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While some American women might find this annoying, the women I spoke to felt it glorious to be able to just respond with a ‘merci’ and move on with their day wearing a smile.

To Carol, who dated a French man for years, it seems a given in French culture that men and women are different and that those differences are to be celebrated—not ignored.

To Mary Alice, this gender difference was especially apparent when it came to whose role it was to pursue.

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It was an invading Roman army that first brought Roman roads, Roman towns and Roman pubs known as These taverns or alehouses not only survived but continued to adapt to an ever changing clientele, through invading Angles, Saxons, Jutes and both Danish and Scandinavian Vikings.

Around 970 AD one Anglo-Saxon king, Edgar, even attempted to limit the number of alehouses in any one village.

I had to ask my boyfriend if he was my boyfriend.” His response: "Haven't I been for awhile?

"“I love that in France a man thinks nothing of complimenting a woman that he doesn't know; he compliments her on her smile or her hair or whatever—and it doesn't mean anything more than, ‘I appreciate you,’” shares Carol.

Tamara shares her perspective: “It feels awkward to gaze deeply into a stranger’s eyes.

And I’ve actually had to say things like, ‘I don’t know you yet, so I’d prefer not to hold hands.’”Different than in the United States—where there’s often a moment when you define the relationship (DTR) as a couple—the French believe that there's a mutual understanding after a kiss or successful date. Abinet experienced this after a three-week vacation to France to see family friends. “I ended up on a first date with the first man I’ve ever loved.” He considered her to be his girlfriend and formed a sense of commitment immediately after that first date went well.In other words, the French like to fill their dates with character and content.“It's pretty appealing to watch a French man study a wine menu like most American men read the sports page,” admits Tamara. Before finding love in France, Abinet felt lucky if a guy stuck to a plan for a date.OK, it went “Couples just don't have ‘the talk’ in France,” Eileen adds.“It's just assumed that you're together, an official couple.I've been on first dates in France that I couldn't drag even long-term boyfriends to in the U.

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