9 years ago by

In New York, the city of perfection, you always have this chronic feeling of being a little bit out of it in the back of your mind: honestly – like, you’re doing ok, but you could do better.

No big deal, as long as you decide that it’s not your goal in life to be perfect. But you’d almost have to make yourself a tee-shirt that says “I don’t care about perfect” (or “Fuck Perfect” if you’re Cara Delevingne) to get people to leave you in peace with your averageness.

Because here, and, um, in fashion in particular, the cult of perfection is really tough, even though we all love “Girls”!!! (It’s so nice to see normal people!!!)(On TV!!!)

So here’s what I want to talk to you about today – after almost five years of carrying out sociological studies in New York, it seems to me that the pursuit of perfection has its roots in the search for…

The perfect man.

Being in a couple in New York is a serious thing. So. Serious.
Like, you better not mess up.

It’s like some kind of extreme casting call – Survivor style (the last person who can keep their balance standing on a buoy in the middle of an ocean of failed love stories wins). It’s a type of dating* where everything about the guy is a test – from the places he likes to go (“He took me to eat a BURGER! Can you imagine? MEAT??!! I’ll NEVER reply to his text messages again, do you hear me!?”) to all his different skills (sexual, professional, Does He Wear a Pair of Common Projects Like He Should) and you can test him to your heart’s content without actually having to commit to a relationship (for French people who understand nothing about this subject, see the box at the end of the article)(ok, fine, we can’t do boxes on the blog yet, even with our awesome new format. Next version, there will be boxes, I promise).

Marriage is such an institution here. It’s kind of like the sign that a person “Wins at Life”.

Let’s not even talk about how wedding ceremonies here are the culmination of years of fantasizing and social pressure (as you can see in the 75463523 romantic comedies about marriages that always end well), let’s just focus on the myth of the perfect man.

Who is the perfect man?

Well, you can’t trust American movies where the woman (who is adorable, beautiful, stylish, funny, and has a good job) ends up with the nerd (who is slightly chubby, and a little weird, but so funny and irresistible!!!) – those movies were made precisely by the nerdy guys. I think it’s safe to say it skews the story a little bit.

That’s not how it works in real life. Oops, I mean, in New York.

In New York, to be perfect, a guy has to have a really great job (first criteria), has to be relatively attractive (but mainly just the great job)(stable, well paid, respectable), has to be relatively not too much of a jerk and… well that’s about it actually.
Pffff, it’s easy to be the perfect man in New York.

What’s not so easy is being the perfect girl. There’s a big imbalance. Because what is the perfect man looking for? The perfect woman. Yep, of course, why not? There are loads of perfect girls in New York, apparently like five times more than there are guys.
So let’s see who our perfect woman is. Here we go.

Ok, first of all, let’s talk a little bit about the perfect New York girl’s body.
We’ve talked about this before (actually we talk about it all the time): New York girls are thin and muscular, and anyone who doesn’t have that “perfect” body is seen as the really nice friend who isn’t really part of the game (I happen to think those are the girls who are winning at life, but once again, that’s just my personal point of view as a girl who’s a little off in her own world).

I don’t know if that’s what the New York guy looking for the perfect woman actually wants deep down, but in doubt, I’m going to assume he must tell himself that’s part of the package and plus, socially, it’s just the body you’re supposed to have.

So, body wise, I want to give a little shout out to my friends who are truly thin, they exist, LIKE BRIE WHO EATS COOKIES ALL DAY LONG (and healthy things too) but apart from those rare AND annoying girls, you end up with skinny, muscular girls who are kind of obsessed with whatever non-food they’re not going to eat next time they won’t be at all hungry (I mean, right this second!)

Not to mention all the hours spent at the gym, on top of it all. You have to work to be perfect. And say you love it, too. We’ll come back to that later.

You also have to have the perfect job, and that, kids, is not easy.

I was talking to a friend of mine who works in PR (it’s a great job, actually, when you think about it) (You can get into the cool parties!!!) and she was telling me that the guy she was dating was dating another girl at the same time (I warned you!) who had a dream job, something to do with traveling (so much better than getting into cool parties – you can fly off on cool trips for free!!!) (with free massages included!)
The problem is that the same guy was also dating (I know what you’re going to ask, and no, I have no idea what the limit is on how many people you can be dating at one time) a model, which pretty much tops all the cool jobs, even if there’s no real benefit to dating someone who is a model other than the fact that you can say “my girlfriend is a model”.

Ah yeah but give them a break, it must feel pretty good.

You have to have a dream job and in a city of dreams, it’s not easy.

So it’s kind of the battle of the dream jobs. And even if what you really want deep down is just to be plopped down at your computer procrastinating at a job that doesn’t stress you out too much (there must be people who want that, right? so what?)(I totally root for them) well – you feel dumb on a date.

Other thing to be perfect, you have to have a group of perfectly edited friends.

You have to have your BFF, of course. The BFF of the moment (the one you want to be seen with at parties)(ok, I know, I’m being cynical. But this whole post is cynical, so don’t pretend like it bothers you, and plus I’m French, cynicism is our religion!!!)(I tricked you with a super romantic illustration and here we are killing any hope of romantic encounters) the group of lawyer friends or friends in finance for the day when you need investors (and apparently they’re good contacts for finding a husband), the group of happy artist friends who like to party (nice but a little loud), the group of power friends (CEOs, EICs), the famous friend (if you live in New York and you don’t know anyone famous, you don’t live in New York), and finally, of course, the gay friend, how could I forget?

A network like that takes years to create, but you must persevere! Perseverance is a sign that you’re a perfect girl who never gives up (and, oh the horror!!! gains 10 pounds after three months of marriage!!!)

Ok, so all of that is just the basics.
Like the ABCs of perfection.
And then there are all the extra options to choose…

But difference does it make when you know that the competition is so intense!!!
(if you want to know just how intense the competition is, please see the box that’s not in a box at the end of the article)

In order of importance.

1/ Have a great apartment. Ok, it depends on your age, but a great apartment counts. It has to have a doorman (who knows why, but having a doorman is a real sign of social success in New York)(I don’t have a doorman, I’m so screwed) Or even better – a rooftop!

2/ … In the right neighborhood!!!
Ok, if the apartment in question is in Harlem (even if we all agree, Harlem is THE up and coming neighborhood!!) it’s not as good as if it’s in the West Village, right.

3/ Have amazing clothes!
Yep, in New York life, you’d better have fashion connections. So you can wear all the clothes you can’t afford to buy yourself, like Carrie Bradshaw (now I finally understand how she was able to wear all those amazing clothes on a journalist’s salary! She had friends in PR how ignorant can a Garance be!!!)

4/ Be ‘in the know’. Know all the good restaurants. Know the owner of the restaurant so you can snag a table at the last minute. Get into a club in the blink of an eye. A huge plus, you have to admit.

It’s a lot.
Of things to do.
And you can’t just do them. You have to do them perfectly, if possible.

And you have to make it look totally natural.

That’s the fifth pillar of perfection, and it’s the one that drives me the most crazy making a fuss in my little innocent French brain. You have to do all of that, and on top of it all, pretend like you’re cool with it.

But you can’t be good at everything in a city as stressful as New York AND be relaxed about it all. To reach that degree of perfection, there’s some part of you that has to be a control freak. But since no one likes a control freak, you say things like:

“I love burgers!!! They’re my favorite thing!”
“I’m such a party girl!!!”
“I love beer!”
“This apartment? Nah, I decorated it myself little by little, with my best friend” (best friend = my decorator)
“I’m real, you know, friendship is a deep thing for me”

So there you have it. It took me almost five years to decode, but now I’ve finally understood – nobody perfect is cool and nobody cool is perfect.

* A little note on dating here. It doesn’t quite mean the same thing in French (or anywhere else in the world)

It’s so simple in France. No, seriously. You meet a guy, you get along with him, you don’t ask too many questions. Is he The One or not The One? Who cares. Life will tell you. In the meantime, “Are you coming to my place tonight???” We’re SO innocent!!!

In the US, you date, and it’s super hard to explain – I was even trying to explain it to Emmanuelle Alt (= fashion credibility insert) the other day and she was shouting “No way! WHAT?! I can’t believe it!!!” But yes, it’s true. Here, let me try to explain here:

A “date” is a guy you “see”. It means you plan evenings together or days together, you learn about each other. It may mean that you kiss, or not. You may sleep with the guy the first night, or not until weeks later.

But dating doesn’t mean you are “with” him. You’re not his girlfriend, he’s not your boyfriend. He’s just a guy you’re dating, and it’s perfectly possible that he’s dating other girls. And you totally have the right to date other guys, he wouldn’t have anything to say about it.

When I make big eyes at people when they tell me this, they always say “But it makes sense!!! How else would you know which person is the best for you?”

Pfff. So now I have to talk to you about the idea of “the best person” but I’ll do that next time, it’s like deep, deep deep subject, you know.


Ok, so apparently, there comes a time when you have “the conversation” otherwise known as DTR, “Define The Relationship”. Like, if you really love each other and all the other guys you’ve tested out don’t measure up, you might decide to become “exclusive”.

In other words, (if I understand this correctly, there are still a lot of nuances I don’t get) you become boyfriend and girlfriend.

Yeah, it’s bizarre. Or not. I’m not sure.

Is competition tough in New York?

So apparently, according to my friend Joyann, there is one guy for every four girls in New York, which explains the number of single and fabulous girls and the number of guys who are not single and not fabulous at all and still get so much heat in girls salons.

I think these kinds of numbers are only here to increase the poor New York woman’s anxiety levels and paralyze the hell out her into spending three more hours on a treadmill, so I say, fuck statistics.

We might as well just all go move to Ohio. Erik is from there, so it can’t be too bad.

A little note on French Love explained to Americans, because they are just as surprised when we talk to them about the way we fall in love.

For us French people – we meet someone. It might be a friend you’ve had for a long time, or someone you’ve just met in a bar. Suddenly, it clicks. You talk for hours. You kiss. You might sleep together, if you want to. Anyway, you don’t make a big deal of it.

The next day, if the guy (or the girl) is still there and you’ve made them a coffee, BOOM. It’s done.

You’re boyfriend and girlfriend! Whoo, just as simple as that. And no need to go looking elsewhere. You don’t try out the merchandise in France.

You like someone, and you go for it, right away.

Maybe that’s where we get our super romantic reputation from.
And why people are so fascinated by our non-fascination for perfection. Who knows ?

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • anonymous October, 8 2014, 9:26 / Reply

    I really really love this post. I wish everyone were as insightful as you. We Americans are hyped-up about everything – what school to attend, what neighborhood to live in, what boyfriend or spouse to “have” – as if you ever “have” anybody! Where’s the joy in any of that? The exploration, the living? It’s insane and slightly sick. I’ll take the French approach any day.

  • Thank you!!! It’s just so much pressure, so much stress. I don’t think that’s the way it should be :)

  • karacocoa October, 8 2014, 9:47

    Perfectly said.

  • perhaps ny is good for the business but not so good for the heart :)

  • Annaliese October, 8 2014, 9:26 / Reply

    You know Garance, you can be super insightful. I have to say this is my all time favourite post, even though I love to see Alber sing! It makes me want to move to France though ;) Why do you think NY is so complex? I wonder about other cities but I secretly want to move to France!

  • Garance, I’m not sure New York is a very good place for you, in fact. It sounds miserable. At times I think it is like “The Emporer’s New Clothes” story- that it is awful but everyone agrees with each other to say it is great.

  • Hey Sashi – the funny thing is that I love NYC like I’ve never loved any other city. It’s not miserable, if you stay yourself and keep a good sense of humor (hence that post ;)

  • I was gonna say: get out of there, darling Garance.!
    But if the city suits you..
    Just don’t let them drive you crazy with their defining everything by external factors.

    You know better.

  • Haha, hélas depuis l’arrivée de Tinder, Happen & Co, les dates ont explosé ici aussi… Sauf qu’on dirait que seuls les mecs connaissent les règles du jeu. Et les filles tombent tjs de haut (un bon gratte-ciel new yorkais) quand après la première nuit, le mec ne les rappelle pas…
    Un manuel sur les dates en France à l’usage des Françaises s’impose aussi! (Ou un manuel pour les mecs français qui établirait les nouvelles règles du dating!! )

  • Faudrait carrément écrire un bouquin – tellement à dire… !!!

  • How boring perfection, a bit of ‘imperfection does not hurt, characterizes us!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • oohh.. cette folle envie de venir vivre à New York vient de me prendre (supercynique :-))

    Et bien il en faut de la volonté et du caractère pour être heureuse et épanouie à NYC!! Bonne chance les filles!
    Cela fait un peu flipper la parisienne que je suis et je me dis qu’on n’est pas si mal ici, même très bien…
    Pour en revenir au “concept” de date. J’avais à peu près compris ce que c’était mais un paramètre que tu donnes m’avait échappé: que notre date nous dise quelles autres nanas il date. Je trouve cela atroce, c’est totalement cruel, et inutile en plus. Pourquoi savoir avec qui on est en concurrence, cela fausse le jeu. Bonjour le naturel et la sincérité…
    Garance, dans cette jungle, par pitié ne perd pas ta french touch!!

  • C’est dingue non ? Il m’a fallu à peu près 5 ans pour comprendre et aujourd’hui, j’y arrive. Je ne suis pas vraiment pour, mais je comprends l’idée…

  • Les célibataires new yorkais ont un mot pour traduire “spontanéité” ???

    Mon dieu, tu as si bien decrit la follie americaine. Qu’est ce que j’adore notre Europe d’amour.
    Merci Garance ….

  • Aahah! Moi je suis trop bien ici, mais c’est du boulot de résister à la pression!!!

  • Garance, I love this post. As a 31 year old woman with a laundry list of awesomeness to her, you hit the nail on the head for not only the dating part but why this damn city produces so much anxiety. Sometimes it’s just really comforting knowing you’re not the only one that seems to be stacked up against all these impossible perfections. Merci beaucoup!!

  • Post trés intéressant. Je dirai que tous ces aspects abordés sont de l’ordre du culturel.
    En France par exemple, il est trés mal vu d’être ambitieux, de vouloir accéder à une certaine réussite sociale (aka l’argent) ou en tout cas de le montrer. Surtout pour une femme. Et Encore plus quand on est de couleur ( aka pas causasien). Mais c’est un autre sujet.
    De même pour l’homme de notre vie en France. Nous les françaises sommes romantiques. L’amour, l’eau fraîche, tout ça. Il est mal vu de chercher un homme parfait et surtout riche.
    Nous françaises prétendons nous prétendons libres et donc vouloir autre chose. L’aventure, la galanterie, l’homme aimant et gentil. Je pense qu’il s’agit un peu d’hypocrise mais cela n’engage que moi.

  • Très intéressant, et probablement vrai !

  • I think you are so right that in France it’s is not well regarded to be ambitious. That’s too bad for ambitious people. I find they are thwarted in France. In the US, if you are ambitious, you can be “epanouie” what is it in English, fulfilled?

  • En modérant mon cynisme,j’ajouterais qu’en France, la spontanéité est quelque chose d’important, de culturel, tout autant dans les dialogues avec les autres, que dans les rencontres. C’est en général facteur de pleins de trucs positifs, mais on gagnerait par exemple à acquérir de la rigueur ‘ americaine ( new yorkaise?) dans le boulot :-)

  • Tellement d’accord !

  • Léonore October, 8 2014, 9:52 / Reply

    Génial ce post! Finalement, malgré toutes ces romcoms made in USA, on est quand même beaucoup plus romantiques nous les Européens!

  • Hé bien c’est pas trop drôle dit comme ça. J’ai lu le livre Gone Girl (tu en avais parlé) et ça m’a vachement fait réfléchir sur le fait qu’il faille absolument être cool et qu’en fait ça n’existe pas une fille cool et parfaite. C’est carrément un antagonisme non ? Alors pourquoi on continue à nous faire croire que c’est possible.
    Bon pour ce qui est du job parfait je pense que tu es pas mal placée, bon point pour ton futur date ;)
    On dirait que l’Europe te manque un peu ces derniers temps, non ?

  • Caroline October, 8 2014, 10:30

    It’s funny, this post also reminded me of Gone Girl…
    Guys, stop thinking we can be all that! We can’t! Or, if we are, we’re also dangerous psychopaths!

  • Ah I can’t wait to go see the movie!!! Non non, je ne suis pas nostalgique, mais on va dire que depuis cet été je peux observer les choses différemment ;)

  • “Pffff, it’s easy to be the perfect man in New York.”

    I agreed with everything except for this, haha. It’s not easy to find the perfect man, because apparently 90% of the men in my age group are all bankers who sold their souls to work at Goldman Sachs, all wear the same blue checked button down shirts and khakis (EVERYWHERE. Just because Brooks Brothers makes it does not mean you have to wear it!), have drinks with the “bros” after work, and go on business trips where they cut 9-figure deals in the daytime and go to strip clubs at night. They think that they’re God’s gift to womankind.

    They’re even invading my beloved Brooklyn now. Not saying that the troubled, skinny-jeaned hipster dudes are much better, but at least I can stand to be in the same room as them.

  • Omg best comment ever, so funny, and from what i hear from my girlfriends, pretty true!!!
    But I do see a lot of other guys around. It’s all in the way you look ;)

  • Absolutely! Best comment ever :)))

  • I feel like the answer is simple. Move out of NYC.

    Yes you’re business is here, but you’re so popular worldwide that you could easily move it.

  • Alexander October, 8 2014, 10:00 / Reply

    Dating in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta is even more complicated! Family matters the most! You need to know what kind of family your potential bf/gf comes from and sometimes it requires a lot of asking relatives, friends, and my friend’s friend’s uncle’s friends. So confusing! Time to move to Paris. Or New York. Or get into some awkward dating tv shows.

  • ALexander, this is crazy! I wish you would explain more!

  • It really looks slightly sick to me – the whole dating thing – where are the emotions in there? I can’t even imagine that happening in Europe! I love many things about US but this is so…well…immoral :))), hurting, insensitive, terrible…well, you’ve got the picture of what I am feeling :)

  • Katerina October, 9 2014, 2:55

    Yep, I feel the same. This NY way sounds super strange and sad…maybe anyone that comes to NYC dreams big and these dreams include the personal life.

  • Hey G, As a native New Yoker I want to say a couple things…. first off, lovely post. secondly, I think what wasn’t mentioned was ‘tribes’ or ‘clique’s’….. What you said is mostly true…. for some people but not all… its depends on the tribe or clique you belong too….I appreciate that it is clearly your perception and experiences and even people you have spoken to… however, NY is a diverse place and I think if someone has not lived there this post would be scary for them….. For me?…. my friends and family from home are an eclectic bunch of lovely people who DON’T behave as you have described, myself included. For me what you have described are folks who choose to be part of the rat race…. who judge people (and their own personal worth) on what they have and who they socialize with….. and then behave accordingly…. I have friends from billionaires to circumstantial public assisted…. its all about choice… and that’s what great about my city…. one can choose to live like the above…. or not.

  • I’m wondering how much this piece represents all New Yorkers. I say this as someone who lives in Los Angeles and hears a lot of stereotypes about that city, like all the women are plastic, people are fake, health nuts, etc. While there is truth to that stereotype, it only applies to a segment of the city. If you don’t live on the Westside and run with those sorts of people, you don’t live that sort of lifestyle. I imagine the same is true for New York City. Also, I met my husband in L.A. and we dated in the same way you describe here as the French style of dating. We met, hit it off and only dated each other. I can think of other couples who met and dated in the same way. So, I don’t think this is necessarily a French way of dating. The dating rituals you describe sound as if they apply to a select group of elite, social climbing New Yorkers.

  • That is exactly how I feel Betty!…. you totally got it!

  • Camille October, 9 2014, 6:31

    I agree. Garance, your post is awesome and perfectly reflects a lot of the things that are typical in certain social categories in NY and other big cities in the US.

    It’s funny to note the cultural and sociological contrasts between France and the US, between Paris and NY (I’m French-American, and know both Paris and NY quite well).

    However, I agree with the above. This is true in certain cliques, social categories, etc. Not all New Yorkers are like that. I never dated. I would just hit it off with a guy, or not. No particular ritual. Just like in France. Rest assured, not all Americans are as complicated as what you describe. Thank god!

    I was never bothered by this pressure. I never let it get to me and didn’t feel the stress/need to conform. Personally, I didn’t care if I “fit in” or not. I was never attracted by those superficial standards that some people hold so dear and have convinced them that it’s how it should be. And, that’s how I met some of my dearest US friends, who themselves are not irked by this parallel dimension of the real world, and lead perfectly happy lives. ;)

    And, I LOVE NY.

    Oddly enough, I felt more pressure when I moved to Paris. I don’t let it get to me anyway, cuz that’s my nature, but I do feel the pressure a lot more than in NY.

    So, tu sum up, just stay true to yourself. Those who judge you because you don’t follow the sociologically-correct guidelines for the “perfect life” aren’t worth your while.

    That’s also the beauty of NYC. You can just be yourself and it won’t play against your. Et ce sera tout à ton honneur.

  • Dis moi, tu ne veux pas rentrer à la maison !! :-)

  • Stéphanie October, 8 2014, 10:03 / Reply

    Merci beaucoup pour ce post, si vrai, si intelligent (et effrayant d’une certaine manière). Il me fait beaucoup de bien car il met des mots sur une tendance que j’avais du mal à expliquer ou à voir de manière aussi clairvoyante (mais je vis en France).
    Je crains parfois que ton blog ne rentre dans cette catégorie de blogs qui ne montrent que des femmes parfaites, des vies parfaites, des moments parfaits, des décorations d’intérieur parfaites, etc. Et j’avoue être tentée de ne plus venir, car il peut y avoir une réelle toxicité à ce genre de lecture. On reste dans l’admiration d’un idéal qu’on est à l’avance fatiguée de devoir atteindre, et/ou qu’il nous est impossible d’atteindre de toute manière! Merci donc encore de temporiser tout cela.

  • Merci – et je vais essayer de m’en souvenir!

  • despina October, 8 2014, 4:44

    J’ai le même sentiment parfois..

  • Ce post est si drôle (doux-amer aussi) et tellement instructif! Je fantasme NY mais jamais je ne pourrais résister à une telle pression. Chapeau bas!

  • asianfreak October, 8 2014, 10:04 / Reply

    Comment les new-yorkais font pour rester serein.
    Pour moi le début d’une relation est excitante et folle, pleine d’adrénaline…
    En France on ne sait pas si une histoire va durer une semaine ou une vie, et ce n’est pas ce qui compte.
    Ce qui compte est de vivre la relation intensément.

    Je ne sais pas si malgré mon âge je suis vieux jeu mais se donner les chances de réussire une histoire d’amour, c’est être tourné vers l’autre. Pas en quête perpétuelle de mieux…

    A NYC j’ai l’impression qu’il s’agit d’un projet (benchmark, test comparatifs, mise en situation…) En france, c’est spontané et ça dure ce que ça dure.

    Merci Garance pour ce post!
    Et garde ta spontanéité.

  • Ma Garance
    don’t loose yourself in this craziness…,In the american culture you have to put all your feeling and secrets thoughts in words. there is no place for “NON-DIT” for just feeling for being happy ….happiness ….there is no juice bar for happiness there is no gym for happiness….so in this jungle of wired compartmental have to learn to listen to your inner voice your six sense ….it’s not in fashion Yet …but it will come
    with love
    stay the way you are Garance!!
    Yael Guetta

  • Amsterdam girl October, 8 2014, 10:07 / Reply

    I have been dating my Parisian boyfriend for two years now and travel between Amsterdam and Paris almost every weekend. Having lived and worked in New York, London and Amsterdam I think the strive of perfection is on the rise EVERYWHERE (why else did I go to a 6:30 AM yogaclass this morning? certainly not for fun…) And I think French men are just as much looking for “perfection” as men in New York, Amsterdam or London. My boyfriend (smoker, never exercises, eats pastries like there is no tomorrow) and his friends keep making fun of one of their best friends “fat” girlfriend. Nobody talks about the fact that she is accomplished (having a great job in Paris as a woman seems to give you minus points in male eyes), fun and most importantly, makes their friend very happy. When I tell my boyfriend that if he were a girl, he would be twice her size his response is “but she is a girl”…go figure. Unfortunately, Parisian girls are also all about the juice detox and exercise now…one of the skinny girlfriends of one of my boyfriends friends once dragged me to “acqua biking” at 8 AM on a Sunday in Paris (the night before when we were on the dancefloor she pinched my butt and giggled at the softness and told me I should join her..). I’m telling you New York ladies, soul cycle has nothing on acqua biking….My conclusion: French men are just as demanding as all the others, the main difference is they absolutely refuse to do sports themselves(and to quit smoking)….;)

  • Ahahahah :) Okay this seems like a real personal thing, even though i find it pretty charming to eat croissants like there is no tomorrow!!!
    I certainly didn’t say parisian guys are perfect – oh que non ;)

  • Un mot: Flippant ! Ton post me rappelle le livre: les Pintades à New York qui m’avait ouvert les yeux sur New York moi la jeune fille qui rêvait d’habiter à New York depuis un séjour lorsque j’avais 14 ans (donc en gros j’avais une vision très romantisée d’une semaine pendant le Nouvel An). Puis après avec ton blog et tes anecdotes toujours racontées sur un ton humoristique, mais avec une réelle vérité dedans, j’ai vraiment eu un aperçu de cette sorte de folie qui habite New York. Ca va te paraître con, mais parfois j’ai eu peur de perdre la Garance que je connaissais avant le déménagement à New York et en même temps wow je comprend que ça a pas dû être facile de rester soi-même et de lutter contre tout ce tralalala (je sais pas comment appeler tous ces mécanismes dont tu viens de parler). Bon, j’ai toujours envie d’habiter à New York car je sais que c’est là-bas où je pourrais vraiment faire le métier de mes rêves et avoir des opportunités, mais ça m’a beaucoup fait réfléchir n’empêche. J’espère seulement que sur la route je rencontrerais des personnes comme toi qui sont restées elles-même et surtout que je me ferais pas embarquer dans la folie de la perfection.
    Le dating, ça me fait flipper aussi. Surtout que je vais sur ma vingtaine (20 ans dans 10 jours !!) et que j’ai déménagé en Angleterre où le “phénomène” existe, mais en moins exacerbé, mais il existe. Donc forcément, moi ce que je connais c’est la vision très cool à la française et en plus j’ai pas non plus dix relations derrière moi (les amours de lycée, voilà quoi…) donc no experience donc flippant et pas envie d’être blessée.
    Enfin bref, tout ça pour dire que je suis contente que tu te sois pas perdue dans cette quête de la perfection. Restes toi-même et fait confiance à ton instinct. Les control freak me font flipper de toute façon, elles ont aucun charmes. Je trouve que quelqu’un qui ne maitrise pas tout et qui a quelques “flaws” a beaucoup plus de charme et est plus humain qu’un robot manucuré-brushingué-maquillé parfaitement. Et encore merci de partager tes études sociologiques ;) qui m’aident beaucoup et me font sentir moins looseuse depuis 6 ans.

    PS: Juste un petit commentaire: j’ai l’impression que vous postez les posts de plus en plus tard et du coup je me retrouve à les lire rapidement à minuit avant de me coucher ou le lendemain matin si j’ai le temps. J’aimais bien quand vous les postiez à 14h (heure française). Je sais pas si le rythme a changé ou quoi donc je voulais savoir ce qu’il en était. :)

  • Ce n’est pas toujours facile à navigue mais c’est possible de rester soi-même à New York, donc ne t’inquiète pas!
    Et puis ça demande de se définir pour ne pas se laisser bouffer, donc c’est plutôt positif au bout du compte!
    Pour le post oui on a pris un peu de retard mais ça a toujours été autour de 3h heure de NYC (l’heure à laquelle on arrive au Studio ;)

  • So, so true! Lovely article…

    xx, Kristi

  • Oh dear, I’m afraid you may be correct. It’s hard, in NY, to say that something is “nice” or “kind” or “good” without people thinking you mean it was bad – everything has to be superlative. The women must be especially wonderful, the men…they can be just fine. I am, however, fully in support of saying no to all of these things, as often as I can. I think it makes possible to play a lower stakes game, but it is as if you must insist. Not so easy, but perhaps a bit gentler on the soul.

  • So many rules and labels; that is frustrating. I moved out of San Francisco for similar reasons, but things are a bit too free there, nobody seemed real. To me the east coast (where I’ve lived most of my life, most recently from Philly, now in England) is much more real. People are more straightforward – less flighty than they were in SF (ex: no man would commit there – to be fair, I didn’t either, because there was so much to go around). I feel like there must be a way – to enjoy the incredible life in NYC without getting tangled up in all these rules and expectations. There just has to be… in Brooklyn perhaps :)

    Thanks for sharing this piece your life with us.

  • this was HYSTERICAL. i guess i am not a Real New Yorker since i live in brooklyn, am about to get married (in a tiny city hall ceremony – literally 4 people including us!!) to a guy who was unemployed when i first met him (so was i!), don’t go to the gym, COOK (!!!!!) most of my meals, and work at a non-profit. ha! but it’s so funny, i feel like there are so many new yorks. there is the Fashion/Garance/Sex and the City new york (yes garance i included you in the same category as SATC!!) and there is also my new york which is pretty low key except for sometimes i see celebrities on the sidewalk. and there are probably dozens of other new yorks. it is what you make it! (but it is competitive no matter what!)

  • C’est vrai qu’on voit ça tout le temps à le télé et au cinéma, on est même habitués, alors que ce n’est pas du tout comme ça marche chez nous (en Espagne c’est pareil qu’en France). C’est marrant (et même educatif, puisque j’envisage aller vivre un an aux États Unis l’année prochaine) d’entendre (ou plutôt lire) parler de ce thème à quelqu’un de ce côté de l’ocèan haha.
    J’ai adoré ce post Garance :)

  • WOW! this is so crazy… Love should be comforting not turn you into Android…

    For the first time i say, I am happy not to live in NYC :P

  • Well, it’s so true! that’s wht exactly happening in the complicated and super modern city.
    Cynicism is exactly wht we practice.
    p.s. I am from Hong kong.

  • Finalement où est passé le naturel? Ca fait presque peur ce contrôle permanent!
    Perso je vis aux US depuis 10 ans et je dois dire que ce comportement “control freak” je le perçois de plus en plus dans mon attitude, c’est clair nous sommes de plus en plus pressurisées par les magazines : être toujours plus belle, toujours plus mince et musclée, c’est tellement vrai!! et puis ce qui devient primordial est la perception que les autres ont de nous, de notre personne, de notre conjoint, de notre home sweet home…. Ca devient dingue! On va en arriver à vivre pour la galerie et les apparences!!!
    Et puis le dating, c’est juste crazy, on dirait qu’il convient de s’apprivoiser avant de se fréquenter!!!
    Vive le meet & fuck à la française…

    Bisous à tous les new yorkais quand même!


  • Sunny Side October, 8 2014, 10:31 / Reply

    Take it easy Garance ! Don’t look for it ! It’s much more funny and aventurous to be centered and let it happen ! Life will take care of you if you stay authentic, loose and playful. These “dates” are so awful, kind de marché aux bestiaux … combien tu vaux et qui tu es … éventuellement …. escape !!!

  • Wow! This post is wow! Long, complete and very interesting. Thank you for this amazing content.

    but… WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICAN PEOPLE? This date thing, well I like the concept if I’m completely honest. Maybe some stuff could be removed but all in all it’s quite good. I like the idea of really getting to know the guy (even if okay, I don’t care if he likes eating raw vegetables at 22pm every Thursday night) but yeah that’s great. Because in France, we’re like girlfriend-boyfriend after one drink and the story ends as soon as it starts.
    This perfection obsession is quite scary though. I mean, people who got the idea of this ‘perfect’ man and woman weren’t perfect either. Like what even are those criteria? Did someone test them or something? Such a weird thing this perfection myth.

    As a conclusion, I don’t live in an amazing flat and don’t know cool people. I’m single. Maybe this thing isn’t just in America. x

  • LOVE this article, I’m a 71 year old, cool, conscious woman, attraction; living in La La Land, Laguna Beach CA; it was a lot of fun when I was younger, now if you’re not 40ish, blond, fake everything……you can’t even get in the game of boy and girl………it’s always a test and if you don’t look or answer all the questions right you’re out……….haven’t dated since my 50s and would love to experience “life” in Paris……….life is challenging enough without making it more complicated in the area of “love”………think I trip is in my future……as they say “Location, Location, Location”…… can’t live with them and can’t live without them……….Garance you’re the best, keep sharing what most woman think…… you’re Blog………Merci

  • Garance for president! :))) (like, of the world, you know;). Would there be this kind of writing in your book? It’s really good!
    I live in eastern Europe and we’re closer to the French approach here (maybe with a hint of sleeping around at some point, if someone’s into it). But dating usually leads directly to relationship.
    What you wrote doesn’t differ that much from what we’ve seen in Sex and the city – my impression was the same – there was sooooo much overthinking in that show…

  • OK, Garance! I wanted to write back but couldn’t be allowed to reply to your response-
    yea, if you do love it there then it’s good. But this against your yearning for Paris post of yesterday made me feel something for you!
    And you know, you can bring drinks outside with you to enjoy- just put in a discreet container. Enjoy life wherever you are is the most important, and you are winning at that I believe.

  • Jane with the noisy terrier October, 8 2014, 10:49 / Reply

    This reminds me of something Armistead Maupin wrote about San Francisco — “You can have a great job, a great apartment, or a great love, but you can’t have all three at the same time.” Right now I’ve got the apartment in the West Village doorman building with a great roof deck, a floundering career as a freelance writer, and a sensational dog! If you think “dating” is tough in New York in your 30’s, wait a decade or two. Men my age (that aren’t married or gay or both!) are interested only in dating women in their 30’s (witness 53-year old George Clooney with his 36-year old bride) which doesn’t leave much less. (I’m not that keen on dating a septuagenarian…yet.) I was that woman you describe when I arrived in New York 17 years ago, although I never achieved that gym-rat perfection. But I did feel like I was in a competition 24/7. Now I’m less concerned with nabbing a reservation a month in advace at the hottest restaurant, my place on the waiting list for the must-have “it” bag, or checking out the stress level of the stairclimber next to me at Equinox. I have great friends, frequent little local restaurants and theaters, wear admittedly cool flats and enjoy a sea-salt chocolate much more than I ever did barre class! So relax, if he’s out there, you’ll find him when you least expect it.

  • Je trouve que la pression différente mais tout aussi présente à Paris ! Au moins les new-yorkais annoncent la couleur, alors que nous, on est plus hypocrites, non ?

  • aaaaand she’s back. This is Garance at her best! Thanks for putting an effort into equally honest and hilarious writing. So much truth in this!

  • Juliette October, 8 2014, 10:55 / Reply

    Merci pour le rire (cynique certes) qui a accompagné ma lecture !
    J’aime te lire autant que regarder tes photos, et j’imagine New York avant de le visiter en vrai.
    Ne perd surtout pas ton côté française, et bon courage pour résister à cette pression de perfectitude :)

  • Just after reading the first line, I knew I was going to love this post. So I cozied up with my cup of coffee (okay fine, frcking perfection-inducing green juice), and proceeded to read . . . and nod my head violently with every single word you wrote. I LOVED this post! My perfect single friends talk about this all the time — the pursuit of impossible thinness, the pressure to be married, the audacious moves of barely-passable NY guys! Thank you thank you thank you for validating the impossibility of this lifestyle. I love the French mindset. . . but one question i have is: what happens after you become “a couple” during the morning after coffee, but you realize a month later that it was the wrong decision? Are you stuck with the merchandise??

  • Caroline October, 8 2014, 11:16

    Hell, no, you’re not stuck with the merchandise, you break up with one week, two weeks, a month, etc.
    The French system is a bit strange in it’s on way (you’re in a relationship even if you didn’t really ask for it, which means quite a bit of pressure), but at least, there’s not the “oh, we’re not exclusive yet” phase, which for us (the French) is too weird for words.

  • Judith A. October, 8 2014, 10:59 / Reply

    Se should

  • Au secours !!! je commence à croire que les new-yorkaises sont vraiment superficielles et n’ont aucune confiance en elles …

  • Excellent post Garance!! Je suis Montréalaise mais d’origine Haïtienne et j’ai été éduqué de manière très Française! Même si je me sens très libérée, je ne sens pas la pression de date, je suis aussi du style “emballe-embarque”! Je trouve ça mignon et puis après quand c’est fini, on désespère pas en se disant “tout ce qu’on a fait pour en arriver là” c’est fini c’est tout. burger en larmes avec les copines mais après on reprend ça vie, puis on retombe sur quelqu’un. Beaucoup moins décourageant que d’enligner 4 mecs, de les tester, de les jeter et recommencer. J’ai un super boulot, je suis super looké je vais au gym j’ai VRAIMENT PAS LE TEMPS

  • After years of feeling like I had to be perfect at everything (even before I moved to New York and then exacerbated after the move), I finally feel like I’ve come to a fairly zen place of acknowledging what is realistic, and frankly, to go easier on myself. But man…it was an uphill battle and I still fight it everyday!

  • Excellent post Garance!! Je suis Montréalaise mais d’origine Haïtienne et j’ai été éduqué de manière très Française! Même si je me sens très libérée, je ne sens pas la pression de date, je suis aussi du style “emballe-embarque”! Je trouve ça mignon et puis après quand c’est fini, on désespère pas en se disant “tout ce qu’on a fait pour en arriver là” c’est fini c’est tout. burger en larmes avec les copines mais après on reprend ça vie, puis on retombe sur quelqu’un. Beaucoup moins décourageant que d’enligner 4 mecs, de les tester, de les jeter et recommencer. J’ai un super boulot, je suis super lookée je vais au gym et fait du yoga bikram j’ai VRAIMENT PAS LE TEMPS de faire la chasse à l’homme! xo

  • Elle est ou la magie, la petite intencelle, la spontaneitée? Ca me parait tellement codifié tout ca! La beauté d’une rencontre c est justement ce moment magique ou comme tu dis ca click!! On doit passer à coté de belles histoires avec tout ses critères ! Dommage! J’ai adoré ton post Merci!

  • In the UK we don’t date either, it’s very much as you describe in France. You meet someone, you hang out, you defintely don’t see other people and that’s that. When I lived in New York, the whole dating thing blew my mind. I expecially could not get over how normal it seemed for people to just randonly ask you out on the street or in a cafe. Whaaaaat!? I mean I know it’s only coffee but really, I don’t know you or anyone who knows you, so why would I give you my number!?

  • I know people who live in NY and what you wrote in this post captures the big picture of what they have been telling me over the years. It must be hard coping with that pressure. Plus, it almost feels that relations are dehumanised.

  • G! Remember to write us about how fashion week has changed, this year especially! I am looking forward to hearing about that! Also will you ever do a more detailed piece on your home Corsica, i remember seeing a really beautiful woman on your blog who was from there? I think you said you looked up to her when you was young on the island! You always seem very emotional when you write about it though, so no pressure. Also can not wait for Pardon My French! Gonna have a cup of tea now and read some other posts! London Love (not at all complicated) – Nadia

    p.s i really liked this post, my favourites are when you write to us

  • Ah aha ha, merci beaucoup Garance!!!
    J’adore quand tu nous écris ce genre de post! C’est si drôle…
    Parce que même si j’adore tes belles et immenses photos, c’est aussi pour toi, et ta façon de nous raconter les choses que je viens ici depuis si longtemps… :)

  • Romain Gary October, 8 2014, 11:24 / Reply

    If a man thinks about “dating” someone, it could only mean:
    1) that he is so unlucky he has never met you, Garance, or
    2) that he is scared to death by a charming AND brilliant girl. Like you, Garance

  • C’est tellement ça!Bon j’ai vécu à NYC pendant 5 ans mais j’avais 20 ans,un âge où je n’avais pas spécialement envie de trouver un boyfriend et c’était plus cool à l’époque (non,je ne suis pas si vieille).Cela dit,de ce que j’entends de certaines copines,ça devient compliqué aussi à Paris,c’est là où je me dis que je serais bien en galère si j’étais célibataire aujourd’hui,quel stress!Je te souhaite de te trouver le mec le plus cool du monde (mais le vrai cool pas le faux :-) )

  • A post to make me smile and wince in equal measure. I worked with a stylist from New York for a while; she was funny, resourceful, very good at her job(she soothed ‘determined’ art directors, I wanted to punch them…) and as utterly baffled by us Europeans as we were by her. I’m now feeling homesick for my beloved, slightly shabby, yet straightforward Paris.

  • je pense que les américains ne savent pas ce qu’être amoureux . l’amour n’est pas une foire aux bétails. c’est affligeant leur conception de l’amour. par contre , un peu plus de rigueur et de discipline dans la travail ferait du bien aux français.

  • Garance, thank-you! Your post is so timely and poignant as I had just finished watching a Ted talk ” Why thinking you’re ugly is bad for you”. I think what you’re describing is not exclusive to New York women, but North Americans in general. Your description of relationships in France, remind me of growing up in the 70’s in Montreal. It was a different time. There was no emphasis placed on ” quintessential ” as we now like to refer to just about everything: how we dress, where and what we live in, how we decorate, what and where we eat…… and the list goes on. The daily expectations of what we’ve come to believe we need to complete us and make us feel whole, seems all external. It’s impossible to measure up nor is it sustainable or satisfying on a personal level. We are more than all of this. Love your insight.

  • Wonderfully (TRUE) post. My very best friend fell in love in Paris with a French man and that is exactly how it played out. In my opinion, the French do everything right ;)

  • Judith A. October, 8 2014, 11:51 / Reply

    I adore this post!
    It has to be worst in N.Y (100000000 times worst) but most of societies have an elite that can be like that. And we can always survive all the nonsense and even be happy there. Just look for the right people, the ones with soul and rational thinking!

  • Oh come on, Garance! I love you, but this is what’s wrong with fashion people and the super-rich in NYC. I am a regular girl with regular weight, I like fashion and have good clothes but I’m not caught up in the scene, I stay healthy but enjoy plenty of junk food and don’t kill myself at the gym, I don’t have a killer apartment, just what I can afford, and in a not so great neighboorhood, and somehow I managed to land a handsome, kind, smart boyfriend with a good job who loves me even if I gain 10 pounds (or 15) or if I lose my job or don’t know where the coolest restaurant is. The subset of New Yorkers who you describe definitely exist, and I used to try to fit in with that group, but trust me, you can find boyfriends and friends who appreciate you and love you just for being yourself and don’t demand perfection -you just have to stop expecting perfection in others. Plus, who wants to be with a guy or be friends with a girl that needs you to fulfill all of these requirements just to have a relationship with them?

  • There is just so much wrong with this post!
    I’m not sure why people are saying it’s hilarious or funny – it’s sad.
    It reduces every human interaction (whether it be for love or friendship) to what we have – i.e. what we earn, the apartment we live in, how it’s decorated! I say this as someone who loves looking beautiful, having nice things, but at the same time I just cannot comprehend this crowd! What about being funny? What about being educated, having interests outside of the mirror/gym, what about having talent?!
    I would never want a man who judges me purely on a tick list of material items. It’s such a depressing state of affairs…

    En tant que North American vivant à Paris, j’ai aussi été confrontée à la situation inverse, tout en étant aussi confuse et déstabilisée! Comment expliquer que tu sortes avec un mec que tu connais à peine? Même si je lui ai parlé pendant des heures, je ne connais rien à son sujet…Mmm.

  • I liked this post until I got to the paragraph saying that women have to be skinny and muscular in order to be considered perfect. NO no no! Sad perception of perfect.

  • It’s a wonderful, wonderful post! I spent a year in the States (no, not in NYC, but it was equally weird experience as regards romance) and could not understand a single thing about dating rules. Few years later I dated (yes, it turned out to be proper NYC dating on non-exclusivity basis, which I don’t get until now) an American. OMG, how can people complicate the simplest things like romance? What’s so great about all the game playing, rules, exclusivity/non-exclusivity, calling/not calling, etc? So thankful to live in Europe :) Once again: congratulations on a wonderful post!

  • Sophie Dhers October, 8 2014, 12:15 / Reply

    Tellement drôle !!!! Tellement ça en plus !!!! Je vis à Londres et c’est un peu ça en “moins pire ” …ce qui me plaît en etant française c’est notre “vraie ” spontanéité , alors on a nos humeurs ” of course ” , on est pas tjrs hyper accueuillant …mais quand même un peu d’authenticité parfois ça fait du bien ….
    Bravo pr ce post hillarant !!!! Xxx soph.
    Ps : j’espere que j’ai ecrit le ” parfait commentaire !!

  • I totally understand! There is so much pressure.

  • Nathalie October, 8 2014, 12:22 / Reply

    Superbe edito Garance, merci. ….. et merci à Stephanie pour son commentaire sur le blog….Revenons à des filles un peu ‘imparfaites’, à des moments de vie un peu imparfaits, un juste mileu entre le fantasme et la réalité. L’année dernière était devenue trop ‘manucurée’ à mon goût, le quotidien n’est pas une ‘pub’ en loop infini!

  • Clemence October, 8 2014, 12:37 / Reply

    C’est bien de pouvoir si bien retranscrire la vérité! Les gens sont fous a NYC et j’adore ca….. Ma solution est de rester comme je suis cool et naturelle et de ne pas penser a ce qu’on pense de moi;-)

    Une autre idée de sujet serait comment choisir l’école de mes enfants ?! ca passionne tous les gens a mon buro en tout cas….

  • Ben moi je suis peut-être trop française/parisienne mais être parfait c’est être cool. Et le reste ben ça vient en plus. Moi je suis vraiment trop cool pour faire un régime ou du sport alors j’essaie de ne pas manger trop de religieuses et de marcher beaucoup et puis ça va bien… La perfection pour moi c’est être en accord avec soi-même au quotidien et essayer de toujours s’améliorer.
    Reste cool Garance tu es par-faite !

  • raphaele October, 8 2014, 8:50

    Hum moi je suis francaise et mariee a un vrai new yokais, genre ne a Brooklyn, depuis 10 ans. pfff avec moi il a compris que toutes ces choses parfaites qu il avait ( super apart, PHD de la meilleure universit, super boulot, super potes dans le ilieu de la prod etc etc et son sper corps et sa belle gueule et sa femme parfaite youpy c est vrai quoi je suis trop geniale) c etait pas la cle du bonheur. On a fait plein de changements dans sa vie et maintenant il est super heureux !
    I also believe that everyone has their story, no one is perfect, thatS an illusion!!! y a toujours un truc soit dans l enfance, la famille, la sante (metale)
    C es bien pour ca que c est interessant de connaitre les gens pour de vrai (pas a l americaine bonjour bonsoir tu m a l air parfaite) pour less aider avec leurs casseroles, parce que la vie c est beaucoup surmonter des choses qui nous arrivent, et etre heureux quand meme, pas une course a la perfection. Alors vis ta vie Garance !!! Sois heureuse! (Je suis bien decue que le Bhutan abandonne sa poursuite du bonheur comme objectif !)

  • Laia Massiell October, 8 2014, 12:44 / Reply

    great post! I love this city, love love love it. But dating here ughhh not so much. Everyone has their own agenda. You’re post nails it, wish it were simpler and we New Yorkers could be more straight forward with matters of love the way we are with food (or where to get the best whatever).

  • SO TRUE, all of it. As if success was measured buy the level of perfectness, when it comes to fulfilling every. single. aspect of society’s ideals, New York style, that is. Even worse, it’s contagious and it’s as if you have to be a part of this game, otherwise your just some sort of an UFO, lol. Well, I lived there a couple years so, been there done that. I’m not French but Mexican, and I can tell you my dear Garance that, even when I love NY, I’m glad I rather preserve my roots and find my version of happiness than trying to be perfect for someone else’s eyes than mine. Plus, perfect is an illusion not real REAL LIFE.

  • The last paragraph in your post was golden and I think it’s true as your say. I am not french but I have always felt instinctual when it comes to men and potential relationships and if it feels right, you click and enjoy each others company then you really have something that is at least worth exploring. That said, my boyfriend was patiently persistent with me over a course of a year. It wasnt instinctual for me but once I opened by heart to the opportunity I could suddenly see him in a whole new light that allowed for something amazing to grow!


  • chipmonster October, 8 2014, 12:51 / Reply

    I LOVED THIS POST!!! Here I was reading it, with a glass of wine in one hand and a salami sandwich in another…thinking “Jesus I should really go to the gym”…oh but they salami and wine were so much better than busting my bottom on a treadmill…Thanks for being real, and not being afraid to talk the talk (the none BS talk).

    Peace and fireworks….and lots of wine

  • really great article!!

  • Loved reading this….you are a wise and funny woman! Thankyou for a beautifully written article.

  • Great writing, dear Garance!
    I live in Chicago, I’m married and I ‘m turning 30 next year. My life has nothing in common with yours in NYC. But, I can relate, really! I love visiting New York City and every time I go there, I get so inspired and happy and alive! I think it’s magical, full with powerful, positive energy. None of my friends would agree with me on this, but I don’t care. I realize that visiting and living there are two different things, but despite everything bizarre you mentioned in your post, I can tell how much you are intrigued by the City. The dating part you described is happening right now everywhere in America, if you live in a somewhat bigger city. It’s a byproduct of all the sitcoms and movies that we consumed over the years. People are so used to follow the “pattern”, shown by the fictional characters that they are scared/unwilling to think/feel for themselves. But this country is very diverse and despite all the classifications and generalizations , you notice those , who stay true to themselves : honest, curious, witty and open to everything new. . And you are one of them, Stay cool and not perfect and enjoy your NYC, the way you see it and love it.

  • Garance, tes posts socio comme ceux-là sont de vrais bijoux, et une des raison pour lesquelles j’adore ton blog ! Il y a un dosage parfait entre photos de mode et de lifestyle, articles de racontage de vie avec humour, descriptifs de tendances etc., et c’est ce qui rend ton blog incroyable ! S’il te plaît continue comme cela ! Merci pour ce que tu apportes à la blogosphère :)

  • Ahahahah j’ai trop ri ! merci Garance !

  • Ah, et je voulais aussi rajouter que tu étais une de mes inspirations de par ta créativité et ton sens de l’innovation ! Donc merci aussi pour ça !

  • American Psycho bonjour ! Ca fait peur quand même…
    Merci pour ce super article et…bon courage ?

  • I love this post. And I think this is why I should have been French. And would you consider taking on “a woman of a certain age” as an intern? Seriously. Could be interesting.

  • Ahh how I wish dating were as simple in Canada as in France! Instead it’s a mix of the French version and the American version, where some guys are really French about it, and some are more American. And now you have to guess who belongs in which category and act appropriately!

  • parlons un peu de la perfection a la parisienne d’un milieu equivalent: ne pas avoir de job de tueuse mais de l’argent de famille, un style décontracte très savamment etudie, ne surtout pas être refaite de façon ostentatoire mais avoir l’air bien moins que son age, avoir surtout compris que l’égalité homme-femmes n’existe pas et que le salut reside dans une position très feminine au sens traditionnel du terme, être une déesse du sexe parce que l’homme parisien attend ca….

  • I believe in you, Garance. All you can do is be authentic, be yourself, and I know everything will fall in line.

  • Great post, Garance!! Te lire confirme ce que j’appréhendais en déménageant ici il y a quelques mois. Mais comme toi, j’aime beaucoup cette ville. En fait, malgré toute cette pression et ce chaos, je crois que cette ville est unique par le simple fait qu’elle exige de la rigueur, qu’elle inspire et motive a vouloir faire mieux. Pas forcement une mauvaise chose quand on voit la quantité de talents de tout horizon (y compris toi) qui reside a NY.
    En passant, cette article de Zadie Smith capture aussi bien l’essence de Manhattan et j’espère te plaira.

  • Nini Piccola October, 8 2014, 1:51 / Reply

    O M G this post gives me so much anxiety!!! I’m glad you paint it all with a sense of humor but I hope someday you’ll return to your rooooots!!! Good luck!

  • I loved this post – especially the boxed non-box section at the bottom. When I moved to Canada from the Netherlands, I was so confused by the term ‘dating’. Actually, I still kind of am. It seems like North-Americans like to play this weird game where they refuse to commit and give things truly a go, and instead just keep their options wiiide open. How are you supposed to really know whether you are a good match if you don’t just focus on it?

    People kept telling me not to put “all eggs in one basket”, but seriously, if I like a guy, I like THAT guy. I can’t shop around for other guys, I just want this one. If it doesn’t work out, that sucks, but you never really know if you don’t give it your full attention.

    I am happy I am off the market now because the single/dating life here in North-America really is too silly to me. Either you want to commit, or not!

  • laurence October, 9 2014, 3:37

    “if I like a guy, I like THAT guy” Leonie you’re so right!! c’est exactement ça! je ne sais pas si je serais capable d’avoir plusieurs dates à la fois à cause de ça… en fait, je sais que ça ne marcherait pas pour moi, parce que si je rencontre qqn qui me plaît et que j’ai envie de revoir, je n’ai pas envie d’aller voir ailleurs. Ce qui n’empêche pas de démarrer doucement au début et de laisser venir. Et puis si finalement non, de passer à autre chose.

    Parce que même si je comprends le principe des dates, je trouve que ça complique drôlement les choses en fait. De toutes façons, je crois que ce n’est qu’une fassade, une façon de se convaincre qu’il y a des règles du jeu, des codes, une marche à suivre etc. Alors que c’est surtout une histoire de chimie, d’alchimie entre deux personnes, et que toutes les dates du monde ne changeront rien au fait qu’on se plaît et qu’on va bien ensemble… ou non :)

    “you can’t force chemistery to exist where it doesn’t in the same way you can’t deny it when it does” c’est tellement vrai! on ne peut pas contrôler ou forcer ses sentiments, et d’une certaine façon, heureusement!!

  • Martichou October, 8 2014, 2:10 / Reply

    I have been a silent reader of yours for yeeears but this is by far my favorite article you ever wrote!!! Pace e Salute!

  • New York is a great place but it is not without its flaws….and ironically very few of the people who live here, including those coveted Goldman bankers were born or raised here…….. so where does all this ridiculous hype come from??? Who is setting “the rules” by which young woman are living their lives? The measure of a successful life has to be more than bagging a rich husband, living in the right apartment and having a small, muscular body………..Garance, your blog is very insightful and does capture the nonsense that goes on……but it is also a cautionary tale….

  • Chere Garance, merci beaucoup de tes jolis mots. J´ai l´impression qu´aujourdhui tout le monde nous dit comment etre parfait, quelles tendences de mode il faut suivre, ce qu´il faut faire pour notre sante, quel sport est cool, comment réussir notre vie, qu´est-ce qu´il ne faut jamais faire etc. etc. etc. On a tant d´informations et de temps en temps il est tres difficile de faire “brainstorming”, de bien choisir (un ami, un job, une creme, une jupe, un sport, n´import quoi:). D´apres moi si nous voulons reussir dans la vie, il faut etre content de sois-meme et surtout aimer la vie. La vie est belle et il faut en profiter !!!

  • Good post. Sad too. I am in my late fifties and I never remember during my teens, twenties, and thirties – worrying SO MUCH about everything! Life just “happened”. Along with a lot of good times, – came mistakes, ups and downs, divorce, and more mistakes!
    Hang in there all you young women (and men) who are worried to death about having the right apartment, the right lover, the best job, the coolest friends, the most money, etc.. etc..
    My mother always said: “Everything always works out in the end.” And remember to always count your blessings!

  • I agree, I love and appreciate that Garance is so totally real here, but the whole situation makes me feel a little sad for all those people. Because that really isn’t what life is all about: looking perfect to other people. Just think of all the Hollywood/fashion stars who *have it all* until they go into rehab or overdose.
    It is important to define for yourself what success means to you, and not to judge yourself by other people’s parameters.
    And as for the “dating”, Garance, you are way too special to be one of the many! I’m pretty sure that when you meet the right guy you won’t have to audtition :D.

  • Dans le genre à NY, y’aussi le concept de la maman new yorkaise parfaite qui est tellement active avec des enfants parfaits qui font plein d’activité qu’elle arrive à suivre malgré son super job .. Pendant que la mère française se demande tranquillement comment elle pourrait éviter le prochain cours de danse .. et oublier malencontreusement l’anniversaire du copain pour partir tranquilou en week end !!

  • Dans le genre à NY, y’aussi le concept de la maman new yorkaise parfaite qui est tellement active avec des enfants parfaits qui font plein d’activité qu’elle arrive à suivre malgré son super job .. Pendant que la mère française se demande tranquillement comment elle pourrait éviter le prochain cours de danse .. et oublier malencontreusement l’anniversaire du copain pour partir tranquilou en week end !!

  • Cet article est quand même super instructif pour nous les français(es)! Ca explique beaucoup de choses, en fait. (et d’ailleurs ça explique aussi les relations amoureuses dans Les Sims. Bah oui j’ai jamais compris pourquoi il fallait officialiser le truc alors que les deux Sims étaient sortis ensemble genre 40 fois). Maintenant grâce à Garance même les Sims c’est plus clair ;) A bientôt!

  • Brittany October, 8 2014, 2:57 / Reply

    Oh, but this is why New Yorkers have “nutritionists, and acupuncturists, juice cleanses, even deliverable IVs with vitamins to cure hangovers” for the pursuit of perfection.

    The pressure to be perfect, but also instantaneously! Anything for the quick fix!

    And no wonder with everything one has going one, that the guy/girl doesn’t linger like the French – they have soulcycle booked for some crazy hour!

  • Très drôle et surtout très instructif! je n’avais qu’une vague idée de ce qu’était une “Date” (cf la vérité si je mens!!!!) mais là tu m’affoles!!

  • Love this post, life and love shouldn’t be so difficult!

  • MERCI MERCI Garance pour ce post ! Tellement vrai et effrayant …

  • Ce post est tellement génial! Having lived in the states for almost 12 years (mostly on the east coast and now in LA), partnered with an European man, and lived/visited Europe intermittently for work (the longest being a whole-season séjour in Paris this year), I have to say that what you portrayed in this post is one of the quintessential traits of main-stream America. It’s all about the PERFORMANCE and how one presents his/her (more on the her-side) performance to others! During my first few years in the states (when I was in my early 20s) I unintentionally gained myself an unfavorable reputation, simply because I had several short-term relationships for which I wholeheartedly committed to (and enjoyed) and by every single one of which I was utterly heart broken. Mark me, I was an ambitious young woman then and none of these “dramas” – as termed by those around me – negatively affected my productivity, but before long I realized that I was seen as disgraced, immature, and the type that “doesn’t know how to deal with her own life”. Although I did not understand nor make concord with this twisted perception by others of me, I had felt extremely wary of the criticism. And then, engaging myself in a “serious” long-term relationship currently, I now face a different EXPECTATION from others. After several of my younger peers got married and “settled”, they now persisted the statement that it should be my turn soon. When I expressed that I am in no hurry, they started to suspect that there is problem in my relationship. Il me parait que ça c’est vraiment une blague! Sérieusement! As you said, it is NOT a job! And, life — life is also not a job. In a modern society of a modern civilization – no matter how Utopian-isque it sounds like – a failed relationship or a failed marriage is NOT the end of the world! How one chooses how to live, as long as it does no serious harms to others, should, in my point of view, not become the object of scrutiny of one’s character. The question comes down to : why is it that one thinks everyone else wants the same thing in life? Or : why is it that so many people think they want the same thing? The notion of “perfection” exists only when there is a common goal which everyone is shooting for. Is there one, especially concerning such personal subject as romantic relationship?

  • You have told us about the beginning of a relationship in France, but I am curious to know how a relationship ends? Do relationships in France end as simply and casually, from an American perspective, as they started? In the US beginnings may be complicated, but endings always seem to be messy and filled with drama.

  • Ahhhhh misèèèèère ce dating! Je suis nord-américaine et Dieu merci nous n’avons pas ce truc à Montréal! En parlant de Montréal, les mecs n’y sont pas mal Garance… Tu ferais bien d’y jeter un coup d’oeil! Et la ville n’est qu’à une heure de New York en avion ;) (i.e. pratique!).

  • J’aurais juste envie de te dire une chose :fuis!!!

  • Garance, here in Brazil the dating thing goes equal as the US one. Also, the brazilian women are getting more and more obsessed for the perfection: body, work and heart issues.The “carioca” body became a prototype of how every woman must be – and I have to say: if you’re not gym girl and eats perfectly all the time, you just CAN’T have a body so musculous and tonified like them.
    And I think the same as you, like all the people around me are getting a little obsessed with all this coolness and perfectionism. Look, I’m a perfectionist too, and I like to be this way (it seems I have more control of my own life), but when this becomes craziness, we have to stop and think about it.

    I love your blog, and like other people say here, you are a very good chronist!

    kisses from Brazil,

  • Les relations sont déjà ben compliquées MAIS on s’en rajoute!
    En même temps, c’est tout ce “n’importe quoi” et toutes les galères des relations amoureuses qui nous font apprécier ce que l’on a en fin de compte.

    Moi aussi j’avais/ai/aurais (complication -_-) mon Mister Big et une paire de Manolo si va avec !!!

    En tous cas, j’ai bien rigoler.
    Bon à savoir que ma future carrière de PR ne me servira pas avec les hommes à NY

  • Stephanie October, 8 2014, 3:34 / Reply

    Garance, welcome to Noo Yawk! I know you’ve lived here for a while, but this post shows you really, really get it. I love the city as much as you do, but there are enough pressures here (like paying the rent!) without freaking out so much about personal stuff. Thanks for a much-needed laugh today.

  • Garance, you nailed this French vs. American dating thing. I’m franco-americaine and, having grown up in the States, have always been fascinated by the differences in dating! I’ve found it hard to explain to people but you did just that, and so accurately!

    Aside from the transatlantic differences in dating, though, this is one of my favorite posts you have ever written! I love your style, humor, honesty. If anybody is cool and perfect and perfect and cool, it’s you!

  • I lived in NYC for few years. but I didn’t feel this pression myself since I was married with a FRENCH MAN ! this is the secret for being happy with your love life in NYC !!! ;)
    I have to say (I hope it won’t be too mean) that I have never been attracted to american men since I am not ready to reach perfection and would never atteint for sure since my job, my apartment and my look is proudfly not perfection.
    So, I h

  • Même ton cynisme est rafraîchissant Garance, merci de continuer à nous étonner !

  • Great post, Garance, but now that I’m in my forties, I don’t play the perfection game anymore. I don’t live in NYC, either, but the perfection BS tends to follow women no matter where you are. But in my opinion, if you feel you must be perfect, then do this:

    Be yourself (follow no one)
    Make mistakes and learn from them
    Eat the damn food!
    Don’t do drama
    OWN IT…whatever the hell “It” is
    Love yourself, don’t give that job to anyone or anything
    And if you live in a city of ‘girls’ and ‘guys’ (like San Francisco), the perfect woman is a GROWN ASS WOMAN!

    And the French have got the whole love/dating/sex thing right…..something we uptight Americans should do well to observe!

  • “Eat the damn food”…HAHAHAHA thanks dear girl you just made my day!!!

    And so did you dear G. ….I think the best thing about your posts is this: you have created a lovely community where witty and clever ladies from all over the world share their thoughts …and hopes…and dreams! Keep up!
    *when is your book going to be released???

  • Sabrina.B October, 8 2014, 4:00 / Reply

    Complètement Névrosée!! J’envie mais alors pas du tout vos vies , et pourtant je suisvméga ambitieuse, ta réussite me fait rêver, ta présence , ton talent…
    Mais pas à ce prix!!

  • I think this perfection thing is prevalent in many parts of the US (I hail from the SF Bay area). It was one of the reasons I left the states nearly five years ago and haven’t looked back. While there are of course so many factors that can affect your experience, generally speaking, I feel so much more at ease and not constantly judged for how prestigious my job is or what handbag I’m carrying. Having a husband certainly helps with the whole ‘perfect man’ issue, but that frenetic pace and continuous struggle for perfection isn’t needed in the rest of life either.

    I think Americans envy this non-fascination with perfection because honestly, we’re all so tired of feeling like we couldn’t possibly measure up, but fear if we get off the social/dating/one-upmanship mouse wheel, we will forever lose any advantage we might have had. I for one am happy I got off and hopped over the big blue ocean for a more peaceful and somehow even more perfect life.

  • Je suis en plein date avec quelqu’un, complètement à l’Américaine comme tu as expliqué mais ici, à Paris. Et c’est très bizarre.
    Parfois on a juste peur de faire le “grand saut” et ça nous rassure cette relation soit disant “légère” mais qui finalement prend de l’ampleur.

    Merci pour ce post génial !

  • Hello Garance,

    Je te connais depuis longtemps (comment ne pas connaître la plus grande blogueuse française, celle qui a réussi aux Amériques !) mais te suis depuis peu.

    Je t’ai vraiment découverte lors de ton intervention au Alt Summit et je l’ai regardé jusqu’au bout alors que avouons-le, c’était long ! Je n’ai pas vu le temps passer, captivée par ton speech. Tu m’as fait rire. Ton côté spontané, tu es hyper authentique et drôle et tout ça, malgré le succès et la vie new-yorkaise qui aurait pu déteindre !

    J’ai lu ton article qui décrit tes années de fashion week. Excellentissime ! Moi qui suis loin de ce milieu et qui ne le comprends pas du tout (c’est pas faute d’avoir bossé dans un magazine de mode), j’ai adoré ton regard “distant” de celle qui pourtant en est.

    Tu es la petite souris que chacun aurait envie d’être par moment. Reste comme tu es : toi-même, authentique. C’est tellement rare dans ce milieu. Toutes ces blogueuses/rédactrices beauté ou mode dont le succès fait tourner la tête. C’est moche et triste pour elles.

    Et ce post que tu fais là, c’est tellement l’image qu’on peut avoir des It – New-Yorkais. Il manque la maison et les vacances dans les Hamptons ! Ils sont tellement loin de l’essentiel (je ne sous-entends pas que les Français l’aient compris).

    J’ai récemment vu une phrase de Nigel Marsh qui m’a fait sourire : “la vérité, c’est qu’il y a des millions de gens qui mènent des vies désespérantes, qui travaillent dur et longtemps dans un job qu’ils détestent, pour pouvoir se payer des choses dont ils n’ont pas besoin pour impressionner des gens qu’ils n’aiment pas”. Pas faux.

    To cut it short, bravo ! ;)

  • Oh Garance. Just when I thought maybe her blog has become to mainstream, too much stuff is promoted,too many boring fashion posts…. BOOOM. There you go. You hit the nail on the head: what a great post. The US has the most rigid and structured social life, everything is IN CONTROL. Nobody can just let loose. NYC is the worst. But it is everywhere in the US. Really, so spot on. Thanks for the post. I will be reading on!! Keep those posts coming, that you write like totally from a gut feeling. Bravo.

  • Catherine October, 8 2014, 4:18 / Reply

    I hate to tell you but it doesn’t get better with time. I have a couple of friends who gave up and had kids alone, thanks to artificial insemination. They were tired of the rat race, being extremely intelligent, successful women who were pretty but not drop-dead gorgeous enough to make any guy stay. I have a lot of NY friends who are single, sometimes by choice, sometimes less so. The women seem to fit a pattern–sinking years into a boyfriend who then decides she isn’t quite perfect enough to actually marry. They find themselves, in their 40s, being compared physically with women much younger. (And a fabulous job usually has to be something that isn’t threatening to men, such as being a model.) Some don’t care; others are sad about missing out on a family. The guys seem fine. Pushing 50 or well past it, my exes (and a bunch of other guys I know from work) are all still single and still dating 20-somethings. Some have fathered children, but they don’t live with them and just drop in as the spirit moves them. NY is a magnet for these Peter Pan types (read “The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P”). You want a nice guy? Go somewhere else. You want a good time in the sack with no tomorrow? Go out in NY.
    Check out this NYT editorial about “Who Runs the Girls?”

  • Au moins à NYC c’est clair, le mec voit d’autres filles et voilà. Une relation trop précipitée a peu de chance de fonctionner à mon avis (je crois difficilement aux coups de foudre). J’habite en Suisse et même si on date pas vraiment, enfin oui mais ça deviendrait vite plus sérieux, les mecs “bien” sont soit casés soit des con*****. On s’y fait.
    Je ne sais pas pourquoi ces derniers temps je n’ai fait que de rencontrer des mecs qui étaient en couple, ce qui ne les empêchait pas de finir avec d’autres nanas le soir venu. Et ça pour moi, c’est la définition du gros goujat… Celui qui voit plusieurs filles et qui ne leur a rien promis n’en est pas un à mes yeux. C’est à la fille de savoir sur quel pied danser et ne pas s’attacher au cas où le mec en choisirait une autre. Je trouve ça “fair”.

    Sinon la perfection new-yorkaise… Bon je serais déjà out n’étant pas maigre! En résumé, les dates je veux bien, arrêter de manger non merci hehe. Mais est-ce qu’il faut vraiment être maigre maigre ? Genre toi tu ne l’es pas assez ? (désolée mais tu as un corps de ouf alors si ça ça va pas à NYC à moi la peur)

  • I used to live in NY and while I agree with many of the points you make (party why I left!), I also used to live in France and disagree entirely with your assessment that French people don’t care about perfection. I think the real parisienne thing is not that you don’t care about perfection. You just want an (equally impossible to maintain!) disheveled, stylish-but-not-overdone (difficult!), and laid back version of perfection. It’s WORK to maintain that devil-may-care appearance and attitude. French women work very hard to make things look easy. This is not to discredit French women, but to acknowledge that women in many cultures are putting in overtime! I just think it is the goal that is different. In France, it is to appear very natural whereas in the US it is to look polished.

  • princessglee October, 8 2014, 4:32 / Reply

    You know what? Fuck New York.

  • Gabrielle October, 8 2014, 4:39 / Reply

    New York is so different for rich, fabulous people… It’s so funny.

  • Awesome post as always, Garance! Missed your writing for some time but happy to see you are wise as ever! :)

  • Bon en France, ce n’est peut-être pas tjs aussi simple que tu le décris! On n’échappe pas complètement à la société de consommation, après c’est encore loin du niveau des US.
    Une coloc américaine m’avait expliqué un jour, j’avais été scotchée, genre whaaat?! il y a des étapes?! même côté s*x (d’ailleurs pas forcément dans l’ordre qu’on pourrait penser en France)?! tu peux en avoir plusieurs en même temps, à des stades différents?! ! Bref la découverte! tellement éloignée de ma vision de française romantique que ne voit dans le fait de tomber amoureux que la spontanéité, l’inattendu, l’absence de raison, l’euphorie/les paillons, la maladresse qui va svt avec, plutôt perte de contrôle…

  • ay yi yi! i lived in nyc once upon-a and it was so different. the dating was a similar swirl of confusion (especially compared to what you’ve described in france), but the pressures re: perfect jobs and perfect bodies was delightfully missing. hollywood (and healthy living/eating for that matter) hadn’t infiltrated nyc yet, and there was no social media, so there also wasn’t that bombardment of others’ every accomplishment to have feelings of inferiority about. a little more anonymity and couldn’t-care-less-ness… been back in california from whence i came for a while now, but nyc remains my heart city (at least the one i knew!). xx

  • LA is similar – but that everyone is an actress in process. The men are always looking over their shoulder for someone better that may be walking in the room. It’s exhausting really. Once I decided – I can’t do this of course I met the best, nicest guy ever so in the end it all worked out.

    reading your NY story though reminded me of it all. I give you girls credit if you’re participating – it’s not for the faint at heart or those with anything close to self esteem issues.

  • This is so true. Why do women grovel?
    Even Nicki Minaj! I was so disappointed in the Anaconda video. Here she is celebrating her body type, and then it cuts to her crawling on all fours toward a fully clothed guy who sits there, with his arms crossed, like a judge. HE should be the one crawling to beg to worship before the goddess that is Nicki Minaj! What happened? Isn’t she powerful enough to get to rule in her videos? It makes me think of what Lena Dunham said in an interview about guys getting their sex education from porn, and wanting to do a bunch of weird stuff that has nothing to do with feeling good but a lot about power. Yuck.
    The pressure for perfection is all part of it. Women are supposed to be perfect. Men can be themselves. To counter this, women need to be more demanding of men and easier on themselves.

  • It’s funny because each time I read a post like this, I feel as though you’re in my head (even though I don’t live in New York *but should* and experience the crazy world that goes on there) and you’re saying all the things I want to say but usually don’t (or do depending on who you ask) because I already think I’m a bit crazy about The Institution. I feel the SAME way about the whole marriage/relationship/dating drama that we Americans make SUCH a huge deal/institution out of. I agree with you 100% and just realized that French people and Polish people may have something in common because my love story sounds suspiciously FRENCH. Anyhow, this is such a great post. Another reason (not that I need another) to love you as I do. (I’m American thusly allowed to say that!) :)

  • En résumé, et pour reprendre le titre de THE bouquin du moment (genre le livre – guide – qui reste sur nos tables de chevet) en France : “la femme parfaite est une connasse” (Anne-Sophie Girard et Marie-aldine Girard)
    Tu l’as lu?

  • Tu as retrouvé toute ta verve c’est trop cool!
    Un article frais, rigolo, dans l’air du temps et pour les filles juste…normales!
    Plaisir à lire :)


    Il faut savoir qu’en France on n’est pas mieux “loties”!
    Les français (contrairement aux françaises) se sont calés sur le modèle américain : ils essayent plusieurs femmes en même temps (en leur disant à chacune qu’elles sont les seules qu’ils fréquentent en ce moment) en pensant que même si ces dernières sont jolies, ont de l’humour et sont intelligentes, il y a surement d’autres femmes encore mieux qu’elles! La société de consommation n’existe pas seulement dans la mode! Les hommes consomment et se lassent vite…

    A Paris il est presque impossible de rencontrer un homme (j’ai 37 ans et 10 ans de galère dans cette ville)…Il n’y a pratiquement plus de soirées à cause du bruit, les hommes et les femmes ne vont pas les uns vers les autres…seuls les sites de rencontres permettent d’échanger un verre souvent sans avenir…

    J’espère juste que la société va évoluer de ce côté là!

    Pour ce qui est du fait que tu restes “toi même”…venant d’une corse je serai déçue si tu étais devenue superficielle!

  • Sinivali October, 8 2014, 5:31 / Reply

    Bon, tout a été dit plus haut, mais je ris toute seule à la lecture de cet article !
    Bravo !

  • Dear Garance,

    As a very new mum I walk around my neighborhood (noho) and sometimes feel inadequate in the presence of soooo many perfect New York girls. But then I realize that I like wearing sneakers and no makeup and eating croissants and having my little business. (I did win at the marriage, baby, sweet apt and country house part of life I guess so I really cannot complain as I do not have to use tinder or pay rent. No doorman tho!)

    Anyway, Please let me know when you would like to go eat pastries at the Smile in sweatpants on a girl date. After skipping soul cycle and blowing off work for the morning! I will be carrying my baby in a Celine bag to prove I am cool ;)

  • J’adore le dernier paragraphe : “petit precis de French love….” qui m’a remonte le moral parce que les americains qui courent apres la perfection me donnent le tournis ! Les premieres fois que j’ai entendu “perfect job, husband, house, baby, etc….”, j’ai demande, mais pour quoi faire ? Et la spontaneite dans tout cela ? Silence, suivi de ” oh, you French are so different !”

  • Let me warn you, out here in Michigan and Ohio most of the eligible men are already married or divorced with kids by their mid-twenties/early thirties. It’s hard to find a decent bachelor and the men are so bashful!

    I love this post! It reminded me both of what amused me and daunted me about dating in the city when I lived there a while ago. On a flight the other day, the woman next to me who I struck up a conversation said, “You just have to know what you have to offer in a relationship. Then you won’t feel a need to measure yourself against other women.” I wish I’d met her when I lived in NYC. I was a shrinking but still heavy woman in that city. I felt like no size would ever be small enough. The irony is that I did meet men who were interested in me there but I was too self-conscious to let it go anywhere.

    I’ve never been less than chubby (granted, I’m 5′ 7″ so my weight gets stretched out). When I went back to visit the city after leaving, I had two men ask for my number in a weekend. It sort of make me realize that I had limited myself when I lived in the city by thinking the type of guys who only want “NYC Skinny” girls are the only ones that exist.

    Anyway, thanks for the post! I definitely love the idea of “French dating.” That’s what I keep aiming for even though I grew up in Michigan.

  • Annabelle October, 8 2014, 7:07 / Reply

    Garance, BEST POST EVER. Having lived all over the world and ten years in New York City’s UES, this post is very much the way it is and if you aren’t a model ~ forget about normal dating, marriage and having children with any man. The men in NYC are spoiled brats and do not care about anything but appearances. So glad that I do not live there any more!

  • Letícia October, 8 2014, 7:43 / Reply

    I’m from Brazil and I think here is likewise. I should move to France…

  • Alana Veira October, 8 2014, 8:08 / Reply

    Interesting post so everything I ever thought about New York is true sounds scary and fascinating at the same time.

  • Super article!!! And even in the most sarcastic of ways it sounds accurate! Good luck new york ladies!

  • I love reading about all the different ways people come together romantically in different cultures, but I’d also be interested in learning about the cultural nuances of “breaking up” or separating. I think perhaps the reason the screening process of dating in America is so intense because heartbreak is what they would all like to avoid. Maybe when they’ve all absolutely tried their best and it all turns to shit anyway, at least they don’t have to blame themselves? Because…hey, everything was laid out on the table! It’s not my fault! You knew what you were getting into! Etc. I think the downfall of American society and subcultures is that they are strangely difficult and unadaptable when it comes to change. God forbid you’re no longer the person I met five years ago; your ideals have changed, your needs/wants/desires have changed. You might as well be a stranger. Get out of my house, we’re over. Americans spend so much time focused on the chase and finally landing a serious significant other that they’ve already used up all their brainpower and energy. They forget that there is continuous growing to be done in life, and it must be done together with acceptance and support. That, I believe, is the hard part. Not finding *someone* (which is already so unfair, people can be a million different ways all at the same time, so many facets to just one single human person…why put them in a box in order to deem them acceptable?), but learning to be that someone worth finding! That’s where it gets tricky.

    How is heartbreak viewed in France? I feel they’re conditioned to be a lot more acquainted with loss and sadness. Maybe almost befriend it? Or pretend it never happened? Very curious!

  • enjoy being single……love comes….

  • jennifer October, 8 2014, 9:28 / Reply

    Garance! I adore this post! For years I dated in what you wrote as “the French way” and was looked upon poorly for it.
    Thank you for the laughes and inspiration really great post.
    Perfection is no fun. I’ll keep my imperfect life, amazing family, my normal BFF’s and my beloved kids any day.

  • in my view, you are perfect, Garance, meaning really really good at what you do. I love personal stories like this, you are so good at writing, I love your style which is funny and relatable. I think that what you are best at is your writing, as well as your photos and illustrations – and it is not so much the fashion aspect which interests me, but your love for beauty and your ability to create an atmosphere – when you do that, with your writing, your photos or your illustrations you make me feel very happy. it is such a joy – you remind me of the joy of beauty, of creativity – the joy of living.
    Thank you for that. I hope your´re doing well.
    Lots of love from Germany, Hamburg

  • Ah ! J’aurais tellement aimé avoir eu de telles explications, il y a un an – avant de commencer à ‘date’ un New-Yorkais (façon française dans mon esprit, façon new yorkaise dans le sien) et de découvrir les différences par la pratique -_-

  • I do so love when you do posts like this. They are always make me laugh and ring so true. I also really really love the illustration at the beginning. I hope you will make it available as a print in your shop.

  • Yes there is definitely an end game to dating in New York, women are looking for their security blanket and I don’t blame them. New York is a tough city and although it’s great to achieve your own success it’s nice to lean on the “perfect man”. All good things take effort so though we’ll never be “perfect”, taking care of yourself physically and mentally is necessary if you want to attract a guy who is taking care of his business.

  • Just have to say it’s really admirable that you still reply to comments on the site to keep dialogue going between you and your readers. Keep up the good work and never stop being you!

  • Well put. Very accurately captures the madness that is dating in NYC. As a fellow (though not French) European who loves living in NYC, I still scratch my head about why the dating here is so awfully difficult and so many amazing women are getting stuck in the never-ending loop of men who are perennially “optimizing” their choice and never commit. Even when they have amazingly accomplished women by their side. And arrival of Tinder and other similar apps is only making it worse, shortening attention spans and breeding bad behaviors and lack of communication. I think you are right, there is enough material in this to write a whole book!

  • Stephanie October, 8 2014, 10:34 / Reply

    Yes! Columbus, Ohio is great! All you New Yorkers are welcome to move here, leaving the perfect life baggage behind! The rents are much more reasonable.

  • Patricia October, 8 2014, 10:36 / Reply

    I laughed out loud reading this post !!! all that “perfection” is an false image projected by what we see in Hollywood movies and yet it is an illusion !!! so sad lots of people (not just in New York) are buying into that crap and become victims of it !!! I am living in Buenos Aires for more than now and feel so much happier just being who I really am and living as I please, which is what I think life should be like. No one here cares about “perfection” although people say “perfecto” a lot even for many imperfect things !!! I like very much a quote by Caroline de Margreit, she said:”Looking for perfection, as Americans do, is a lack of self-confidence” !!! Get real, relax and enjoy life as it is !!!

  • This was a funny post…… As a native New Yorker i have to say some of it is true… but only for a small portion of people… the truth is , you are pretty perfect; Maybe with some imperfections, just like NYC!

  • Well written and true. Perfection is an impossibly elusive set of ever-evolving rules requiring endless tasks and superhuman feats that only serve to distract us from really enjoying our lives and figuring out who we really are. I’ll take imperfect… (as I type this in my super cozy white James Perse sweatshirt that has chocolate stains on the sleeve)

  • I simply love this post. I was dated an American guy (not from NY) for months and it felt exactly what you said here – until I have to bring up the question “are we exclusive?” and even when we were exclusive, we were still NOT boyfriend/girlfriend. SO COMPLICATED! So. I guess I won’t be dating Americans for quite awhile. I’m from Singapore, based in London.

  • Clotilde October, 9 2014, 12:51 / Reply

    Ce très bon article me fait penser que nous méritons nos emmerdements, pardon, nos ennuis, et nos névroses. Finalement, il suffit de dire NON, de refuser ce cirque social pathétique et ridicule. Si on ne perd dans l’affaire que des rencontres et des relations futiles, ce n’est pas un problème de dire non!

  • Steph à Berlin October, 9 2014, 12:51 / Reply

    formidable post, Garance, pas si cynique que ça, lucide, quoi ! Bises de Berlin où le dating est déjà bien ancré…

  • Tu dois vraiment avoir l’air d’être sur une autre planète, parfois! Merci pour cet amusant article.
    Mais quand même, comment tu sais/dis/officialise que tu passes de “date” à officiel? Tu lui fais une déclaration? tu le déclares aux impôts en 3 exemplaires? (ça semble si compliqué!)

  • Garance, thank you for this post! The honesty and insight has reminded me of all of the reasons I love your blog.

    As a native New Yorker however it’s disappointing to see some of the commentators writing “New York is terrible!!” “Get out of there!” The energy and craziness of the city can make it a challenging place for sure, but for me is infinitely more interesting. However it’s true that it can bring you down, so I have quelques petits conseils as to how to get around the stress and the superficiality:

    It’s good to live in a neighborhood with a strong sense of community – it might not be the swanky West Village (though maybe yes, who knows), but in certain neighborhoods especially in the outer boroughs you can really get to know your neighbors, participate in community projects, etc. and overall it’s a much more humanizing experience that will help put all of the BS in perspective. Also, frequent weekend trips are great to get away from the insanity, but by the end of the weekend you miss the city and are ready to throw yourself back into the routine.

    As for the “American-style dating”…for the younger generation at least the so-called “hookup culture” can be so overwhelming and confusing that there’s something appealing about the structure of dating. But no style is superior, and ultimately people should do what they genuinely find most fulfilling, whether it’s dating or hooking up or “French dating.” And I definitely don’t think this means Americans know less about romance than Europeans…anyway love is much greater than these cultural mating rituals! Courage Garance!

  • Oh my Garance, this post made me laugh hard!!!!! I love your sense of humor and reading your point of view, I think you are totally right!

  • Je viens du Québec, et on fait un peu les deux. On a des “fréquentations” et des copains/copines officiels.
    Des fois les gens se fréquentent pendant des années sans jamais rien officialiser,
    des fois le contraire. Donc on voit un peu de tout.

    J’ai vécu un an en France et j’étais absolument pas au courant de la rapidité du couple là-bas,
    disons que quand un gars a dormi (mais vraiment juste dormi) chez moi et m’a aussitôt invitée
    à un pique-nique avec TOUTE sa famille, j’ai paniqué, et je l’ai mis dehors!

    *différences culturelles*

  • C’est drôle, on dirait beyrouth, sauf que les mecs sont tous moches -a 30 ans, ils prennent du ventre, perdent leurs cheveux, et ont des poils qui poussent dans le nez et les oreilles- et les femmes sont toutes mannequins seulement -la plupart du temps avec un boulot aussi médiocre que leur personnalité-
    Donc les générations a venir seront moches et stupides. ça promet.

    Et chere Garance, toujours ce plaisir de te lire. tu es parfaite.

  • LOVE this! And it explains why I felt a bit weirded out by all the neurosis I saw in New Yorkers when I visited!

  • Wow you hit the nail on the head…
    I took my own path, a very unconventional one, and the result was that now I get to be with the love of my life. To hell with these crazy rules…fall in love your own way!

  • In Germany it`s the same as in France. Thank goodness!

  • En fait si j’ai bien compris, l’amour à New York c’est exactement comme L’AMOUR EST DANS LE PRÉ chez nous : tu rencontres le bétail, tu mets en concurrence puis tu essaie de choisir. Juste la pollution en plus et les pres en moins. Pitaing je mesure à quel point je suis heureuse dans ma cambrousse avec mon mec, mes mômes, mes bottes Vivienne Westwood, mon pantalon d’équitation Gucci (faut pas déconner non plus) et mes chevaux…

  • Sorry, but you use too many parentheses. It makes reading this post a bit hard.

  • Caroline October, 9 2014, 3:35 / Reply

    Bonjour Garance
    A voir l’ampleur des réactions à ton “billet d’humeur-humour” à la française, je m’inquiètes… et déteste de plus en plus LA PERFECTION ULTRA CONTRÔLÉE,
    dans la vie, dans le travail aussi … car à l’usage, il vaut beaucoup mieux utiliser la partie de son cerveau qui n’est pas sous contrôle … mais qui est plus instinctive : il y a là des ressources incroyables d’intelligence, une intelligence primitive (au bon sens du terme) qui permettait à l’homme de se sortir des griffes du lion …. et qui, modestement, aujourd’hui nous offre de vivre plus joyeusement dans cette jungle…
    D’ailleurs, ceux qui fascinent les autres souvent se démarquent des règles… ils font les leurs et c’est ce qui nous charme…

    Et puis, il y a des coins du monde où toutes ces “dures” questions ne se posent pas….

  • AuroreFromMorocco October, 9 2014, 3:53 / Reply

    Garance, comme toutes les frenchies vivant à l’étranger tu as ce “je ne sais quoi” qui fais toute la différence….
    et qui permet de s’affranchir de certaines règles bidons… en fait c’est notre côté “fresh french” qu’ils aiment bien les américains, non? bise

  • New York dating is pretty much how dating is also in Manila. Maybe it’s not geographical or cultural (NY/Americans vs. Paris/French), maybe it’s a generational thing–(don’t hate me!)–maybe this is just how millenials date?

  • Katarzyna October, 9 2014, 10:14

    No, no, it’s not a generational thing. I am a milenial myself and having friends all over Europe, I can assure you, that “French way” of dating is pretty much European way.
    And so it goes for many other things where NYC differs from Paris – most of the time the comparison could be NYC towards Europe.

  • Bernadette October, 9 2014, 4:12 / Reply

    Super post, Garance! Merci beaucoup!
    Je ne tienderais pas une journée à New York. Sounds really exhausting…

  • Veronique October, 9 2014, 4:39 / Reply

    I absolutely loved reading this post!

  • Quel bel article! Quelle tendre ironie! Et puis c’est vrai, c’est bien plus facile en Europe l’amour (même si on obsède quand même sur un tas de choses… faut être mince en mangeant de tout, chic sans faire d’effort, bon job mais on voit les copains pour un verre, hein?). Cela dit nos cousins américains ont aussi plein de bonnes choses, il s’agit de tirer le meilleur de chaque culture, non?

  • Hello Garance ,

    Je suis une fille de l’ombre , de celles qui te dévorent , enfin tes postes depuis tes débuts …Mais là j’ai ‘trop envie’ même si tout a été dit ou presque !
    Dans ta longue liste de choses à faire ou à avoir , hors le concierge et le toit terrasse j’ai l’impression que tu as beaucoup d’atouts dans ta manche (et ailleurs!! ;-)
    Ne le sais -tu vraiment pas ?!
    Mais n’y a t-il personne pour t’ouvrir les yeux ? damned!!!!
    Mais REGARDE-TOI (tu sais du genre si je n’étais pas moi que penserai-je de …moi ?!) !
    Car on sait bien que ce n’est pas une pose mais que tu n’es really pas consciente de tes nombreux atouts !
    C’est bête , non ?!
    Bon OK tu n’es pas parfaite version NY (mais dieu t’en préserve !) mais bon quand même (ah moins que tes nombreuses tares bien cachées … ;-))))
    Vieillir c’est en prendre conscience , zut alors !
    Bon enfin en France aussi je pense qu’on commence à ‘raisonner ‘ à l’américaine ! Hommes comme femmes d’ailleurs tout en voulant garder le côté ‘love’ de la chose (ou en faisant semblant pour habiller le truc ?!) .
    J’ai un copain qui dit en avoir marre d’écumer les rencontres via les sites et a envie d’une ‘vraie (!) et belle relation mais il trouve que les filles espérent toujours trouver mieux (niveau job , physique ..) mais il n’a pas conscience que lui aussi !!!!!
    Enfin pas facile d’un côté comme de l’autre !
    Alors que quand on discute avec les célibs (dont je suis) ils paraissent vouloir toutes et tous trouver la même chose : l’amour ! :-)
    Mais on doit mettre des choses très différentes derrière ce mot -tiroir .
    Beaucoup (dont je suis … un peu !) veulent soigner (,) leur égo en étant avec ‘quelqu’un ‘ qui élève (?!) l’image qu’il renvoit …enfin m….e quoi on ne vit pas avec une image (enfin c’est à en douter )
    A quand ton prochain post sociologique ?!
    Il y aurait tant à dire mais ce genre d’écahanges sert aussi à prendre conscience avec plus d’acuité de choses que l’on fait / vit et c’est comme ça que les choses peuvent avancer …
    J’en profite pour t’embrasser !
    Et comme toutes ici je te dis : don’t change pleaaaaaaase !!!!!(n’oublie pas le vaccin au besoin ;-)))

  • What can i say, i am not American or French but european still (Portuguese) , witch means i love and social interact the French way, but like everyone else that loves fashion i am obsessed with NYC and it’s people :) so i totally get you Garance. Having said that i am amazed by your brilliant, sumptuous and witty sense of humor, you are a very clever and intelligent women , now that’s number 6 on my perfection list ;)

    Thank you for sharing


  • Note à rendre jalouse vos amies américaines : ici on peut être imparfaite et intelligente, avoir un métier qui nous fait rêver nous, être mariée à un homme nécessairement imparfait mais l’avoir épousé pour de mauvaises raisons et l’aimer quand même toutes ces années plus tard, avoir eu des enfants formidables, brillants mais nécessairement tout aussi imparfaits que nous. Avoir 10 kg de trop (selon mon auto-norme parisienne, ce qui doit vouloir dire 20 de trop selon la norme NYaise) ET avoir encore des hommes qui tombent amoureux de vous… VIVA le romantisme !
    La vie n’est qu’une question de codes, quels qu’ils soient, où que l’on soit, la seule chose qui compte c’est de se sentir soi-même et heureux dedans. Personnellement je ne survivrai vraissemblablement pas 10 jours à NYC, donc je vis ici ;-)

  • Et je me pose quand même une question : ils ne tombent jamais amoureux les américains ? peut être que ça n’existe pas l’amour et que c’est aussi une dimension culturelle….
    Parce que sinon, qu’est-ce qui justifierait qu’un américain ne tombe pas paf par hasard après quelques heures folles de discussion, qu’est-ce qui fait qu’un américain n’aurait pas envie de se dire “je ne veux pas laisser sortir cette fille de ma vie”. ?

  • I’m exhausted just by reading your article. After all, I think living in a small town in Europe is not that bad.
    have you thought about coming back to the old (but less stressful apparently) continent?

  • Garance, such a great post.
    Well, even if I don’t have any sociological skill, what you describe it’s exactly what comes out from all this social “bombing” (instagram/FB/Twitter) of fashion Bff’s, bloggers, all these: ” amazing, stunning, love my job ” … and infact among “normal” not perfect people we talk about all this world just like we talk about an american movie that, sure, can be a lot of fun and fascinating, but at the end of the day it’s doesn’t feel like real life, love, tears, laugh, food enjoying and true partying ….it’s just fiction, entertainment. Or maybe I’m wrong?
    Sometimes I just wonder how you can deal with the pressure! are you just able to let it go and live an imperfect life? Even though to me you are GORGEOUS!

  • Puis peut-être qu’à force de “dater” sans jamais se fixer ils n’auront plus d’enfants les gens parfaits, et la race s’éteindra d’elle même, comme le dodo de l’Ile Maurice, le dauphin de Chine ou le Bruant à dos noirâtre. Et le reste de l’humanité pourra enfin vivre en paix avec ses défauts et débarrassé de tant de perfectitude débile :D

  • Eléonore October, 9 2014, 6:08 / Reply

    Merci Garance, c’est agréable de te lire, ton point de vue est toujours très fin et très drôle! J’aimerais plus de “chronique” de ce genre :-) Xx

  • Mariateresa October, 9 2014, 6:08 / Reply

    C’est exactement ainsi, chère Garance e pas seulement à N.Y. e tout dans un unique vite? Impossible! happy few, very few!Ici Bari, bisou!

  • Clarissa October, 9 2014, 6:10 / Reply

    c’est vraiment comme dans Sex and the city alors… ben ça me fait pas du tout rêver.
    Ceci dit, je me trompe peut-être, mais c’est le New York vu par les filles travaillant dans la mode, donc pas “le vrai”. Comme Paris vu les rédactrices mode quoi.

  • Ah ah, extra ! Sont vraiment bizarres ces américains…. ;-)

  • I’m Italian and I used to date in the French way.
    This is a great post, Garance.
    To deconstruct and analyze every single aspect of life is reneging instinct.
    And love, thanks god, is pure unreason.

  • Yep. When I lived in NYC, I read that the statistics were SEVEN single women for each guy, which was only beat by Tokyo, where it was nine. And even though I was a skinny, fashionable, well-read actress I had a guy dump me because I wore a smoky eye look to meet his friends (“too rock n’roll”) and another because he was embarrassed that I had to work at a luxury hotel in-between acting gigs. So I find this to be spot on…but especially true of the little bubble of Manhattan Life. I was just in Michigan visiting family and I certainly didn’t get the perfectionist vibe there.

    And my end to the dating story? I found a great French guy and moved to Provence! Much, much less game playing involved and thirteen years later…well, I may not be as thin as I used to be (frooomaaage!) but I am happy…

  • Garance,

    Comme dirait Asterix – Ils sont fous ces ricains….Laisse tomber. Vive la mediterranee!

  • Catherine October, 9 2014, 7:11 / Reply

    Lorsque j’ai lu cet article (très intéressant et terrifiant) j’étais hors de moi… sidérée et en même temps les mots défilaient dans ma tête…

    Ce que je trouve affligeant, c’est comment les femmes et les hommes ont tendance de nos jours, et apparemment de manière bcp plus concentrée à New York et dans certaines grandes villes, à se considérer de plus en plus comme des objets. Choisir une paire de chaussures ce n’est pas choisir un partenaire. Une chose sûre c’est rassurant, mais une personne n’est pas un objet, et il y a donc des paramètres qui nous échappent. A commencer par la rencontre… Et oui, encore faudrait-il que le “choix” de l’autre puisse être vraiment rationnel.. (Combien de fois choisissons nous des gens pas faits pour nous, qui nous font souffrir, mais que l’on aime terriblement?) Et il ne l’est pas!
    Ceci m’amène aussi du coup à cette question du désir.. Pas le désir tel qu’on l’entend aujourd’hui, comme une réalisation d’un fantasme, ooooh je désirerai tellement ce beau manteauuuu! Je désire trop ce mec veux coucher avec!
    Nan, c’est le désir qui prend aux tripes, celui qui fait qu’on reste en vie, qu’on se bat, qu’on grandit, qu’on aime… Celui qui participe à l’éclosion de notre humanité. Celui qui nous fait être une personne singulière, qui arpentera les voies qui mènent à la création…
    Ainsi, je trouve que ces gens qui “tombent” là dedans, ont oublié leur désir. Un couple, ça se construit, et comment peut on “choisir” quelqu’un si au départ on ne mise pas dessus? Si au départ il nous faut une “preuve” que cette personne est “sûre” ? Où est la prise de risque? Où est l’amour là dedans?
    C’est triste, c’est grave, c’est le reflet de notre époque où tout ce qui est subjectif tombe peu à peu dans l’ ce n’est pas si étonnant donc que l’image dans notre époque soit si prédominante. Si importante.. Le problème c’est qu’aujourd’hui, on y croit à ces images.. Bienvenue dans la Matrice..

    Merci pour ce post Garance.

  • Léa D. October, 9 2014, 3:00

    Merci Catherine, je suis tout à fait d’accord ! :)
    Mais (BORDEL!) il est où l’amour dans tous ça ?!
    Le couple n’est pas une liste de critères à cocher! Si j’avais appliqué cette méthode je ne serai pas avec mon amoureux, et Dieu sait que je n’ai jamais été aussi heureuse qu’en sa compagnie (et oui 11ans de plus j’aurais pas cocher ça sur ;) !

    Merci Garance pour ce super article !

  • I think we greeks fall in love in the same way with french people ;)

  • Birkenstock October, 9 2014, 7:45 / Reply

    A seldom item for a fashionblog, but the discussion is interesting thanks to your candor, Garance. My point of view: Settled in good old Europe I’m not sure, if the dating thing is cultural related in general. Maybe the NYs are dating straighter like there is no time to lose and handle love from the very beginning as a part of what I call life-business: do the best you can to get the best. Romantic love happens in the college-years (that is what Garance called innocent) and also in between, but ends not often in marriage. Marriage is a social item all over the world in times past and now. Marriage and following having children means also in emancipated societies the males investment of time and power/today:money and the females invest of (much more) time and beauty+youth=health. Overall in former times and todays conservative circles family clans play the rule of a jury. In modern societies our cliques take this part. I call NYs dating not cynical but naive. You can take after long, long search the perfect partner ever – it is not a guaranty for livelong happyness: maybe long awaited children won’t come or you are losing all comfort after a business crush or fall in serious illness … and then everything you have counted on is changed. At the end? Enjoy life and especially the “in betweens” or play the lovegame. It is not so different in NY westside from elsewhere.

  • Salut Garance,
    je suis expatriée depuis une 20aine d’années avec ma famille.
    Ce que je dis à mes fils : rien ne sert d’aller chercher ailleurs que dans votre propre culture l’oiseau rare ou la vie de rêve : c’est déjà suffisamment compliqué comme cela. Bien que ton post soit cynico-sarcastique (comme on aime tous), il fait mal. Il montre la bêtise de certains systèmes sociaux. Je lis que tu as le recul “frenchie” nécessaire pour ce genre de “foire” mais bon, ta vie, comme la notre est peu simple et ne va pas sans un certain prix à payer …
    PS : Merci trop pour le futur Pardon My French !!!

  • Je ne comprend pas trop: rien ne sert d’aller chercher ailleurs que dans votre propre culture

  • Well, the European (French) way fits the Greek pattern of meeting a guy too and if there is a third (or a fourth according to this post) person in the story, it is not something you can assume is …fine nor logic… don’t ever try to persuade a Greek man or woman that dating and sleeping with few at the same time is normal and a good way of finding out who’s right for you. The “big eyes “ reaction is the minimum you will get !!!
    great post

  • christelle October, 9 2014, 8:26 / Reply

    Article excellentissime, es-tu en train de devenir Carrie ? ;) Effectivement, un bouquin sur le sujet serait plus que bienvenu, parce qu’au-delà de NYC, Paris est aussi une ville où les règles sont devenues trop compliquées.
    C’est parfois si décourageant. L’amour aujourd’hui est encore plus compliqué qu’avant.
    Mais tout réside aussi dans ton humour aussi. Ta distance sur le triste constat entre “l’offre et la demande”, termes terribles, mais qui me semblent appropriés.
    omg cet article est top, vraiment… Continue sur ce thème stp !!

  • 1 mec pour 4 filles…
    mon dieu… En plus, si on est une fille lambda (la version française de la fille lambda, hein, pas la brésilienne …, celle qui mange des croissons et qui va chercher ses enfants à deux rues de la maison en voiture, qui fume au petit déj et qui pense qu’une ballade en forêt avec le chien, le mari et les gosses (j’ai mis le chien avant le mari…freud???) c’est faire du sport), ça fait 1 mec pour 8 filles (une grande maigre, ça compte double). Le paradis pour l’homme quoi!
    Moi qui trouvais que nos hommes ont vraiment le melon ces temps -ci. “Un jour , j’irai PAS à new york avec toi”;;;car pas folle la fille…Déjà qu’en France ça craint!Je ne suis pas Gisèle , mais bon, j’aime pas trop le dire, mais on dit que je suis jolie (voilà, c’est fait, ..pourquoi les françaises ont honte de se savoir jolies??? ou il n’y a que moi qui trouve ça vulgaire de reconnaître ses qualités ?(,quoique la beauté, c’est un héritage, donc pas vraiment une qualité, on va donc plutôt parler d’atouts.)), et bien, je me fait draguer par TOUT LE MONDE…et ça m’énerve, parce que du coup je me dis que sur ma tronche, c’est écrit OPEN BAR… Dans le métro, des filles plus jolies, aussi jolies, moins jolies et le mec qui n’a pas trop le choix…Ce mec, vient me voir systématiquement…Alors, je me fais embêter par de l’ado, de l’étudiant, du papa mal aimé, du mec qui traîne, du mec qui court entre deux RDV. Point commun: ce mec casse plutôt des cailloux que des briques, prétentieux, impoli, abonné à meetic et à tout ce qui permet de mater ou pêcho de la nana. Au départ , je me disais que j’avais une sorte de “phéromone de la loose” qui me collait à la peau et qui envoyait le message “entre toi et moi, tout est possible” à tous les mâles dominés…je redoutais chaque oeillade lancée par un de ces gars paumé mais pourtant plein d’assurance. Je me suis rendue compte que c’était une tendance générale (OUFFFF), les hommes osent plus, c’est un peu période de fête pour eux là, non? On se vend sur des sites, on se fait la guerre entre filles: la divorcée de 35 ans avec 3 enfants contre la célib de 30 ans en panique hormonale (ah, la pancarte qui dit “35 ans, no kids, t’es morrrrte…même ta grand mère est lus épanouie que toi, elle sort avec Mr polignol qui a des mouchoirs de poche géniaux…”).
    Qui profite le plus de ces date à NY, les hommes ou les femmes qui n’osent pas demander l’exclusivité??? J’avoue qu’en tant que française, ça me fait cogiter (et délirer aussi, mais j’ai un problème de concentration, je passe du coq à l’âne dans les conversations, parfois même dans la même phrase). la rivalité pousse au perfectionnisme , tout ça par manque de coeurs à prendre?? Chercher l’amour va nous rendre , finalement, malheureuses, trop triste…

  • Thank you so much Garance ! J’adore quand tu parles de sujet de cette façon !
    Oui ce système de vie parfaite et de date, je deteste…C’est pareil à Londres et j(‘avoue ne rien y comprendre…surtout moi qui suis plutot spontanée ! La perfection n’est pas une panacée ! Et puis on risque de s’ennuyer avec le temps si le partenaire est parfait, non ? Enfin, merci pour cet article, ce souffle salavateur ! Tu dis tout haut ce que beaucoup penses tout bas ! :)

  • Article très drôle, Garance! Mais je crois qu’il s’agit d’un phénomène qui touche nos sociétés occidentalisées depuis belle lurette… J’avoue avoir chosi ainsi mon mari, non avec des “dates” mais il y avait les critères du job valorisant qui lui donnaient une bonne longueur d’avance sur d’autres gars qui me plaisaient aussi… À trente, trente-cinq ans, on y attache beaucoup d’importance et c’est assez normal, le besoin de sécurité…
    Mais aujourd’hui, si je devais refaire ma vie, tout ça n’aurait plus aucune importance et j’irais droit à l’essentiel…Être bien avec l’homme que j’aime, tout simplement…

  • Ah those splendid days in NYC.
    Love your sketches

    Priscilla Joy
    Dutch Caribbean

  • Une seule solution (non pas la manifestation): le retour en France.

    Signé Marine Le Pen

  • Excellent. Et incroyablement bien décrit “l’amour à la française” : en 3 phrases, tu as dit ce que c’était. Tu sais croquer les choses !

  • Et aujourdhui l’utilisation des sites de rencontre genre Meetic, et compagnie n’est-ce pas une sorte de date? La recherche sur des critères précis, recherche à niveau social équivalent, hobbies, lieux,…sûre plus simple quand on a une vie avec un job très prenant, mais la réelle rencontre, l’ouverture sur l’Autre.
    Je suis toujours surprise dans mon cas de voir que cadre avec un compagnon ouvrier ce n’est pas si fréquent.

  • Well, I don’t live in NYC, so it all seems very stressful to me as well! I’m a bit older than many of your readers as well so maybe it’s life experience that makes the difference. All of that perfection still doesn’t guarantee happiness! My marriage should have been great – all of the conditions were met. Alas, after 12 years it ended. I met my current man at work as a friend, but one day it clicked for us. We went out to dinner and a week later to a concert and he didn’t go home at the end of the night. We had coffee in bed in the morning and we’ve been a couple ever since. I highly recommended the French way! Life will tell us if we are “perfect” for each other.

  • Chapeau, chère Garance! Bien écrit! C’est toujours le plaisir trouver new story by you. You’ve made perfect start of my day. Merci :)

  • L’amour à la française oui bof je ne crois pas trop à ce concept
    Uniformisation des modes de vie, à croire qu’il n’y a plus qu’un modèle, tout ça poussé finalement par les blogs mode, déco, voyage où la réussite est un beau job, un beau mec, un bel appartement, aller en vacances. On peut être heureuse avec un mec qui ne gagne pas sa vie, complétement étranger à notre milieu et notre culture mais là c’est sûre ça va demander de l’ouverture à l’AUTRE.

  • Keep up the good work Garance. Your readers appreciate your astute observations and honesty! So much of we read in lifestyle magazines is falsely presented as perfect, making our own lives feel inadequate. I love your drawings, your recommendations, and mostly your perspective.

  • OMG I loved you at first but now I think I just fell in love with you! “Fuck Perfection”! In the end we all die and turn into dust so why not be original?

  • Julie ? Adore (@julie_adore) October, 9 2014, 11:26 / Reply

    C’est comme ça à Moscou aussi, même pour devenir une maîtresse d’un homme marié…

  • One of my favorite things, comparing French and American culture. I never tire of it but fear becoming a bore about it to others. You have to take the good with the bad in both cultures. You can’t have the good without the bad because they are related. For example, in the rest of the real USA (not New York) nearly everyone is overweight because Americans don’t think rules apply to them and they are wonderfully free and casual and sort of still act like children about food: eat whenever you are hungry, all the time, anytime, wherever, whatever, pretend that chocolate chip cookies won’t make you fat if they are gluten-free. But the fact that Americans don’t follow rules also makes us more exciting, entrepreneurial, go-getting, achieving, nothing can stop us. Americans don’t take no for an answer. I am always so amazed how easily the French and Europeans in general accept no for an answer. I get riled up at any irrationality and want to get to the bottom of it. No is not enough, I won’t just swallow your no and back off! There are so many rules and limits in France, I get tired of feeling all tied up after a while there. It’s like in France you are born in this little box and you don’t really expect to ever get out, you just live your prescribed life. It’s not bad, because you eat much better food and take more vacations while you are at it, but as an American I want to be rewarded for my ambition. For example my French girlfriend is smart and naturally ambitious, but she just does the minimum at work then goes home because why bother, going the extra step won’t really get you ahead, everything is already bureaucratically arranged by someone else. If she were in the US she would be earning more and working at a higher level. Now again, that’s not everything, her life is still good. But as an American I can’t get used to the rules and prescriptions. If I can’t finish my pizza at the French pizzeria and want to take it home, it’s so good, oh no, says my sister-in-law, “Ca ne se fait pas” It’s simply not done to take it home, you eat it or leave it. I hear “Ca ne se fait pas” a lot more in France than in the US. So many rules in France. Rules even for how you give birth. It seems all women give birth the same way in France – epidural, maybe breastfeed but for six months maximum. Here in the US, you can give birth however you want and breastfeed as long as you want. I know women who did home births, women who scheduled c-sections.
    But I’m rambling. But back to my point, rules are why the French eat better and are slimmer – you eat three meals at a table, never ever ever do you not eat at the table, ca ne se fait pas!! (Except for aperitif) I have such a hard time remembering that French rule about always and only eating at the table. Sometimes I just want to curl up with a bowl of ice cream in front of the TV. I can’t imagine ANY of the Frenchwomen I know doing that!
    And one more thing, sometimes I feel sorry for French women, they don’t get a big fat diamond or two or three, which is just so fun and beautiful and romantic, something to bring a smile to your face every day for the rest of your life! My wonderful French husband managed to accept that part of American culture and I love him for it, and for many other things of course.
    If I absolutely had to choose between the two cultures I would choose American because I can sort of live like a French woman in the US. But I could live in either country if I can just always remember to appreciate the good and accept that the bad has to go along with the good.
    Ah, sorry so long!

  • Hi Carla,
    Your point of view is so so interesting.Thanks, I would like to read more about how you see difference between us and france. I like to understand how other people think and like that we can find out our strength and weakness.
    In many ways you are right, French people doesn’t dare to make things because they are worried of how other people react
    you are in the country of jean paul sartre and his famous quotation ” l’enfer c’est les autres”

  • Florence October, 11 2014, 5:06

    Carla it’s really interesting. I would love to hear more about cultural difference between the US/Europe…but i’m not really agree with all of your comments. (I’m french so i CANNOT be agree with all) :)
    Obviously french are also ambitious but discretion is a rule in Europe. Being rich, powerful and show it to others is considered as a vulgar behaviour. I also suppose it’s part of our “catholic background”, our socialist influence and much more such existencialism …etc Please just have a look, there is also a lot of entrepreneurship in Europe – not as much in the US right – but still there is a lot of ambitious people. I also think European in general don’t feel identificated with the “american dream” and that’s the reason why part of us just don’t care about this big diamond ring ( i would definitively prefer another kind of expensive gifts as art or furniture collection pieces…). Both you are right, all cultures have a positive/negative aspects and the most important is to keep the best of each others.

  • Thanks for responding to my comment Tu and Florence, so interesting! I think that American casual behavior can be seen as vulgar by others who don’t come from the culture. Certainly Americans have less discretion, or perhaps rather we have fewer social limitations and open up and share more readily. We just don’t notice the fact that our culture is beginning to verge on a lack of humility because it’s our own culture. I admire the French and Europeans for their subtlety, humility, respect for others. Perhaps related to the socialist culture and simply to the fact that there are more people per square kilometer over there! (Ok, so explain Manhattan, ha.)
    The way the French speak quietly in public is something I always notice and admire – so gracious. But because I didn’t grow up in French culture, this constant requirement to be discreet gets tiresome for me, which is what I was referring to in my comment I guess. Not that I want to let it loose and be absolutely misbehaving, but that I have to make an effort to remember to always talk quietly, not to ask what someone does for work – when that could be so interesting, it’s where they spend a lot of their time, aren’t they proud of their work? – and never to talk about money and what things cost. Only talk about sex, hah hah, just kidding.
    And about the diamond ring, the nice things is that a lot of Americans can have both the diamond and the art or furniture. Because I know French culture I realize Americans have more money than the French. I’m no saying this is better, it is simply a fact. The shame is that Americans don’t realize this, we still complain, we don’t appreciate it, we have to keep up with everyone else and buy humungous cars and hundreds of toys for our children and sign them up for a dozen after school activities because we can afford it, without asking ourselves why we are spending so much. I’m so glad I know both cultures so I can appreciate these things.
    Oh, one more thing, we do have a taboo subject in the USA and it make me so sad: VACATION is our taboo subject! Talking about your vacation, especially to any remotely exotic locale, is practically the only thing that is seen as bragging and vulgar in the US. It is such a shame! When a colleague comes back from vacation hardly anyone asks or talks about it, unlike in France. So sad!

  • I just want to say one last thing: I think that talking about your vacation in America is one of the few topics that is seen as bragging and “vulgar” because you are talking about your free time, and the fact that you dared stop working for a bit and devoted a brief period just to pleasure. Money is not a taboo subject in America because we have a lot of it. What we don’t have a lot of is free time and vacation. It’s the reverse in France. Sigh, you can’t have it all.

  • joli cheek to cheek :)
    je suis déjà stressé à l’idée que ce que tu racontes arrive en Europe…mais ça va pas la tête ces dates???…autant j’ai testé le speedating et la quiet party à Paris et c’est marrant de faire une fois ou deux comme ça pour s’amuser…
    PS: si j’étais un lecteur homme habitant à NY, je t’aurai déjà envoyé de fleurs au Studio avec un message :))))…c’est qui est superbe à Paris, en France, ce qu’il y a bcp des magasins de fleurs, ce n’est pas le cas par exemple à Bilbao, mais bon, on peut aller à la montagne d’à coté les chercher s’il faut :))))

  • Lisa Walker October, 9 2014, 12:37 / Reply

    OMG this is so sad! But true in a lot of cities. Every boyfriend I’ve ever had just ‘happened’. There was no one else, just lots of laughing, kissing, connecting and endless time together– and then it got complicated… But at least then we knew each other and could figure out what it all meant… And sadly, here in LA it’s the same, in some circles.

    But not entirely. I fell in love at a bowling alley and had a boyfriend instantly for 4 months… I believe in love, and I agree with you– the cool people aren’t perfect and are free and open to life. I say, fuck all the judgment and perfection. Be yourself. Be fun. Eat. And find your people! XO

  • After reading your post, I started wondering whether concepts such as “companionship”, “soulmate” and “romanticism” have become obsolete in New York. Maybe what they need is to watch a couple Fellini films in a moonlit park with an chamingly handsome Mediterranean man while sipping a few glasses of champagne and eating strawberries and macarrons. ;) Oh well… I might be a romantic without any chance of recovery. ;)
    In any case, here is my full support in opposing these ridiculous ideals of perfection. We didn’t have the event feminism to go from being perfect “hausfrauen” to being a human embodiment of what a “status-symbol” should be. I say we have earned the right to be as quirky and as unique as we wish to be and to have a lot fun doing it. :D Gros bisou

  • Juliette October, 9 2014, 1:24 / Reply

    Ton petit précis de French Love m’a fait repenser à cette vidéo: qui résume bien la situation je trouve :p

  • Here’s the thing about your post: NY is EASY compared to Silicon Valley.

    At least in NY there’s a checklist of what you must have/do to be perfect (body, apartment, job, etc) – and having lived in NY I can completely understand and agree with the list.

    But now I live in the middle of Silicon Valley where it’s a totally different dynamic. First of all, overall there are like 4 guys for every girl – and a huge number of them might have great jobs (ie, working for a startup that may make millions) but this does not make them perfect guys. We are not dealing with typical guys – not even close to NY-typical guys. These guys are oblivious to women and have pretty limited social skills. Recently I walked into a great coffee place with a friend on a Friday evening and there were about 30 guys in there (not gay) and about 8 women and none of the men were talking with the women (except 2 who were there with dates) or even looking at the women – all of the guys were talking with one another about work, some crazy techy thing, possibly gaming, bicycling, hiking, or Burning Man. Have you seen the Big Bang Theory? Or HBO’s Silicon Valley? Seriously.

    So here in SV, when you take all of the geeks out of the mix, it leaves about 1 non-geek guy (which here is the definition of a perfect man) for every 40 women.

    So there is no magic formula here! I WISH for a check list where if I just went through — body, home, job, friends, etc, that would put you on the map. But here you need more – something along the lines of a miracle/divine intervention – to meet one of the non-geeks and have a chance of making it work.

    Paris dating sounds like a dream, but even NY sounds great compared to Silicon Valley.

  • Super article ! Je comprends beaucoup mieux certaines scènes de films / séries américaines maintenant !
    Les mots aussi ont leur importance, on s’aperçoit des différences culturelles en essayant sans réussite de traduire certaines expressions qui nous paraissent évidentes… d’où le “date” qui n’a pas vraiment d’équivalent en français, ou le “fidanzato/a” des italiens qui voudrait dire “petit copain sérieux” chez nous… ça peut créer des quiproquos du genre “non je n’ai pas de fiancé mais un copain sérieux” “mais c’est la même chose !”…
    Vive l’Italie quand même !

  • Rousspétée October, 9 2014, 3:38 / Reply

    Merciiiiii ! D’avoir fait un post sur le fantasme de la perfection qui bouffe tellement les femmes dans le monde, en commençant (manifestement) par New-York. Et je me dis qu’il y a peu d’endroits où je flipperais autant d’être célibataire que dans cette ville. Parce que je m’attache vite. Ça doit être difficile de s’adapter pour les étrangers, non ? (oui, alors, je dois sonner hyyyyypra franco-française provinciale, ce que je suis. Mais en vrai j’ai pas mal voyagé. Et vécu à l’étranger. C’est pour ça que je sais que rien ne vaudra jamais pour moi mon petit Liré – cf du Bellay). Des bises et de la coolitude !

  • Loved this too. Totally fascinating. I live in Dc so different dynamic, but not by much (less models, LOL).

    Also reminded me very much of the Gone Girl speech.

    Maybe we are reaching a cultural tipping point?!?

    Thanks for writing it. And yes, I was fooled by the romantic drawing at the top! ahem!

  • OMG, G… you nailed it! On so many levels, you just nailed it right on the head. And you’re right, without a sense of humor, you just can’t survive in NYC. Because if the anxiety and worry and the trying to keep up and be “on point” with everything take over to the point where you can’t see or be or do anything else, you’re through. So thank goodness for laughter and for level heads! :)

  • alice ritter October, 9 2014, 5:17 / Reply

    Super like cet article!1 beaucoup de vrai ( le dating, OMFG, l’obsession de trouve la mec qui va te passer un énorme diamant au doigt, l’insécurité qui va avec tout ca!!!) ! Mais…. des fucking Miss Perfect y en a plein a Paris aussi.
    c’est une autre façon d’être miss parfaite mais la pression du super job, d’être mince, d’avoir une super relation avec ton mec, d’avoir des nomes a 30 ans, elle existe grave a Paris!
    Moi, je suis séparée de mon mari, pas d’enfants a 43 ans!!! aie aie aie, mes amis a Paris flippent totalement. alors qu’a NYC bizarrement je sens une sorte de respect pour mon individualité….
    Ou alors avec l’age je n’en ai plus rien a foutre de l’avis des gens! New yorkais ou parisien!!!

  • This was honestly the best thing I’ve read all week. Your observation of NYC life is so, so spot-on! I was laughing out loud most of time.
    – 27-year-old NYC woman, thin-and-muscular (mostly) who never diets (+5), has had loving boyfriend for 5 years (+10 points!), but lives in Harlem (-5), has an artsy and creative job with very pleasant lifestyle factor (+3 points) but not rich (-10 points). so basically imperfect. :)

  • lionsinhollywood October, 9 2014, 6:12 / Reply

    and there you have it – I’m moving to France xo

  • Two things:
    1. Good lord. This is really messed up.
    And it just reminds me again why I adore London and would never want to live in New York.
    2. Fantastic article Garance, really interesting and enjoyable along with the other Paris/New York insights and ponderings! But what you mention in the article is true- having a long article AND lots of asterisks (I love what you have to say, and know what its like when it just seems that there’s not enough space to say it) or three sets of brackets after one another can be rather confusing.. as for the asterisks, there surely must be a way to use the asterisk itself as kind of a hyperlink that scrolls the page down to the piece of text belonging to it? And the asterisk with the piece of text at the bottom could again be a hyperlink taking you back to the respective part in the main article. Tech-savvy people here, anyone?

  • OMG! Such a funny, yet maddening post! But so true for NY!

    I am Ukrainian by birth, but I was raised (and live) in London. For us (quite a lot of my friends either come from similar background or at least spend way too much time with those who do) it is something in-between french and american… You may see a couple of people at the same time (mostly with no sex, but it does wary from person to person), but that ultimately means that you are not particularly interested. When you meet someone- you just know. You talk, you existed to see them and IMPORTANTLY you are just not interested in seeing someone els. You just can’t think of anyone els. And yes, of course it might not work out. You might date for months and than learn that they guy is a jerk, you might kern it on the first or third date- it doesn’t matter. You just move on without too much of a fuss.

    And if you kern that a guy is seeing other girls, well it means that he is just not that interested. It is fair enough. Happens. However, I am not willing to spend my time with someone who is just not that into me or someone who doesn’t think that my life/job/clothes is interesting enough.

    P.S. To those amazing American girls: I have spent a fair amount of time in NY and have quite a few guy friends there; trust me if you stop trying so hard and stop letting guys waste your time- they will come running. Long lean muscular legs are great, but when they are attached to a doormat- never sexy.

  • I feel very passionately about this subject.
    A couple years ago I had an epiphany. It occurred to me that the subdued though pervasive stress I felt was because I put pressure on myself to always put up some degree of an “I have it all together” front. It hit me during a time when I was working my ass off to get through grad school and work a full time job. It led me to look at my life and feel joy from how much fun I’ve had, grateful for how many places I’ve been, proud of my hard work and experiences, and grateful for how I see the world- through a creative, joyful filter. I wanted to move beyond the exterior to appreciate who I had become.

    It didn’t matter that I was poor, or that my car had dents in it, or that I didn’t own a home, or get to take crazy vacations. I realized more than ever that life is not static, and that all the things that seem imperfect are actually beautiful, and that great things do come from enjoying the process and letting go. I realized that real wealth lies in our perspective, how we treat people, and the gratitude we feel for what we have- as is. I decided I didn’t want to spend my life waiting for all the things (THINGS) I wanted, and to take a step back and just enjoy the ride more fully.

    Shades of this attitude have always been a part of who I am, evidenced in how I dressed in high school, when I moved to Berkeley after college and stopped shaving my legs, getting married in Vegas with only my husband, letting my gray hair grow in even though I am equally confident and self-conscious about it. When you do the math, all the mental energy and control it takes to present perfectly is time taken away from appreciating how fun and adventurous and liberating fully experiencing life can be. Because a down-to-earth, stylish, confident, imperfect woman is WAY more interesting. And badass. Period.

  • I LOVE this post. I’ve lived in New York for a year and a half now. I felt bombarded by everyone’s quest for perfection the moment I arrived and still think I will never get used to it. I don’t even want to get used to it. It’s exhausting! It’s maddening! It’s weirdly contagious! But yes, this post is so completely spot on.

    I also love the dating aspect of this post. I lived the past 5 years in London before moving here, and though the British and French may differ in a lot of ways, my experiences with dating were much more like the French way you described here than the American way. When I first started dating my boyfriend we hit it off so incredibly well that I assumed we were boyfriend and girlfriend after I spent the first full weekend at his place (a week and a half after we met). We didn’t talk about it because to me it seemed completely obvious. It seemed even more obvious when we had lunch with his mom. Then nearly two months later he said “I hope this isn’t inappropriate, but I told someone today that you’re my girlfriend.” My response: “Inappropriate!? Dude! I thought I was your girlfriend two months ago!” He’d been in New York much longer than I had. We were playing by different rules I guess. We’re playing by the same rules now though.

  • As man I have to say you hit the nail on the head. I love your French/American take on romance but as an American I must say the French way seems a whole lot better! Love the blog and please keep writing darling.

  • this is the most awesome post!!
    love it!! a great story-

    thank you Garance

  • Garance, LOVED your post. I think it’s not just a French thing, maybe more European. I’m from Portugal and it is very similar, you click with someone you know or have met for a while, and if they are there the next morning and you go for coffee or (brunch if it is weekend) that’s it. You are boyfriend and girlfriend. Of course there are exceptions, but this is the rule, I would say. My husband is from New York (we met 3 years ago on flight london-lisbon – a total chance of fate) but our relationship went the European way :-), make love, coffee in the morning, together (that’s it!, like you say) and now we have a 15 month old baby :-)

  • Dearest Garance, in my mind you are the *perfect* (girl) friend all of us who follow your posts want to have in our life. Please don’t ever lose yourself – your soulful candor, quirky humor, ability to laugh at yourself – in NYC or wherever your reside. The imperfections in life are what make us distinctive and artfully memorable, if we so let ourselves. Mr. (Im)Perfect may come… and go. Trust me, I speak from experience. At the end of the day, we are who we are to those whom we care, and care about us. Even Mr. (Im)Perfect who had come and gone…. Please reach out if you are ever in San Francisco.
    ~ Kin

  • Totally, agreed.
    I live in Los Angeles where at least that whole game is more transparent and silly. Unfortunately really gifted and wonderful people waste quite a bit of energy and time exhausting themselves in this area.
    Where does excellence come in? Being passionate about something and going for it? These are the most interesting people to me, those that have seen through the game of being an ideal, such a waste of perfectly good years of one’s life!

    The way I see it, when you’re youthful there’s energy to do a lot, so why not put the effort into clarifying what moves you most deeply so that you can actually see the results of strong energy and clarity of intention put together!
    This way of being feels so much more genuine and therefore relaxed to me, when you’re doing what you love the whole anxiety of “being ” someone falls away. Unfortunately the myth of perfectionism is just a vicious cycle with no end, there is no point at which you are ever good enough on that wheel.

    Also a note, I fell deeply in love with a Parisian man a couple of years ago and experienced just what you described, the joy of passion, discovery, love, all without the concepts of what it should be. As a result, that one relationship changed my entire view of lived experience, the joys and sorrows versus some weird, safe, concept driven pursuit of perfection.

    Great post, much appreciated.


  • Dear Garance,

    This post is just adorable. With this post You showed the complete view of the relationships in NY and it’s like a have imagined it and sadly but it feels like it’s hard to have a really honest, true love and true boyfriend, with whom you fall in love at first sight. I live in the capital of Lithuania, in Vilnius. And I have noticed that our relationships model is changing and it’s starting to remind me the NY “perfect people” life and the requirements of girls and boys for each other are every day higher. Sad, but this situation is partly building a fast aging community, because of every day trying to find that perfect boyfriend, lots of my friend can’t find anything and it’s more and more people living their life without stable family and children.

    I think people should look less intense at the social stuff: as job, salary, because these things are always changing and you have to live with the personality, with his interest and minds. That’s what matters. And I think we should act a bit more French: relaxed, passionate and a bit crazy!

    Thank You for the great post! I really enjoyed reading!


  • Hello Garance. Du coup est-ce qu’on pourrait voir plus de filles “normales” comme tu les décris ? Des filles inspirantes et belles, mêmes si elles ne sont pas skinny et musclées comme toutes les new yorkaises? J’adore ce blog et tes posts de ce genre qui permettent de prendre du recul sur la perfection inatteignable, mais quelques photos de ces filles permettraient de visualiser qu’elles existent aussi !!! (mais peut être pas à NYC finalement….) :)
    Anyway, Merci pour ton honnêteté !

  • Haha! One of your best posts I think I’ve read – so insightful, confronting and funny. I’m Australian and I feel we are probably just as cynical as the French, another reason why I loved this post. Living in the states just seems so intense, especially NY by the sound of it. The pressure for women in particular seems particularly terrifying. I suppose being the epitomized centre of globalization, it’s not so surprising that the culmination of stimulation/consumption/advertising in all its forms would result in a population of anxiety-ridden over-achievers, but I feel like you would need a detox (e.g. getting the fuck out of there 3 times a year to a remote island where you must become the hunter gatherer and rediscover the potential for simplicity in life etc etc like Bear Grylls). Thanks for your website Garance xx

  • elodie à Paris October, 10 2014, 4:34 / Reply

    J’adore te lire Garance. Tu viens d’éclaircir plein de mystères New York ais pour moi. Et puis tu as vraiment gardé ta vision française des choses, c’est ce qui est agréable dans tes articles. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi on ne te donne pas une page dans un magazine comme Elle, par exemple, j’adorerais te lire chaque semaine. Quelque chose comme une française à New York, on il y a quelque chose de fascinant à te suivre. Encore des posts comme celui là s’il te plaît !

  • Géraldine October, 10 2014, 4:39 / Reply

    MERCI :)

  • Francisca October, 10 2014, 4:54 / Reply

    Dear Garance,

    I strongly recommend you to visit the StylelikeU website and check some of the interviews that this perfect and super strong duo of mother and daughter have posted there – the people interviewed, some from or in New York, have a light of courage and “right-to-be-true-to-oneself” that should be seen as good ways to turn your back from all that “game” like you called it. The out of this world amazingly strong and beautiful Clementine Desseaux was recently portrayed there. Men aren’t everything, being thin in an unhappy way is monstrous and, oh… I could go on but I’m not quite sure it makes sense here. All in all, it makes me truly sad to read your post and realize that, for some women, words like feminism, empowerment, independence of dogmas and society’s strings, mean absolutely nothing. I wish you the best of luck and that you free yourself someway. I believe that the money from sponsoring brands is good but… at what cost?

    Big kiss from Lisbon*

  • It’s not a French thing, I think it’s an European one – the way we fall in love. I totally agree with you – my first date with the guy I’m with now was super relaxed. I liked him, we clicked and kissed but I didn’t know what to think of it. One week later, we were together. No questions asked about the future – we just felt good together. This is the important thing – do you feel great when you’re with him? Then why search for others?? Live this to the maximum until it ends or, why not, changes into something even more meaningful ;)

  • Pénélope October, 10 2014, 5:03 / Reply

    Je suis sûre que le fait d’être une parisienne so french et so stylée est un vrai vrai plus dans cette équation :) …

  • Non mais c’est une blague ?

  • so we Germans (maybe, if I look around, only we Germans above 30) are basically French (and no, nobody ever told us we a re romantic…)
    I agree, all the fuss & stress & running for perfection makes me crazy as well – also, I don’t think it’s healthy

    great post! really a great & important post!

  • Ok here’s how we do bits of it in the UK! See a guy/girl somewhere – work lifts, in a bar, on a bus, shopping etc. Decide if you fancy them. Spend a few minutes/hours/days giggling with friends about how to contrive a meeting. Be egged on by said friends to go and chat he or she up, get number, stalk slightly, send message or something. If successful either arrange a date to meet or if fortunate enough to already be in an establishment that sells booze get stuck in to an unnecessarily large number of drinks until sufficiently drunk that, if you think they are half way decent, you can just start snogging there and then! Otherwise you have to wait for the first date to start this ritual. God knows how this then becomes a full on relationship but it seems to work after a few tries. The expectations a guy has for a British girl are just to hope that she won’t throw up in the cab on the way home (though that is no way a deal breaker) and will not be unrecognisably worse looking the next time you meet. It is unthinkable that a British woman wouldn’t get fatter after marriage and it is widely accepted that she will really only be thin on the wedding day (when the groom thinks she looks weird anyway). It isn’t too pretty to watch in a “romantic” French way, there certainly isn’t much perfection being sought (neurosis is a real turn off for British guys, they just think those sorts of girls are annoying), but it is ridiculously fun!

  • …mais Garance…qu’est-ce que tu vas faire? .
    Most NewYorkers behave like these perfection chasing bots, simply because they dont know better. They’ve never felt/experienced anything different. They don’t know that the rest of the world doesnt tritely size each other up simply by the RickOwens jeans they are wearing that moment. I love NYC its a city unlike any other. But after living there a while, things start to feel a bit …how to say “synthetic”? Everyone is super happy/healthy all the time even when its PRETTY clear theyre on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
    but You are exposed to how the rest of the world thinks, feels, and loves. Its like in the movie WALL-E where the only person who realises there is ‘something-wrong’ is the foreign robot ‘programmed’ with emotions.
    Anyway great post. I wish you all the happiness in the world..
    et bon courage!

  • France: 1 NYC: 0

  • Quel stress! I don’t wanna play this perfection game and female competition stupid. Moi je suis de Barcelone, et j’ai du cultural choc avec ces américans, j’arrive pas à comprendre leur façon de faire, très bien décrite sur cet article. Vive le happy coffee du landemain! :)

  • Bill et Boule October, 10 2014, 7:42 / Reply

    Hum… Sinon, j’imagine qu’il y a de “vrais” gens qui galèrent comme des bêtes là-bas aussi et qui ne correspondent à aucun des points du listing énoncé dans l’article. Et qui se sentent – comble de l’horreur- peut-être mêmes sereins, heureux voire libres au milieu de cette “pseudo-hipster” jungle urbaine aux codes surranés qui feraient passer un goulag pour une vaste blague.
    ça m’a toujours étonné, cette tendance à en faire des caisses pour au fond, soyons sincères, juste épater la galerie ou se donner l’illusion d’être complètement au coeur de l’action ou… bref, je ne comprend de toute façon pas tout…
    Petite réflexion mise à part, n’est-ce pas plutôt là un condensé quelque peu réchauffé de “Sex and the City” qui nous est présenté là?

  • This is exactly why I love and hate NYC. Porca miseria!

  • Qu’est ce que je suis bien à Briançon … où travailler n’est finalement pas très tendance (on préfère grimper, skier, courir ou cueillir des champignons) (bon, ça pose d’autres problèmes, c’est sûr), où quand j’embrasse un homme qui me plait je peux enchaîner direct sur la nuit et le revoir TOUS LES SOIRS qui suivent si ça nous chante …
    J’adore NYC, mais juste pour un week end :-)

  • Jen Wilson October, 10 2014, 11:37 / Reply

    The way of love in France seems very much what I grew up with here in Canada. It’s definitely not NY here, but Toronto is a very tricky city too and has some weirdness, like too many guys for a limited amount of women who, I’ve heard, can be very stuck up, but I heard that from a guy who was bitter that there’s too much competition there.

  • Toronto, a city full of ridiculously beautiful women but lacking in men. All I meet are boys and douchebags.

  • Garance, you are KEEPING IT REAL! The amount of responses you’ve had on this post means you are spot on.

  • Amy Sather October, 10 2014, 12:20 / Reply

    I am an American and have lived in New York for eleven years (and okay in Paris for three years before that) and I have never dated any other way than they French way (outlined at the bottom of the post). Not because I knew it was French. (When I lived in Paris, almost every one of my friends was not French, so I wasn’t taught any sort of French way.) But just because it felt natural. What it has meant—wherever I’ve lived—is that I’ve had looong stretches of being totally single (because I have never wanted to “date” the New York way) but it has also meant that almost all of my relationships have been deep and with men who want to fall in love, too, just like me. I have been pitied by some of my friends sometimes for not having an active dating (or sex!) life, but in the end I wound up happily married to the man who was my boyfriend (from out first kiss, mind you) for eight great years before that. I guess I’m just saying unless you like the game, don’t play it. You’ll be surprised how many people you meet just looking around.

  • LOVE that post! I am from Austria and have lived in the US for 22 years. I still do not get “dating”.

  • Felicity October, 10 2014, 5:01 / Reply

    This column what elevates your site from other dull dull dull fashion sites. You raise some real points and realise the world of fashion isn’t real. I love your comment that some people want to plop themselves down in front of their computer. Really, isn’t that most people? Who do a good job then go home and do all the other stuff of life. The things that make the world interesting. Perfection is ok for the few but it’s real life that leads to genuine style. More please!

  • Alexandra October, 10 2014, 5:41 / Reply

    Garance! PLEASE WRITE POSTS ALL THE TIME. I know you’re busy becoming an icon but the way you write is just perfect and makes me feel so good and I just get lost in your funny/insightful articles! ALWAYS WRITE FOR US! WE LOVE YOU!

  • I live in San Francisco and everything you wrote made complete sense to me. I kept reading line by line thinking “Yup! That is exactly how it is.” As I read others’ comments expressing aghast surprise, I have to say Garance you hit it right on the nail with the way things are and feel in this big city as well (maybe it’s a coastal snobbery thing). In California we may have some more sense of “ease” or “casualness” but with the pace of the city this contrived ease is quickly dissipating. At least where I am in NorCal (versus soCal you have to tell me what it’s like down there).

    Like it was all things I knew, but so refreshing to hear it explained from someone else. I love how you wrote about the difference between american “dating/seeing someone” and the French date meaning first date IS the relationship. Love this post!

  • Florence October, 11 2014, 4:42 / Reply

    Mais l’amour dans tout ça Garance?!!!
    Je ne dis pas qu’il ne faut pas être pragmatique, mais il y a des choses qui vous emportent dans la vie, des choses qu’on ne choisit pas…et qui se font presque sans même notre consentement. Et l’amour fait partie de ces choses-là!

    J’imagine quand même mal les américain(e)s ne pas tomber amoureux(ses) comme partout dans le monde!!! La perfection est généralement la meilleure amie des célibataires et l’ennemie de l’amour, les préjugés ne facilitant pas les vraies rencontres.

    Cela dit, je ne suis pas tout à fait d’accord sur le côté “facile” des relations amoureuses en France. Parfois, en France, en Espagne on a des amants avec qui on prend le café le matin 2 fois par semaine pendant de longs mois, sans qu’on soit jamais un “couple”. Car soyons sincères, les français(es) on n’est pas les champions de la fidélité non plus! Le “dating” c’est juste une pratique pas très “élégante” ambiance “pragmatisme américain· mais ça revient quand même un peu au même avoir des amants et ne pas s’engager à un moment donné!

  • Posts like this one are the reason why I love that much. Thank you so much for sharing these life experiences with us! I loved reading every line of this text and as a European can totally relate to your astonishment everytime you hear about the American way of dating and loving.

  • Garance, je sais que tu aimes beaucoup l’Italie, et pour info, en Italie ils ont exactement le même principe de ‘date’, mais ça aurait plus tendance à être à sens unique, c’est-à-dire que seul l’homme le fait généralement. AHAH
    Sinon ici, ils emploient souvent la notion de ‘fidanzati’ (fiançés) mais ce n’est pas pour autant que la demande en mariage a été faite. Pour eux, ‘fidanzati’ veut dire qu’ils sont ‘officiellement ensemble’. En bonne française j’ai mis quelques temps à comprendre mais quand on en parle entre copines françaises vivant à Rome on se rend compte qu’on aura toujours du mal à vraiment accepter cette façon de faire, c’est plus fort que nous, nous les françaises ^^

  • Dear Garance,
    Thank you for this post! I am a Dutch girl that moved to Paris 2 years ago, and I find dating here just as complicating :-) It just made me realise that it is normal to feel homesick or even a bit lost as the codes of dating are different, and back home everything seems more simple because you can “read” people more easily.

    But like you love New York, I love Paris and I’m here to stay. Let’s hope we’l find the beautifully simple guy, because finally, beauty is simplicity!

    xxx Julia

  • Hello Garance
    Tu vois la lectrice passionnée, en attente de nouveaux posts, éclatant de rire à chaque phrase, se reconnaissant dans bien des portraits et des petits moments de vie, mais qui n’ouvre pas la bouche et n’ose jamais poster ? Eh bien ça c’est moi, des années que je te lis et pas une fois je n’ai commenté. Mais bon, il faut sauter le pas un jour, et ce post est probablement le meilleur moment.
    Arrivée à New York tout droit depuis Paris il y a deux mois, j’aime la ville, son énergie, ses habitants tous plus stylés les uns que les autres, son rythme à cent à l’heure. Pourtant, quelque cloche. J’ai beau cherché, impossible de mettre le doigt dessus, quelque chose me manque, quelque chose d’essentiel, plus encore que le fromage, les soirées au vin rouge ou les terrasses de café. Et puis je t’ai lue, et je crois que j’ai trouvé. Ce qui me manque dans cet oasis de perfection, c’est ma petite part de bordel français, ce côté “just wing it”, cette spontanéité peut-être, ce cynisme aussi, cette tendance à pouvoir se prendre la tête sur l’avenir du monde mais à n’avoir aucune idée d’où l’on sera ou avec qui on sera dans un an. Je ne fais sûrement que reprendre le bon cliché de la bohème parisienne ou même européenne, mais jamais ces clichés ne m’ont semblé plus vrai que depuis que je découvre New York. Alors un grand merci, comme toujours c’est bien agréable (et très rassurant !) d’entendre quelqu’un dire tout haut ce que l’on ressent tout bas. Continue les enquêtes sociologiques, c’est réussi ;)

  • Very nice – would love it of you could check out my latest fashion post xo

    Aliona |

  • Absolutely agree! I enjoyed so much your post. Many thanks for your words and your solid opinion.

  • Michelle October, 11 2014, 5:54 / Reply

    Thanks for this post Garance, I totally agree with the fact that you can love a place but take issue with certain things about it, I think it just makes your blog more real. And a dose of reality is always welcome in my books because facades and assumptions that everything is always 100% perfect drive me crazy :) keep up the great work, and pretty please, keep throwing an opinion piece like this in every once in a while!

  • C’est incroyable, car en lisant cet article, j’y ai retrouvé l’écho de toute mes amies célibataires (et parisiennes).
    Je m’explique, pour ma part, je suis en couple depuis presque 7ans (heureuse et comblée) et autour de moi j’ai beaucoup d’amies célibataires qui me racontent leurs rencontres, dates et rapports aux hommes qu’elles croisent (ou plus) et ne me reste qu’une impression: à quel moment les rapports hommes-femmes sont-ils devenus à ce point compliqués? je veux dire par là que la description du “challenge New Yorkais” de recherche de perfection semble devenir de plus en plus parisien. Les “dates” deviennent monnaie courante et est apparu la notion “d’exclusivité” dans la relation et puis quand arrive la notion de “couple” tout devient compliqué. J’avoue que j’ai tendance à être infiniment triste à ce sujet. Mais où est passé la spontanéité, le coup de cœur ou plus simplement, la beauté des choses? peut être suis-je une idéaliste ou même une indécrottable romantique ou plus simplement, une grande amoureuse, mais comme dans tout, je reste convaincu que la simplicité reste la plus belle des choses. et puis, que se passe-t-il quand on a même plus l’espoir de se laisser simplement porter par la surprise sublime et infiniment poétique du “love at first sight” au coin de la rue?
    comme disait Carrie, “être soi et trouver simplement un monstre à sa mesure qui saura vous embrasser sur vos deux têtes.”

    Avec un million de tonne d’amour à toutes mes amies célibataires.

    PS: Garance, tu es sublime et merveilleusement inspirante, ce travail que tu fait magnifiquement est un exemple, et juste pour cela, MERCI.

  • Oh dear lord… Just reading this article made me tired. I mean the idea of living in NY sounds great but when hearing and reading things like that, how hectic everything is – as in maintaining perfect jobs just for the sake of it and always finding the perfect schools, men, neighborhood to live in, having perfect kids … I mean come on! When do you have the time to actually live a little? I am not French but I am European so that is probably why I think this style of living is a little bit… too much. I have to say that I admire all of you who can actually maintain this kind of a lifestyle but I can only say for myself that I do not ever want to go through that – having the perfect body to find a perfect man and everything that goes with that? No, thank you. I prefer the French way of thinking – not being perfect has its own charm!

  • Dear Garance, I simply adore the way you write.
    If you love NYC that´s fine, but please don´t let them change the way you are, you are so French and unique, they are all crazy and they aren´t fabulous at all.

  • Comme on dit en France : P*** t’es dans la m*** !!!
    Pas très élégant comme formule, mais beaucoup moins tordu qu’un date.
    Cela dit tu peux faire le billet épisode 2 sur les français qui, après des mois d’histoire sérieuse, se rendent compte tout à coup, soudainement, hop comme si une claque les avait réveillés que : ” finalement je ne me sens pas prêt à m’engager.”

    PS : l’auteur de ce commentaire, en couple depuis des années avec enfants, tient à préciser qu’elle n’est plus concernée par cette étape mais l’a vécue et ses copines jeunes trentenaires la vivent TOUTES en ce moment…

  • Ahhhh Garance, I have missed you! No one can compare. If you, the perfect girl to us, feels like this, well, there is hope for all of us.

  • Wow, all this time I was wondering what the hell is wrong with me because I have absolutely NO desire to play the “field” when I’m smitten by someone, even though they might be, and on multiple fields to boot.

    Turns out I just need to find me a French mate in the states, or move to France. I knew I pirated Pimsleur French for a reason :)

  • Comme disait le grand Sénéque, antique savant, à son ami au cours d’une correspondance : “juge, puis aime”… Mais depuis le grand philosophe Stéphane Plaza est passé sur M6 en disant : “A trop visiter de maison, on finit par laisser passer son vrai coup de coeur… ”
    Méditez, perfectionnez, datez, mais pas trop longtemps car la belle perfection finira comme la rose au fond du jardin de Ronsard.

  • I guess fallin’ in love just like that is not only French thing. Most people in Europe does like that (I’m Polish). It’s natural and exciting. We do not calculate. We are not making any castings…but we adore this “click” moment. We are definitely not perfect…probably becoz perfection is kinda devoided of joy (?) I don’t know any person from Europe who wanna be perfect, but I know a bunch of people who would like to be spontaneous…and being perfect has nothing to do with that. And for me, personally, if U are perfect means U are boring. U didn’t find an idea how Ur life should look like, so U r fallin’ into kinda stereotypes. But it’s never too late! U can always change Ur life

  • I enjoy your critiques and writing style. I agree that the “plastic,” side of the city exists but only among certain circles, where the extreme anxiety faced by superficiality (perfection) among men and women alike creates this atmosphere where there is always someone/something better to choose from – as if people themselves are a trend to be worn and had and removed when done. Now I challenge you oh beautiful and wonderful Garance (because I do think you and your blog are awesome) to post pictures of the non-elite, perfect gals who are equally stylish and awesome and exist in this crazy city we love.

  • Merde… c’est pareil à Paris mais en plus hypocrite.
    Je crois que le pire c’est quand je suis tombée sur le mec que j’avais rencontré quelques semaines avant dans un café à 2 tables de moi avec une autre, en mode “rendez-vous”.

  • carolina October, 13 2014, 3:33 / Reply

    Garance, this post is SO brilliant for so many reasons. Basically, for anyone reading this post (who does not live in NYC) it sounds totally crazy and impossible, alas my ladies, it is extremely true. I’m a European living in NYC for the past 16 years, one of the top subject spoken amongst europeans living in NYC is dating, how crazy it is and how different it is from Europe. This is not a French thing, it is an European one (i also lived in England so I’m now generalizing and saying that if England, Spain and France “date” the same way, the rest of Europe does too!!.)

    I really do not comprehend (despite all of my years here) why is like this, I guess is because there are more guys, they can do it and we women let them but Oh man!!! it is so tough and so nonsensical!. Either way, I’ve found that for Europeans the only way to go out with someone (vs date) is with european men (Those who are yet to catch up with the NYC style of dating), otherwise it is almost impossible.

    Another crazy side of NYC, still we love the place and we would not change it for anything else. Merci Garance for the wonderful summary.

  • This is one of the most interesting article I have ever read! This is absolutely awesome. The little French comparisons are so sweet! *LOVE*

  • Non-serious relationships and serial dating happen more and more in France too… So it means we have been intoxicated by American principles? We have to resist and bring back romantism!
    I live in Germany now, that’s a little (a lot) different and it would require a complete new article-
    but I have to say New York looks scary… I find it difficult enough to find a boyfriend in Europe ! :)

  • Thank you Garance for this wonderful post!
    I’m from Belgium and live in San Diego since 2013.
    I have been really confused about this “dating-thing” here in the US too. Your post describes it very well! Makes more sense now, altough I definitively prefer the French/European way =)

  • This post is so shallow! I work in fashion (part time in New York, part time in Seattle) and I know all the things you’re talking about BUT why play into it all?! Do what you want, be who you want and forget about what everyone else thinks is perfect!

  • I couldn’t agree more with this post. As an American and native NYer, I find the American style of dating to be horrendous…hence, I dated Europeans and South Americans, who just seemed more real.
    That is, until I met and married…my French husband. Who could not understand the American dating style for the life of him and still complains about Americans and their way of dating to this day.
    The irony is that as an American, most of my friends are French ex-pats struggling in NY. I try to help them as best as I can.

  • Many points in this post reminded me that I should recommend you the book “Awareness” by Mr. de Mello.

  • Oh Garance, your writing is delicious! Your sentence above “be in the know” made me think of the book “ad more ~ing to your life” from Gabrielle Bernstein. Can’t help but ask: have you read her? She has a cool and relaxing approach on romantic relationships and issues. I’m from Belgium and prefer the French way too.
    P.S.: I still think chunky knit socks in Birkenstocks rule… even more when you’re hugging a tree at the same time ;-)

  • Hahaha! Bon article! Et a propos de l’obsession de l’obsession de la non-nourriture:

  • Excellent! Being from Buenos Aires, having lived for a year in Paris and now two in NYC… It was so relieving and fun to see someone else think this way and see the ‘perfection’ story from such angle. I agree 100%, including the fact that if you stay true to yourself (and keep some foreign/latin origin friends around you), NYC can be pretty awesome!

  • I think some of the cynicism has been lost in translation…since this perception of NYC seems fairly stereotypical and sort of a ‘younger’ lifestyle, in that being involved in sexual relationships with more than one person and being noncommittal isn’t really ‘dating’, like you said. I think of that as ‘seeing’ someone, as it communicates that it’s not exclusive.
    Then again Tindr is getting pretty popular and (from what I hear, cos I’m married) people hook up a lot with it, meaning go on a date & have sex if they hit it off together, even a little bit.
    As someone else commented, it really depends on what’s acceptable and valued in your circle of friends in regards to who is desirable to date.
    Also, it’s NYC, there are some really run of the mill average people there too, we (or those that like to think if themselves as a little bit fabulous) might not notice but they manage to date & have relationships also…
    So my point is, NYC ladies, don’t buy into all the conformist, society bs or that is what you will get, a dude that’s into all that crap. ;)

  • Top ce post, comme toujours (il date de 3 semaines je débarque moi…je serai totally lost à NY moi).
    Alors si je comprends bien, je dois accepter de partager mon ‘mec’ si je décide d’aller vivre la ou tu vis actuellement? C’est fou. Je croyais les américains puritains…les extrêmes quoi finalement. C’est fou fou fou cette histoire !

  • Insightful and hilarious! I think the cult of perfection exists in most major cities, with the only difference being the set of rules it follows. For example, I live (and grew up) in Honolulu. Most non-locals are fooled by its perceived “laid-back/paradise/island” attitude. It couldn’t be further from the truth (unless you never leave the bubble of North Shore or you only peruse the tourist-centric shops and restaurants of Waikiki). Honolulu’s cult of (female) perfection demands the rare creature who is smart, athletic (read: surfer girl) and exquisitely, exotically beautiful. I can’t tell you how many of my guy friends have said that a “10” on the mainland will likely only be a “7” in Hawaii. It’s an awful notion but a sadly accurate one. Even after spending the majority of my life here, I still struggle to deal with being less than perfect. So thank you, Garance, for pointing out the absurdity of perfection and, even more so, the ridiculous rat race it creates. Here’s to being the best at being ourselves :)

  • I think NYC style of life is very superficial , I prefer to live like the french do.
    In NYC there is to much stress and pressure and people worry all the time of having and belonging instead of being worried of being better persons.

  • I just stumbled upon your post, and I love your website. I must find a way to book mark it.

    The best part was the description of French dating. Is it really that easy???? Why is it so much harder here??? (Actually, it sounds a lot like how I got into my current relationship. But, I swear meeting a man at a gas station was a total fluke that would only happen when your man is Italian.) If you think NYC relationships are hard compared to France, you should try Utah. To describe it briefly, Utah dating is what happens when a game of chicken meets a religious turf war on a minefield covered in “lunch dates.”

  • ahah excellent Garance! Mais ils sont fous ces new-yorkais!!! Ceci dit pour le système du dating je trouve que c’est pas si mal dans le sens où l’on apprend à connaître la personne avant d’aller plus loin, sans pour autant qu’il y ait une pression à “sortir ensemble”. Finalement, c’est un peu un droit à prendre son temps. Bon si ça se transforme en casting c’est un peu dommage!

  • Angela M December, 5 2014, 8:17 / Reply

    Je viens de relire cet article parce que je voulais l’envoyer à des amies françaises dont l’une d’elle hésite parce que deux garçons l’aiment bien. “pfff, mais va faire un tour chez les New Yorkais” lui ai-je dit.

    Anyway, merci ! Un des meilleurs posts, by far.

  • Dear Garance,

    This article is too true and funny. “Coffee, and BOOM,” it’s done.


  • Je lis ce post 100 ans après tout le monde, mais il m’éclaire sur pas mal de choses (et pourtant j’ai vécu aux US… mais pas à NY !!), notamment cette obsession du mariage comme celui de Big et Nathasha… OMG !! Ton article est très drôle, mais je ne supporterais pas du tout de vivre cet “editing” du groupe d’amis…

  • This piece of writing is really a nice one it assists new the web visitors, who are wishing for blogging.

  • Wahouuuu après quelques mois sans consulter ton blog, je tombe sur cet article qui me rappel bien pourquoi j’aimais ce blog. C’est tellement bien écrit que j’ai l’impression de vivre ça LOL.
    Bonne continuation Garance et continue à nous décrire la vie new yorkaise ça prépare mon mental, j’y compte aussi m y installer.

  • I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and reporting!
    Keep up the good works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

  • This sounds like Sydney all over again!!! I want to be French, actually my French friend tells me I more French than Aussie :)

    Great post! xox

    Andrea (

  • Kristen May, 3 2016, 9:37 / Reply

    I’ve been reading your blog for the better part of a decade, and I think that you’re fabulous. But as a Girl from Columbus, Ohio, I have to tell you that it’s much better here than you might think. :)

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