French Men: Dating a French Guy (2023)

Dating a French guy will, fortunately, be one of the most straightforward experiences you’ll have in your romantic life. They’re all about letting things play out naturally, and are very open about their emotions, so they won’t leave you guessing where you stand with your lover. To learn more about what it’s like to date a French guy, see the details below.

What Should You Know About Dating a French Guy?

Dating a French man is unlike any other romantic experience you’ll have. Thankfully, dating in France is not weighed down and complicated by arbitrary rules and restrictions, like in many other countries. Instead, you can expect to have a much more relaxed, enjoyable time with your beau without a bunch of unnecessary stress.

Still, it would be best if you lay a foundation of expectations before jumping into the French dating scene. So, here are some things to keep in mind about dating a French guy:

  • French people are quite liberal with emotional expression, especially when it comes to affection. In America, folks are so caught up in coming off as a “simple” or falling for the person they’re dating too quickly. The French are quite the opposite. You might be surprised at how quickly a French guy will fall for you – and be open about it!
    • Note: Just because French men are quicker to the draw when it comes to dropping the “L” bomb doesn’t mean it carries the same weight as it does in other cultures. Saying “I love you*” doesn’t lock you into your relationship as it would in the States. It’s just a declaration of affection.
  • PDA (public displays of affection) are normal. It’s not a secret that Americans are quite sensitive to PDA. In fact, surveys show that U.S. citizens are strongly opposed to heavy (75%) or light (55%) petting and hate when couples kiss (20%) or make out (71%) in public. You’re going to have to let this go when dating a French guy.
  • Don’t be surprised if the ex is still in the picture. It’s not as taboo for French men to keep in touch with their exes. Animosity with past relationships is uncommon with broken-up French couples. So, you shouldn’t be surprised if they’re still friends on social media or still have each other’s phone numbers.
    • Note: Your beau won’t try to hide his ex either. You can expect him to be pretty straightforward about past relationships, and you might even meet an ex or two while you’re together.
  • Yes, French men do live up to the hype concerning their sexuality. French people’s sexuality isn’t arbitrarily inhibited. So, you don’t have to abide by superficial guidelines (e.g., go on at least three dates, wait for marriage, etc.) before having sex with your partner. The French are quite enthusiastic about moving into this phase of the relationship.
  • French men prefer less makeup, more fashion. You can expect your date to have an opinion on your outfit. Heck, he might even go out shopping with you! While French men do enjoy the fashionable side of dressing up, they’re not too keen on makeup. So, don’t feel like you have to doll yourself up, but feel free to do so if that’s your preference.

*The phrase “I love you” in French is pretty linguistically close to “I (sort of) like you.” If your partner tells you Je t’aime bien (“I like you”), but you only recognize Je t’aime (“I love you”) don’t get too anxious. Even if they did only happen to say Je t’aime, again, it’s not a life-altering declaration of commitment.

French people are a lot less uptight about these things than Americans are, so don’t feel like you’re obligated to settle with this person for the rest of your life if that wasn’t in your plans.

On that note, it’s good to know that there will be language barriers between you and your date. Although 39% of the French population speaks English, there’s no guarantee that your beau will know enough of the language to maintain fluent communication with you at all times.

Be patient and understanding when it comes to misunderstandings between you two, and everything will work out just fine.

Are There Mistakes to Avoid When Dating a French Guy?

Just like when you’re dating someone of any nationality, it’s inevitable that you’ll make a few mistakes here and there when dating your French beau. It’s helpful to know what those potential hiccups could be ahead of time, though. That way, you can do your best to avoid them.

Though some of these tips from folks who have dated French men before are quite silly, others are incredibly valuable and will certainly help strengthen your relationship with your man in the future. (Or, they’ll help your French fling go as smoothly as possible.)

  • Don’t get sex-crazed. Yes, it’s true that sex is not as taboo in France as it is in America. Still, you shouldn’t let this glaze your eyes over and take away from a genuine connection with your romantic interest. There’s more to dating than sex, so please don’t get so caught up in this aspect of your relationship.
    • Don’t be too afraid of sex. On the opposite end of this scale is being too afraid to engage sexually. Now, this is entirely up to you and your comforts. While you shouldn’t give in to pressure to have sex with your partner, you should also remember that no weird rules surround it like there are in the States.
  • Steer clear of becoming needy. When a French man likes you, he’s not afraid to show it. He’ll want to spend as much time with you as possible, going on dates, talking on the phone, etc. As wonderful as this may feel, be careful that you don’t become too clingy or needy. French or not, clinginess can turn into codependency, which is unhealthy.
  • Be clear about how much advance notice you need before a date. Among the many hang-ups that Americans have in their dating lives is the need for ample advance notice before going on a date. French men are more spontaneous in their invites, so if you need more time before a meetup, be upfront about it.
  • Reciprocate the flirtatiousness! Again, French men are very romantic and love to flirt! Don’t forget to reciprocate that energy (as much as you’re comfortable) in all your communications to let him know that you like him, too. In other words, don’t be blunt and dull in your texts and calls. Spice it up a little!
  • Sweatpants and a messy bun won’t cut it. Of course, the longer your relationship lasts, the less concerned you have to be with making a fashionable impression on your lover. Still, remember that French men are far more invested in your outfits than many other nationalities, so show up and show out in your attire.
  • Don’t get too obsessed with planning ahead. Dating a French man is all about spontaneity. Trying to plan too much of your lives together could sour your dating experience, so just relax and let things play out. (Of course, feel free to plan your dates and other fun activities. Just don’t let strict plans rule all your quality time together.)
  • Be mindful of jealousy. You might have a hard time with the previously mentioned norm of French men staying in touch with their exes. They don’t tend to be as wary of keeping in contact with past lovers as Americans, so just keep this in mind and don’t get lost in jealousy over a social media relationship or similar contact.
  • Stop stressing! Dating a French man is all about being in the moment. Don’t overanalyze your relationship; stop getting overwhelmed with ideas on keeping him interested in you, etc. Just have fun with it! Your partner will be upfront about whether he likes you or wants to end things, so trust his honesty and let things unfold naturally.

The bottom line is that you should fully allow yourself to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with dating a French guy.

Though you should always exercise the utmost respect for yourself and your partner, building a relationship with men of this nationality is a lot less of a chore than in other cultures. Just have fun, and things will play out as they’re meant to.

What’s it Like to Date a French Man?

Dating a French guy is so much more straightforward than it is with American men. There are no mind games, no power trips, no “tests” to see if you’re really “the one” or if you’ll fall into some sort of behavioral category that he likes. (Well, this is usually the case.)

These men are a breath of fresh air when it comes to the romantic side of life. You won’t have to continually worry about what he’s thinking, especially concerning whether or not he likes you. He’ll be upfront about all those things without having to be confronted or grilled about it.

There will be some differences in their dating styles that might throw you off, though. For one, French men are a lot less afraid of commitment than most others. This was partially discussed earlier in how they are a bit quicker to announce that they love you than you might expect. In addition to this, something as simple as a kiss can seal the deal for them.

Once you and your French date share a kiss, you can forget about dating around with several other guys. This doesn’t necessarily mean that kisses are sacred or hold a substantial amount of weight in terms of romantic devotion to one another.

Instead, it functions as more of a gesture that you want to take things to the next level, toward a more serious, exclusive relationship between the two of you.

For example, in America, it’s somewhat normal to expect a peck on the lips or the cheek after the end of the first or second date. It’s not a big deal, and you might even end up on a date with another man the next evening. (Although, it can be a signal that you really like each other.)

However, planting a kiss on a French man after spending some time together will lead him to think that you’re no longer interested in anyone else.

This leads to another element that you should know about dating French men: There’s not really a “talk” about whether you two will be in an exclusive relationship or not. It just sort of… happens. Once you (or him) plants that first kiss, that’s what ushers in the transition from a casual dating relationship to a committed one.

Another thing to keep in mind is that French men are naturally very flirtatious. In your eyes (American or not), it may seem that they’re consciously trying to flatter other people right in front of you. In reality, it’s likely just their personality, and you shouldn’t take it to heart.

If you do get uncomfortable, communicate that directly. Don’t beat around the bush. Be honest about your feelings (while being sensitive to personality types and cultural norms). Your French boyfriend will surely appreciate that.

That’s pretty much as complicated as French men get when it comes to dating. Everything is self-explanatory, so you won’t be left guessing about where you stand with your lover. All you have to do is go with the flow (and be mindful about when you kiss your date for the first time!)

What are Some More Cultural Norms to Keep in Mind When Dating in France?

Whether you’re dating seriously or just starting to get to know someone you’re romantically interested in, there are a few cultural norms you’ll need to keep in mind to guide your behavior.

For instance, one major behavioral norm to be aware of is that you should never eat in bed. While breakfast in bed is a very thoughtful, romantic thing to do for your lover in the States, it is not acceptable in French culture. They don’t want the possibility of getting crumbs all over the bed, so please keep the food in the dining room.

French people, men, women, or anyone in-between, are also quite keen on keeping up with politics. So, you might want to brush up on current events if you want to engage in meaningful conversation with your romantic interest.

Otherwise, you might either come off as standoffish or disinterested when these conversations arise. (Or, you’ll just have to accept that political conversations will be a normal part of everyday life. For many Americans, this is a tough thing to do, given the nation’s widespread political disinterest.)

Men in France are also not as… ahem, messy, as Americans tend to be. While women in the States spend 8x more time tidying up each day than men (1 hour and 20 minutes compared to an average of 10 minutes for men), the average French man is far more proactive and attentive to maintaining the organized state of his home.

So, when it’s time to move in with your beau, you don’t have to worry about an uneven split in the house chores. It’s reasonable to expect your domestic responsibilities to be split quite evenly.

If you want to meet French guys, check out these French dating sites and apps.

Here Are Some Signs that a French Man Likes You

Just like in any culture, there are some clear signs that a French guy you’re interested in may like you and want to either date you or enter a committed relationship with you. A few of these are listed below:

  • He smiles at you a lot. In France, smiling at other people is typically a sign that you’re interested in someone and want to chat with them. It’s not a simple passing greeting as it is in the States. If you catch a French guy smiling at you at a bus stop or at the bar, it’s likely that he’s either going to approach you, or he wants you to talk to him.
  • He’ll call you… a lot. As stated earlier, French men are not afraid to show you just how much they’re interested in you. They’ll want to take every possible opportunity they can to spend time with you, including chatting on the phone and texting.
    • This leads to the point that there is no arbitrary waiting period after a date in which a French man will call you. For instance, imagine that you go out on a Friday night. If you get a call on Saturday morning, there’s no need to get the heebie-jeebies about his swiftness in communication. He’s not clingy or overbearing, he just likes you.
  • He’ll ask you out repeatedly. Again, your French beau will want to spend as much time with you as you allow, meaning he’ll take every chance to take you out on a date. Keep in mind that, even if you say no, he’ll likely keep asking until you agree.

Of course, there are far more signs that a French guy might like you. However, these are quite all-encompassing and can be true of any man in France, as they’re based on cultural norms instead of independent personalities.

When You’re Dating French Men, Relax and Go with the Flow

The most important thing to keep in mind when dating a French man is that you must allow yourself to relax and go with the flow.

Don’t get too caught up in planning complicated dates for the future, or trying to play according to made-up rules that most Americans and similar Westerners adhere to when they’re ready to get romantic.

Be honest, open-minded, and have fun!

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