Dating is an adventure most everyone has embarked upon. You will meet new people and have the opportunity to try new things. In 2017, I met a charming Frenchman, but we didn’t start dating until 2020. I didn’t know what to expect because he was the first Frenchman with whom I had developed a close relationship. I’ve devoured YouTube videos and read a few articles on the subject, but you’ll never know what it’s like unless you go through it yourself and get to know them.
Here are 15 qualities of French men to be aware of, especially if you are dating one (or going to date one).
*** NOTE: This is based on my observations, interactions, and experience with French men. I have no intention of offending or hurting anyone.
15 Qualities of French Men You Should Be Aware Of (Especially If You’re Dating One)
Qualities of French Men #1: He is blunt.
He doesn’t hold back when it comes to speaking his mind. While some may think it’s rude, the French see it as diplomatic, helpful, and polite rather than malicious.
A French guy, for example, will not hesitate to say that the colors don’t match and that the painting looks nothing like the reference material when asked what he thinks of someone’s painting. Others would never dare to say such a thing, let alone in front of the artist’s face. They’re afraid it’ll be discouraging, even offensive-but the French would disagree.
When he’ll offer honest criticism, no matter how harsh, it comes from a place of care. They need to hear the truth in order to improve.
POLLY SAYS: I think it is important to understand that, while it may not be your preferred way of communication, they may have the best of intentions and simply want to ensure that you know how they feel. If his blunt words make you uncomfortable, you need to address your discomfort. You may also have to explain why his delivery was so hurtful: Was it the words he used? What was the tone of his voice? Compromise is needed for any form of relationship to last, whether it be romantic or friendship.
Qualities of French Men #2: He is cultured and likes a good debate.
He’s well-read and probably knows a thing or two about any topic you’d imagine. He’ll always have an opinion on everything and will try to correct you if he feels it’s necessary, which can be annoying. He enjoys being proven wrong and may challenge you to a debate. In fact, everything may be a topic for debate and discussion, and he enjoys challenging the speaker. His arguments are based mostly on facts and scientific knowledge, and he may even provide you with references.
POLLY SAYS: If you have something to say, say it. The French like a good debate, and they will welcome alternative viewpoints as long as you are willing to listen to and consider theirs as equally valid. My French boyfriend enjoys a good debate with me; we disagree on a lot of things (he’s on the right, I’m on the left), but we usually end up seeing the validity of an alternative point of view, even if we don’t really agree with it.
Qualities of French Men #3: He is family-oriented.
Family is very important to the French, and they place great importance on these tight bonds. The relationships between members of French families remain strong even after their children have grown up. Adult sons and daughters generally stay close to the family home. It is also common for them to dine with their parents weekly and to phone them on a daily basis.
Another factor that ties French families together is solidarity. They do not abandon a member of the family who is in need simply because they do not share the same opinions or disagree on some issues. There is a lot of mutual help in French families.
POLLY SAYS: He might introduce you to his parents a few months into the relationship, and it’s okay to say no if you aren’t ready. Explain what’s bothering you and, once again, make a compromise.
Qualities of French Men #4: He prefers his woman to be feminine.
Women who are authentic and feminine are appreciated by French men. Being true to yourself and not trying to behave how a guy wants you to allows a man to respect you for who you are. Men don’t need women to look like them to be valued; they just want women to look like women. This isn’t to say that you can’t be intelligent, hardworking, outgoing, or even participate in sports. It simply means that, in the eyes of men, you should be a woman.
POLLY SAYS: I’d describe my fashion sense as boyish because I usually wear oversize shirts, ripped jeans or shorts, a pair of snickers and sometimes a baseball cap. I will not be seen wearing a skirt or dress unless there is a special occasion. Despite the fact that my hair only reaches my shoulders (and has been dyed pink, purple, blue, green, and orange throughout 2021), I always keep it in place, apply a modest bit of make-up, and keep my nails tidy. In Japan, my outfits could be more acceptable than in France.
He overheard me cussing a couple of times and called me out on it because it’s vulgar and unladylike.
Yes, he has a preference, but it doesn’t mean you have to follow it. You are who you are, and you are free to dress as you choose.
Qualities of French Men #5: He isn’t that fashion-conscious.
Not all French men are fashion-conscious, but they do make an effort to dress smartly when attending parties or family gatherings. My French boyfriend works as a lecturer at a university, and while he sometimes wears less formal attire, he always keeps himself clean and presentable. He may have brand and style preferences, and he may be interested in watches or accessories, but some of them aren’t obsessed with keeping up with the latest trends.
Qualities of French Men #6: He may seem aloof but is very affectionate.
They have a deadpan expression on their faces because they don’t smile a lot. It’s mostly because the French are not used to showing off their feelings or talking to strangers, which gives the wrong idea that they’re rude, but some people think it’s just something they’re used to.
When you’re in a relationship with one, I believe you will find that a French guy will not flatter you, which means that if he says he finds you beautiful, funny, and smart, he is correct, although he may not repeat it as often as other men, at least at the beginning of your relationship. He would expect the same.
Now that I think about it, I assume the French are more confident in themselves than other cultures, or at least more comfortable with themselves. This most likely results in a level of intensity that, while selected, is quite genuine.
POLLY SAYS: Once you get past his hard shell and grumpy-old-man face, you’ll see he is a big softie. You’re further blown away by his ability to communicate in a way that surely rivals Ph.Ds in the field. He’ll have a gazillion terms of endearment for you. If you’re lucky, he might reveal a little more about himself that neither his best friend nor his family knows about.
Qualities of French Men # 7: He likes a variety of alcoholic beverages, not just wine.
One of the most common misconceptions is that the French only drink wine. From being with a French man for two years, I can attest that they also enjoy other drinks, from beers to cocktails. On weekends, we’d bond over beer and Netflix. He’d drink his La Cagole, Heineken, or other craft beers he’d ordered in Provence, while I’d have my Stella Artois.
Qualities of French Men #8: He enjoys sports.
Contrary to popular belief, sports are common among the French. They enjoy football (soccer) and look forward to each game in which their team plays. My Frenchman spent some years working in the United States and has learned to like NBA games as well. We also bond over basketball, since he is a Lakers fan and I am a Spurs supporter. He also enjoys watching the NFL.
Qualities of French Men #9: He is
flirty charming. By default.
Even if you enjoy being the center of his attention and flattery, you will be horrified if he begins flirting with some random woman while you are by his side. Again, this does not mean that he no longer likes you, but rather that he wants to exercise his confidence and his charm.
It is a myth that all French men are cheaters. If he has friends of the opposite gender, don’t expect him to stop being friends with them. A friendship is a friendship, no matter the sex of the other person. He may have friendly relationships with ex-girlfriends, but this does not mean that he is still romantically interested in them.
On the flip side, while they won’t see any issues with flirting with other women, they’ll be shocked if you do the same with other men. Even if you don’t mean anything serious and are simply having fun, don’t push your luck or they will be jealous.
POLLY SAYS: Don’t be possessive. Possessiveness is a result of distrust, insecurities, and control issues, and it is neither healthy nor desirable in any form. I know it sounds corny, but just be yourself and be honest with him; tell him what makes you uncomfortable and establish some boundaries.
Qualities of French Men #10: He has sense of humor.
When you understand his sense of humor, he can be quite funny. They enjoy ironic, satirical, and witty humor. Funny stories about real-life situations, as well as self-deprecating humor, are appreciated. A well-placed punchline or even an insightful insult can get you more points during a dinner party. For the French, being witty is considered a sign of intelligence.
POLLY SAYS: IF you are in a relationship with a Frenchman, throw in a bit of sexually-charged banter and slightly inappropriate jokes. You might be surprised at how fast they will respond on their own.
Qualities of French Men #11: He’s not easily impressed.
The French value quality above all else which is evident by their choices in food, fashion, music, art, and lifestyle. Perfectionism is strongly encouraged not just in French education but even at home. At the very young age they are are trained to be well mannered, self-disciplined and taught to observe proper etiquette.
When they come across something really nice, they will say it’s “not bad” (pas mal), but they will never say “it’s perfect” or even “is very good.”
POLLY SAYS: According to my Frenchman, nobody in France will take you seriously if you are always content with what you have or get (as it shows that you are not selective, not exigent, and perhaps mediocre).
Qualities of French Men #12: Complaining is his second language.
They strive to live comfortably and when their expectations aren’t met, they become irritated, and their outbursts of displeasure over seemingly normal situations might appear irrational. They complain as long as they believe something isn’t perfect, and since nothing is perfect, they complain a lot.
POLLY SAYS: Personally, I’d call him out whenever he starts moaning or grumbling. It turns out that he does this often without even realizing it. Also in some cases, it’s how they initiate conversations.
Qualities of French Men #13: He’s interested in learning about your culture.
Most French people are open-minded about other cultures and have a thirst for knowledge. They pay great attention to even the tiniest details. They’ll ask about history, food, customs, and tradition, as well as facts about a certain place or landmark. Being in Europe provided them with the opportunity to travel to other countries often.
POLLY SAYS: I have a particular fondness in a certain fast-food restaurant in the Philippines, and while he was in the United States, he surprised me by visiting an outlet of that restaurant in Los Angeles. He also ordered the same meals as me, saying that he wanted to “immerse oneself in the culture.” He’s also interested in learning my mother tongue, so I’ve begun teaching him the basics.
Qualities of French Men # 14: He feels lucky to be French.
France is blessed with a moderate climate, breathtaking and varied landscapes despite its small size, a nice mix of Frank organization and Mediterranean “joie de vivre” (joy of living), a beautiful language, and a long list of contributions to world politics, culture, arts, engineering, and sports. And he might even try to “Frenchify” you.
POLLY SAYS: They do not feel proud of being French as it’s not something that they have accomplished. However, they consider themselves extremely fortunate to have been born in France and have learnt that it is their responsibility to do their best to uphold and propagate French values and ideas.
Qualities of French Men # 15: He is decisive.
When pursuing a potential girlfriend, the French won’t be subtle in their actions and will definitely let their intentions known. This is true not just in French but for men in general. Guys typically chase hard after the things they want. When a guy is really interested in you, you will know it. They don’t pussyfoot about; instead, they go for the kill. He will make time for you and communicate with you on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, you’ll also know if he’s just fooling around. They may wine and dine you, but the chances of them truly getting to know you are little to none. They might even ghost you after you hook up.
POLLY SAYS: I remember him telling me that coyness and being hard to get don’t work for him. That he’d much rather meet and be with someone strong-willed and self-assured, someone who sees and knows what she wants and acts on it. They no longer play these silly games because they are now adults. For them, pride and self-respect are important. They don’t want to look desperate or pathetic in front of the woman or anybody else.