I am obliged to start this letter by saying how much I appreciate your use of the adjective "hunky", it suits any context that concerns Italian men in my humble opinion. That being said, having a hunky Italian is sadly not enough to make your situation hunky-dory. Two factors stand out like a German tourist in the summer: the first is that you feel you can't be yourself and the second is that you're taking all the " concessions and amends". Let's address the first one. We need to be able to be our authentic selves with someone that we're looking to have a future with. We can hide our vices, our quirks, for a certain amount of time, but they will always surface like a scorned lover or nude pics (unsolicited advice: do NOT send anyone nude pics). I have an idea of what your sense of humor is, because it's probably the same as mine: I love a good dirty joke, playful teasing, sarcasm (totally not the lowest form of wit) and irony. I can easily see how for some Italian men, this kind of humor isn't well-understood and the issue you're having definitely has cultural rather than linguistic roots. In saying that, I think what you really need to get to root of is whether your hunky Italian is willing to let your wonderful personality shine. Your love of joking and laughing is not a vice so you should not have to change that for anybody, hot Italian men included, tempting as it might be. In fact, your outgoingness should be seen as something attractive and it will be, to the right person. If your Italian doesn't appreciate it, he can go right along and find a quiet, old-fashioned Italian woman. Your man should want you as you are, for all of your American-ness, rather than try to mould you into an Italian. The most I've changed for my husband is that I no longer drink Coke like water (I've substituted that with a wine habit, so much more socially acceptable in Italy), I never leave the house without a belt or Kleenex, and I've learned a new language, but as for the rest, I'm just as loud and outgoing as I would be with a Canadian. It's daunting to hear, I know, but you will never be happy with this particular fellow in the long-term if he can't learn to love your sense of humor. As a very wise Mr. Big said in Sex and the City: after awhile, you just wanna be with the one that makes you laugh, you know what I mean? If you're not making him laugh, he's not your Mr. Big.
The beauty of international relationships that work is that they give us the opportunity to teach EACH OTHER which brings us to the second point about " concessions and amends". It sounds like your Italian thinks he has everything to teach you and you have nothing to teach him in return. This one-way street is not going to get us to happily-ever-after-ville; for mixed couples to flourish, each side has to exhibit some kind of CURIOUSITY and APPRECIATION for the other culture. For lack of better words, I'll result to the cliché that he needs to meet you half-way here. Your culture is a part of you and if someone isn't showing interest in getting to know and accepting that culture, they are in fact, ignoring a part of you. You mention that he says he's very old-fashioned and that's fine until it starts to impedes on open-mindedness. If you're a strong, independent woman and not with the right Italian, they will suffocate that independence right out of you and you'll wake up one day in some small-town in Italy and not even recognize yourself anymore. And you'll hate it. And what's more is there's a definite chance that by this time, Mr. Hunky will have a receding hairline and a carbonara belly. Which is why it's SO IMPORTANT that he be open to making some changes to get to know you as you are, your culture, and most importantly, your needs. Because at the end of the day, a willingness to meet our beloved half-way is what counts. Be honest about it. Tell him what street you're waiting in the middle of and wait to see if he shows up on a Vespa, does a slow walk there, or doesn't get off the couch. If it's the latter, I'm sorry to say you should probably bid him addio. Regarding moving to Italy to live...that'll be a no for me. Not before you've spent time in Italy with him (as well as on your side of the pond, if that’s an option) and absolutely not if you're having doubts of any sort. Take my word for it, a relationship has to be strong on its own before you try to tackle Italy. Using Italy as a crutch for a troubled relationship is like using heroin, it makes everything better in an instant in the very beginning and you'll think life has never been more beautiful, but as time goes on, it morphs into the biggest shitshow you've ever seen.
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Dear Jasmine: Fast and Furious