The act of getting to know one another is called dating.
Now, there's hooking up, friends with benefits, casual dating, and all manner of other things.
"On sort ensemble" is something you'd say in Quebec (loosely translated: "we go out together"), but no one said anything of the sort in France. Yes, the guy really planned to have me serenaded, on our first date, along the Seine River.
"I give advice to people who go out together," kind of worked, but most people didn't understand how or why I had a job. I lost my credit card and was two hours late, so instead we met for wine and cheese. That relationship ended because the gent couldn't communicate clearly with me, and kissed another woman at a party repeatedly knowing that I'd never take him back if he did. I'm still grateful for the experience, because it showed me just what dating was, and wasn't.
There's a ridiculous amount of social pressure in North America to have sex, for men to have "more" partners, and for women to detach emotionally and make it "okay." Almost everyone I met in Europe in their mid 20s to 30s had had one, maybe two, very long term partnerships, and perhaps one casual, one night stand. It's really a method, and a pretty intelligent one at that, to get to know someone before you bond physically with another person.
Not that I have an issue with people who want to have casual sex, and are consciously choosing it as a way to release sexual energy and truly connect.
I'm like her, but she wrote for the Post and I wrote for the Times." People nod, and then ask me whatever pressing dating questions they have.
The dating world can be difficult, but we know from experience that it can also be fun.
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