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 for.ballet-couple-paris-Favim.com-271532_original

Jean-Pierre

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!

Julien

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.

Silvain

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.

Florent

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.

Advertisements

Let’s Talk about Stereotypes! – Italian, French, German

Every time I am interested in a guy from a different country, I make sure to read some of the ‘truths’ of dating this specific culture. I type in something like ‘dating a Spanish guy’ and get a variety of articles about how the Spanish are romantic, passionate and should call you often. I must admit, it’s very entertaining, and there is definitely some sense to them.  I live for stereotypes, as I’ve been told countless times… but how true are they? Or is it just easier to make an assumption?

After all, how many ‘do you drink vodka and do gymnastics’ do I get just because I’m a Russian. The best is ‘But you are not BLONDE!?’

So let me break down what I believe are facts and myths of popular stereotypes.

The Italians

Stereotype 1: Italians are whores.

Fact: Obviously there are great guys that are looking for a serious relationship, but to be frank with you, many of them are just not that good looking or confident.  The majority of the good looking guys will never be faithful to you. Even when they’re fifty. Even when they can’t get it up any more. The important part of their southern culture is passion, which is a great thing. The bad part about it is this passion will need to be fueled up every so often, preferably by different women. If you notice a man holding his girlfriend’s hand and eyeing you, he is doing that mostly to feed his own ego and to feel he still ‘has it’ in him. And we wonder why Italian girls are so high maintenance! What would you do if your boyfriend couldn’t be faithful to you for one minute? In the words of Ariana who scored a beautiful ‘Dolce and Gabbana’ lookalike Alessandro “Once a bitch was looking at him. I say ‘Ey,you. Who you looking at, Puta?’ I have to be like that or someone else get him, you know?”

Stereotype 2: Italian men are in love with themselves

Fact: If you’ve ever been to an Italian beach and seen a man spray-tanning himself and orlebarbrownthen staring at his chest with a mix of awe and love, you will get what I’m talking about. What about the crazy bright colors that the men so enjoy? Pink polos? Green capris? A variety of scarves?Tiny white shorts? Styled hair (that literally waves in the breeze) and plucked eyebrows? In North America, all of the above mean only one thing: you are gay, my friend. (But just for the record, I love it)

Stereotype 3: Italian men are beautiful at seduction

Fact: One thing that I find Italians are wonderful at is getting you into bed effortlessly. How do they manage it? Well, for one, they understand that we girls are starved for attention, passion and spontaneity… especially if residing in countries where men are too scared to make a move and even if they do, it is more robotic than sexy .  On the contrary, Italian men ooze sex appeal, they know how to make you feel like you are the center of the universe, how to create romance and how to convince you that if you don’t have sex with them it will be your loss, not theirs. After all, you will miss out on the night you will never forget. Probably a week of tears as well, especially if you were convinced he really liked you.

simonThe French

Stereotype 1: The French are the best dressers

Myth/Fact: This one really depends. I have dated two French guys who had very little sense of style, but Parisians are a whole different matter. I recently went out with a Parisian who was dressed to the t: stylish jacket, collared shirt, impeccably smelling. As in any culture, it depends on the person, but when they have it, they really have it. Not only that, most French guys will appreciate a woman to be well put together. By that, I don’t mean short dresses that show off your crotch. They appreciate a woman who has an elegant style, good hygiene and classy perfume. Bonus to you if the perfume is French as well!

Stereotype 2: French look down their noses at everyone

Myth/Fact: I was sitting at my friend’s house when his Parisian roomate I just met, decided to share his opinion on people from Montreal. It went along the lines of “Zos people sink zey are French, but zey are NOT! Zey speek sheet language! It is not French! It is like saying Americaines are from England. It is simplee not true!” And this went on for a good half an hour. But again, Parisians are special. We all know that.

Stereotype 3: French men are worldly and well-rounded

Paris-wedding-France-romance-wedding-dress-arinab-photography-vintage-inspired-wedding-wedding-in-paris-3Fact: So so so true! One guy I was seeing could start the conversation with politics and end with history. He had an  opinion about everything and always thought hard about any question I asked him, then would come up with a well-detailed and thought out response. But beware ladies.. while it is all very charming and deep at first, it will soon turn into over analyzing and annoying. Such as: Isn’t this skirt a bit too short? Why are you wearing a bikini in your Facebook profile? You seem bored.. You do not like spending your Sunday watching a French theater about restorative justice? (All of the above from a real experience.. within the same day) So while at first this philosophizing is wonderful and is such a great contrast from North American guys, many of whom will quote “the Anchorman” as their source of information… this nagging, obsessing, and overly critical approach to life and to you will soon have you running up the walls or rushing at him with a knife.

 French are great lovers

Double Fact: YES!!!!!!!!!!! Not that I’ve been with the whole of the French population. But two of the best lovers I have ever been with were French so that has to say something. They put so much emphasis on your satisfaction and they will do anything to live up to their reputation. And yes, they are very sexual. Being naked is natural to them. Sex is natural and there is nothing that’s off limits. In the opinion of my past boyfriend – making love or faire l’amour is passion, craziness, wildness, softness, dominating.. while having sex is just ‘useless’. Also, having sex on the first or second date doesn’t label you a ‘slut’ or put a dead end to a relationship like we tend to believe in North America (and in fact, most of the world)

The Germans

Stereotype 1: They are pragmatic

Fact: Instead of providing you with my opinion, I will tell you a true story told to me by my German girlfriend. “On my first date, I was with my then boyfriend cutting up potatoes for the soup. Don’t even ask me why I was cutting up potatoes on the first date. Anyways, I was cutting them perpendicularly, when he stopped me and suggested I cut them the other way. After all that would save time and make them boil quicker, as a result, saving energy. So there you go, Mia, those are Germans for you in a nut-shell. First date: potatoes and saving energy.”

Stereotype 2: They are horrible in bed

Myth: Ok, not a lot of experience. But they are apparently rated number 1 worst in bed because they are ‘too smelly’. From what I’ve seen (or rather smelled), no, they are not. Not bad either. Probably a bit robotic and aggressive. Also they make some strange/interesting sounds…

Stereotype 3: They lack a sense of humor

Myth: No, they’re very funny. Just in a very dry, sarcastic and dark kind of way.  So when they make a joke, sometimes it’s not clear if it actually IS one. It’s like “ha..ha… Is he joking or should I be scared?” But, really, I love their sense of humor because it is so unexpected and because it is that dry. But that’s just me.

In conclusion, I definitely believe in stereotypes. I enjoy them. I laugh about them. I write about them, but I do think that while stereotypes are there for a reason they cannot ever be applied to the whole country. Also, this is a new generation of people which has been raised with internet, Facebook and Hollywood movies, so the whole world has become a bit Americanized.

coloStill, many men are aware of their cultural stereotypes and try to use it them to their full potential. After all, how many girls go to Paris just to be swept off their feet? And we are still asking why European men love tourists. Because they CAN easily sweep them off their feet using the cliched phrases (amour, bella.. lieben?), postcard locations (Eiffel tower, Colosseum.. the Berlin Wall?) and their ‘sexy’ accent (German? ya?) to finalize the deal.

PS. All these observations are generalizations. I am aware that there are faithful Italians, stupid French people and passionate Germans.. so do not take this too literally.

Real Life Stereotypes

  1. How you going, mate?

It’s one thing to call your guy friends mate. That means man, amigo, dude, tio in Aussie-speak. But calling a girl mate, especially when you are trying to hit it off with her is just weird.  This summer I met an Aussie guy who kept on calling me mate. Like “how you goin’ mate? Whatcha doin’ mate?” Do I look like your rugby playing friend? I kept on emphasizing. “I have boobs!”  but he didn’t seem to get the point. When he made a move on me, I figured OK, he should be smart enough to stop with the whole mate nonsense. Guess what? Even after we shared a  romantic kiss on the beach, he would still refer to me as mate. “You taste like saltwater, mate” he would quirp in that annoying Aussie voice of his. And the funniest thing? He thought that his obnoxiousness was somehow attractive to me. To his surprise, we never ‘hooked up’ and I ended up meeting a French guy who never in his right mind would call me something as asexual as mate.

2.   Going Dutch

I am assuming the term “going dutch” came from Holland. For those who don’t know, it is paying for your own share of food or drinks and personally the idea is repulsive to me. I would rather offer to pay for the guy than split my own side of the bill. In reality though, I am old-fashioned and truly believe the man needs to pay, at least for the first year or so. And after, just emotionally.

Last summer I met a Dutch guy who was great –  smart, funny and cute. I had a thing for him and he seemed to really like me. At least he was so nervous around me, I assumed he did.  He wanted to prove he was somewhat of a gentleman so he could ‘score’ so he asked me if I wanted a drink. I don’t think he thought I would say yes, but I did.   I could practically see the wheels turning in his head as he debated whether or not it would be worth it to get me a drink.  Would we have to pay two point five euros each? How would we make it work? It took him about forty minutes as we went from bar to bar, to finally find a cheaper place and scrape enough cash to treat me. When he did, he felt as proud as if he presented me with a bottle of Dom Perignon. He never did score, so maybe I should mail him a check for my part.

3.  I am from Roma!

Seriously, Italian men just love the fact that they are from Italy. So much so that they call all their cities by their Italian names. “I am from Firenze! I am from Milano! I am from Roma!” Possibly it’s because they cannot speak any English, but most probably it is because they have to play their role of the Italian stallion, the passionate seducer. Think about it – have you ever heard a French guy say he is from Pari? Or a Russian one that he is from Moskva? Italian men are so full of it, I can write a novel on it. The best is when they pause significantly before saying they are from… (insert drum) ITALY! The land of love and seduction. One guy actually presented me with this line after kissing me. “I am leaving for Roma (!!) in one hour. But if we go to the beach right now, I can be your man for this whole hour!” To which I replied “I cannot believe my luck! What did I do to deserve this?” to which he of course replied “What?”

4.  French – the greatest lovers?

Ok, so the first time I kissed a French guy was actually this New Years, so I wouldn’t say I have years of expertise here. However, he was one of the most amazing kisses I have ever experienced. Slow, sensual, made me feel crazy tingles. So, after this I thought “Wow, are all French men like this?” No, they are definitely not. But I gotta say, they are damn sensual and pay a lot of attention to you. The last French guy I was with was a terrible kisser. He was more like a pecker. I felt like I was kissing a relative. However, he was one of the best “lovers” I have ever had (though I’m surprised I even got there with all that pecking). Once again, sensuous and slow and made me feel like I was the center of the world. After which I never heard from him again.

5.  Begging Brazilians

Whoever said that the Brazilians are the best ‘in the sack’? I wouldn’t know, because I never got there. Reason why? They are so damn horny and so bad at hiding it that it can get pretty repulsive. A few years back I went out with a Brazilian guy I kind of liked. I loved our kiss on the first date. He seemed classy. By the second date, his hand was almost in my underwear. I told him no. But why? He asked. It is nice weather. I like you. This is nice. When that beautifully expressed proposal didn’t get the response he desired, he still tried over and over. Maybe I should have  been more firm, which I am bad at, but at one point he started saying ‘please!’ ‘come on!’ ‘ the sky is beautiful. You are.. pretty!’ And then he almost took his pants off. In the end, I never found out how amazing he was in the sack, but he would make a hell of a beggar.

6.  Lying Latinos

Oh the things that Latin guys will say to you to get you in bed! But a lot of us have a soft spot for Latin guys. They are supposed to be the romantics, the lovers, the passionate seducers. Great husbands though? A few weeks ago I went to a Latin Festival, where I ran into a Colombian guy who asked me for my number about a month prior to that, before I left for vacation. He recognized me and asked why I didn’t answer his calls. Distracted,  I kept on looking at the little girl on his arm. His sister, maybe? Then, a short Latin woman joined him with another little kid. My daughters, he mumbled before I smiled to the family and politely excused myself. But clearly I haven’t had my share of Latinos yet, as I met another guy at the same festival. He was cute, tall, Chilean and we had a great spark. He eagerly asked for my number, told me he wanted to see me that week and I was convinced he was very interested. Next day, I found him on Facebook. Not just him, but a woman who was kissing him on his profile picture. Wearing WHITE. And he had a separate album for his DAUGHTER. Yep, two lying Latinos in one day. How is that for a Monday?

 7.  Simple Brit Lads

I love generalizing, really, because obviously there are British guys that are definitely full of it, cocky, arrogant pricks. However, what I have noticed is that British boys have one great quality – they are simple and straight to the point. Many women are simply not attracted to the Brits because they lack that passion and fire that more Southern men tend to play on. However, though dry and seemingly less romantic, they are honest. At least the guys that I’ve met. They will not try to use cheesy lines or lame, overused names like ‘bella’ or ‘hermosa’ that are as a rule tried on every single girl. Or even man (bello). They will say it as it is, but in the end, when they tell you they love you, they will mean it more than the men who use a lot of flowery language to get you into bed.

I have had a little fling with one English lad and up until this day, he still writes to me and asks how I am doing. Meanwhile I have not received even one message from the passionate Latin and Italian men who threw a lot of words around. So, don’t underestimate the power of the Brits. They did make the history!

8.  Oh Canada!

Oh, Canadian boys. I will be very mean and say that I have not once met a Canadian boy I really wanted to date. Many are cute, many are smart and even funny, but for me personally, something is missing. While there are exceptions to any rule, most have no depth, no charm, no culture. I cannot begin to describe how many times I have cringed at their responses. “Cool”, “awesome”, “nice, nice”.. How can everything be cool or awesome? Seriously?

Please prove me otherwise. I have lived in Canada all of my adult life and have yet to find someone who isn’t arrogant, doesn’t have ADD (because he cannot make conversation), doesn’t say the most typical things in the world and has some class or charm. You know where to find me.

9.  A Wife for an Eastern European

Eastern European men are spoiled. At least the ones that reside in Eastern Europe. Russia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine are full, and I mean full of gorgeous, model-like, skinny, perfectly dressed and feminine women. And since there are more women than men, guess what? Men can expect anything and get it. The man looks for a woman who can cook, clean, and manage to stay beautiful.

This I experienced first-hand with my first serious Russian boyfriend, who used to complain I didn’t help him clean his floors. I would see him maybe twice a week and he would ask me why I never helped him clean. “Because this is your house?” I would reply. Had I been in Russia, I probably would have gone into the bathroom to start soaking the sheets in detergent.

I guess this is why so many men prefer Eastern European and Asian women. They turn around and BOOM, their socks are clean.

10.     Are Germans Cheap?

Yes. And yes. I have many, many stories about the generosity of Germans, but one of them is really quick and special! It isn’t about me, but a friend of mine who was going out with a German guy for four years. After they broke up, she received an envelope with a letter inside. “Hmm” she thought “Maybe he wrote me a romantic letter about his feelings or a note to say bye.” Instead what she found was a bill for every single thing he has ever bought for her. She would have to pay it all back. How is that for romantic?

* Just as a side note, these are all generalizations or notes from my own experience. If you believe that Canadians are super charming and classy or the Dutch are the most generous men in the World, feel free to share!