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One of my biggest takeaways while exploring Western Europe for six months was a conversation I had with an Austrian couple. What struck me the most was that there isn't a word in many languages for what North Americans call "dating", and that, in fact, few cultures around the world actually "date". And how to other people get to know one another before committing, having casual sex, or something else?
Within a few minutes of meeting in an Irish pub, the lady of the couple asked, "So, is dating a construct of Hollywood? These were the most pressing questions my friends back home wanted to know, so I went out in discovery of answers.
I'm 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.
"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.
I've been a semi-fluent French speaker since my youth, yet trying to share what I did perplexed most French, Belgian and Swiss folks I encountered. My male friends scoffed, my female friends swooned.This is not about finding a man to take care of you; you are one of My Savvy Sisters, you can easily feed and pamper yourself.You’ve worked hard to be able to establish yourself, at least keep company with men who have done the same so you can share secrets to success and support each other in your growth.I still don’t equate it to whether I am happy or not (and never will), although I acknowledge money certainly makes things easier.I never made a lot of money in my career — newspaper journalism — but that didn’t stop men from dating me, or two men from marrying me.