The response is a resounding "no", but only in my head. Outwardly, I just shrug my shoulders and say, "Perhaps."
Because how do you explain to someone that hasn't been there that twenty years of language learning, an honours degree, five years in a country, the ability to bluff convincingly about the difference between the different wine regions and a long-term relationship with a very nice French man are not enough to justify the slapping on of that label?
There are many things that I love about France, from the vast scope of its landscapes to the smallest details of its social customs. There are many things I dislike too, most of which I've
When I go home, I experience the exact same thing in reverse. Things to love, things to hate. Things that are better in France, things that the French could learn from us. Comparisons are inevitable.
But while I still enjoy examining the differences on an intellectual level, I find that, the longer I live in France, the less these external differences provoke me to agonise over whether being here is the right decision. It's partly because the longer I've stayed, the better things have worked out. But it's also because I've figured out that choosing to live here doesn't mean I have to love everything about it, and nor do I have to buy into all of it. Likewise, as this very funny blog post explains much more humorously than I could, when things go wrong, it's not necessarily France's fault either.
And that's why I dislike the term "Francophile". A country and its culture is far too much to love or admire in its entirety. Trying to decide whether the country deserves it or not is exhausting as well as impossible. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy being here.
In summary: am I a lover of France? Perhaps not. Do I love living in France? Oh yes.