Paris is for Love or the Random Proposal By a Stranger

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Have you ever been in a situation where someone came up to you off the street asking you if you would be his girlfriend? How about a random stranger proposing to you moments after meeting you? Only in Paris can this happen and it might be considered normal. I am sure it could happen anywhere you travel, but for me, it happened when I was in Paris.

It didn’t happen once or even twice; it happened at least four times. Not the proposal…. That happened once… Being stopped on the street and the Arc de Triomphe were the other times. Not that I am counting!

I didn’t think anything of it the first time this happened. I chalked it up to something of the norm with being in another country.

Looking back on the first time I was stopped; interesting enough it happened while I was sitting on one of the benches near the Arc de Triomphe waiting for my friends. I was approached by some guy who sat down on the bench next to me. It didn’t take long for him to start talking to me, letting me know he lived in the very city I was visiting, Paris and that his name was Mansour. All I can say is that it was a good thing he spoke some English or it would have been awkward trying to talk to him when he spoke to me. Yes, I am one of those people that can only speak one language except for knowing how to say ‘do you speak English’ in most of the countries I visit.  Trust me, I wish I knew more than English. Do I get points for having tried taking a Spanish class in college but withdrawing from the class because I was having problems learning the language? I did’t think so.

Excuse me, while I get back on topic about Mansour. After talking with him for a few minutes, he wanted to see if I would go with him to see some of the sights. Yes, it would have been cool to see the sights from a local’s perspective but I ended up turning him down. Before departing, he left me his phone number in case I changed my mind and wanted to meet up with him while I was in the city. Who knows, he might have been harmless….. Maybe we could have met for coffee in a public place. Or I could have taken my friends with me to meet him. There isn’t anything that can be done about it now since this was years ago. All one can do is reflect on the chance; lost and not found again. Yet.

That wasn’t the end to my time in Paris and the encounters that happened while I was in this beautiful place. The other times something happened were all on the same day. I would have thought it was a full moon if I didn’t know any better.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to leave your hotel and literally get stopped on the street a few yards from the entrance to it? Yes, that happened to me. Not once but twice. Can you imagine getting stopped by a Frenchman who asked you to be his girlfriend? What do you do in this situation? Do you walk away? Do you take the email address he gives you letting him think you will be in touch with him? If you answered the second option then you would be right. I took his email address and then threw it away as soon as I got back into the hotel. Or what about trying to leave the hotel for a second time and being stopped by another Frenchman? This one gave me his phone number which I threw away when I was out of sight.

How can I forget the time I was walking off the metro to wait for another train when this man grabbed my arm and started speaking to me in French? I tried to tell him I didn’t speak French and managed to pull my arm out of his grasp before getting as far away from him as I could. Who does something like that? You need to remember that isolated incidents like this can occur anywhere. It turns out I was in Paris when it did.

Oh and the proposal really happened! Can you believe it? Who thinks that when they travel to another country, specifically Paris, that they will be proposed to by a stranger? That was the farthest thing from my mind when I left the Andre Gill that night with Tracy and a couple of Frenchman she had met on her way back to the hotel. (This all stems from my Busabout travels). I couldn’t even tell you which cafe we went to that night. A lot of that has to do with the guy who spoke very little English trying to talk to me about marriage. You heard that right. He kept asking me if I wanted to get married. Not sure why we stayed there as long as we did because he was creeping me out a bit especially when he kept trying to kiss me. Proposal 0, love of Paris still intact, priceless.

What city have you visited that you came away thinking “did that really happen”? Was it running into someone who traveled with in another country? Was it falling in love under the stars in a country whose name you can’t pronounce? Was it doing something more daring along the lines of running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain? What happened during your travels that made you wonder if what you thought happened really did happen?


  • Oh dear, haha. I would feel SO awkward I’d probably die of embarrassment if someone proposed to me! I don’t do well in uncomfortable situations. xD

    Though, I was asked to dinner once by a nice shop owner in Jordan. Funniest part is that I was standing beside my husband when he asked. He just laughed and I declined his offer. 😛
    Dawn Kealing recently posted…Danger, should you let it hold you back? PART 1My Profile

    • Kim says:

      It was awkward when it happened but now I look back on it as something that only can be experienced when out there traveling on my own and meeting people along the way. I doubt it would be something that would happen if I wasn’t traveling but was in my own hometown. What did you tell the shop owner in Jordan? I guess that would have been interesting to say, “let me introduce you to my husband who is standing next to me.” Oh, the stories we as travelers can share.

  • I don’t know if I want to laugh or not at that random proposal. I will be definitely get irritated but its a good story to tell people. LOL!

    • Kim says:

      That is what I love about the story now is that it’s a good story to tell people. How many people can say they were proposed to when they were in Paris? Even it it was by a random stranger.

  • Jo says:

    I can’t say I’ve ever been proposed to on my travels, but it is the dilemma of the solo female traveller to know when and if you should go off with people you meet while traveling. Meeting and enjoying the company of locals is such a great part of traveling, but the need to stay safe is paramount
    Jo recently posted…A French Chateau in MontrealMy Profile

    • Kim says:

      I think that is one of the things I have learned when traveling solo. To know when I should go off and hang out with people I have just met and also to see that I meet them in a public place. That is what I did when I met up with someone in London; we met outside of Buckingham Palace and went for coffee. You have to know your limits when traveling, especially when traveling on your own.

  • That sounds a bit awkward moment when a total stranger proposing. Annoyed or shock -Not sure how to react.
    Anne Klien ( MeAnne) recently posted…1st Year: Freedom of Solo TravellingMy Profile

    • Kim says:

      I think I was more shocked than annoyed. Now I can look back on it as an interesting story to tell from traveling solo.

  • Sophie says:

    That is so funny and kind of awkward. I don’t know what I would do in that situation!

    • Kim says:

      I wasn’t sure what to do but to keep saying no I won’t marry you until we finally left the cafe and I headed back to my hotel room.

  • michelle says:

    i was proposed to by a stranger in Barcelona last month. i was sitting on a bench in placa de catalunya after a long day at the beach. I was sweaty and my hair looked crazy because it was windy that day. Did not seem to matter to this guy.

    • Kim says:

      Isn’t it strange how that happens that you could be doing nothing out of the ordinary and something like a proposal happens out of thin air. Definitely a story to take home and tell your friends about from your time in Barcelona.

  • Ugh I hate stuff like this. It actually happened to me last weekend at home, and I was torn between being polite and asking the guy where he got off, bothering a young woman sat alone in public. I think the romantic notions attached to this are outweighed by how annoying it can be!
    Dannielle Lily recently posted…How to Save Money for TravelMy Profile

    • Kim says:

      It is like you don’t know whether to laugh or cry in this situation. But being far from home does seem to almost romanticize the whole notion of being proposed to in another country.

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