Sure, they will go out for dinner and do fun activities, but it’s not packaged up in a formal and contrived manner. It’s more organic and instead of defining the relationship in order to know how to act, they let the relationship unfold and the label of boyfriend/girlfriend just naturally develops in the process. European men are comfortable with women, which leads to respect for women.
Perhaps this has to do with their upbringing, where it’s very normal for boys and girls to play and intermingle together.
Well, we usually go out in groups and meet within this social group. If you are already friends with the guy, you just spend more time together, get a coffee after school or share a meal at your apartment, and flirt a little bit.
If you just met at a party, well, you kiss, and things evolve naturally.
I never thought that the cultural background of a dating prospect would make much of a difference when it came to relationships.
However, since living in New York, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many different people from various backgrounds and it’s become clear that there are definite cultural norms specific to European men versus American men (especially New Yorkers).
My friends were so surprised that at 24 years old I had never had a real Valentine’s Day, but I am pretty sure I am not alone (please LEAVE COMMENTS below if this year was also your first V-Day! Last Valentine’s Day, my friend told me not to be sad that I didn’t have anyone to celebrate with – when the time is right, it will exceed all your expectations. So let’s go back to talking about the big V-Day date, and chatting about some points that I think are interesting to share.
Having “the talk” Before V-Day this year, my boyfriend and I had been dating for a couple of months, and we were right at the point of “defining the relationship.” We had a big, formal talk over dinner one night to discuss where we were in this relationship and where it should be going, and this talk basically determined if we would celebrate Valentine’s Day together.
When I was visiting California this summer, a cashier from Brandy Melville asked me out on a date while I was buying a t-shirt.And when we do ask our love interest if he wants to have a relationship, it’s because we already kissed or at least gotten really close. There’s no such thing as DTR (Defining The Relationship) because exclusivity is implied.Once two people kiss while sober (French teenagers drink a lot, as it’s legal), they can already consider the other one as their boyfriend/girlfriend, and assume the relationship is going to be exclusive — there’s no need to define it.A few days ago, as an American friend of mine was telling me all about her new boyfriend and how he had asked her out with flowers, I realized how different courtship and dating is for teens in France and the US. Americans go on formal dates; we keep things secret. The word “date” has no equivalent in French, and it’s simply because we don’t go on them.Americans only say “I love you” after months of dating. You might wonder how people get to know each other then.