These days it seems that you can’t go anywhere without Emily In Paris being brought up; everyone, from your mum to your colleagues, has something to say about the infamous Netflix Original series. In case you haven’t heard about it (how?), the show follows a young woman named Emily, as she navigates life and love while working in Paris for a year.
Emily In Paris has earned mixed reviews; on the one hand, it has garnered a reputation for being a stereotypical and unrealistic portrayal of Parisian culture and has been described by many as ‘trash’. However, many others take delight in the light-hearted show, which was even nominated for Best Television Series at the 2021 Golden Globes. Some even reckon it is intentionally a little absurd (which would be quite fitting, really).
However, whether you think Emily In Paris is a good or a bad show — or whether you’ve even watched it at all — there are a few things men can learn from the series when it comes to dating. The major plot point for Emily In Paris’ recently released Season 2 was whether Emily would end up with Gabriel or Alfie. So, let’s delve into the relationships Emily has with both men to see what knowledge can be had.
Emily’s main romantic interest, Gabriel, was introduced in Season 1. Gabriel, an incredibly good-looking French chef, is Emily’s neighbour, and after they meet, the two spend the first four episodes shamelessly flirting with each other. We learn in episode four, that at some point they have exchanged phone numbers (smooth; although it could’ve happened simply because they’re neighbours) as when faced with a work crisis, Emily calls and practically forces Gabriel to keep his restaurant open after hours and cook for her business associates.
At the end of this dinner, Emily shoots her shot and kisses Gabriel. He instantly embraces her and enthusiastically kisses her right back. Emily says ‘goodnight’ after the passionate kiss and leaves; Gabriel briefly smiling as she does. However, it’s then that we learn that Gabriel has a girlfriend.
In the next episode, Emily calls Gabriel out for both kissing her back and for not telling her he had a girlfriend; which he easily (and still a little flirtily) brushes off. He even confesses that he feels something for Emily, which she ignores as she’s now friends with his girlfriend, Camille. What’s interesting is that Camille tells Emily that Gabriel “can be unfriendly before you get to know him” which is the polar opposite of what we’ve seen; Gabriel gave Emily an extremely warm welcome from the moment they met.
As the season continues, Gabriel and Camille eventually break up due to Gabriel’s decision to move away from Paris. Of course, Emily immediately sleeps with Gabriel, despite the fact that she’s become good friends with Camille. However, the cliffhanger for the season is that Gabriel can miraculously stay in Paris and Emily must now deal with the fact that she betrayed her friend, Camille, who (obviously) upon learning that Gabriel can stay in town, wants to get back together.
I won’t bore you with all the details from Season 2, but Emily refuses to date Gabriel even though he confesses grand feelings of love for her, they share another passionate kiss, and he doesn’t get back together with Camille. Emily’s refusal to start a relationship is mainly due to her guilt but also because of her belief that she shouldn’t start something with Gabriel when she only plans to stay in Paris for a short time. Oh, and also because Emily meets Alfie.
Alfie, another good-looking guy who’s from London, meets Emily in French class. Unlike Gabriel, who was friendly to Emily from their first encounter, Alfie is initially rude to her. Overtime, he eventually becomes friendlier; although he does gently mock her regularly. Alfie even announces to their French class that Emily “wears silly clothes” and “doesn’t like to have fun”. It seems this playful ribbing works for him though, as Emily becomes determined to prove to him that she can have fun and in due course, the two end up sleeping together and dating.
Alfie is then, in some ways, the perfect boyfriend; caring, attentive, and open about his feelings. He calmly asks Emily for details when he learns of her previous relationship with Gabriel, and when he learns that he has to go back to London, he asks Emily to do long distance as he believes they really “could be something”. She happily agrees and the two share a kiss.
However, shortly after this romantic moment with Alfie, Emily finds out that she can stay in Paris indefinitely (and by this point has been found out and forgiven by Camille), so she rushes to Gabriel to profess her love for him; drama ensues when after this declaration Emily finds out Gabriel’s finally back together with Camille but that’s not relevant here… So, what is?
Well, it seems that men can take away two major dating lessons from Emily In Paris. The first is kind of obvious but it needs to be said: television and reality are vastly different from one another. In what world would a woman want to date a guy who failed to mention that he had a girlfriend and then happily cheated on said girlfriend?
I know I can’t speak for every woman on the planet, but personally, if a man flirted with me for days on end and kissed me but then I found out he was in a relationship, I would never want to see the bastard again. Even if he was ridiculously handsome and had a cute French accent.
If you are in a relationship but then meet someone else who you find absolutely appealing, to the point of cheating; do! not! cheat! Be a good person and break up with your girlfriend first. It’ll guarantee that you hurt your current partner a lot less and that your relationship with the new partner will start off on the right foot. That being said, there are still hundreds of people on Twitter who are rooting for Emily and Gabriel — or would happily date Gabriel themselves — so what do I know?
The second lesson is that playful banter can be very attractive. Again, not all women will agree with me, but Alfie’s gentle teasing of Emily is irresistibly charming. Maybe don’t go embarrassing girls in public settings, like Alfie did to Emily in French class, but on a first date don’t be afraid to poke a little fun… After all, it has been strongly documented that women love a funny man, and I (or Twitter) couldn’t agree more.
Both seasons of Emily In Paris are available to stream on Netflix.