Well today was my first meeting, but I didn't put your recommendation into practice. Instead it was a meet and greet...that lasted 3 hours.
I feel like she and I are around the same level for our respective languages. We talked about a load of things in French and English, I got some good vocabulary tips, and so did she, as well as lessons in pragmatics, why French people make those odd sounds that they do, and in what contexts (tak, uf, op), and also hand gestures etc, things that I was aware of but when someone explains it to you like that, it's valuable. I feel comfortable one on one speaking French. That means nothing though, I'm under no illusion that it will mean anything when I have to talk with 4 French people at the same time.
We're going to meet again tomorrow. Why so soon? Well, there's a jazz band playing and both of us like jazz, so we'll listen and talk again. And TOMORROW, I will put into practice your methodology rdearman
Having a determined partner is a great motivational boost.
On another note. I almost haven't touched Spanish in several months, and yet it feels as comfortable to me as slipping into a warm bath to talk or listen to Spanish. That is my kind of model for my other languages. I want to learn languages to a sufficient point where I can leave them for months at a time and come back without having lost too much.
I know that's too ambitious to aim for with my French or Catalan, seeing as I lived in Spain whereas I am artificially learning French and Catalan in Australia, but it is the kind of model. Last month was entirely Catalan, this month was entirely French. Out of boredom I listened to a Catalan talk without subtitles the other day and it was very comfortable for me, so I know it's working.
I feel like I am force feeding my brain French at this point, it's too much and I'm honestly getting bored of the language. I told this to my French partner today, I don't really like French as a language or French culture or even French people much (a shockingly ignorant comment, I know, I hope I can change). French Canada produces things that interest me more than France itself. So I'm going mostly based on momentum. I'm too far in to stop now.
She recommended me some books by Marcel Pagnol, and there's apparently some great movie adaptations of his works, so I'll read and watch those.
I want to continue on trying to advance to a new level in French for perhaps a month more, then keep it at a maintenance level (talking with my partner). I want to focus on Basque entirely the coming months. Basque just appeals to me far more as a language, and as I plan to go live in the Basque Country next year, it's really a necessity.