Bonus Material: Ten Things French Women Know

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Debra Ollivier


1. French women love men. A lot. They prefer men to be in the picture, not out of it.

2. French women prefer reciprocity and complement over strict egalitarianism.

3. French women don’t need things to fit neatly into a box. Romantic possibilities don’t have to be emotionally tidy or safe. Desire can be of greater import than utility; experience is more important than closure.

4. French women have a keen sense of the brevity of time and the immediacy of pleasure.

5. In France, women do not pick flowers and ponder love with “He loves me, he loves me not.” Rather they say “He loves me a little. A lot. Passionately. Madly. Not at all . . .” They think in nuances, degrees of passion, shades of gray. They do not think in the absolutes of total love and utter rejection.

6. French women don’t care about liking and being liked by everyone else. They have no desire to be “all things to all people.” They know the fine art of not giving a damn.

7. French women do not believe in relationship experts, love gurus, how-to dogma, tools and techniques for finding love. They are not fond of rules. There is no Doctor Phil in France.

8. French women embrace contradictions. They can simultaneously be feminine and a feminist; sensualist and a traditionalist; classic and libertine; submissive and powerful; compliant and defiant.

9. French women have no word for “date.”

10. French women have no word for “soul mate.”

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About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.