French dating has entered the Internet age. Just like in the U.S., French adults are looking for love online. As of 2007, the European online dating industry is only about half the size of the U.S. internet dating business, but it's growing.
Doing a Meetic
One of the most popular French dating sites is a place called Meetic.com. Like Match.com in the U.S., Meetic has become a familiar word among French singles. "Doing a Meetic" means meeting someone for a first date after meeting online.
Meetic is based in France. It attracts mainly European users, with a few people from other countries who have discovered the site. It's popular with young adults, but there are people of all ages online. Photos are the same mix of homely snapshots, professional portraits, and sexy poses you'll find on any dating site. French singles don't seem to be any hotter or more stylish than singles anywhere else!
If you want to use Meetic for French dating, you'll need to know your French geography. Meetic lets you search within all of France or specify particular regions and cities, but there's no map to show you where the cities are. If you're looking for singles in Paris, the region you want is Ile-de-France.
Personalities and Priorities
In the U.S., we think of France as a romantic place where true love blooms. We also expect French people to be open about sex, and maybe even about extramarital affairs. After all, nobody bats an eyelash when the French President turns out to have a mistress!
Meetic has a touch of this "French" attitude. When you join, the site asks if you're married but gives you the option of saying "I'll keep that to myself." Still, don't think that everyone in France shares the attitude that sex outside of marriage is OK. Actually, many French people take dating and marriage very seriously.
Meetic has a few features that U.S. sites don't usually have. A fun one is the "Photo Zap." Click the Photo Zap button and the site brings up a screen full of thumbnail sized photos. No screen names, no profile information, just photos. If one strikes your fancy, just click to get the member's details. The Meetshake page shows a list of members who fit your search profile. It also shows a list of people whose search profiles match you. You can use it to see if the sort of people you're looking for are looking for someone like you.
Gay and Lesbian French Dating Sites
Some French sites are set up especially for gay or lesbian daters.
- StaffGay has online chat and video.
What's Different About French Dating
Every relationship is unique. What's most important is the two individuals involved, not the "rules" of French dating or dating anyplace else. However, international dating does require understanding a new culture. If you're not French and you're looking to meet French singles, here's some information that might be helpful.
- French people flirt. French men tend to appreciate pretty women, and they're not afraid to say so. French women can be flirty and coy, as well. A compliment or a smile from a French man might mean he wants to date you, but it might also mean he just admires how nice you look today.
- French men notice fashion. In the U.S., that can sometimes be a signal that he's gay. In France, it's merely a sign of sophistication.
- French relationships start fast. In the U.S., people may date for weeks or even months before they decide whether to be in a relationship. In France, it's not uncommon for a relationship to be "official" after the first kiss. Be careful about getting emotionally involved too early, though. French relationships can end just as quickly as they start.