Our French Life

Top 5: French Men V British Men

crying man french

Yeah this one is full on generalisation and quite frankly I don’t care. It’s not politically correct at all. Which, lets face it, the world’s politicians aren’t actually a shining example of how one should conduct themselves. My little evaluation is hardly going to scratch the surface of inappropriateness.  This is just for fun. So please, if you are a Frenchie or Brit reading this it does not,obviously, apply to all. It’s just my little observations. It’s tongue in cheek and comes with a tickle your fancy disclaimer. Strap in.


Do all French men cry? From what I’ve seen on French television it appears that a French man will cry and get emotional about anything. It’s a standard phrase in this house to say something along the lines of “wait for it…ooh ohhh..here he goes..he’s starting to blubber up…there you go another one crying.” Normally followed by “is there anything a French man won’t cry at?” and “man up!”

I’m all for men being more emotional. There is no shame showing your feelings and what not but seriously French men take it to a different level. They are so in touch with their emotions its scary.  I don’t want to see a man selling his house, cry when he enters every room, as the make over team show him the ghastly deco which means he hasn’t had a viewing in over 10 years. I don’t want to see him crying when he finally gets a seller for 10k less than the asking price. Bite that lip and be terribly British you’re on the telly. At least turn away.  Happy. Sad. It doesn’t matter. The bottom lip goes and they start blubbering.  I’ve watched so much telly, from love in the meadow – farmers crying when they’re talking about finding a potential mate, camping programs when the man picks up his new camping car (although it did cost him 300k) and French bake off. They love a good cry, in full view of the camera and they don’t care who knows it!  

British men don’t cry. Except deaths and possibly a marriage break down but even that could be stretching it.

Coffee Mornings 

Now from where I hail from, women do coffee mornings with young kids, when kids are at school or just any excuse to catch up over a coffee in a coffee house.  We ain’t putting the kettle on at home, we need to buy expensive coffee, eat cake and not come up for air for a good 2 hours.  British men do not meet each other for coffee. They might grab one on the go but you’re more likely to find them in the pub, at the bar at lunchtime with work colleagues, than saying “let’s meet for coffee before work!” Never. Gonna. Happen.

A British Man’s staple drink whilst catching up with his mates

Here the men are having coffee mornings. Yarp. Where are all the women?! At work? There is a weird kind of role reversal going on. You will be hard pushed, in Normandy, to find two woman having a good old natter over a coffee after the school run. I do this with a friend and we are the only women in our Tabac. Granted, some of the men are retirees, all sitting up the counter drinking dolls house cup of coffees adding copious amounts of sugar sans milk and sipping it from a tiny spoon. I met another friend in another location. I stopped her mid flow and said “take a look around”. It was coming up to lunch time (the 12 o’clock pumpkin church bells were ringing) “there isn’t a single female in here”.  This time it was men of all ages.  Prepare for a ‘strangers in town’ stare if you enter a Tabac, with another female, in rural Normandy.

Dress Sense

Sorry British Men, the French men are better dressed even in the countryside. They have an uncanny knack to just look effortlessly well turned out even the retirees. A shirt, jeans and a cardi for the olds.  For the middle aged, a scarf tied around his neck with not an ounce of shame or embarrassment. Something a Brit would be laughed at in the street for wearing. They will wear skinny jeans even if they’re 50. They rock the casual look. It’s a good job really, as I don’t think I’ve seen a French man get dressed up for any occasion even weddings. If you know what type of event a three piece suit is worn at then please do let me know.

david beckahm.jpg
Okay David Beckham is the exception to the rule! Picture from Google – photo credit

Take for example the chap that came to buy my son’s bike. He must have been late 40s and bald. He gets out of the car with his skinny, darkish jeans, loafers (with no socks showing obviously!), blazer buttoned at the middle, shirt and sunglasses. Like how intimidating is that whilst standing in my light wash jeans, trainers and hoodie?

He jumps onto the bike to give it a test drive in the middle of the road, looking like he was ready for a dinner date somewhere. He also had some necklace thing, you know all hippy like. The type of thing you buy when you’ve been back packing in your twenties and he still managed to pull it all off?!

If a British man was trying to dress younger, normally he just opts for a Super Dry hoodie and that’s it. He then looks like he’s a middle aged man wearing a Super Dry hoodie. A French man is going to be as young as he god dam likes and will wear whatever he wants and pull it off. The look that is.

And do you know what? They are mostly trim. Physically they look a bit better because the vast majority are not overweight. Not only that they look younger for their age. I wouldn’t say they were overly better looking  but the presentation is slightly better. Think Macron. Oh go on then any excuse to put a picture of The Macron.

Hello Monsieur President – ignoring the height

The chap that reversed into me was 80 (I discovered after reading our accident report) pranging my car aside, I wanted to say “blimey you look well on it any secrets you want to share?” Crying and coffee you say?

Fun Time Frankie

I have noticed that a French dad, in particular, is up for a fun time when out and about at any family attraction. In fact, I’d say they’ve bought the theme park ticket for them rather than the kids. That’s not to say a Brit dad doesn’t enjoy a theme park but given a choice between watching the footie or a day out with the family – I’m going to plump he’s opting for the ‘me time’.  A French dad is up for all the fun at the fair and my gawd witness them on a campsite and I don’t think you’ll see them happier.  Not only that I have never heard of the head of the PTA being a bloke in the UK.  Yes, the dad’s would get roped into helping set up etc (usually by their partner who was on the PTA) but actually running the whole set up? Nope. Here, it’s the norm. The dad is head of the PTA. Bravo.



This is actually a national pastime – men, women, children and dogs. It’s quite off putting when you first arrive, as us Brits consider it to be the height of bad manners to be staring at people. We would try not to make someone feel awkward. Not happening here. I think I am relatively immersed as I don’t notice it anymore. However, French men are no exception. They do have a bit of a poker face. You never know if they’re staring because you disgust or delight them. It’s all a bit of a mystery.

So there you have it, my total white washing, tarring with the same brush assessment of the differences between a French man and a British man.

What have you noticed? I would love to hear.

You have been reading Our Normandy Life!

6 thoughts on “Top 5: French Men V British Men”

  1. Hi there. I used to live in Normandy and adore it. Being Icelandic I can recognise a lot of the Scandinavian place names there, specially in the Cotentin area The Norman language (not a dialect) is very interesting for English people. After Normandy conquered England in 1066 the Normans had a massive influence on the English language. People for example is from Norman. It is peuple in French. Chair in English is from Norman. Car and cat as well . War from werre in Norman. Fashion, catch, to improve etc. Many do not know this but the Channel Islands are also a part of Normandy. They are the Insular part of Normandy. Not a part of France or the UK. Jèrriais the Norman language of Jersey has recently been made official there. Norman speaking people from Jersey and the Cotentin understand each other very well. To be a lawyer in Guernsey you must study Norman law in Caen. And from Jersey came Wace who’s litterature
    In Norman like the Roman de Rou was enjoyed by the Norman rulers of England. A lot of Norman this and Norman that in my writings here but it is a part of loving Normandy. The Bayeux tapestry is a must see, a time machine if ever there was one. The Normans are incredibly friendly people and very welcoming to immigrants, be they from Iceland or Britain. And the Norman gastronomy (Camembert, Pont-l’évêque,moules de Barfleur, Andoulliette d’Alençon, Calvados, cider, pommeau) and architecture (Mont Saint-Michel, Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen, the Norman keep of Chambois)… And they have a great sense of fashion. The Saint James stripes are known all over the world and are Norman not Breton. Dior was from Normandy after all. Just had to share this. Enjoy your life in the paradise that is Normandy. You really are lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David thank you for taking the time to leave such a comprehensive comment making for fascinating reading. I did feel rather special after reading through it all and pretty much didn’t know a lot of this!! I wish to visit Iceland one day its always been on my bucket list. Thanks again!


  2. There’s a French bake off?!?! I’m really enjoying reading thru your blog! I’m 64, in the U.S. and always dreamed of one day living in France. Loving your story!


    1. Hi yes there and it’s very good – I’m not gonna lie I have a little crush on the host! Thank you for reading and I’m glad you are enjoying it. Do come on over to my FB page etc of the same name!


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