I remember how I used to go out with my girlfriends when I still lived in Canada. Actually, whenever I am visiting Canada I still go out with them. I really miss girls' nights out.
I've slowly noticed that women in Denmark (and in the UK as well), as in Canada, have girls' nights out. I often see them enjoying a night out in a restaurant or bar drinking, just gabbing the hours away together. I've also noticed that men do this here as well.
So how are things in France? Quite different, in my opinion.
There are a lot less girls' and boys' nights out. I've seen 2 women eating together in a restaurant, but I usually don't see groups of women together. I'm trying to understand why.
Everything seems to be done as a couple. If you don't have a boyfriend or husband you just tag along with friends who are couples.
This means that things can be very awkward when a couple splits up because everyone is used to hanging out all together. How does the single person or couple choose between which half of the couple to continue seeing? You can, of course, try to continue seeing both sides separately, but I find that that often doesn't work out well. You often have to choose (or sometimes the choice is made for you) which side to continue seeing.
My husband is uncomfortable going out without me. It has nothing to do with him feeling uneasy in the company of others, far from that actually, it's like he needs me to be with him, for us to do everything together as a couple. He doesn't need to go out with groups of men. I force him sometimes because I can't stand watching certain movies at the cinema, I don't like watching football in a bar, etc.
A few days ago we met up with a Danish friend in a bar. She knew that we would be there as a couple, so we figured surely she would bring her fiancé along. Nope, she came alone. She actually never seems to go out with her fiancé with other people. We've only met him once, at a wedding. Same thing with another friend; sometimes we eat together at a mutual friend's house, but she never brings her husband. I can't imagine a dinner date in France where a couple wouldn't attend together, unless they were physically separated by distance!
I originally thought that it's because of French women themselves that there are no girls' nights out. Maybe, dare I say, they are a bit clingy and expect to do everything together with their husband or boyfriend? Now I am not so sure, because, well, just look at my husband! Maybe it's because women have not traditionally been so independent in France as women in Denmark or Canada?
Of course age is a factor. I have seen plenty of women out together alone without men, but these are usually young teenage girls or young women. I'm talking about people my age. It seems like the only times I see women my age out together in France is for hen/bachelorette parties.
So, to summarise my post, these are my main observations in France:
1. Women don't go out together in groups a lot.
2. Women who are married or in a relationship don't go out independently of their partner.
What do you think? Have you had the same experiences? What are your theories to explain the differences?