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“Of course,” he said, “it begins at the beginning.” And so we began at the beginning.

On weekends, he went to his family’s house in the countryside two hours outside of Paris, where he participated in stag hunts on horseback, led onward into the hunt by buglers.He sent me pictures from dinner with his longtime friends, three men his age smiling in front of a camera over plates of raclette.The whole idea of dating, and the difference between how American women 'date' and how French women 'date,' well, there is no word in the French vocabulary for 'date.'" (Editor's note: This means French women don't go on a series of formalized, audition-esque dates with a man—or several men—in a specific time period.If someone is "dating" you, they are only "dating" you, but the experience is much less codified than it is in the US.) he culture of popularity doesn't exist in France.We often ate dinner at restaurants populated chiefly by elderly French couples, immaculately dressed octogenarians who seemed to observe each other with the same cool but admiring gaze I associated with much shorter relationships.

I doubted that these women, over many decades of marriage, had ever appeared before their husbands in yoga pants and hoodies.

The American—who spent a dozen years in France and met and married her (French) husband there—blew our minds.

Here’s what she told us about French women and their interactions with men, including some tips on changing our very mind-sets about love, marriage and all the rest.

I found that David seemed to be happiest during unexpected, perfect but short-lived moments of romantic shimmer, while I seemed to seek out their opposite.

I thought, with nostalgia, of an American boyfriend who had once thrown up in front me while walking down the street. In the end, my French boyfriend broke up with me before I could break up with him.

Could they never be In my four years in France, I had observed many relationships between French people and foreigners, as well as French relationships themselves.