Monday, April 27, 2009

Dating and Relationships..Is sharing your Italian American background an important factor?


This is the question that has haunted me really my whole life. Dating as American is hard, dating as an Italian-American is even harder. I can tell you the dating game is complicated and not so cut and dry. I've dated since my early or late 20s with a few relationships in between but no solid long term till now relationship. Many people think because I grew up in an Italian American household that my father was a tyrant with dating and no men were aloud around...blah, blah, blah..this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, my father is sort of the opposite of your conservative Italian father.

He believes, I should find someone that I really love, find a profession that I love, be prosperous, and do what I want, so the little wifey ideals are non-existent! Basically dating was never really an issue, I think it became more of an issue for me because I was exposed to different cultures at such a young age. I spent a lot of my summers in Italy, socializing and even dating. I will say dating an Italian man is most definitely different than dating and Italian American man. There are significant differences in the sense of social mannerisms.

For instance, Italian men are definitely more charming or all about the 'sweep you off your feet' tactic. The part in the movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun' where Diane Lane is on the beach with the Italian guy and he says "Francesca, I could swim in your eyes.." (I think)..that is really what an Italian man would do and say. I mean romance is alive there no doubt. Now, I'm not saying its not alive here in America but as Americans I really think we are different when it comes to the social mannerisms. Look, love is love and I'm not one to argue it or define it...I mean really what do I know. I don't know everything especially when it comes to relationships, but I will say the question of whether heritage makes a difference in a relationship is a big one.

I always say to my Italian cousins you guys really don't have to worry about meeting or falling in love with someone other than Italian because the majority of people where they live are true Italians, with the same ideals, religions and family upringing. Here in America, I have to be prepared to go out and maybe meet someone who has a different religion, upringing and total value system. I mean its hard. We end up questioning ourselves about 'is it only about the connection or does being with someone of Italian descent make a difference?' The answer to that question, might be non-existent. Something to think about.
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