7 Things Tinder Taught Me About French Men

7 Tips for Dating French Men on Tinder

Left. Left. Left.

Ooh, he’s kind of cute. Maybe? No, wait, all his photos are selfies and he has this one on here twice. Never mind.

Left. Left. Left.

What about this guy? He’s cute and he’s got a guitar. We can bond over being musical if nothing else. Going right on this one.

Left. Left.

Wow, he’s gorgeous. I’m swiping right just to see if he swiped right on me too.

If you’re on Tinder, you’re probably familiar with this thought process; this is generally my experience every time I open it. For those who are unfamiliar, Tinder is a mobile app for dating. You choose attractive photos of yourself, write a short biography, and then begin swiping: right on people you want to match with, left on those you don’t. It’s entirely based on physical attractiveness, and it’s shallow and ridiculous yet incredibly entertaining.

I downloaded the app shortly after arriving in Paris, France. After never finding it appealing back home, I was convinced by a friend that it would be a good way to make make friends here, as au-pairs are predominantly female.

My friends and I have met many French men through Tinder, and thus have learned a few things about the dating culture as a result:

1. The French don’t waste time

If a Frenchman wants you, you’ll know it. While many on the app will never initiate conversation or will chat for awhile until one of you decides you’re not interested, the ones who want to see you will ask you out. I’ve met guys in bars as well and once was approached on the metro. However, if they decide they want to meet you in person, they’ll make a move. If he doesn’t do so within a few days, move on.

2. They play it cool

On a few of my dates, I had trouble reading the mind of the man sitting across from me. Some dates seemed like they would love to see me again, and then I never heard from them. Others were rather quiet and aloof and then would make their move with an unmistakable gesture—either going in for the kiss at the end of the night or asking for a second date right away. Even if it seems like they’re not feeling it, it’s definitely possible that you’ll still end up having the romantic French encounter you’ve always (not-so-secretly) wanted. A few of mine include nighttime walks in the rain along the Seine, being kissed on a bridge with the Eiffel Tower behind us, riding around the city on the back of a scooter, and strolling hand in hand on the love lock bridge. It was all insanely romantic, but I never would have discovered that had I written them off as being disinterested.

3. You need to discuss expectations

For the French, kissing can signify the beginning of a relationship. If you’re going out with someone and kissing them, it means you’re in an exclusive, monogamous relationship. That is, IF you have established that what you’re both looking for, and often the way that’s established is by not discussing it at all. Not every French guy I’ve kissed has been looking for that, and most of those who weren’t have told me. I always take care to clarify it with them now, though, after briefly dating a guy who was relationship-minded, about which I wasn’t fully aware until drunkenly asking him outside of a bar at 4 in the morning after we’d been together for a couple of weeks. Yes, it was awkward and could have been avoided had we had the conversation earlier.

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4. Sex can make or break it

Obviously sex is an important factor of any relationship. Sexual compatibility is very important in French dating culture and will be one of the first deciding factors in whether or not the relationship will work out. Here, if you don’t sleep with someone, they take that to mean that you’re not actually interested in them. Waiting to sleep with someone has the same effect. Wait a bit if you want to make sure he’ll stick around, but don’t wait too long or your Frenchman will assume a lack of compatibility and find someone else.

5. Pay attention to his friends

One thing I’ve found when dating in Paris is that if he’s even remotely serious about you, you’ll meet his friends early on. On one second date, we went to meet my date’s friends at a bar after dinner. Another time, we got a group of his friends and a group of my friend together for a night out. A French guy’s group of friends are his backbone, and lacking their approval is as much of a dealbreaker as sexual incompatibility.

6. Hookup culture is definitely a thing

Though most of the men I’ve met have been wonderful, the majority haven’t been looking for a relationship. Additionally, the younger they are, the less likely they are to be looking for something serious. Of course, this isn’t to say that good relationships can’t be found via Tinder, in fact, I have several friends who are in serious relationships with French men they met on Tinder. If you’re there temporarily or to study abroad you can certainly have a wonderful, whirlwind romance with a Frenchman, however, remember to manage your expectations and just know what you’re getting yourself into.

7. Know that communication is vital

The problems I have encountered have mainly stemmed from a lack of openness between me and my partner. Some French men I’ve dated have never been to the States and don’t understand American culture enough to understand where I’m coming from. When dating cross-culturally, not only do you have to get used to the norms of a new dating culture, but your partner must also adapt to the fact that they are dating a woman who has been raised to ascribe to a whole different set. Misunderstandings are bound to happen. This is why communication is absolutely the most important factor in the success of any relationship, especially one with a foreigner.


About Emily Jackson

Emily JacksonCurrently working as an au pair in Paris, France, Emily loves to take photos, sing, and drink French wine. She spent four months in Geneva, Switzerland during university studying international relations, so when she didn't want to go to grad school directly following graduation, going back to Europe seemed like the best option. Follow her travel adventures on her blog or on Instagram.

24 thoughts on “7 Things Tinder Taught Me About French Men

  1. Jen
    April 9, 2017
    Reply

    I met a man visiting from France (in the US on a work visa). Initially we both weren’t looking for something serious… we went on a few dates and he was so polite, we had so much in common (I’ve literally never had so much in common with anyone on many fronts while culturally we were so different).

    He kissed me on the 3rd date & the 4th was pretty lousy sex. We tried again for a 5th date in spite of that and it made up for the horrid first time… he made me feel valued, unique, special and adored… and suddenly he was “sick” for a week and couldn’t see me.

    he had been so blatantly honest I had no reason to question this and we did still talk while naturally it slowed (I thought because he was ill)… then he recovered and still was more quiet… said he was busy with worth. For two weeks. I got frustrated because I knew something was up despite his assurances that “nothing had changed” and that it was really just work.

    There had started being inconsistencies with things he was telling me. I questioned him on them and he just said maybe there was a misunderstanding- I asked him if there was someone else and he said there was, but she’s not why he tapered off and she’s only in town two weeks a month. Dubious there on the timeline… so she took priority to me which means he was more into her.

    When we had met he said I was first one he was meeting in the US… but when he talked about her he said he knew her first…

    I’m torn now that I know he was lying. Trust is a big deal to me and he and I got into a final fight… the thing is I fell for this liar and my mind is so conflicted about how I could be so guilable. I’m generally better at reading guys and I guess with the French charm and his shy demeanor I never really pegged him as a player.

    My recommendation: def go for it with a French guy for lusty-fun (his kissing skills along with other things were off the charts).

    Don’t let your heart get invested no matter what. If your heart says it feels so right and you say it out loud and he also echoes that back… ignore it! I wish I had researched prior because now I’m going to have a really difficult time trusting myself to make good choices in future relationships and part of me will always ache for this French fling that was a house of lies.

  2. Meo
    February 8, 2017
    Reply

    It is my first time to write about my story on Internet. I’m inexperience in love, and I have some concerns about Frenchman culture. Here is my story “I met a French guy on Tinder. We seem to have good conversations and we have good feeling to eacher. He showed that he love me even just know eacher and we are long distance relationship, but the good feel and have same comment make us move it faster and he confessed that he love me. However, I found that he talk about sex. He told me that is common because in French education system they put sexual education in high school. To show love, he sent me his nude photo. I have no idea what does he want. In my point of view, I thinking in two ways. First, he might be think that girl want to see guy body or he might not confident on himself and want to hear from girl. Second, he might just want sexual relationship rather long lasting relationship. Those two thinks always come up in my mind.

    • Lisa
      February 10, 2017
      Reply

      What was the French guys name?

      • Meo
        March 12, 2017
        Reply

        He is an Asian who born and raise in France

        • Meo
          March 12, 2017
          Reply

          What make you to ask about his name? Do you meet the same thing?

          • Monica
            March 19, 2017

            Hello there, I also have this chatmate from tinder who is french, he does talk a lot about sex and yes he does send nudes. I think this maybe related to the fact that some women from france are actually not open about (just read this from an article). I think it’s like a perception that they want to know if they will be satisfied first in sex before going further in a relationship (I do agree to that belief). But still I will not take this seriously for precaution. If I will meet him this July we will see where we go from there.

          • Meo
            March 20, 2017

            Hello Monica! Nice to see your comment. Well, I did some research about frenchman and most articles said the same, they take serious about sex. I’m ok to listen about their culture however he expected more than that. As we are long distance, he would like to do online intimate in order to proof love. In my point of view, there are many ways to proof love to each other. Could you share how you handle with your french chatmate? Waiting you respond. Thank you inconvenience!
            Meo

  3. December 9, 2016
    Reply

    I think it’s important to question the general applicability of patterns ascertained from Tinder. I don’t know it’s reputation in France, but in the US it’s well known to be a hook-up app. If that’s the pond you fish in, that’s what you’re likely to catch.

  4. DH
    November 24, 2016
    Reply

    Wow I never comment on these things, but i couldn’t help it.
    I just can’t believe how negative someone can be about the French.
    I have to say in my experience they are extremely polite, well-mannered and family orientated.
    Yes some men cheat, as is true of all countries. However I’ve found Frenchmen to be a lot more honest about their intentions.
    They also have this love of life, which is a beautiful thing.
    Who cares if they don’t speak english well! If your in France, learn a little french. It’s impolite and ignorant to expect people in other countries to speak your language.

  5. Floflo
    November 9, 2016
    Reply

    I’m a French woman and dated a few guys. They might not be as romantic as they used to be… some cheat indeed but it’s the same in England for example where I used to live so I’m not sure it’s a typical french thing. If they introduce their friends it does not necessarily because he’s into you or want to get more serious, it could be cause you’re really hot and want to show his friends…
    About sex, if you don’t do the first night it’s “unusual” but they can actually understand it, if they don’t it’s just because they ONLY want that or don’t believe it’s a big deal.
    Yes French can be cold, specially in Paris I think cause of the stressful lifestyle and public transports in rush-hours, that can be awful. But we’re not all losers, crazy, depressed or blablabla, a lot of stereotypes here. Every country have good and bad sides. I’ve lived in 5 countries and for example I can’t say guys are better elsewhere, no. Btw French like to travel around and are one of the most generous country when disaster happens in the world and for other domestic matters, I guess that means people are not that bad… Cordialement…

  6. Esteban
    November 1, 2016
    Reply

    To answer all these spiteful tongues… It is true whom we, French, are cold. But do not trust appearances. It is necessary to learn to know us and everything will go well. Consider I. And yes, I confirm that many people are closed by spirit but it is completely livable. Do not trust stereotypes… I love my country!

  7. Jetsetter
    October 29, 2016
    Reply

    French men have a horrible mentality, way too much attitude for nothing as they all mostly do loser jobs and never progress in life. France is not a career oriented country, its a place where u go to eat and drink and walk around the beautiful sights but people are all crazy and very difficult as well as sad and depressed. There is way too much nastiness and negativity in Paris, dating a french is a bad experience and what this article fails to mention is how much french guys lie and cheat…they all cheat as cheating is part of the culture too. They have little or no family attachments and most of them have a heart of stone, only some french from the Mediterranean side are nice people, the rest are extremely cold, cheap, full of themselves and intolerant of other cultures / people totally. France has the lowest level of English speakers in europe because its just a closed minded intolerant country, french have zero interest in other cultures, if they do take some interest then they think by going to other countries they are just spreading their own supposedly “superior” culture. And the insularity in France is way worse than anywhere else, its just a country of unfriendly nasty fake people with a lot of drama in their lives but very little substance. France is good at marketing its image as a posh country but seriously live there a year and you will realise there is nothing positive about France its just a negative place full of mental depressed people.

    • French guy
      November 1, 2016
      Reply

      Waow, this is such a closed-minded reply for someone criticizing a country,
      As a French guy, even if some things you say are true, it’s not the whole part of the country and population, be careful about stereotypes 😉

    • max
      November 8, 2016
      Reply

      Woaw, somebody had her heart broken by a bastard…

      This is the most stereotypical commentary I had to read so far on my country.
      It is as the same level as saying “americans are fat, greedy, and all own a 4 shotguns.”

      For the english level, I will not contradict, but the reason you give is not the right. It s not because french are full of themselves ( yes french are proud) , there is a complexe problem which involves 1) a very bad way to teach languages at school 2) a true shyness when it comes to speak a foreign language and a disproportionate fear to be laughed at doing it.

      For the lying part i strongly disagree, i lived in a lot of different places, I found that the french are pretty honest which is as much not especially the most pleasant thing when you are targeted btw.
      I found for instance that americans can be very hypocritical , they are warm, wave their arms , shout in a hysteric joy to people they barely know and who they dont give a fuck of. Dont get me wrong it’s not entirely a bad thing, you feel welcome and all, but soon enough you realise it’s sugarcoating and you can feel pretty alone. (experienced by many french expats ).

      As for cheating , not from my personal (i guess i was lucky?) experience but from my coworkers , costudents and friends when i was in the US, just let me LAUGH …
      In the US, not only they cheat way more (in my opinion) to begin with but nobody as the same rules when it comes to dating, they even contradict their own standards.
      A guy is gonna date 2-3 women at the same time, he ll even have sex and when finally he starts to date a girl he really likes, he starts to whimper when he hear she s having sex with other guys and that they didnt have (yet) the relation he thought they had …

      • Elizabeth
        November 14, 2016
        Reply

        Please don’t judge an entire nation by the actions of a few. There are great men and horrible men everywhere you go. My experience has been that they are very good friends and very good lovers. I love their directness, their joie de vivre, and the fact that they do not seem to walk around like the Walking Wounded men of the U.S. Vive la France!

  8. October 24, 2016
    Reply

    Dating in Paris is hard. There are so many losers and deadbeats out there. It makes me cringe, but I finally met someone online using this site for dating in Paris.

  9. Telise Maquaire
    October 1, 2016
    Reply

    I married a Frenchman 15 years ago. I met him in Palm Beach Florida USA where he was working in a french restaurant. He was the love of my life. Our daughter just turned 15. Serge died of lung cancer in March. I miss him so much.

    • max
      November 8, 2016
      Reply

      I m very sorry for you

  10. Charles Sommer
    September 17, 2016
    Reply

    Nice French guy here looking to meet a nice American woman 🙂

    That is my dream.

  11. Ale
    May 26, 2016
    Reply

    Well i dont think all that is truth, french are very closed mind specially the burguess people they will never introduce you to his friends at first date and they care a lot about family, etc. Also i find them very cold they are not warm people at least not at the beginning …when they are out of the country they are a bit more open but in France they keep being closed and cold.

  12. Wendy
    February 23, 2016
    Reply

    French men are cheats and not worth it. Trust me on this one! They are not as great as they appear to be, actually dated several French men…they lied and didn’t know they already had girlfriends and one also cheated on me

  13. charLai
    December 7, 2015
    Reply

    Thanks so much for this.. I miss my baby all the more now..
    All said were true!
    I met his friends and that’s for me a signal he’s into me.
    We’ve been dating for a month now, unfortunately he needs to go back for a while in France. Hoping and waiting patiently to see him next year, February…

  14. Rebecca
    December 2, 2015
    Reply

    Thank you, very much on love wirh a French Prince.. Praying to marry him soon..

  15. cbd
    March 20, 2015
    Reply

    Well written Emily, very insightful, I especially liked your last point.

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