Bright Side

I’ve Been Married to an Italian for 2 Years, and These Men Are Nothing Like in the Movies

As it turned out, dolce vita (Italian for “sweet life”) is not as dolce as it seems. Svetlana has been living in Italy for almost 3 years and she is one of the few people that tells the absolute truth about her life in a different country. She writes about what it means to live in a warm place like Italy.

Bright Side has checked out the blog of this honorary signora and has found a lot of interesting things.

Italian women

  • Women are forever their mothers’ and fathers’ princesses. They even act the same way with their husbands. And they always run to their parents’ home if they have a minor fight with their husbands.

  • By the way, about the 8th of March, it is, in fact, a working day. But in the evening, Italian women go to restaurants and clubs and at the end of the day, their husbands come to pick them up and pay the bills. This is only possible on the 8th of March.

Italian men

  • The more South an Italian man lives, the more emotional he is. The funniest and the most passionate ones live in Naples, and the calmest live in Milan.

  • Nobody, except Italians, can call you “Amore mio” in such a sweet and passionate way. Their eyes are glowing, you feel their love from head to toe, and the air around you both is made of little hearts that look like the Colosseum, pizza, and tiramisu.

  • They are always stylish. They know how to look elegant, they use tons of gel in their hair, they love scarves, belts, and slim-fitting shirts.

  • Italian men are terrible liars. They lie and they believe their own lies. And they can’t even stop, they love the sound of their own voices. They say whatever they’re thinking and they are always confident. They also never admit that they are wrong. My husband is rock solid and he will never say “scusi,” instead, he will just go to the store and buy a bunch of necessary things for our child. This is his way of apologizing and I don’t mind it.

  • They are never in a rush. Never, no matter what they do. They don’t rush to get married, they don’t rush to do things around the home. Their constant “domani” which is tomorrow can drive anyone crazy. And tomorrow usually means never.

Courtship without heaps of flowers

  • It is important for Italian men to win women over and show off their best features. It’s like a storm, there are emotions, it is very romantic, they say a billion nice things, and send you thousands of texts. For them, women are queens. Italian courtship is a dream. But don’t expect to get any flowers: in Italy, they don’t give flowers, not even at weddings.

  • Italian men only invite women to restaurants that they have already been to. First of all, they already know all the dishes, the prices, the waiters, and they most likely know the chef, and even the owner. It’s simple: they feel at home there, and this is very important for Italians. And of course, they love to show up in this place with a good-looking lady.

  • The first date is always about the best dishes and music under the stars. During this period, Italians do their best to win a woman over. Also, in the north of Italy, there is a tendency that men and women go Dutch. And in the South, men are always gentlemen.

  • During courtship, men are, of course, very generous, they give presents and stuff like that. But this doesn’t last forever. A woman I know was invited, with her parents, by an Italian man to Venice. There were gondolas, fancy restaurants, concrete pillars in the room — it was literally incredible. Yes, he could afford all these things. But when her parents left and the couple returned home, the man said, “Okay, I’ve run out of money, now it’s time to live like normal people.” So, it can be tough and you should be prepared.

About relationships

  • Italians love drama. Their emotions are always boiling and this is just their way of self-expression. In fact, the people who are emotional and creative feel at home in this country. Nobody wants your logical thinking here, just your emotions. One day, he tells me that he’s lost his passport, and this was right before our wedding, and the next day, he gives me a ring and wants to have children with me.

  • My friend’s boyfriend made a playlist for her car. He used the songs that he loves. And then, he asked her to tell him the names of all the songs. Obviously, she wasn’t able to do that and he started a fight. “You are ungrateful, I care about you!” this is what he said to her.

  • In reality, you can only live with an Italian man if you love him. Because they are incredibly illogical, chaotic, and self-explosive. But again, this is how you get all the amazing crazy love that we all want. When he hugs you, you can feel he loves you more than anything in the world. Until he explodes again.

  • My husband’s friend calls and refuses to show up for a dinner that we had all planned in advance. His wife had gone to see her mother in a nearby town and decided to stay there for a while. I asked him, “Are you going to be alone the whole weekend? Let’s go to a restaurant together, why stay at home?” And he said, “No, she won’t understand. We don’t do it this way.”

  • Italian men never cheap out on food or traveling, but when it comes to the personal things of a woman, they might start to think that they are the boss and that they can decide. And it starts gradually. In the beginning, he might even suggest going shopping and buying some beautiful things and then one day he’ll say, “Why do you need something new? Actually, I like it when you don’t have any makeup on! You need a dress? Let’s wait for a sale!”

  • In Italy, there is even a status called “separato.” This is one very interesting thing about their laws. It’s basically official permission to sleep with other people. So, a man and a woman might not live together, but they are not officially divorced. It is basically a temporary suspension of their marriage, but their financial status remains unchanged. And it might take several months or even over a year to actually get divorced.

Mamma mia!

  • Italians are emotional, yes, but there is a rule: you can have any kind of argument at home, but you cannot yell at your husband in public. Period. If an Italian woman does this, maybe she’s been diagnosed with depression, so she can allow herself to act out a little.

  • “Mаmmа miа!” is not just a comedy film cliché. Italians actually yell like this and they do use funny hand gestures. When I saw this for the first time, I burst out laughing. It’s like a Celentano film came to life. But it stopped being funny after a little while.

  • Italians are unable to have a civilized fight. When they are angry, they say things that other adults would never say. So, it is completely pointless to try to talk any sense into them at this moment. Let the machismo cool down. And try to forget what they actually said. Don’t judge an Italian by his words, only by his actions.

  • Peace. It usually comes very fast. And then, here we go again with the “I love you” and stuff like that. Then they go and buy you nice things and do something nice for their child.

Little tricks

  • Italian men will be offended by some things and then be just fine with others. If you go and have dinner with a friend and then come home not hungry, there is a 99% chance that he will get offended. He may even start a little argument: using the “mamma mia” and all that stuff. But if you just tell him that you are not hungry because you had ice cream with your friend, you are totally OK. Even if you are digesting a steak that you had with wine at that very moment. So, here’s a little trick that you can use in order not to make a very explosive person worry for no reason.

  • Your secret weapon is a compliment, but you need to know what to say. There is nothing better than, “You are so handsome!” And this works every time. No matter how angry he is, this will definitely make him happy. Men even say this to each other — “Ciao, Bello” which is “Hello, handsome!” is used pretty often. They actually use the word bello all the time.

Italian weddings

  • There are 3 types of wedding invitations: just to the church (you see the service, congratulate the couple, and leave), to the church and to the dinner (or just the dinner if the couple doesn’t want the church service), or to the dessert table in the evening (this is near the end of the celebration). All of this information is included in the invitation.

  • In Italy, weddings are pretty boring (this might sound surprising). People don’t even talk much: no toasts, not long speeches, or dancing. Well, there might be some dancing, but not much. Everyone eats a lot of tasty food and stays quiet.

  • The couple is seated in the center of the table. Everyone comes up to them to congratulate them and take a photo with them.

  • Italian weddings are very expensive. Wedding dresses cost at least €1,000, and the average price is about €2,000-3,000. The services of photographers cost at least €1,000. Some families even take out bank loans to pay for their weddings.

  • The gifts from guests are usually money. Or the couple says that they would like a gift from a certain store or the money to be transferred to a certain travel agency. Flowers are not usually given.

  • Guests are not allowed to wear white, but they can wear black. This is probably the most popular color for guests at a celebration. So, if you see that everyone is wearing black, it’s totally possible that it’s not a funeral, but a wedding instead.

How do you like the Italian lifestyle? Do you think you would love to live there?

Preview photo credit signora_svetlana / Instagram