France Flag France

Country Overview

Business Culture

Clothing Size Guides


Cost of Living

Culture and Society


Driving and Autos

Economy and Trade


Educational Resources


Export Process

Food Culture and Drink



Health and Medical


Holidays and Festivals

Import Process


Kids' Stuff


Life Stages


Media Outlets

Money and Banking



National Symbols

Points of Interest

Quality of Life

Real Estate


Security Briefing

Social Indicators

Travel Essentials

Life Stages: Dating and Courtship

Accepted Practice

French culture openly accepts and expects dating. Young people generally start dating at the age of 15. Boys and girls meet each other at educational and social settings, at the workplace, at teen hangouts, and through online dating agencies. In mainstream French society, modern young people do not require parental approval for dating, nor do they require chaperones to accompany them on dates. Couples make their own decisions regarding marriage, although the ethnic Muslim community still sometimes arranges marriages.

Popular venues for dating include cafés, cinemas, parks, and dances. A typical date includes going to the movies followed by dinner or dancing. Generally, men bear the dating expenses, although women frequently contribute.

After dating for some time, many couples decide to live together before getting married. Some couples dispense with marriage altogether and continue to live together indefinitely.

Attributes French women desire in men include masculinity, education, and wealth, while for men, beauty remains the most desirable attribute in French women.

Open Culture

France proves a highly liberated country in terms of sexual relations; no cultural inhibitions regarding sex exist in society, except among the Muslim community, which remains very conservative despite interactions with modern French culture. No taboos affect dating in mainstream culture, but among the ethnic North African community, dating itself may be taboo.

French society views sexual activity among teenagers as normal and essential. However, it expects sexually active couples to behave responsibly, protecting themselves and their partners from sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. The primary healthcare system in France makes contraceptives available at moderate cost.

French people generally hold tolerant attitudes toward cross-cultural dating, although recent riots by North African youths have strained ethnic relations. Among socially conservative people, especially, cross-ethnic dating may encounter disapproval.