Okay, so you’ve done your time in online dating limbo and you’ve found a nice match. Congratulations! 

Left: A couple are seen together on the stairs of the Sacre Coeur overlooking the Parisian skyline. Right: A couple are together by the Seine, near the Pont Neuf, during sunset.
Top: Marie de Vivies / Above left: Gabriel Goulart / Above right: @l.r.e

What’s there to do in Paris now that the stress of meeting is over? This is the honeymoon phase, the time when dating is fun and exciting, when you’re introducing each other to your favorite places in Paris, before you reach the inevitable “What should we watch tonight?” phase. Even though it’s gray and gloomy outside, you’re still out and about, because Covid restrictions are minimal (as long as you’re vaxed) and things are open. 

Here are a few ideas for dating in this Paris winter. 

Left: a man and a woman walk arm in arm in the streets of Paris. 
Right: a woman holds a large bouquet of bright yellow flowers.
Left @l.r.e / Right: @theglitteringunknown

Jardin des Plantes

Hurry up and get down to the Jardin des Plantes. You can stroll outside in the fresh air (avoiding enclosed spaces is a sport these days), holding hands and chatting about whatever it is you might be ready to talk about now—that the time for impressing each other with flirty banter has passed. Get a hot drink to keep warm.

Left: A couple is strolling in Paris during a winter day at sunset. Right: A couple are smiling at each other as they walk in a spot with a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Left: @l.r.e / Right: @alexiaprivitera_


This is a great chance to see how your sweetie acts during this heady period. Do they wait patiently while you try on jeans, offering cute remarks about which pair makes your butt look sexier? Do they weigh their purchasing decisions carefully, or are they impulsive, snatching up things left and right? Do you smell greed? Avarice? Competitiveness? Take note of any red flags, because we don’t need bad financial decisions to capsize the relationship later on.

Inside an apartment in Paris, a man sits at a table with his computer while a woman walks by.
Erin Dahl by Scott Lowden

Cooking at home

Even though you’re not ready for Netflix and chill, you might be ready to avoid paying for restaurants multiple times per week. Cooking at home can be romantic and handy, if both parties are willing. Go shopping at your local marché or supermarket, load up on goodies, and get cooking. Does your cheri(e) pitch in and help, chopping vegetables for the ratatouille and stirring the soup? Do you clean up together? Is your cuisine met with gusto and appreciation, or are they picky and critical? How they act now is not only a precursor to their future willingness to help in the kitchen; it’s also a sign of their joie de vivre and an indicator of the fun factor the two of you create together. Joie de vivre is key.

A man and woman sit laughing at a cafe table.
Erin Dahl by Scott Lowden

Taking care

You can take care of each other if either of you falls ill. This is your chance to show each other how you handle illness–will you bake each other banana bread and run errands, leaving bags of groceries and flowers and herbal remedies on their doorstep, standing 10 feet away on the landing to talk? Or will you say, “Tant pis pour toi, see you when you’re better?” You can tell a lot about somebody by the way they act when you’re sick. This could make or break a relationship at this tender juncture.

Take a weekend trip

Take a weekend trip together. If you’re in this for the long haul, you need to know about travel compatibility ASAP. Do you have the same financial ideas about travel? Do you like similar places, and if you don’t, can you two compromise on something you both enjoy? Is one of you anxious and, if so, is the other one laid-back and compassionate enough to deal with that? Does one of you get car sick, and how does the other one handle that? What will you do if they get up at the crack of dawn and you like to sleep in? Find out now.

Left: @l.r.e / Right: Basile Bedelek

Meet Their People

If you met online, the weirdest part is that you have no mutual friends to get references from. There’s nobody to ask what they were like when they were younger or if the friends liked their ex or why they don’t want to talk about the summer of 1993. It’s research, learning about this person who you only know from their own presentation. Do they act like themselves when the friends are around? Do they put their arm over the back of your chair like usual, or are they stiff and cool? Worse, do they manhandle you and laugh too loud at their friends’ jokes? Meet at a café for an apéro and get the dirt on your new amour. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Having a sweetheart in Paris in the winter is lovely, with vin chaud in gloved hands and snuggling on the sofa and the smell of boeuf bourguignon bubbling on the stove. These gray winter days are a lot brighter with love all around.

Written by Yvonne Hazelton for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.


Yvonne Hazelton

Yvonne is an American writer living in Paris. She blogs at Escaping the Empty Nest.


  1. Hi Yvonne,

    Wonderful article! I noticed that some of the links are not working:

    The Best French Dating Apps
    The perfect tool for cooking at home
    Galleries, Gardens, Zoo – Jardin des Plantes

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