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Moving your life to a new country, such as Italy, you can’t help but feel like your entire life is going to be different, when really, you are going to have the same exact problems you did before. Now there’s just more gelato.

DATING

Expectations: These expectations are not so much my own, but more so of my family and friends. Before I left for Rome, every single person I talked to was like, “Oh, you are so going to get an Italian boyfriend!” There are those stereotypes of Italian men out there… you know the ones. The romantic Italian stallions who shout “ciao bella” as they pinch your butt while walking down the street (although I can hardly imagine that as being romantic). While I did not anticipate an instant boyfriend as soon as I walked out of Fiumicino airport, I did hope that dating would be somewhat easier than in the states.

Reality: While I won’t deny that I have received the occasional “ciao bella” (although mostly by my grocer and people on the street trying to sell/force me to buy a scarf/rose/selfie stick/pack of tissues), Italian guys are not what you would expect. From my (very, very few) experiences in dating in Italy, I’ve realized that no matter what culture, there are stupid games, confusion, and dudes out there with lots of issues. Here are a couple of my random observations…

— Going for walks: A common first date seems to be going for a walk. While at first I was scared for my roommate when she told me she was meeting a stranger for a walk around the city at night (why can’t he take her for dinner like a normal person??) I didn’t realize the benefits. The date can really last for as long as you want. If it gets weird, it’s easy to get away, instead of having to sit through an entire meal before you can make your exit. If you have anxiety (like me) having something to do (even if it’s just walking) helps. You don’t have to sit and stare the person in the face while you have awkward silences. When you’re walking, it makes it easier (for me, again, anxiety) to talk freely. And if it goes well, the walk can turn into gelato, coffee, or dinner…

— Italian boys can be so very wishy washy. “Let’s meet after dinner,” he says. “What time is after dinner?” I ask. “At some point between 9 and 12 pm.” Or, after a gelato offer, “How about we see where the day takes us?” What ever happened to committing to a time and a place at least a day in advance?

 

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