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Even though I was the one to drag my feet on the girlfriend label, he was the one who wasn’t truly ready to be a boyfriend.Dating in the country known for love may be exciting and romantic, but it can also make you even more cynical and cautious about dating than back home.LYON, France — I met David on my first of four days visiting Lyon. Maybe I’m a cynical American woman who put too much weight on this word. Since then, I’ve met many American women and expatriates who have quickly landed in relationships with French men. The first day American business owner Kelly Clark arrived here, she hit it off with a Frenchman.From our first kiss that night, we started behaving like a couple: We had difficult conversations, we were finishing each other’s sentences and the sex was intense and intimate. Now that I live in France full time, I’ve found that professing one’s love right out of the gate is not aberration. After a couple of days together, he sent her a Facebook message to say he had booked a flight to Barcelona to join her on the next leg of her trip.Hooking up seldom meant you were suddenly in a relationship.But to her current boyfriend, it meant they were official.Although we both enjoy the romantic gestures and being treated like cherished human beings, it stings much more when they disappear.Neither of us has a clue who wants to date and who is just grooming us for a sexual friendship because they act the same regardless.

Nina Coates, a British yoga instructor in Lyon, agreed.Even the ones who do want relationships can backtrack abruptly.David and I ended things right before I moved to France.It took me six months to finally agree to be exclusive, and that’s only because another woman was trying to move in on him.Like me, Clark did a year of long distance before moving to France.

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