French Lesson: Je t’aime bien
Je t’aime. I love you. Je t’aime bien. I like you. I don’t know about you, but there seems to be something cruel about this phrase. You thinking you’re getting the big L-bomb [love] dropped on you, until the word bien comes out, and it turns out he just likes you. Of course, the French say it in a fluid way, but as a foreigner, all I can just sense an uncomfortable moment coming on. The irony too in all this that the French don’t really date. One kiss and poof, you’re married. I joke about this with my French friends and they laugh, because they know there is truth to it. Additionally, the whole concept of dating doesn’t really exist – you’re either together or you’re not (no DTRs – define the relationship talks – here; you just know). But if you do find yourself expressing affection with a certain someone, the levels go: je t’aime bien [I like you], je t’adore [I adore you], je t’aime [I love you].
p.s. Cher Frenchies, as always chime in. Your insight is always welcome and makes for fabulous conversation!
French Lessons is an ongoing series where I teach you French words while beefing up my Illustrator skills.