French Men: Generous Lovers or Plain Cheap?

If you browse the internet, I’m sure you will find many articles describing the beauty of being courted by a French man. First he will dine you at a five star restaurant, where the conversation will flow like sparkling champagne. He will look deeply into your eyes and insist on selecting the best wine on the list. After the bill is paid, by him of course, he will suddenly surprise you with a silk shawl that he bought for you because it matches your beautiful eyes. You will stroll through the misty boulevard and he will cover you with his jacket, in case you are cold. At the end of this perfect night, he will kiss you goodnight and insist on seeing you again. You will walk away feeling like you will never date another American, Australian or Englishman again.. because wow, Frenchmen really know how to romance a woman. And spend money on her.

If that’s how you picture dating a French man, you have watched way too many movies or maybe, just maybe you’ve been so lucky to meet a few quality men.

I, on the other hand, have not.

Read a few anecdotes from my personal experience and maybe you too will be careful not to get lost in the illusion of beautiful romance that the French are so well known


I really liked Jean-Pierre. He was cute, fun and an incredible kisser. We only saw each other at a New Year’s Party where we made out for some time, and he treated me to a few rum’n’cokes. Now we met in a bar for our first official date and after much thought I ordered a beer. I know it’s quite unladylike like to go for a beer, but it’s not like he asked me to get what I wanted nor did he look at the wine list. After an hour of talking, my beer slowly came to an end. So did his. “Did you want anything else?” asked an upbeat,slightly fake bar girl. I didn’t want to end the date yet, but he didn’t insist on me getting another one. “You could try the sample first” She suggested. I thought about it, waiting for him to urge me on. Instead he said “Maybe we could do some samples instead of ordering?” I laughed it off because I couldn’t admit he might actually be for real and ordered a beer. It was six bloody dollars after all. His face dropped. I swear I have never seen a shadow cross someone’s face like that. After that, the mood was gone. He seemed so distant, I really almost regretted getting another drink. When the bill came, he put down about 75 percent

Do French men like beer?

Do French men like beer?

of the bill, waiting for me to drop another five dollars. It was like a slap in the face.

He never asked me out again, but wrote me a message inviting me to his house for lunch. I am assuming that that would be a sandwich with kool-aid on his cheap bed, followed by some non-committal sex with no protection. After all, that costs money too!


We went out for a drink one spring day. He was a stereotypical French guy with curly brown hair, intense gaze, serious chain smoking and thought-provoking topics. This is where the stereotype stopped. He offered to get a jug of beer, instead of savoring a bottle of wine like a classy man would do, but I agreed. After our thought-provoking discussion and his chain-smoking, the bill came. He put down half. I put down half. That was the end of our romantic get together. Fin.


I met Silvain this year when I was on vacation. You would think I would have my fill of French men by this point as this whole damn year was filled with one after another, but no, I just had to go after another one. I noticed him in a club in Santorini and then somehow we ended up on another Greek Island together. He  was an engineer and a professional runner from Paris, cute in a skinny but toned and tall kind of way, all of the above made me die with glee and we proceeded to meet later in the evening.  We made out the whole night until the roosters started singing and then walked me to the taxi stand. “I will not let you go by yourself” he insisted as he held my arm and kissed me romantically in the middle of the now puke-and-passed-out teenager-filled street. The next day he invited me to meet again. I dressed up excitedly, thinking it was for dinner, but ended up joining him and his friend in a bar feeling very uncomfortable as they sat engrossed in the Euro finals on TV, realizing I was there every so often to mutter an apology. When I ordered a drink, he merely glanced my way and never offered to pay. And yet, stupidly I stayed, though I should have walked away.


Though I mentioned him a few times, I thought he would be a great last example! When Florent came to visit me he  brought me a book Le Petit Prince, so I could learn French. couerSweet, no?  Unfortunately, the book was used and had a message written to him from his friend.The next day we went out to eat in a cheap restaurant, and when the bill came which was maybe 30 dollars, he only put down half. And this was for a girl who hosted him in her apartment, cooked and put effort in making sure he had a good time. For me, it felt like a bit of a slap in the face. We managed a somewhat long distance relationship, but even though he stubbornly repeated over and over how he wanted to see me, at the mention of “I am really broke.. and don’t have sixty bucks to spare” told me I didn’t want to see him enough instead of offering me some money. When I did manage to scrape enough cash, I got greeted by a vegetable salad instead of a nice dinner out. Or any dinner out for that matter. Our dates seemed to center around the living room/bedroom area and no mention of restaurant was brought up again.

So ladies, before you start dreaming of a romantic gentleman with a French accent who will show you what romance is all about, tell him about how much you would love to get that amazing French perfume. And let’s see what he says.


46 thoughts on “French Men: Generous Lovers or Plain Cheap?

  1. yes u are right the french guys like save money everyone pay everyone bill and sometimes u need lend him money even u dont have money hhhahahahahaha

  2. Another story where a woman thinks she deserves to be treated like a princess when she really doesn’t. I suggest you watch Jenna Marble’s “Girls That Piss Me Off” video on YouTube because it pretty much sums up everything I would say. PS don’t bother telling me that I’ll never get a girl, cause I’m gay.

    • Hi Henry,

      I have never said I deserved to be treated like a princess, merely discussed my experiences with French men, which has of course changed since I last wrote this. I do appreciate honest feedback, but what I do not like is personal bashing for expressing opinion. I am sure you have been through some personal bashing of your own when you told people you were gay, so you can understand what it feels like.. Let’s respect each other.

  3. please remove offensive (and uncharacteristically ugly) pic of a so-called French guy..this pic is slanderous and by no means representative of French about I post a fat, redneck with snot leaking from his nose to represent an American guy?

    ps- seems you are just a materialistic freeloader and want guys to the modern world women are paid the same as wanted equality. Now you got it.

    • Hello,

      I appreciate any comment, but let’s not get personal and rude. I wrote the article in order to entertain and express my personal opinion which up to that point has been negative.

      I don’t appreciate being called names.. because if you are not interested in reading this you are more than free to move on. I am not here to please everyone.

      Even though men and women are paid the same, most men want to pay for the woman on the first date. (I have done research on this with men from 20+ countries) It is merely a courting ritual where the man shows he is romantic and can take care of the woman, no matter how independent it might be. I am sure you are familiar with it.. If not, do some research.

      Best of luck.

    • I can understand why you’re offended but you shouldn’t be. A frenchman that does not pay for your dinner or drink is not cheap and does not have to, that is not an accurate or fair portrayal in France. The dating culture in the U.S is very different from France. In fact there is no ‘dating culture’ in France. You are in a relationship or not, and that is determined by the first kiss. You have already kissed all of them, so technically were already in a relationship with each. They shouldn’t pay because you didn’t understand that ‘dating,’ that is something that exists in the U.S. He invited you over to his place? That’s normal when you’re already in a relationship. He invites you over to watch soccer with his friends? That’s normal when you’re already in a relationship. You’re not just seeing him anymore, he’s your ‘boyfriend’ so you shouldn’t be offended. A man not paying for a date in the U.S you can call him cheap because it is expected in your culture but in France if there is dinner or drinks the man and the women pay equally or their own share and that is okay.

      • Thanks Rahna. This is how important the understanding of the other person’s culture is when you are dating 😉

  4. While I was in New Zealand, I dated a French guy that was staying for about four months to learn English. I met him in a club and was just expecting a one-night stand. I didn’t sleep with him that time since I was with friends and I didn’t want to ditch them, but promised to meet up later.

    We did meet up and the next morning he paid for my lunch. Then he started treating me like a girlfriend; paid for every meal we had together (fine-dining often), showed me photos of his parents, introduced me to his friends from language school.

    He was really a gentlemen; very considerate to my needs and intelligent enough to hold engaging conversations with me with in English and French.

    In saying that, from just one experience of dating this French guy, I’m not going to instantly be doe-eyed towards every French man I meet.

    So I don’t think it’s wise to generalise about nationality and race…men and women alike come in all different types….cheap or generous, smart or stupid etc…

    • Hi Louise,

      I appreciate your comment and I agree with it. This was written as a sum of all the negative experiences I have had up to that point. I did meet a French guy recently (while working in Panama) who was very romantic and would not even allow me to pay.. so of course nothing can be generalized. This is mainly for entertainment purposes, and something to laugh at. I am still open to dating French guys and don’t expect that they will be a certain way just because of their nationality.
      Thanks for the honest feedback.

  5. It almost sounds like you can only feel loved if a man spend money on you.

    I’m Swedish and find that thought kinda disgusting. If they invite me someplace (especially if it’s espensive) I’d expect them to pay (at least more) but for other things, I don’t want them to pay me for spending time with them. I’m not a whore, I’m an independent human being.

    • Hi Jojo,

      Paying is a cultural custom. In Sweden, as in most Scandinavian countries, men never pay for the woman as the woman is independent. While in other countries such as Spain, most of Latin America, Russia (where I am from), Italy etc. men are seen as the ones who should court and therefore pay. It has nothing to do with being a whore. A whore is using someone to get free dinners, this is merely the way courting used to work. Everyone is entitled to their opinion so I appreciate yours.. but I am from a different culture and see things differently.

    • Hi Carrie,

      I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, so if you think I am spoiled.. that’s yours. I put this article down because I wanted to share my experience, which up to this point was a negative one. Though I did meet a guy who treated me differently and i still like dating French guys. I wrote it for entertainment purposes and it is not meant to be taken as more. Sorry for offending anyone.

      • it isn’t the point if he pays you or not, it is just that you seem to mention that with every phrase, with every boy. This repetitive pattern shows it is actually very meaningfull to you.
        Why didn’t you mention that they are very thoughtfull ? That they care about small things ? That they travel across their country with you ? That they will explain you why do they think like that or act like that ?
        This just shows how shallow are you….

      • Carrie,

        This article focuses on paying. I have other material that is written about other qualities, so you are welcome to skip over and read the part that interests you.

  6. yes I can so relate to this article, thanks for sharing. I dated a frenchie for 6 months and I loved him even though he was jobless and looking and I could deal with that it was the fact he expected me to pay for things that I hated, I mean seriously, when I’m broke I look for free or cheap things to do…not him! So my conclusion yes some frenchies are very cheap and this made me feel better over the situation, its not just me with the experience.

    • Stacey,

      Thank you for the comment. It is great to see that you can relate to it since i got quite a lot of angry comments about this article. I had a bad experience with the french guys i was dating and apparently it wasn’t just me!

  7. Hey Mia, thank you so much for writing this post. I’m happy you are putting down some realities about dating Frenchmen amidst a million online posts over-romanticizing the Frenchmen.

    I’ve had similar experiences with two French guys, we always AA, or he occasionally pays for the drinks. There was once when I paid for the dinner.

    According to my culture and how I was brought up, the guy always pays on a date– to make a girl feel special, or to show his masculine, protective side. Therefore, I was uncomfortable with this aspect of dating Frenchmen. I’ve discussed about this with the French guy I’m dating now.
    He said if a guy pays everything on the first date, it shows too much interest in the girl and he was uncomfortable with that.

    Well, whatever the reason, the bill is only a small part of the story. The big picture is I’m still head over toes in love with the French guy I’m dating. If a man is sincere about his feelings, the “paying” part would just be a minor carbon spot/ flaw in the diamond. Lol

    • Hi Lili,

      Thank you for the comments. I seemed to cause lots of negative reactions through this article.. but as we can see, it is not only me that has experienced this with French guys.
      It seems to be the number 1 nationality that is researched judging by how many people find this article. haha So I suppose they are still the top romantic nationality for girls.
      Just like you, I would still consider dating a Frenchie anytime;)
      What is your culture by the way?

  8. Dear Mia,

    This message comes from your friend 🙂 who definitely has to agree on this one with you. I think French men are very good on creating an illusion of romance that women fall for. My personal experience as I told you earlier was shocking when he was kind of upset and told me I never offer to buy him a drink after he only paid for two of my beers. That was highly disappointing. Specially when you come from a culture where men will never go down that road. Never! Sorry he did that to you as well when the amount of wine seem to be limited!… Well we live and we learn.

    Your newest fan

    Camila 🙂

  9. See this is the big problem with a lot of foreigners! You have some crazy expectation a man should pay for everything to be romantic. Clearly you have no clue what romance is… It is perfectly normal that a man only pays his part on the first date, not only is this by principle important since you are still a stranger, it is also a way of evaluating how much of a gold-digger you are. Clearly in these multiple cases these french men discovered your indelicate manners and hence lost all interest in you. In some countries a relationship, commitment or even marriage is a way for the woman to secure herself financially. This societal mentality has a great effect on the status of women in general and has no place in the french social environment. In France we have long abandoned the concept of women having a duty to stay at home and take care of the kids alone, a relationship is a consensus which requires contributions from both sides to live in love and harmony.

    I would strongly suggest all foreign women to revise your status and mentality. If you are looking for the man who will blindly pay everything you want then look elsewhere. And strongly reflect if this is real love to you.

    • Dear Jean,

      Thank you for your comment. I can see you are a French guy yourself so have a better idea about your culture than I ever will.. I can present you with my side of the argument by saying that paying on a date and using someone for money are two separate concepts.

      Just because a guy offers to pay for my drink or a meal doesn’t mean I will all of a sudden begin using him to buy me cars and diamonds. For me, as for many traditional women, paying on a date shows that a man is a gentleman, that he wants to put his best foot forward and that he can be more romantic than practical.

      On my part, I have always done other things for a man, be it cooking a meal, surprising him with a meal or getting him a drink at a bar. I don’t think it is or should be a one way street. I believe that each person in a couple should do nice things for one another. Otherwise we are just two independent individuals who sometimes share a meal or sex together..

      I can assure you I am an independent woman, but for me independence means still having nice things done for me. I think some traditional roles should be kept the same, don’t you?

  10. I just came back from a date whit a French guy. Handsome, smart and we had nice conversation. I’m not going to see him again. He is the cheapest person what I ever meet in my life!
    That’s how I found this blog cause I just still can’t believe and I wanted to see if this is common.

    • Hi Agnieszka,

      It’s really too bad since that one thing can crush your interest for someone. Based on your name,I will say you are Eastern European like me and for us, paying is a cultural custom. If a guy shows a cheap side of himself especially that early on, it’s a huge turn off.
      Read some responses here if you wanna hear other opinions about it! Thanks for sharing:)

      • Hi Mia!

        I’m from Poland but I live in US. I’m a single and hardworking person. I don’t need someone ll pay for me at all but ask for 6$ on kind off official date for a beer is a horrible low thing. I feel sorry cause I like him physically and I think he is very smart too I just totally don’t understand how you can count every cent. He offered me to spend time in his app tonight. Of course I refused I barely know him but yeah now I can imagine what he could Cook for me. He is not checking if I’m gold-digger he is just super cheap and if for French women works that way that’s great but not for me. I know he likes me too but I think I rather remain single. Your blog kind off made me feel better that was not just me having this experience. If next time a French guy ll ask me out I ll use your perfumes tip 🙂

  11. Going Dutch is so unromantic but I suppose if you’re starting out as friends I could understand it makes more sense. I wouldn’t expect a man to pay for an expensive dinner for me on a first date. But if he asked you out to see a turisty thing you might expect that he’d pay your share too. Especially when it was only $6 but nooo. Haha this was the Italian guy who told me he was trying to pick me up after meeting 3 times already as friends. He also told me to brin mg own lunch lol I wasn’t too impressed with that. But I figured we were still getting to know each other and hadn’t kissed on the líps or anything. But yeah maybe men see
    relationships as investments and won’t
    put any of their money in, untill they
    know you’re worth it/they want to have a serious relationship with you. I still think it’s nice if they but you a drink or a meal at least once. I would return the favour. I do believe in equality but the truth is women still don’t earn the same amout of money as men in the long run mainly because we are cursed as childbearers. But if a women earns more than the man then she should probably not expect the man to pay on the first date. I can understand if a man is poor, I wouldn’t expect him to pay. He could offer to cook me dinner at his place or do something else not involving money to show he’s interested. But yes it would be nice if occasionally, a man would spoil you abit if he can afford to buy you a drink or reasonable meal. Any reasonable
    woman would return the favour and know it’s a two way street. It takes two to tango. But if you know he’s rich and won’t even buy you a drink he’s probably a tightass haha

    • Thanks for the comments. I’m glad you have read so many stories!! Really makes me feel good to share this stuff (thought it’s quite embarassing!)

      Everyone really hates me for this article, but I am stating my views here and those are that a man should court the woman. If a guy can’t spend 6 dollars on you, how will he be that strong man that you want to lean on? For me that means those measly six dollars mean more than impressing me, showing me his generous side and wanting to be with me. I’m sure it’s the same for you!

      If a guy wants you, he should make it happen. I strongly believe that and we shouldn’t make exceptions because those will later on bite us in the ass!:)

      • Yes I think I stumbled across your blog and I really enjoyed reading it and read almost all of it in one night. You seem very popular with men, and you approach them too which I’d be too scared to do. Also because I mainly like foreign/European/Latin men so I found your experiences interesting. At least you’re more or less anonymous. I think a man should treat his woman here and there and she will do the same. We’re not looking for a sugar daddy.

      • Thanks H. I’d like to think I am popular with men.. Still it’s really hard to get someone you really like and who feels the same about you. I think it’s the case for a lot of people.

  12. Hi Mia!
    I stumbled upon your blog and found it hilarious! Ofc we know men are just men and women just women all across the world, but I think it’s important to know what’s considered normal and what isn’t in different parts of the world. As you see, a lot of people disagree with you on this one. But I think whoever think smo’s a gold-digger or shallow because he expects things that are to be expected in his culture of origin, is shallow himself. We’re just different, and neither view is wrong or right. Personally, I found this discussion insightful cause meeting foreigners can be pretty confusing and you might get the wrong impression just because you two come from different cultures. As Scandinavians for example consider guy paying their part of the bill offensive, a lot of women from my country would think a guy is not into them if he doesn’t (at least on the first date). And then guys from some countries might get equally offended if you offer to pay or split. So it’s important to know just who you’re dealing with. But then again, even knowing can be confusing. I remember this one time when my German… friend 🙂 refused to take fuel money only from me and I was so shocked and spent the whole trip thinking: Why did he took everyone else’s share and not mine? Could it be he likes me (too)? Haha. It was super confusing, knowing how the Germans are when it comes to money. 🙂

  13. Seriously what is wrong with all these haters. I personally believe a man pays for a woman when he asks her out. Men & women are not equal & nor are they paid the same. Every time I have been involved with a cheap skate they were not generous in any other way either. I’d prefer to be with a man who can behave like a gentleman including taking care of the bill. I appreciate you sharing your cultural observations.

  14. Hi Mia (and others that have left comments):

    I only read through a few of the earlier comments (not all) so this might have already been mentioned but just wanted to put my thought on this out there and get some feedbacks on it.

    To me, whether the guy should pay or whether the bill should be split depends on the monetary value of the bill. It’s not attractive if the girl expects the guy to pay all the time (given we girls are out in the workplace unlike the olden days) but it’s equally not attractive when the guy refuse to pay all the time, especially when the bill is small. What is consider as “small” is open for debate but to me, if my share is USD10, i believe it is considered “small value” in any culture..?

    • I agree with you. I always offer to pay but I would appreciate it if a man takes charge and doesn’t accept. If he asked me out, then it’s only courteous. But I think if he asked me out to an expensive restaurant on the first date, then it’s also on him. And that never happens by the way so no experience there;)

      Further on, it matters way less and that shouldn’t be the focus of the relationship. I have to say though, my brother has been with his girlfriend for over a year now and he STILL pays for everything. She is Russian though:) (And I feel bad for the guy)

  15. Hey girl,

    Well first of all – your beginning sounds like a dream come true. A handsome, witty guy, with a motorcycle in Paris. Isn’t that every girl’s dream? I’m sure at least 70 percent of the female population is jealous of you.

    The situation seems very strange to me. But I wanted to confirm something. You mention he is generous, yet at the end say you feel he uses you to pay for things. Do you pay for him, or he for you or split the bill normally?

    If he generally pays or at least makes an effort to, then the credit card situation has no correlation with him being cheap, but it does mean he has some economical problems. The fact is that no matter what, if he has offered to plan this trip for both of you, he should be the one responsible for it. Even if he has problems with his credit, he should tell you he will give you cash right away, so you don’t spend loads of money.

    It’s all really odd, since he seems like a great guy and apart from this, unless you didn’t mention it, everything seems perfect. Let me know these little details and maybe I can help you out a bit. For now, don’t cause arguments but do not pay for anything. Tell him you simply haven’t got the money on your card and don’t want to be held responsible for the entire trip since he suggested it in the first place.

    Let me know what happens!
    Hugs from Canada.

    • Hi Mia, First of all, thanks so much for taking time to respond to my reply, however, could you please delete my post? I realised that I wrote this post as I’ve logged in with an account which has my name on it. Please take down my reply post all together to protect my identity and my privacy… I apologise for any inconvenience caused.
      Thank you in advance.

  16. I’ve been dating a French guy for six months. It was romantic and sweet in the beginning but suddenly he is obsessed with money or not having it. So there is much truth in your stories. Now for the detractors – let me preface that I left my job in NY to be with him in Paris for three months while still paying all my bills (including my apartment I just purchased) so I could see if I could make a long distance relationship work. And despite the $1000 watch I got him for Valentines day, expensive dinners, the 100euro bottle of champagne I bought when he took me on a romantic day and night in Champagne and the assorted gifts I buy for him when I just feel like it, always having the fridge stocked with food from Grand Epicerie (more expensive than Whole Foods); he complains. He gets angry when we talk about vacations in the past we have gone on and even friends I have more money and make more money. The more that time passes, the more he compares what he spent money on and what I spent money on. This is a long distance relationship so i have paid for my flights and have been hemorrhaging money. Now I am sure not every French guy is cheap…and I know that it’s a struggle to live in Paris making the crappy salaries while cost of living is tough; but if many women have similar experiences…maybe it’s a cultural thing that the men do anything to make the girl think he’s everything he’s not!

  17. I dated a handsome, tall, macho, classy looking French. It turned out he was cheap. He was also a liar and a cheater. I found this out when a jealous Asian woman called me.

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