Dating a la recession - from the French

It's hard to imagine that anything having to do with romance is actually cheaper in France, but apparently, dating is!

The salon -- a cultural institution that dates back to 17th century Paris -- may be gaining momentum in Les Etats- Unis. The salon originally evolved from the French court. Aristocratic and upper bourgeoisie women ran the salons from their homes and intermingled writers, artists, philosophers and patrons.

Jamie Cat Callan, author of "French Women Don't Sleep Alone -- Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love" (2009) has looked closely at romance in France and noticed some striking differences.

French women don't date. They meet men in the context of a group of friends. Dinner parties are regular events for mixing and mingling. They also travel with a group of friends -- a Coterie -- to bars, museums and concerts. As everyone knows, French women dress up -- although not everyone knows that they also dress under -- that is, they wear sexy lingerie -- everywhere. They walk. They sit in cafes reading books. They meet men in museums, bars, bookstores and parties and they chat up everyone. Callan also says that love in France is slower.