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And believe it or not, I’m more than my nationality. “You’re hot enough to melt fire and burn Satan,” some man wrote, leaving me genuinely confused. I’ve been exposed to the same type of gross comments in person in France when taking the subway or walking on the street, but they never popped up on my phone during the middle of day.
Almost instantly after hitting Create, I was thrown into the Bay Area dating jungle. Once my identity as a French woman revealed itself in conversation, I experienced the most stereotypical exchanges of my life.
While we were talking, we ran into a few misunderstandings. That’s taller than most of the women in France.” Imagine my surprise when I found out that it meant “baby” and not “You’re a dwarf.”Obviously, the date wasn’t a huge success. After trying on a couple of shoes, as we say, a couple of men fit better, but things didn’t necessarily become less challenging.
As I went to order a beer, he stopped me and said, “Wait, shorty.” To me, this sounded like the worst insult. I couldn’t help myself from overthinking and panicking a bit after a few months of dating someone here—something I never did in France. Here I’m afraid of discovering that after six months of seeing someone, we aren’t actually dating but just messing around.
We began the morning with a visit to the Louvre before stopping for ice cream and continuing to wander the city for hours, talking without interruption.
Cliché, yes, but that’s how it goes a lot of the time in my home country — the country of passion and romance, where “La Vie en Rose” basically replaced the national anthem a few decades ago, and where pursuing love still means something to most people.
Meeting people in France generally goes by the old-school method: dating friends of your friends, my dear!
Most of the guys I’ve dated have already been part of my circle somehow — former classmates, roommates of a coworker, soccer teammates of a cousin, etc.
I had to repeat what I was saying a couple of times, every time I spoke.This is a reputation American men hold overseas that turns out to often be true—that they ghost, date many women at the same time and have commitment issues.I experienced it first hand with someone who kept telling me every day how much he loved me and cherished me until I found out on somebody’s else Twitter that he was a cheater.Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that hooking up isn’t a thing in France, but in general, once we find ourselves seeing someone multiple times, we’re both giving it our best shot to be in a relationship with commitments and sacrifices from the beginning.It’s within this quite conservative yet forever romantic vision of love that I moved to the US in 2017 at the age of 23, leaving behind my Camembert diet and safe place to pursue my own version of the American dream.