Parisian Living

The Best French Dating Apps

by Yvonne Hazelton
A man and a woman stand under an umbrella at the top of a flight of stairs as they overlook Paris before them. There is an old fashioned street lamp to the right of the couple and there are Parisian buildings on either side of them.
Top: Fred – Pixlab / Above: Jean-Baptiste D.

All right ladies, whether you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, there’s an app for that. 

Right when I got ready to date again earlier this year, Covid struck. Cruel twist of fate! Or, maybe not.

I reassessed my quarantine situation: I had plenty of time for self-care, nobody’s catching Covid (or anything else) online, and I had lots of time on my hands. Why not try something new? But let’s be honest… Bumping into possible suitors just isn’t happening much these days.

Disclaimer: I am a slightly nervous menopausal American living in France. I have intermediate French skills, three kids, and a cat. Pancakes are my love language. I achieved peak hot-ness in 1986. I wear an estrogen patch and progressive lenses, and I’m in pajamas reading by 9:30 every night. If I can date, you can date.

Right: A man and woman walk hand in hand towards the sunset on the streets of Paris. Left: A view of the Seine from one of the bridges. It is at sunset and one can see another bridge in the distance as well as some buildings. At the front of the photo is a man and woman's hand grasping one another, slightly out of focus.
Elodie Ozanne / Février Photography

Before you start

First of all, get a secondary email address. While most people are nice, some are not nice at all, and you don’t need that drama in the inbox alongside your electric bills and PTA newsletters. No personal contact information should be shared until much further down the road.

Second, whether your French is any good or not, give this a try en français. You’ll be texting at first, anyway, so just keep Google translate open and use as needed. We’re in France, mes amies, so let’s kill two birds with one stone—find un français and improve ton français. 

Third, get your story ready. People on dating apps have a short, shareable version of their romantic history ready, so you’ll need one too. When they ask why you’re on the app, it’s not a therapy session. They just want to know if you’re a hot mess or not, and if so, what’s the ratio of hot-to-mess. No need to say who dumped whom, or how you felt about that, or how you’re afraid you’ll die alone in your apartment, eaten by your cat. Keep it light.

Left: a white duvet with a cup of cofee next to an antique brown leather bound book. Right: A blond haired woman embraces an olive skinned, bearded man. They are both smiling and are outdoors with green shrubs and a tree behind them and the Eiffel Tower at dusk in the distance.
mirandanhawkins

Your story might be: divorced, two kids, single for two years, looking for love. Or maybe: single, no kids, just moved to town. Pick your story, and stick to it till there’s mutual, comfortable sharing.

Fourth, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Take things slow. Use this time to get to know the person online, then maybe set up a coffee date on a terrace (or video date if you’re in lockdown like us Parisians) and decide if you want to take your mask off for them one day. 

Here are some dating apps that are useful in France

Tinder. I found Tinder to be less appalling than my millennial friends told me it would be. They had horror stories Jeff, 8 inches or Larry, loves God and guns. But in my Gen-X experience, there are just a lot of men who hadn’t planned on being single at this point, and they’re looking for some companionship. They market themselves pretty accurately.

Left: a couple kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. The man is Black and the woman is blonde. The man is lifting the woman up in his arms as they kiss. Right: A text box from the application Bumble's Instagram feed. It is a fill-in-the-blank form. The words say "Your next virtual date will be a romantic dinner of "blank."" (with the words "meal you had Sunday night" as the option to fill in). "Held in your "blank."" (With the words "last room in your home that you wore pants in.")"Followed by a deep discussion of "blank.""(with the words "last show you binged" as the option to fill in).
_rachelshin & thisisdaveshin / Bumble

Tinder only lets you message, though. No calls or videos. So if you aren’t ready to give out your phone number, you’ll have to just keep messaging. Annoying.

Disons Demain (Lets Say Tomorrow). I thought there’d be some silver foxes on DD, or at least some sexy Santas, but no. I seemed to be a generation younger than these guys, which all made sense when I saw where DD advertises: on the TV news. Hey, no judgment, if you’ve decided to embrace those daddy issues instead of fighting them, Disons Demain is for you.

Or, par contre, if you’re looking for a walk on the wild side, there’s always Cougar pour moi. Again, no judgment. 

Hinge is popular because it asks lots of questions to (hopefully) match you up with compatible people. Polyamorous pescatarians no longer need to field delicate questions from submissive vegans. Hinge takes care of the tough topics so you can move on to more important issues.

Bumble works best for me. You set up a comprehensive profile, the woman gets to pick who she wants to text, and you can video or message in the app. Checks all the boxes.

So when you’re ready to get back out there, don’t worry about Covid. We’ll take it slow, for now.

Left: A text box from the application Hinge's Twitter feed that reads "It's really hot to be upfront and honest about your intentions." Right: A blonde woman smiling into her computer screen. She is doing a video chat and she has a glass of red wine next to her.
Hinge / mirandanhawkins

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Written by Yvonne Hazelton for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates. 

A man and a woman in a bar or restaurant look out a window where they can see Paris and the Eiffel Tower. The woman is on the left and she is pointing at the Eiffel Tower. The man is to her right.
Alban Martel
Written By

Yvonne Hazelton

Yvonne is an American writer living in Paris. She blogs at Escaping the Empty Nest. View Yvonne Hazelton's Website

2 comments on “The Best French Dating Apps

Loved the honesty with which you described yourself. Breath of fresh air! Fun read.

Thanks so much Stephanie!

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