Paris is the City of Love for a reason!
Recently, we traveled to France and other European countries to conduct more interviews with couples about successful marriage for an upcoming book. Since we had not been to France in several years, we were beginning to believe the media reports about how the French do not like Americans.
So, we braced ourselves for the difficulties we might encounter as two American authors and researchers asking intimate questions about love and marriage in France.
We're pleased to share — our fears and the media reports could not have been further from the truth!
First of all, the people of France are delightful!
They were wonderfully warm, open, friendly and courteous beyond imagination. Everywhere we went, they treated us like members of their family. From the hotels we stayed in to the local bistros, the people were marvelous. On buses, trains, subways, and in cabs, they greeted us with open arms and great warmth.
Our travels took us throughout France, with a focus on Paris and Lyon — both wonderful cities with fabulous cuisine, great wine, beautiful sights to behold, and a fascinating history to tell. But more than anything, with all the amenities of these two great cities, we were struck by the friendliness and warmth of the French people.
We were there for nearly two weeks and only have splendid experiences to report. You can't miss the French passion for food, wine, life and romance if you just strike up a conversation with someone, observe couples strolling down the Champs Elysee, or when you mingle in a small café or bistro.
These are our 3 primary conclusions about the state of marriage in France:
1. The French report great satisfaction with marriage
The couples we interviewed were marvelous, which brings us to the main point of our story. You have probably heard that the French are no longer interested in marriage or some variation on that theme. Don’t you believe it!
The couples we interviewed, who are successfully and happily married for 30 to 60 years, reported great satisfaction in their marriage and would do it all over again.
2. Young couples in love look forward to getting married
But here is where it gets interesting — we found the same themes in young French couples that were in love. The ones we interviewed loved each other very much and were looking forward to getting married, just like their aunts and uncles, parents, and grand parents before them.
In fact, the word on the French streets is that marriage is making a very nice comeback! We heard nothing while we were there to dispute that notion. Isn’t that wonderful news?!
The greatest romantic country in the world — and a very secular country as well— is reviving its interest in marriage again. That is encouraging news, indeed.
3. Successfully married French couples are quite similar to couples in America
When we summarized our recent interview data from France, we were struck by how similar the characteristics that defined their successful marriages and relationships were to those in the USA. They were virtually identical.
It seems that successful marriages around the world or in romantic countries have common themes. Frankly, we continue to be extremely excited about our findings.
As we began to write the individual and collective stories of these engaging French couples with successful marriages for our next book, we found ourselves wanting to share some of those findings with you right away, because of their passion for enjoying the romance of life and their love for each other.
Vive la France! Adieu et merci.
Note: We penned this article just before the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris this past weekend. Like many of you, we have friends in Paris and across France. Please keep those who died, those who were injured, and all of the French people in your thoughts and prayers.
In light of the horrible loss of human life last night in Paris at the hands of ISIS terrorists, we created a tribute to the fallen at:
Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz, America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts have been happily married for nearly 50 years. Giving advice you can trust, the Doctors share makes a man marriage material and other revealing truths in their latest multiple award-winning book, How to Marry the Right Guy.