Thank you so much Jasmine for inviting me to take part in this romantic series! It’s such a lovely idea and great example of how actually, relationships for mixed culture couples may have obstacles but no more so than anyone else might encounter, they are just different ones!
I’ll never forget how much more, to use a very old English word, ‘wooed’ I felt when I started dating my now-husband. Italian men notice everything, your eyeshadow, earrings, what interests you have. It was definitely a different dating experience!
There was however a moment when I was getting married where I thought, why am I making my life so difficult?! I was getting married in Italy, in Italian, in a Catholic church (I’m not Catholic). None of our families speak each other’s languages. We wanted to do speeches at the wedding reception as this is a big and much loved English tradition. But that would mean doing them in both languages. It was full on!
The key is really being with the right person regardless of where you’re from. Our success - (so far! LOL!) is we believe in having the same values when it comes to core things like your families, children, money, education, work ethic. If can agree on these in any language I think you will be ok!
Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
I’m from near Oxford in the UK and Graziano is from Saronno, which is close to Milan in Italy.
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
We met at work in 2006! But we worked on the same floor of a huge tower in London with 300 other people. So we didn’t know each other at all until we danced badly next to each other at a Christmas Party.
Who made the first move?
Graziano did. He apparently thought I looked fun and sent me an email at work after lengthy conversations with various people trying to find out my name. When he emailed me I thought it was a prank because his surname was Prada and no one has this name in the UK, it’s just a fashion label.
Where did you initially think he was from?
I guessed he was Italian from the surname and how he looked. Not like your usual Englishman!
What was your first impression of him?
Very nice, good-looking, but I had no expectations of anything happening between us because he was so Latin (elaborate sideburns etc!) and that really wasn’t my type!
Where do you live now?
We live in London but spend a lot of time around Lake Como, Milan and up in the Italian Alps in a place called Bormio.
Have you learnt each other’s languages?
Graziano is fluent in English having been here 17 years! My Italian fluctuates since we had children due to lack of time to study and because I’m not travelling there alone. I used to go to Italy regularly just with girlfriends and I would have to order everyone’s skis, food, taxis, fend off Italian men etc!
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
I think to expect that there will be many lost in translation moments and that this doesn’t mean you are doomed! That staying together and navigating each of your families, languages, religions, any children you might have. It can all be done. Not perfectly and it won’t be brilliant all of the time but you can absolutely have a great relationship and great understanding of each other despite all of your little differences. You just have to want it to work.
Submitted by Kristie.
Here's how you can connect with Kristie:
Vi auguro tante belle cose. xoxo
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to "dare un'occhiata" at these ones:
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Brittni & Alberto
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Maddie & Gio
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Jennie & Davide
LOVE STORIES by Questa Dolce Vita: Lauren & Luigi
Reader Submissions: I'm Looking for Your Love Stories
For a bite-size snack of make-believe romance, read these short stories:
Creative Writing: Rooftops and Rome
Creative Writing: The Morning After in New York
RECENT POSTS FEED: