Unfortunately, the teeming array of dateable humanity available online offers the promise that Mr.Right may be lingering right on the next page view.
"If anything looks too good to be true," my French friend Marie-Louise once said, "it probably is." They also believe that personal love is a matter of private business, which goes a long way toward explaining the shock Marie-Louise expressed when she stumbled on the wedding announcements in the style section of for the first time.
"The only time you see announcements published like this in France is if royalty married, or if you are in a tiny village where everyone knows everyone else and the butcher's daughter is marrying the mayor's son," she said.
"America is like one big European province."Publicly trumpeting true love and the hope of enduring happiness in this way is suspect to the French, because every expression of true love (he loves me!
Many years ago I was in a park in Paris with a girl named Sandrine who was pining away for a boy named Pierre.
She picked a flower and started pulling off its petals, but rather than the familiar refrain "He loves me, he loves me not," she carefully intoned: "He loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all."I instantly thought that Sandrine was one clever French girl until I learned that, no, this is the standard French refrain.
This is how the French are groomed to think about love from an early age: not in the absolutes of total love or utter rejection, but in nuances and a range of possibilities.
It dawned on me at that moment that while we Americans are groomed to seek happy endings and closure, the French are more comfortable with emotional subtleties and ambiguity.
While we grow up thinking about love in black and white, they grow up inscrutably grey.
As post 50s swell the ranks of the online dating market looking for love, this French flower metaphor takes on new luster that merits reflection.