So let’s see, there was the one whose name starts with a V, the one I never understood because my Italian was so awful, the one who took me to see the shores of Lake Bolsena at night, and the one taught me how to speak with a Tuscan accent. Am I missing anybody?
In short, while the experiences were both lovely and memorable, I’ve dated enough Italian men to know that I don’t want to date an Italian man. As I’ve come to grips with this complete lack of desire to have a luna di miele (honeymoon) with someone of Italian descent, I wondered what expats who have dated (or married!) an Italian would have to say about it.
So I asked 9 expats what it’s like to have a romance in one of the world’s arguably most romantic languages.
Advice on Dating Italians from 9 Expats
“Dating an Italian is intoxicating in a good way, it’s so easy to get caught up in their passionate natures and endearing accents, just make sure to not completely lose your head and make sure it’s the real deal and not a novelty because past the ‘honeymoon’ phase, the ‘fascino’ of dating someone from a totally different culture tends to fade to the background of everyday life. You want to pick the right person, not just the right Italian” – Jasmine Mah, Questa Dolce Vita
“The cultural differences are much, MUCH greater than you initially realize, and they become very obvious only after you’ve been dating someone for a while.” – Rick Zullo, RickZullo.com
“Hmmm – well interesting– many of my “dating” experiences were bizarre— as being married or engaged doesn’t matter to most italians as most women are just here on holiday– staying on cramps their Playboy style! — but I did meet a fabulous person, who WAS honest… and we are living happily ever after.” – Judy Witts Francini, Divina Cucina
“They have good manners in their DNA – but that means you don’t always know what they’re thinking!” – Isobel Lee, Testaccina
“It’s one of the best things in the world, in my opinion, to have two languages to constantly compare and exchange in the relationship – and what better language than Italian as one of them?” – Molly Mcilwrath, Letterartemente
“Like dating someone with a split personality – you think you know the guy, and then the other personality appears and takes over and it’s a whole new ball game.” – Peggy Ryan, Gracefully Global
“Fun, I’m sure, but I married an Irishman for a reason.” – Natalie, An American in Rome
“Dating Italian men is one big game. It’s all about who texts first, how long to wait before responding and the perfect combination of sweet, playful, innocent and fun. Sorry, that’s two sentences but how can you sum up Italian men in a few short words?” – Rachel Vermiglio Smith, The Italianista
“Poor Italian guys! I won’t stereotype too badly, but I feel on average Italian men are in love with the idea of being in love, so they’re very enthusiastic and very expressive when it comes to sharing feelings. Depending on where you’re from, this may be very different from how men express themselves, and that takes some getting used to, especially if being in love is considered a very serious thing for you; it doesn’t necessarily mean the same for that person.” Sara Rosso, Ms. Adventures in Italy
This post is the second in a series on advice from expats. You can read the first one here: I asked 9 expats what advice they wish they would have known before moving to Italy. Here’s what they said.
Have questions or want to add your own input about dating an Italian? Leave a comment below!