(asked by Regina from Malaysia)
I am Asian from Malaysia and have been really confused with my reaction to a French man which I cannot seem to find an answer to explain as I am not sure how French men generally respond to girls taking the initiative?
The incident is as follows:
Last weekend, we were at a after work party disco event. One of my french colleagues J. got really drunk, and started saying that he loves me many times, although he is married. I felt really uneasy by it and I told my other french colleague C. about it. C. told me he will protect me if anything happens. Anyway, J. approached me a few other times and both C. and I decided to walk away to the drinks bar. Whilst we were walking away, unconsciously I grabbed C.’s hand. It was in a very busy party. C. did not let go of his hand. In fact C. and I interlocked our hands and he also squeezed it lightly.
After a while, when we are near the drinks bar, we let go of our hands and carried on joking and pretend nothing has happened.
My question is:
How does the French generally perceive when the girl takes initiative holding their hands?
Many thanks for your opinion.
I’m not sure whether or not I’m making a big mistake answering this question. See, despite the fact that I announced that I was more or less done with answering relationship questions, they are still the majority of questions that I receive, because a lot of people obviously don’t bother clicking and reading links that say “READ FIRST!” Of course, I usually send those e-mails to the trash as soon as I read “I met this French guy” in the text.
However, I’ll answer this question because I think it is interesting and applies to general culture and habits, not just a particular case and the thoughts of one particular individual. I’m saying that I’m afraid to answer it, because I’m afraid some people will think it’s ok to send their personal questions my way again.
My first reaction to this question was “strange question” and it almost ended in the trash. Yet, I knew I should keep it somehow. Why is that? Well, while I’m sure that the act of holding hands has a quite clear meaning to anyone reading this, fact is that it has a different meaning depending on your culture. Actually, when talking about obvious acts in your culture having completely different meanings in another culture, I often mention that in some regions of India, men hold hands under certain circumstances and there’s no sexual undertone to that behavior.
And truth is that I have no idea what holding hands entails in Malaysia.
In France however, if a woman starts holding your hand and you’re male, it usually has an obvious meaning: she wants you.
Yet, I have to put a grain of salt here. I know of a few examples, especially in stressful situations where a woman holding a guy’s hand will just mean that she feels safe with him. However these situations are very very rare. And if it just means that she feels safe with him and nothing else, unconsciously it most likely also means that she wouldn’t mind if he made her feel safe in her bed too.
You never really know.
Actually, I have a personal example on this topic that I could never figure out. It was the 90′s, I was in college and I had this female friend with whom I was pretty close to and in a few (drunk) situations she grabbed my hand in the streets for an extended period of time (not hours, but not seconds either).
Was there some sexual tension between us? A little bit.
Was she just feeling safe with me or did she want me? Tough question. I always assumed that she was just feeling safe with me, but she wouldn’t have minded if I had made her feel safe until we reach her bed and more. That never happened. Why? Well, first, I was foolishly in love with another woman at the time (foolishly because it was unrequited) and second, my friend had just broken up with her boyfriend who happened to be one of my good friends; and as I don’t have a penis instead of a brain, I knew that would upset my buddy if I did the nasty with her so soon after their breakup. Also, did I mention that I’m the one who introduced them to each other?
Had the circumstances be different, I would have totally done her… or would have been gravely mistaken…. We’ll never know…
But enough about me, though this example was to show you that as usual with French women you never know ( ), so C. may have gotten the wrong impression. Or not…
French women reading that, what’s your opinion?
No, not about the fact that I never stop picking on you, about the holding hands situation.