Meet/Eat/Love (MEL) #2
I wasn’t trying to beat a record of ‘how many first dates’ can a person go on in 24 hours. It just happened… in Paris… the City of Love (of all places right?). Three first dates in 24 hours.
Why I use dating apps while travelling
Ever since I joined the online dating world 18 months ago, I’ve also used dating apps while travelling. For me, meeting up with locals is the best way to discover parts of the city that can’t be found on TripAdvisor. You get local tips of what’s really happening in the city. For instance, how else can you find out where the hidden art gallery is; or discover a fun fact or two about the city you didn’t know beforehand? Using dating apps while travelling adds more fun and can even lead to some creative dating experiences (aka. the OPPOSITE of Netflix and chill). This MEL story took place in Paris. I was on my way back to Shanghai via Paris from Bordeaux where my friends and I had run a half marathon. It wasn’t my first time in the City of Love, but my first time using online dating apps, and wow, the Parisian guys were incredibly friendly. So friendly it was almost a match with every guy …?!
Chatting with Parisian guys
To be honest, it wasn’t me per se, I think Parisian guys swipe right to everyone, then look and see which ones they want to message. And when they message, I find Parisian men tend to be the most expressive in their opening messages… something out of a modern romance novel.
Instead of the typical “Hey, what’s up?” opener, the Parisian opener is something along the lines of:
“Bonjour mille ça va? Si je peux me permettre tu es réellement craquante …
Un savoureux mélange de beauté et de sensualité. .est complètement mon genre … J’adore! Si ça dit je serais ravi de discuter un moment … Bisous”
“Hello, how are you? If I may say so, you are absolutely adorable … A perfect combination of beauty and sensuality. You’re absolutely my type… I love it! If you want I’d love to discuss a moment… Kisses”
Ummm, how do you even reply to this??
After filtering through and exchanging messages with my matches, here are the three first dates I went on below. And now thinking back about each first date experience, I’ve also given each one a creative dating barometer score… just for fun. 🙂
The hidden art gallery
Let’s start with the Mr Paris #1, a Parisian cop. Mr Paris #1 happened to not be protecting the citizens of the city that day and lived close to the foodie café I was dying to try. He came and met me for lunch and we continued the date with a stroll through Marais afterwards. He asked me: “Did you know that Marais means swamp in French? In fact, this whole area was a big swamp.” How could all of this started as a swamp?! Because the Marais neighbourhood the world knows now is a mix of trendy boutiques and cafes set against beautiful pre-revolutionary buildings. The best part of the date was when Mr Paris #1 led us into a hidden art gallery in the back of a bookstore…. and with their own line of athleisure wear. I mean, how absolutely French hipster coolness is that??
Creative dating level (0 worst to 10 best): 8.5
Ok, maybe if you searched hard enough online, you could find that hidden art gallery. But I much prefer finding out from someone who is sharing his favs lists with me.
After leaving Marais, I met up with the next of the three first dates, Mr Paris #2. He’s an American expat getting his MBA in Paris. He invited me to have a sundowner (yes please!) at the beautiful Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. We agreed to meet at the Montmartre metro station and popped into his local wine shop to pick up a nice chilled bottle of rosé. Once we made it to Sacré Coeur, the people watching and views were just as awesome as I had remembered it. I spotted the perfect spot on the steps but Mr Paris #2 hopped over a fence next to the steps. Wait, is this legal? There’s a reason for the fence! Yes, he assured the locals hop the fence all the time because that’s where the best spot is…. and he was right. Something about being sprawled out on the grass, even though it was only a few meters away from the steps, made the experience that much better…. with the city of Paris right below us.
Creative dating level (0 worst to 10 best): 7.5
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken, especially for the best viewpoint of Paris!
You Read Clouds?
My last of the three first dates in Paris was with a French man I’d matched the day before in Bordeaux. Mr Paris #3 happened to also be in Bordeaux for the weekend. For him, he was flying a glider (embarrassingly, I had thought he meant a paraglider*). He was returning to the city that evening and we agreed to meet up. He invited me for drinks on his beautiful Parisian terrace (I’m a sucker for terraces!). Because gliders rely on air to lift the aircraft and stay in flight, he told me how glider pilots are trained to read clouds to be able to spot where the best airflow is. The longest he’s flown was for 8 hours! We traded travel stories and chatted into the wee hours into the night… and occasionally looking up at the clouds.
Creative dating level (0 worst to 10 best): 6
Ok so drinking at a Parisian apartment terrace isn’t the most unique. So in the spirit of creative dating scoring, I had to give this an average score. But the date was still great!
Those three first dates in 24 hours no doubt flew by. What was most memorable for me was not checking out all the #1 ranked places by TripAdvisor. The most memorable was definitely finding local spots and experiencing some pretty cool creative dating experiences.