something different to offer, so go for it!
Written by Regina Joan Grangé for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.