Hey Au Pairs,
We're by no means love gurus, but we've certainly learnt a lot about dating and love since our time as au pairs in Paris. We were recently asked to made a video about how to go about finding a partner in Paris. If you don't have time to watch the whole video, read on below for a few tips:
This video was inspired by quite a few people asking about whether it's easy to find love in the city of... love. You'd figure, due to being such a big international place, you should have no problem with bumping into your next partner in a grocery store - both of your hands reaching for the pain au chocolat.
But, we actually found that when that wasn't happening, we needed a little help. These are our fave ways of trying to force the stars to align...
1. Dating apps
During my second stint as an au pair, I went on one date every night of the week. This was due to the wonderful world of Tinder.
Was I desperate to find love? Not at all. What I loved about regularly using dating apps was the fact that I'd meet locals who knew all the city's secrets. I found most of my fave coffee shops, romantic picnic spots, cheap and cheerful restaurants and rooftop bars by dating locals. Then, at the end of the night, I'd say goodbye new friend and disappear back to my host family's house.
Sounds cold hearted? Not really. In my Tinder profile, I'd write "just looking for new friends in a new city"! Tinder can be a great app to use if you make it clear before you meet up (and during your rendezvous) that you're not interested in anything. If anything unsavoury went down, I felt completely justified in walking away and would always meet people in public!
If I did happen to like someone, maybe a second date would ensue. Unfortunately, my longest relationship from a dating app was just a few months... but hey, a close friend of ours (who we met as au pairs in Paris) recently married the French guy she met on Tinder.
Our fave dating apps for being an au pair in Europe include:
2. Extend Your Community!
We know, this is daunting, occasionally unenjoyable and why (oh WHY) would you want to leave your cosy chambre de bonne after a hard day working? But we promise that meeting many, many (many, many) new people can really help you find one who is a perfect match for you. This one actually worked out for me!
We've previously created a video on how to make friends in Paris as an au pair, but here are some hints and tips:
Speak to someone who looks like an au pair at your kid’s school! We bet they'll be so glad you said hi.
Use the many Facebook groups.
Join French lessons
Find English speaking meetups
Start your OWN Facebook group and add everyone in your local area (as Edwina did - which is how we met!)
3. Find YOUR Activity
Imagine the horror, it's a Sunday - you made it through the au pair week and you're treating yourself to a lie in when the phone rings. You check your clock, it's 8am and bae wants to know if you want to get out of the city and go on a hike.
By going to a regular activity every week, you can be sure you're both extending your community but also meeting people who have the same interests as you and really "vibes" with you - someone you feel your energies really connecting with.
Go alone to gigs (Edwina loves doing this - you always meet new people but also get the rush from feeling independent and get to leave whenever YOU want)
Become a regular in your fave coffee shop (strike up a convo with that troubler writer in the corner)
Join a yoga class or a workout class in the park
Take a book to a bar - sounds daunting but no one but you really cares that you're there alone! Plus, after a few drinks, those cute people are going to love that you're reading Hemingway.
Scout out your favourite English bookshop (at least you know everyone there can understand you when you hit on them)
4. Travel Alone - You Can Do This!
We can definitely vouch for the fact that if you save up your au pair pocket money and go to new European cities during your holidays. Don't worry if no one wants to go with you, stay in a hostel and you'll definitely meet a lot of new people. Hostels are the best! After-all, this is how Edwina met her ex.
(To make this a little easier, we're considering organizing travel trips for APOPers from September onwards if there is enough demand - let us know whether you're interested!)