The Playbook For The Modern Man

Defiant Photo Suggests France’s ‘Flirty’ Culture Hasn’t Changed Since Lockdown

C’est la vie.

Flirting is risky. Smile at a new face and the possibilities are endless: tickled ego, a devastating blow to your confidence, a date, it’s a lucky dip.

But if you don’t want to watch Netflix solo, putting yourself out there is a necessary evil – one the French, stereotype dictates, revel in with repressed Catholic fervour.

Over the last four months, this ~forever alone~ concept has been driven home worldwide, with all the subtlety of a dodgy internet vibrator.

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Come March, those shacked up with a new beau were laughing all the way to Durex, while those who remained single… weren’t.

Fast forward to now and different countries are coming out of lockdown at different rates. As such, those still trussed up at home (oh hey, America) may be curious about what flirting (and dating) looks like for countries further down the line.

Enter: the following photo, taken in the heart of Paris’ Marais quartier. Posted to Instagram yesterday by Paris-based photographer Patrick Colpron on Rue de Turenne, the shot suggests Parisians are getting back to their bustling ways.

 

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A post shared by Patrick Colpron (@patrickcolpron) on

Captioning the image, Colpron wrote: “I have way more fun looking at men looking at women than looking at women. That is because as discreet as they think they are… they definitely get busted each and every time, at each and every glance.”

“It is inevitable, to be good at street photography you have to be great at anticipating how people will behave. Thankfully most people are no different than you and me, put yourself in someone else’s shoes and just react as they would to the environment they are in, react as yourself – 8.7 times out of 10, people will do exactly as you would.”

“Then you know how to make shots like these were [sic] a man standing in a doorway will definitely glance at the pretty woman walking down the street.”

In any case, from more classic street scenes…

 

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I love the poster above the principal subject’s head. The uncropped version is slightly better, swipe left to see the uncropped version. Anyhoo what struck me was the guy on her left on his phone, out of the frame, her – on her phone and everyone around, on their phones. We have never been this connected to one another yet, is it just me or I kinda noticed is as connected as we are we seem to have never been so alone ever before. As such the question is, what’s wrong with this picture? Oh and I love this woman walking into my frame from the right, her eyes riveted to her smartphone. Made with a Canon EOS R and a Canon RF 24-70/2.8 #thisisparis always something new to discover, taste and experience #paris #topparisphoto #topfrancephoto #topeuropephoto #hello_france #super_france #igersfrance #visitfrance #merveillesdefrance #parisjetaime #parismonamour #parigi #igersparis #tlpicks #passionpassport #iamatraveler #mylittleparis #culturetrip #beautifuldestinations #parisobviously #canon #canoneosr #canonrf2470lusm #canonfrance

A post shared by Patrick Colpron (@patrickcolpron) on

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… to (by every appearance) awkward first dates…

 

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… Colpron’s other recent photos give us a further idea of what Paris now looks like, almost two months post lockdown (it ended on May the 14th).

Though we are yet to see evidence of couples smooching under iconic monuments like they did pre pandemic…

 

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… elsewhere in Paris, love lives, if Instagram is to go by (and, let’s be honest, being the new Tinder, it really is something to go by), appear to be getting back on track.

 

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A post shared by Julieth Franco (@juliethfranco) on

And it’s not just Paris locals: some lucky travellers are enjoying the city of love again already.

 

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Our first trip together as a couple without any family and friends was to Paris. This city is full of love and beautiful spots. As a couple you maybe know this sweet wall. The wall is called ‘Le mur des je t’aime’ or in english ‘I love you wall’. Can you believe that you can find on this wall ‘I love you’ in over 250 languages? 💕 You can find this wall in the beautiful area Montmartre. This is perfect for a romantic couple trip. Have you ever been in Paris? . Follow us for more destinations @the.couple.in.love 🎥 YouTube ‘the couple in travel’ . . #paris #parisweekend #iloveyou #iloveyouwall #parisiloveyou #lemurdesjetaime #lemur #montmartre #parismontmartre #montmartreaddict #montmartrestreetart @visit_paris_official #visit_paris_official #liebesmauer #pariscouple @parisjetaime #parisjetaime @topparisphoto #topparisphoto #thisisparis @pariscityworld #pariscityworld @allabout2travel #allabout2travel @erasmus.generation #erasmusgeneration #erasmusrecipes #firstcoupletrip #pariscouplesession #parisstreetart #thecoupleinlove #thecoupleintravel

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Elsewhere, people are having to resort to more inventive strategies to get their flirt (let alone date) on. London based journalist Nana Baah is one of them, revealing in April, for Vice, how flirting with the stranger in the house opposite her got her through lockdown.

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“We smoke out of our windows at the same time. Sometimes, he winks at me.”

“It’s oddly intense – and under normal circumstances, I would find a wink creepy – but something about the interaction has kept me going back to the window each day,” she adds.

“When I explain my situation to sex and relationship psychologist Lucy Snider… she says that the distance between my neighbour and I might actually be what’s so appealing to me. ‘You’ve got an intimate connection with somebody but you also have the freedom around not really knowing that person,’ she explains. ‘You don’t have to run the risk of getting close to them and them hurting you, while still enjoying that connection that we all need and crave.'”

As for what it feels like to go from being scared to be within two metres of a stranger (during lockdown) to being allowed to catch up with your crush, another Vice article suggests it’s not necessarily as daunting as you might think.

“For some, the idea of lockdown easing is terrifying. Going from wearing a face mask and gloves – and constantly using hand sanitiser – back into the dating world is daunting, too,” Vice reports.

“But [interviewee] *Emily* (name changed) says that when lockdown lifted a lot of the anxiety around her health disappeared too. ‘On my part, there isn’t any anxiety around dating,’ she says. ‘Well, no more than wearing a condom because of an STI. There are no cases here [in New Zealand], so I’m not really worried about that aspect.’”

Another Vice subject, *Caroline* (name also changed), who lives in Paris and moved in with her boyfriend when lockdown lifted, told Vice, “When [French PM Emmanuel] Macron announced the end of lockdown for May 11th, before we met, I was so nervous! Not about the coronavirus, but about us. Thinking: ‘Will it be good? Did I really miss him?’ – those kinds of questions.”

“It might be exciting to be able to kiss in bars and hold hands in museums again once social distancing is lifted, but Caroline cautions that making time for your friends as well as your relationship still requires some juggling. ‘We’re both working from home still, so we’re together all the time. But we’re still going out, drinking beers and seeing our friends and stuff,’ Caroline says. ‘It’s important for us to not be an old couple already!'”

You’ve been warned.

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