“Lyon is not the easiest city to build relationships”

– At the request of the principal, I auditioned for a “one-on-one evening” in Lyon for “meetings”. Wrong relaxed male-dominated atmosphere, constant sideways glances at me… late in the day.

It must be said that in fact, I am not looking for a partner but rather beautiful stories from Leon, unexpected stories that happened without using a single dating app. Mission Impossible ? You have to tell me.

I started leading my search for beautiful encounters, in Lyon, a few months ago. For almost all journalists, I conducted my first investigations within the circle of interpersonal relations: a third of my friends who live in Lyon have at least one relationship. Of these, more than half have met their current boyfriend through a dating app.

After that, not many people remained. Above all, it does not represent all ages, all social and cultural groups or all possible romantic orientations.

[Série] Hanan Lyons

Rue89Lyon launches a series to describe in words your love stories, your encounters, good or bad, born in Lyon.
The Covid crisis has compounded the phenomenon of unity, friendliness and love that affects people of all ages and social backgrounds. A trend that we consider to be caused by confrontations that often start and compensate for the applications. It opens an infinite horizon of stimulating relationships, but remains highly controversial: it reinforces loneliness, leads to the “criticism” of addiction, the impression of drowning in a market with capitalist and heterogeneous bases.
While it is believed that the restrictions and restrictions have been removed once and for all, we invite our readers to tell us about their favorite places in the region: in the front yard of the Fourvière cathedral at the exit of Lidl, in the club boxing is an after-work among colleagues … What is important is not that these The encounters lead to a marriage befitting the best of Disney, but they manage to liven up your life, connecting you to the city for a moment.

(This series does not at all wish to record it as a court order for a married couple, or an active sexual or romantic life, but rather as an invitation to contemplate the horizon of possibilities, in real life, in Lyon.)

Tearing clichés about singles’ date night in Lyon

On the phone, my mother gave me the example of a fellow nurse who met her new friend at her hiking club. I wondered if it was possible to contact all the hiking clubs in Lyon to see if hiking was the scene of romance. A little elusive as an idea. On the other hand, I thought of clubs that specialize in meeting.

Immediately I came up with the embarrassing “speed-dating” cliches we see in old American movies, like “40 Years Still a Virgin” or “Hitch.” Only two columns consisted of men, then women, facing each other, separated by a row of tables and changing a chair every three minutes to introduce themselves to one potential partner or another.

In these films, the scene, which is generally unhelpful to the plot, serves as an excuse to incorporate particularly cliched and funny characters that we will never see again. I see in him a representation of a fairly pervasive stereotype: those who come out on their own from the great 20-30-year marriage transition are at best weird, and at worst inappropriate.

One-on-one meetings on horseback, mountain bike or water skiing in Lyon

Looking at the Singles’ Evenings of Lyon shows, I would expect the worst. I came across a fairly clean site that offers many activities on the topic of meeting friends and lovers. From kayaking to horseback riding to sailing, there is plenty to choose from. The team also schedules small evenings to teach its members to get to know each other in the many bars in the style described Lyon.

The site insists on the presence of supervisors throughout the duration of the events, which is – in my opinion – reassuring, especially for women. So I decided to come and see with my own eyes, always looking for Leon’s first crush story.

In the end, the evening is completely normal. People talk quietly indoors and on the balcony. There aren’t many guys around in their twenties, but other than that there are people of all ages. She appeared a little early in this bar on the sixth, which has been privatized for the occasion. After I discussed a little with the organizer who promised me a couple would arrive who would probably tell me their history, I decided to sit down a bit on the balcony.

On a solo evening in Lyon: “What are you looking for here? »

I take the opportunity to answer phone calls, smoke a cigarette, and get lost in my thoughts. A difficult exercise given the concentric circles drawn by the single men around me. And that’s from the moment I sat down. So I lean on my phone to take mine sucking. Nothing helps me, the guys interrupt me three times and ask:

“What are you looking for here?”

A normal question given the event, but it makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable. I’m a little over twenty, these gentlemen are probably twice that number. I’m trying to set the record straight, the posters said “Dating Without Judgment” and I’m making judgments. I explain my style: I’m looking for cute dating stories. I ask them if they think they can help me. The answer is clear: “No.” However, they stay and pretend they want to leave and finally ask me another normal question. As soon as one of them leaves, the other replaces the previous one. I’m starting to feel really uncomfortable.

I quickly understand the main concern of the evening. In addition to my mythical attraction, which also explains (and above all) the behavior of these gentlemen, it is an equivalence problem. In fact, women can be counted on the fingers of one hand and at a time monopolized by several men.

On Tinder, “I feel like I’m walking around to get girls interested”

I wonder: the proportion of unmarried women is greater than the proportion of men in France. However, whether on dating apps or places like this, women are scarce.

Are there mixed places to meet gays? And if so, are lesbians an overwhelming minority? Or is it a game of gender seduction that struggles to attract the attention of women? I have my own idea about it, but I take this opportunity to say that these are the many questions that the “Hanan by Leon” series can answer through your testimonials.

Back to my solo party: I decide to lead a strategic retreat toward the organizer, who is speaking in the company of two men in front of the bar entrance. This is the first time the two friends have come to this kind of evening. Slightly younger than average, they say they are tired of dating sites:

“On Tinder, you spend your days trying to make contact with girls whose mailboxes are full. I feel like I’m playing the monkey to try and get them interested.”

Other to add:

“And then half the time, when you meet a girl after talking to her for a long time via text, the tide isn’t flowing in real life. I need to feel the person in front of me, I feel like I’m wasting time with Tinder.”

“We need to be here. Since the end of the first count we’ve been running at full speed, and people have been really lonely, on all levels. We’ve had an explosion in demand. Some of the couples that have formed here keep coming to the events for fun and coexistence.”

and concludes:

“Lyon is not the easiest city to build relationships. I don’t know if it is the size of the city or the mood, but it is not easy to meet new people there.”

We come there. Denouncing the “arrogant Lyonnais” I’ve heard so often since I moved to the Rhone and Saône over a year ago. Several articles and messages in the forums deal with the topic: it will be difficult to reach the relations circles in Lyon in particular.

The topic has always come a little close to shyness: it’s not well perceived as being in trouble with friends. It may be worse when it comes to sexual or romantic relationship.

After this last exchange, I left, feeling a little watched, as well as a little snooping. It takes a certain courage to go into this kind of event, to literally face the unknown; Without a curious journalist coming to ask you thoughtless questions.

Feel free to write to us with your story (or that of your grandmother, friend, colleague, etc.) at the following address: lauresole@rue89lyon.fr.

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