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    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    I just finished responding to yet another letter from one of you readers of ItaliansRus about Italian men. Seven years after writing an article about why so many women are attracted to Italian men, I'm still hearing from you about this topic. Most of you want advice on how to get an Italian man to fall in love with you. Most of you don't care if this Italian man is known to cheat on his girlfriend or wife or even if he's currently in a relationship or marriage. That's wrong. That's not the kind of Italian man I was revering and discussing in that article. I still wish you'd all look for GOOD Italian men.

    What's a good Italian man? One who has all those attributes I mentioned in the first article from being handsome to being good to his mamma. But he also is faithful and committed to one woman at a time. He is your best friend. He treats you with respect. He is romantic. He is not a player, playboy, or cheater. Yes, unfortunately, there are bad Italian men just as there are bad men in every cultural group.

    If you meet an Italian man online, and he gives you lots of attention for a few days and then ignores you, you might not want to bother trying to meet him in person. If you meet an Italian man who is 45 and lives at home with his mamma, he is most likely one of Italy's mammoni, men who live at home and take on no responsibility well into their adulthood. In Italy, especially in the south, men pay for everything. There is no going Dutch even among friends. If your new Italian man is constantly asking you to put out money for your dates, be suspicious.

    A good Italian man will be very open about his life, friends, and family. He might even introduce you to the important people in his life from the start. He will woo you. He will not be secretive. He should be single. That means he should not have a wife, girlfriend, or on-again, off-again wife or girlfriend. He will make you his number one priority as your relationship gets more serious. Frankly, these are the attributes people should look for in a spouse always, regardless of their faith or culture.

    Although I'm honored that many of you come to me with your questions, and I encourage you to continue to get in touch with me because I do enjoy hearing from you, I cannot make anyone fall in love with you. I don't have magical powers. But I did indeed marry an authentic, native Italian man. And I've shared my love story with you. I am happy to tell our story again and again. My story, however, can not and will not be yours.

    My Antonio met me while I was in Italy visiting my cousin, who was his good friend. Then, even though I was reluctant at first, Antonio began courting me. He made all the moves and invited himself to the United States with my cousin, which was when we officially began dating. We spent four years traveling back and forth before we got engaged. Even now, we often have to spend time apart while one of us is in our home country either for work or family obligations. It's wonderful, but it's not easy and it's not for everyone. As a result, I won't recommend such long-distance relationships to those of you who write to me.

    The relationship my husband and I have happened organically. Antonio and I met and fell in love like an old-school traditional couple, and I did not use any magic or tricks to get him to be mine. What I'm trying to say is that having an Italian husband doesn't really make me an expert on snagging an Italian man. I can just share my story and the observations I have made through the years I've spent traveling to Italy (and that's pretty much what this column is all about). I promise to continue to do that.

    Di Meglio is the Guide to Newlyweds for About.com, and you can read about her life in Italy and the United States at the Two Worlds Web site.


    Article Published 11/1/10

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