France, the romantic getaway location everyone dreams of experiencing some time in their life. Just look at the long, never-ending list of romantic movies, shows, and books that take place on the cobblestone roads of Paris lining la Seine, the breathtaking landscape of the southern countryside and its extensive vineyards, or the Mediterranean coastline.
However, it is not just the landscapes which inspire romantic feelings of love and adoration, but it is also the language of these places. The melodic tone of the French language, with its rolling r’s and musical intonations, is hypnotizing and irresistible all at once.
Whether you find yourself looking for a lover in France, are on a honeymoon and want to impress your partner, or just want to learn some romantic phrases in case you find yourself falling in love with a French person – here are some sentences to help you out.
You are in the Louvre, walking past the oeuvres of Antonello da Messina, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci. It is a Tuesday morning in the Fall, and you are happy to be visiting at a low-season time, without too many bustling tourists hoping to get a selfie with the Mona Lisa. You admire the rich, artistic history the walls surrounding you are providing. You stop to look at a sculpture, and there, someone catches your eye – a French woman admiring a nearby piece. You walk up to her.
“Bonjour, comment vous appelez-vous?" - “Hello, what is your name?” Although it may seem like a basic introduction, it is crucial to know when meeting people for the first time. - Remember to always use “vous” when meeting someone for the first time. It would be taken as impolite by a French person to be called by the informal “tu” if you are strangers.
“Je vous trouve charmante.” - “I find you charming.” This is a sweet and original phrase which is not too imposing, and yet intriguing.
“Bonjour, je m’appelle ____. Je vous ai vu de loin, et je vous trouve très belle.” - “Hello, my name is ___. I saw you from afar, and I found you very beautiful.” It may be complicated to say for a non-native French speaker, but it is worth practicing to impress a French person and pique their interest.
“Seriez-vous disponible pour un verre ce soir ? ” - “Would you be free for a drink tonight?” This one is more risqué and should only be used after having introduced yourself in the first place. That said, getting drinks is custom in France, so it would not be shocking or rude for a first date. In fact, most first dates start with a glass of wine.
“Bonjour, je vous ai vu de loin et je vous trouve particulièrement belle. Etes-vous de Paris ? ” - “Hello, I saw you from afar and found you particularly beautiful. Are you from Paris?”
“Etes-vous celibataire?” - “Are you single?” French people do not wear their wedding rings religiously, and many people never get married with their life-long partner. Marriage is not nearly as common, nor as important, in France as it is in the United States, for example. When meeting someone, make sure you clear up right away whether they are married or single.
“Puis-je avoir votre numéro de téléphone ? ” - “ Could I have your number?”
“Je ne sais pas draguer, mais je voudrais vous inviter à boire un verre.” - “ I do not know how to flirt, but I would like to invite you out for a drink.” If you are anything like me, and flirting does not come naturally, this is a great way to be honest with the person all the while impressing them with your sophisticated and clever use of French.
After chatting for a couple of minutes, the Louvre woman you found so attractive and mustered the strength to ask out has given you her number, as well as the name of a restaurant you will be meeting at that night for dinner. You are excited and nervous for the date and getting ready at your apartment.
A quick note, however – in English, when we say “I am excited,” it means you are looking forward to something. In French, to say “Je suis excitée” has, well, sexual connotations. When you meet with your date at your rendez-vous, avoid using the term “excited.”
Here is a list of phrases to use when you meet for a date.
“Bonsoir, vous êtes ravissante.” - “Good evening, you look stunning.” ‘Ravissante’ is a particularly telling compliment. It translates to “delightful,” “stunning,” or “lovely,” but in a much stronger and passionate way.
“Je suis hypnotisé par vos yeux. Ils sont magnifiques. ” - “ I am hypnotised by your eyes. They are beautiful.”
“Que faites-vous dans la vie ? ” - “ What do you do in life?” Although this is not a flirty phrase, it is important that the person feels you want to get to know them. This is a great question to know more about the person without being too intrusive.
“Quelles sont vos plus grandes passions dans la vie ? ” - “What are your greatest passions in life?”
“Avez-vous toujours vécu en France ? ” - “ Have you always lived in France?”
“Si vous pouviez aller n’importe ou dans le monde, où iriez-vous ? ” - “ If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”
If you have gotten cozy with the person, and there are romantic intentions during the date, you may want to ask them questions about what they look for in a partner. Although this may seem too straightforward, it is a way to establish clear and open communication, which is necessary for any relationship to work. Here are some possible formulations:
“Que cherchez-vous en amoureux/ amoureuse ? ” - “ What do you look for in a lover?”
“Cherchez-vous à vous mettre en couple ? ” - “ Are you looking to be in a relationship?”
“Quelle sorte de relation cherchez-vous ? ” - “ What kind of relationship are you looking for?”
If these are questions that you are being asked, you may want to answer with:
“Je cherche une relation sérieuse. ” - “ I am looking for a serious relationship.
You have gone on a couple of dates (or not) and realize that you deeply care and are interested in this person.
There is no golden rule or cultural standard in France as to how long you should wait before telling someone that you love them or that you want to go home with them.
Remember – and this applies to all relationships – after you have gotten to know someone well, and this person is not significantly older than you, the “tu” pronoun can be used when referring to them. It depends on the person and the level of comfort you feel, but after one or two dates you should be able to use “tu” instead of “vous” without coming off as disrespectful.
You would like to make a move and see if she feels the same way you do.
"Voulez-vous prendre un dernier verre chez moi ? ” - “ Would you like to come over to my place for a last drink?” This is a classic way to invite someone to spend the night after a date. If you would like to be more direct, you can ask, “Voulez-vous rentrer chez moi?” which translates to, “Would you like to go home with me?”
“Est-ce que je peux vous raccompagner chez vous ? ” - “ May I accompany you back home?” This also insinuates that you would like to spend the night with the person.
You have gone to several museums, Parisian bistros and jazz bars, and walked along la Seine more times than you can count. You hold hands and laugh together as you marvel at the beauty of life, and the beauty of each other’s eyes – it all feels unreal, but because you are together, it feels perfectly fine. You are ready to proclaim your love.
Here are some ways to communicate how you feel to lovers or potential lovers in French.
“Je t’aime.” - “I love you.” In French, there is not the same linguistic difference between “I like you” and “I love you” as in English. Telling someone Je t’aime is a significant step, so make sure you are only saying this to someone you love.
“Je suis amoureux de toi. ” - “ I am in love with you.”
“Je veux passer le reste de ma vie avec toi. ” - “ I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Yes, this is more in the life-decision category than in the flirting one, but you never know – maybe meeting your Louvre, art-admiring lover will be a “coup de foudre,” or love at first sight.
“Jamais ai-je autant aimé quelqu’un de toute ma vie. ” - “ I have never in my life loved someone as much as I love you.”
Regardless of if you are on a date with a French person or another tourist, there are certain places in Paris which never get old no matter how many times you go. Here is a list of creative ideas for dates if you find yourself in Paris and in need of the perfect location for a French kiss.
Pont des Arts
- Translating to “The Bridge of the Arts,” this pedestrian-bridge only crosses over the Seine River and features an incredible view of the country’s capital. Once known for its thousands of “locks of love” attached to the bridge, the love locks had to be removed a few years back due to the weight on the bridge. If you have a chance to visit the bridge, make a stop on the way to the famous Notre Dame de Paris.
Le Jardin du Palais Royal
- “The Garden of the Royal Palace.” Famous for its decor, the 17th-century park is in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It is perfect for a picnic-lunch on a warm, sunny day. The palace itself was built in 1633 for Cardinal Richelieu by the architect Jacques Lemercier. It is a very photogenic area, so if you need fun Instagram-worthy couples’ photos, look no further.
Le Musee Rodin
- For a culturally rich and visually beautiful experience, look no further than the Museum of Rodin. It was created in 1919 to feature the late 18th- and early 19th- century Auguste Rodin’s sculptures. You will also find an incredible garden filled with more of the sculptors’ artworks, such as the famous sculpture Le Penseur, or The Thinker.