Weird book recommendation that you very well might like - if you are open to it.
Dinner parties are the engine of French social life. It's part of their culture. In such a small country, you have to know someone before you 'date' someone.
In France, dating is something that is just not done. French women throw dinners on Friday to bring together men and women - no such things as 'Girls Night Out'. A guy invited to the dinner cannot expect much - opposite of a date with built-in social expectations - and both parties get to see the person in a real social setting, not an artificial one.
You may find the chapters about just living and the dinner parties interesting.
Frankly I wish this kind of thing were more popular in the USA too. Dating strangers is nice and individualistic and all, but I'm way more comfortable meeting people through friends and more to the point it's fun - which is more than I can say for spending hours writing OkCupid messages which will 90% of the time be ignored.