As you know, I am a huge fan of learning about and experiencing other cultures through the process of dating. Dating a man from another country, culture, religion is endlessly fascinating to me. And sexy! Well, last week I had my very first date with a French man. A 6’5” thin, gorgeous, unbelievably chic French man who runs an international hedge fund and has lived in Chicago for just a year. As he arrived, I managed to do the perfect “kiss kiss” with him on both cheeks, in the right order. I was extremely proud of myself for getting that bit right. We enjoyed a glass of wine and discussed art, music, food, culture – it was exactly the tone and subjects I expected. He did have a certain “je na sais quoi” that made him fascinating and mysterious. I liked him.
I think I have been long fascinated with French culture. I used to work for a French company who paid for me to take French language classes and I loved every second of that process. Such a beautiful and romantic language. I have been to Paris a few times and have another trip planned at the end of December. I have long admired the simplistic and chic style of French women and their ability to look amazing with only a few items in their closets. And the mindset of “French Women Don’t Get Fat” of enjoying everything pleasurable (but in moderation in the case of food and drink) is just so completely sensible and desirable to me as a quintessential Midwestern American woman who was raised in the house of non-fat, tasteless/processed everything and margarine!
So this week when I saw an article via The Zoe Report, How to Date Like a French Girl, I was most intrigued. I have read plenty about how to eat like a French woman and dress like a French woman but their philosophy on dating, I hadn’t explored. One of the how-to points is as follows: “…French women don’t care if you don’t like them, whether you’re a girlfriend or you’re a guy they’re going on a ‘date’ with. That’s a really sad thing about American culture. It’s not until women get to be like 40 or 50 where they’re like, ‘I don’t give a damn,’ and then they’re really free to be eccentric and totally authentic and do what they want. French women just grow up that way.”
That IS a really sad thing about American culture. And one of my themes as a 40-something woman – I don’t give a sh*t. I do believe in being authentically myself. I am who I am, but unfortunately it did take a lot of years to get to this mindset. I’m American. I grew up a different way, but the point is that I am there now! And it’s a brilliant way to live. You be you. When my date with the lovely French man was over, we walked outside for him to smoke a cigarette and as we said goodbye, I reverted to my American ways… giving him a strong kiss on the cheek, wrong side and all. And I don’t give a damn.
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