Oh Paris! The city of love… I'm pretty sure we have all seen the typical cliché movie of a couple falling in love in the middle of a street in Paris. Aaaah, how romantic. However, now that I'm actually in Paris, let's talk about the reality of dating here. I have to start by saying that I'm currently single, although I have to admit that it was a choice that was highly influenced by studying abroad. This past summer I had the most romantic adventure I've ever had so far—I even thought I had found the dance partner I always dreamed of (imagine dancing bachata under the moonlight next to the Golden Gate Bridge, yeah, that was us). I had my little romantic summer adventure, but I didn't allow it to develop further because I was coming to Paris and knew that the little details that come with a long distance relationship start to add up and sometimes prevent you from enjoying your time since your mind and heart will be somewhere else.
Another honest confession I have to make is that when I arrived, I definitely had the idea of maybe finding that French person who would show me the city and make me understand why Paris is called the City of Love. I know a lot of my peers came with that idea in mind. There is also the pressure of finding someone with whom you can only speak French—what a better way to learn French than dating in French? When I moved to the US I didn't speak English, but the reason why I was able to learn it fast was because I unexpectedly started dating someone who didn't speak Spanish, so I was forced to try to speak English. I have to say that has been the fastest way to learn a language for me and I thought that could repeat itself here in France. Unfortunately, reality sinked in a little and since I personally don't like long-distance relationships, I've been avoiding the dating scene here in Paris. Again, that's just me personally….
But not everyone is avoiding dating. I have heard that some of my peers found dates that turned out really well and encouraged them to speak only French. At the beginning I also allowed myself to go on some dates…Imagine a picnic under a beautiful sunset next to the Eiffel Tower. Yes, as cliché as it sounds, it did really happen. Dating here in Paris isn't too hard with the right communities in the right places. However, it is really important to be super careful and always prioritize your safety. Nowadays dating apps are super popular, and Tinder is just as popular in France as in the US. However, you must take into consideration the dating culture in your host country as it might be REALLY different from the one you are used to.
To conclude, YES! You can find your dance partner that will show you what the French kiss is all about and make you see where Hollywood gets its romantic film ideas from. But also, you can stay single and have as much fun too! The pressure of hearing other people getting dates might get on you, but just remember that you don't have to prove anything to no one. Being abroad is a fun experience with or without a dance partner.
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Martin Lopez Melendez
<p>My name is Martin and I am a 20-year-old student studying at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon. I'm majoring in World Languages with my two main languages being French and Russian and minoring in dance. I was born in a small rural area in Mexico and immigrated to California when I was 13. At age 16 I embarked on a 2-year adventure at the United World College USA located in northern New Mexico. I love talking to people, seeing and learning about new places. In my free time, I love dancing, reading, working out, and spending time with friends. I am also a goat lover and consider myself a goat expert.</p>