Oct 24th, 2023, 12:00 PM

Cupid Strikes Paris: Meet-Cutes in the City of Love

By Madeleine Kruger
Image credit: Madeleine Kruger
Unveiling the intriguing love stories of AUP students - from chance encounters to everlasting romance

Paris has proven time and time again that it has an incredible talent for playing matchmaker, and AUP is its favorite playground. The idea of finding love on campus that doesn’t result in awkward glances in your 9 am English class the morning after seems doubtful, but it really can happen to anyone quite unexpectedly. Cupid is more active on campus than you would think, whether it’s between textbooks, tucked away in the alleyway from Combes to Grenelle, or after one too many vodka redbulls at Duplex (you’ve been warned freshmen). There’s something about this city that makes you want to fall in love, and AUP holds a record of love stories that would make any romantic comedy movie blush.

Living in a French-speaking country can, on occasion, make the language barrier feel that much more prominent when you’re not a native speaker, and no, we can’t always pretend that having somebody ask you something in French when you’re walking on the street means that they want you — except in Aerin and Elias’s case, it does. You would think that taking out your earphones at 11 pm to give your attention to a French man in Bastille wouldn’t result in anything worthwhile, but hey, it worked out for her so maybe we should pay attention once in a while.

“He was telling me all these things in French that I just did not understand”, Aerin, a 20 year old AUP student, recalled, “and I gave him this look and he goes oh… you speak English”. But that didn’t stop him, and she ended up just giving her number to continue on her way. 

“I was planning on a short fling… I was going home for the summer”, Aerin admitted. It took over a year of no contact and a glow up over the summer until anything romantic stirred, “He walked through my door early July and I thought he was really hot”, said Aerin, “I just knew we weren’t going to be friends”.

Image Credit: Madeleine Kruger
 

“When I first met him, I really didn't speak a lot of French,” Aerin recalls. It’s just easier to communicate in a common language, even if its very broken English paired with a strong and thick French accent. Making a relationship work where there is a big language difference is hard, and regardless of "confusing funny with fun and saying troubles instead of trouble”, Elias’ efforts don’t go unappreciated. “I find it sweet, I think it’s really adorable and cute and he is really trying to speak English with me” Aerin gushes, “He’s gotten a lot better since he’s been with me, it still has it’s flaws but it has gotten better”. Although Aerin tries her best to speak French with Elias, whom she refers to as her “built-in tutor”, she details that French people can be very judgmental and despite her best efforts, speaking in English is much more comfortable, especially when simply being American is enough to enable mockery over the linguistic barrier.

Finding love in Paris doesn’t have to happen in random, unexpected, exchanges in the 11th arrondissement. You can actually find love in the city exactly where you are right now at this very moment. That’s right! With a simple download of an app, you might be lucky enough to have a relationship like Elora and Emile. “I didn’t want to do the Tinder situation” Elora, a 21 year old from Fresno, California, admits, and with Hinge having a range of like-minded people with mixed nationalities, she thought it may be the better alternative.

A simple swipe took her from a pool of (*eyeroll*) Parisian men to a Greek Cypriot raised in China and born in Japan. If you’ve already traveled this far from home to find foreign love, Emile proves that the French borders should not halt your search. “He took me to a board game bar in the 2nd”, Elora explains, “He was like 15 minutes late, I was debating if I should leave”.  But a few minutes later, Emile walks in looking “so much cuter than his picture”. Elora recalls, “I just forgot all about it, I think to this day he still doesn’t know how upset I was about it”.

Elora and Emile couldn’t have been from further parts of the world when they first met, and they’re still holding strong from opposite sides of the globe. While she’s currently in Paris studying at AUP, he is working in between China and the south of France. “He’s coming back to Paris for a weekend in October and I’m going to him for Fall Break”, Elora delights, “so we’re kind of doing the long distance thing”. Although the trajectory their relationship took was definitely untraditional, it ended up working for them just fine. “I’m really happy with it and proud of the boy I chose” Elora fawns, “I’d do it all over again 100%”.

 

Image Credit: Madeleine Kruger
 

As Elora and Emile couldn’t have met from further away, Kalia and Amad met here at AUP, proving a very rare scenario a reality, you actually can find people capable of commitment here on campus. “We met at a fashion show that he was modeling at” Kalia explains, “His friend brought me as a plus one, he goes to AUP but we’ve never had a class together so after his show was the first time I got to get to know him”. 

“It’s kind of weird seeing him in the hallways” Kalia laughs, “and sometimes I would walk into Amex and he would just be there”. Sharing an environment with somebody that you also share a relationship with can be difficult for some, but not for others. “I’ve never understood why people don’t want to have sex or date people that go to this school,” Kalia states, “I’ve had class with people I’ve hooked up with and it’s fine”. 

There's a certain level of maturity required to have a relationship with someone whom you share a workspace with, and in Kalia's words, as long as you set boundaries and have conversations about the two of you, then any issue will work itself out. “It’s hard, I mean, everyone’s in college and nobody wants to commit”, Kalia says, “but I do think it’s possible to find love on campus”. 

So there you have it— three examples of how students have found love around the city, whether they meet from having roots at AUP, over a dating app, or just from being in the right place at the right time walking the streets of Paris. Love has a tendency of catching you in the moment where you least expect it, so who knows what's around the corner from you in this city. Whether it’s shared in quick glances from the couches to the pool table at Amex or being asked for directions by a hot local, Paris has a tried and true allure that gives it the nickname chosen by the people, the “city of love”.