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  • Love, Italian Style
    Part 3: 5 Ways to Win Over an Italian Man
    Continued from part 2
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    This is the third in a series of stories called "Love, Italian Style." Occasionally, as part of this column, I will write articles to help you understand how Italian beliefs about dating, marriage and sex influence your life -- even if you live abroad and even as Italian attitudes about love evolve. At the end of this article, you can find out how you can help with the research.

    As the Italian national players gave up a beautifully executed one to nil lead against Sweden in the last 10 minutes of a Euro 2004 game last week, they forced me to ask: Are Italian men weak? Are they too sensitive? Do they always have trouble finishing the job? But, in a matter of moments, all doubt was eliminated. Sweaty, dirty, disillusioned - and they still looked good. With one look, the boys in blue - from Alessandro Nesta to Gianluca Zambrotta - can send women into a frenzy. It's not just because they're hot. It's because they're resilient.

    It's like there is a light bulb inside them that never turns off and helps them shine even in the darkness. This gift seems to have been bestowed on most Italian men, which is why so many women readers regularly write to me for advice on how to find and snag an Italian of their very own. Finally, some guidelines for wooing the world's most sought after men:

    1. Challenge him. Italian men live for the chase. They like to prove themselves to a woman and work for her love. The trick is to strike the right balance between playing hard to get and playing a conquerable flirt. Never give up too much of yourself - maintain your hobbies, your friendships, your dreams. An independent woman with interests of her own is always more fascinating than a dependent, needy girly girl.
    2. Be romantic. "Italian men are more likely to send poetry than American men (even if it is borrowed and sent via SMS)," writes ItaliansRus reader Heidi, whose boyfriend is Italian. Because Italian men go the extra mile to court you, they always appreciate a romantic gesture. Blow him a kiss, run a bath for him or send him a sweet text message. He'll love it - and love you even more.
    3. Make love lovingly. ItaliansRus reader asainat, an Italian man himself, writes that Italian men, generally, want sex soon and often. But with Italian men, it's always more than just sex. Even during an obvious one-night stand, an Italian man strives to be memorable and to satisfy his partner, says every Italian man who has ever spoken on the subject. Word on the street is that they want to be memorable. One would imagine that, as a result, a woman who is uninhibited and responsive in bed would be appreciated. In other words, worry more about stroking his ego than stroking other things. And always remember to be safe and use a condom.
    4. Be a hot mamma. We've all heard the jokes about all those mamma's boys in Italy. Make the stereotype work in your favor, and take your cues from the most important woman in his life. "Even though equality within the modern Italian couple is becoming more and more important, men still look for an Italian woman who may have similar traits as their mothers and who will in a sense care for their well being," writes ItaliansRus reader dancan25. "Men also want passion, sex, love and loyalty from a woman." Basically, you just need to be kind and caring. Their search for someone like mamma is not a mere Oedipal complex, so don't get creeped out. Asainat assures us: "The Italian family remains the central aspect of every day living and a main objective." Phew!
    5. Pay attention. If you truly love someone and want to earn the same in return, you have to figure out how he needs to be loved and respond to that. If he's a good Italian man, he'll do the same for you.

    How You Can Help with "Love, Italian Style": Are you an Italian living in Italy? Do you know an Italian living in Italy? I am looking for Italians in Italy to answer questions about the dating and mating rituals of today's Italians. Everything would be done via email and can be written in either English or Italian. Please contact me if you are interested in serving on such a panel. Write me here:

    Part 1: Does Your Love Life Make You More Italian?
    Part 2: Old-Fashioned Romance Lives in Italy
    Part 4: What Italian Women Want In Their Men
    Part 5: Why I Fell in Love with an Italian Man
    Part 6: How to Keep in Touch with Your Long Distance Love


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