Dating an Italian woman can be tricky, not because of her personality traits, but because, simply put, she's not American. So here's your first tip-- If you're going to date an Italian, you'll need to think like one and that means letting go of some bad dating habits that Americans may be accustomed to. For example, the Italian woman doesn't play games. Whereas the American might play "hard to get" or use some form of "reverse psychology," the Italian tends to be very upfront and she expects the same. She has no patience for a man who waits 3 days before calling because he wants to play it cool. If you like her, show her, otherwise she'll lose interest quickly.
Got passion? Bring it on! When it comes to love and desire, the Italian woman gets the gold medal. And the farther south you go, the more passionate she is (I'm referring to the country, not the body-Stay focused!) The Italian woman is comfortable with her body and therefore exudes a sense of freedom which translates to confidence both in and out of the bedroom. This is not to say that she is promiscuous; she just doesn't second-guess herself! If she feels the chemistry and she's genuinely interested, you're in! (Sorry for the pun.) It goes without saying that "no" means "no" in either language so if you've put your best foot forward and she's still not impressed, walk away my friend.
Ask an American woman to go out last-minute and she'll ask herself a million questions before she responds... "Is he asking me now because I'm his second choice?" "If I say "yes" will he think I'm a loser because I didn't have any plans?" You get the picture. Ask an Italian woman the same, and she'll have her foot out the door before you can even finish your sentence! Yes, she is adventurous! She lives life to the fullest and thinks of the consequences later, if ever! So go ahead and ask her for a last-minute date. The worst she can say is "I have plans" (and she'll actually have them!)
It's fascinating that in a society dominated by the family unit, the Italian woman often chooses to live together instead of marrying. This is due to many reasons that go beyond the scope of this article, however suffice to say that divorces can take several years in Italy, if not more, and that many Italians prefer not to have children, which raises the question "Why get married?" Doesn't seem very traditional, right? Well if you're idea of an Italian woman is one who slaves in the kitchen and brings her man coffee in bed, you may be thinking of her mother! The Italian woman today is more like her American counterpart in that she has a career as well as personal goals and aspirations. However, she is equally fulfilled, if not more fulfilled by her family, with or without children. Given a choice between "alone time" and a family gathering, the Italian woman would most likely choose the latter. Overall, she has a good handle on the important things in life, which is rooted in her upbringing so you'll need to respect that if you're going to enter her world. Translation: Leave your Blackberry at home when you're on your date.
When it comes to impressing an Italian woman, nothing works better than speaking her language. You don't have to be fluent or have good pronunciation, but knowing a few words, especially in the context of dating, will go a long way. Believe me, I've seen some of my Italian friends accept dates from American men who didn't have much going on except for the fact that they said all the right things...in Italian! So make the effort, and if she's not impressed, you'll still be ahead of the game because you'll be able to impress an American woman the same way!
If an Italian woman has accepted your proposal for a date, it's very important you dress the part. Italian women laugh at the fact that American men wear sneakers and sweatshirts when they should be wearing shoes and a button down shirt. You don't have to wear a suit, but don't show up looking like you just showered at the gym. She expects you to make as much of an effort that she made getting ready for you (sans the make-up let's hope).
She's invited you to her place for dinner, now what? Keep in mind this might mean you, her and her family since it's very common for adults to live with their parents if unwed. Either way, do not go empty-handed, EVEN if she tells you not to bring anything! Bring flowers or dessert. Alternatively, if you are taking her to a restaurant, do not expect her to pay for anything. If she tries to offer you money, DO NOT take it! Chivalry still rules in some parts of the world!
It's very common to see Italian women staring at both men and other women. Whereas this might be considered rude in America, it's perfectly normal to observe people this way in Italy. So leave the jealousy and insecurities home (along with that Blackberry) and enjoy being in her presence.
In the event that your relationship should lead to engagement, you'll be happy to know that Italian women don't typically wear engagement rings as we know it here in the States. Depending on the region of Italy, she may have a simple band, an understated diamond ring, or sometimes nothing at all. (You can stop smiling now.)
The last and most important tip I can give you is to be confident. Italian women like strong, passionate men. They shy away from the weak. You may be intimidated, embarrassed or sick (hopefully not all at the same time) but don't let her know it or you're toast.
Buona fortuna! (Good luck!)
Emilia Ciatti is the creator of http://www.learnitalianeasy.com/, an Italian language site that sets itself apart from the rest with downloadable videos that teach you words and phrases about a specific subject you choose. No boring grammar or verb conjugations, just useful, basic Italian followed by an information segment regarding your chosen subject! To learn Italian words and phrases in the context of meeting an Italian woman, go to http://www.learnitalianeasy.com/downloads.aspx?categoryid=15. Download the video on your computer or mobile device and get ready to impress!