They are cultured and elegant, but they are nonchalant about their culture and their elegance. That casualness, that carelessness, is to me a very Parisian quality. That same nonchalance must apply to seduction as well. But romanticism is a fantasy that has no place in real life. People read Proust, or Marivaux, and assume Paris is the most romantic city in the world. If you are neither faux-ugly nor faux-romantic, don't bother. When out and about with a child in the States, I feel more or less invisible as a woman—I feel like people see me as a mother first and foremost. That harried-mother-in-sweatpants image doesn’t exist in France as a cultural phenomenon; it’s expected that you’ll carry on being more or less who you were before you had a baby, and women aren’t considered selfish or vain for continuing to take the same amount of care over their appearance as they did before they had a baby.
The term ‘dating’ you use in the USA makes me feel that the whole thing is much more ritualized and structured there rather than fluid and natural.”So, where does that leave us?
Perhaps the question isn’t whether a more fluid approach is but rather what we can learn from it.
“Or they give it time to evolve rather than wanting to know the precise status of the relationship at any given point.”Another phrase that gets lost in translation is “date night.” As Maxime explains, “Date night feels extremely foreign and worrisome to me.
A lot of what I imagine would go under ‘romance’ would go under ‘life’ for me.” Noémie agrees that it seems very strange to put romance in a box and ascribe it a specific time, saying, “There is no such thing as date night in France.
”As a busy married woman with a 2-year-old, I understand the value of scheduling in quality time.
If you don’t actively make time to spend time with your significant other and protect that time as sacred, there’s a serious danger that it just won’t happen at all.
The same could be said for unmarried women, whose work or busy schedule makes a healthy meal feel like a luxury. When we feel happy and confident, our romantic relationships are happier, too.
For me, the woman who best embodies this duality is Isabelle Adjani.
She now takes her own shower, gets dressed, puts on makeup, becomes beautiful for her own pleasure, that of her husband and of others.