My first reaction was to laugh at him because it seemed so absurd that someone (let alone a cashier my age with whom I had only spoken three words) was asking me on a date.You will never, in France, find a guy you don’t know show any romantic interest in you if you have not been introduced by a mutual friend.These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.While I usually don’t subscribe to most stereotypes, there are always a few that are true enough to merit their labels. Playful—but always polite—conversations can be had between friends, between strangers, and even between married men and women with people who aren’t their significant other (gasp! In other cultures this may raise a few eyebrows, and tempers, but in France it’s just a conversation, there’s no strings attached. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the most concise way I can think to put it.While in the US and the UK “dating” is seen as a series of meetings that adheres to certain rules and protocols—waiting the proper amount of time before calling someone, arranging a date, wait appropriate number of dates before initiating appropriate amount of intimacy—before the time comes to have the boyfriend/girlfriend talk, the French tend to have a more laid back attitude.
Their dates aren’t always one-on-one; expect a good amount of those calls I mentioned (especially at first) to include the company of some friends. In the UK and US it’s not uncommon to date a couple of people at the same time and get to know them before you decide if you want to pursue a serious relationship with one of them and get rid of the rest. During this “get to know you” period, you may kiss one or more of your suitors just to test the waters or move things past the “just friends” label.
In Japan, Valentine’s Day chocolate gifts are purchased by girls and given to the boys. Copy the Romani and take matters into your own hands: kidnap your crush.
For centuries, it was the tradition in Roma communities that if you manage to forcefully kidnap a girl and detain her for three days, she automatically becomes your wife.
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries.
From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine.