Dating in america
Don’t get me wrong—it’s not that hooking up isn’t a thing in France, but in general, once we find ourselves seeing someone multiple times, we’re both giving it our best shot to be in a relationship with commitments and sacrifices from the beginning.
It’s within this quite conservative yet forever romantic vision of love that I moved to the US in 2017 at the age of 23, leaving behind my Camembert diet and safe place to pursue my own version of the American dream.
It’s amazing how the moment a man finds out I’m French, he becomes so eager to relay what he learned from that fateful 2001 song. After swiping left and right for about two months, I had my first date with Andre, a 27-year-old engineer who “has 22 country stamps on his passport.” I thought that my English would be the toughest part of the rendezvous, but I was wrong — that fell to agreeing on the spot at which to meet. I was unclear if this was normal for a first date in America, but in my gut, I knew it was purely an invitation to have sex.
To avoid an awkward situation, I simply told him that I wasn’t feeling it.
Once settled in my single room in Silicon Valley, I decided that I was ready to meet some American men.
To my own surprise, I downloaded Tinder, after getting the sense that this was how it’s done around here.
In France, if you do try out a dating website or app, it’s not something you brag about to friends or share with your relatives.
I quickly decided that I wouldn’t include pictures of myself pointing at the Eiffel Tower, no marinière and beret, only a faithful caption in my bio that said a lot about me—“Best French-accent imitator.” Not too revealing, and mysterious enough to hide any evidence of being French, which I had a feeling would be bait for some guys trying to tick a box.
For whatever reason, I went forward with the date with Andre. Once I got there, I started to feel really nervous, and when I’m nervous, my accent becomes even stronger.
I had to repeat what I was saying a couple of times, every time I spoke.
We began the morning with a visit to the Louvre before stopping for ice cream and continuing to wander the city for hours, talking without interruption.
Cliché, yes, but that’s how it goes a lot of the time in my home country — the country of passion and romance, where “La Vie en Rose” basically replaced the national anthem a few decades ago, and where pursuing love still means something to most people.
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And believe it or not, I’m more than my nationality. “You’re hot enough to melt fire and burn Satan,” some man wrote, leaving me genuinely confused. I’ve been exposed to the same type of gross comments in person in France when taking the subway or walking on the street, but they never popped up on my phone during the middle of day.