We are “a thing”. You mean dating?

Alright so what’s dating like? There are still the players, the sweet guys, the funny guys, the athletes and other different types of guys but the differences lie in how the dating actually occurs. This article comes in the form of a story. I have only almost dated one person here so far and it was very confusing to say the least.

The guy was a boy in my class. I thought he was cute and it was kind of obvious that he thought the same about me. So we started talking at nights out with friends and we realized we had a bunch in common. For example, we are both nerds when it comes to tech and making videos. Which, if you don’t know me are some of my greatest interests. Anyways, the flirting went on for about a week until a Monday night at an apartment party when things got slightly more serious. At that point we both knew we were into each other so we started doing couple-ish things. I sat next to him and there was hand holding and cuddling. That’s not to say that we were in a relationship though. In America this is something that we would call “a thing”. If you have “a thing” with someone you are clearly talking with that person as more than friends but you have not quite reached the point of being in a relationship. It’s that awkward time in-between. But that Monday night when he told me where he was from, I mentioned that I had been there before and I was hoping to go back sometime. That’s when he said that I should come home with him one weekend and stay with him and his family. That made me realize that maybe he thought we were something more than we were. It felt like after a week of talking and some snuggling he wanted me to meet his family. That was a red flag for me. We ended up hanging out and flying his drone out on the beach because once again, we’re both nerds. Then he made me dinner and I stayed over at his house because it was late and I didn’t want to walk home late at night. Sure, there was some kissing but barely anything more. Trust me. It was fun talking with him and he’s super nice but personally I was still getting weird vibes like he thought we were dating after a couple days of hanging out… Well, those weird vibes were confirmed  at school when a group of girls came up to me and asked how it was going dating him. I told them plain and simple that I wasn’t dating him because in my eyes, we weren’t dating.

That’s when I realized that I was an idiot. I didn’t even think about the culture differences with dating in France. I realized that I was doing how I would in the U.S. I assumed we were sort of “a thing”, an open relationship if you will and that if the opportunity came along I could still talk with other guys and such. But no. The assumption was that we were exclusively dating after only 4 days. So once again, I got freaked out and I cut things off. I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship yet. I had only been in France for one month and I just started college, I didn’t want to just hop into a relationship. Also, I found that this boy and I had too much in common. I felt like I was in competition with him which made me think of an ex-boyfriend who used to be better than me at everything and rub it in my face. Not the best memories. Later, I explained to him that the main reason I ended things was because things were going too fast. Especially him inviting me to meet and stay with his family for a weekend. He explained that he didn’t mean for it to sound like that and he was sorry if he had freaked me out. It still didn’t work out though. We weren’t meant to be. Him and I are friendly now which I’m thankful for. And maybe this isn’t how it is with every boy here but now at least I know that I have to pay attention to the dating cultural differences when starting a relationship. 

One other little thing I learned (not from personal experience), if you go around hooking up with many different people you will most likely be called a hoe behind your back. I’m not saying that this is the same in all of France but my school is small and news travels fast. You surely don’t want to have a reputation as a hoe so you have to be careful who you “pecho” (hook up) with. That is the opposite of what I experienced going to a frat party in the U.S. There 3 main reasons to go to a frat party; get drunk, party hard and get laid. Excuse me if I’m wrong but if you go to a party in the U.S. and you hook up with one or more people (even if your a girl) you’ll get high fives. There is a way different vibe here about all of that. But I’ll explain more about the partying in another article. 

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