Where are you from and where is your significant other from?
I am from Lindsay ON, Canada and my love is from Chieti CH, Italy (located in the region of Abruzzo).
Where and when did you meet your significant other?
Luigi and I met in his hometown of Chieti one beautiful summer night in June of 2014. It was a birthday party for a common friend; we then connected again the night after at yet another birthday party (on the Adriatic) where I glommed on to Luigi because no one else spoke English. He was seeing someone at the time, but I really wanted to be friends, he seemed like one cool dude. I broke the ice by asking (jokingly) if his brother’s name was Mario, and lo and behold, it was! No joke!
Who made the first move?
I did, of course! You want something, you gotta go get it! (He was no longer dating this other person, I prefer not to ruin relationships) Shall I set the scene for you? My host had left me the house while she was doing business abroad. A fellow au pair from America and I spent a couple of days together but she had to get back to her family. This was a Sunday, Sundays are pretty quiet in little Italian towns. Most people have either left for the countryside or are inside watching a match with the blinds drawn. Luigi and I had been spending quite a lot of time together by that point so I messaged him and asked about what people do on Sunday, as I suspected, not much. He told me he’d come over and we’d watch Avatar and A History of Violence (which he had no idea had been filmed 20mins from where I lived in Canada, I took him there last summer). Long story short, I made my move! I had no idea what I was doing, I would be leaving for the UK with my host family in a week and then back to Canada. But we figured it out and made it work. We’ve been joined at the hip ever since!
Where did you initially think he was from?
This is a good question because Luigi definitely does not look like your typical Italian. Not in my mind, anyway. Obviously I knew he was Italian when I met him, but if I’d just seem him and had no context to him, I would have fathomed a guess that he was from a more Northern European country. At the local mall, there are local women and men trying to sell us internet/TV packages etc. We speak English when we pass them and Luigi says, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italian, sono canadese (I am Canadian)” and they don’t suspect a thing!
What was your first impression of him?
My first impression of Luigi was that he was gentle, genuine and intelligent (just to name a few). And if we’re talking esthetically, I was attracted to him. Actually, it was quite funny because I found myself being very attracted to Luigi at this beach party where he was donning a tropical sarong, leather sandals and a polo shirt, such an odd mix, but it was sexy! He’s really the whole package.
Where do you live now?
Currently, I am living in Peterborough, a small city in Ontario. Luigi is back in Chieti. Unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the whole long distance dance. But at the end of the day, we both try to see our time apart as time we can grow independently. I love being in a relationship, but I also thrive on my own. Although difficult, it’s been a very healthy experience. (Our 3-year anniversary was in August and unfortunately nearly a year of that was been spent apart from each other, not all at once.)
Have you learnt each other’s languages?
When I met Luigi, his knowledge of English was quite comprehensive. After being together for 3 years and speaking primarily in English, his English is nearly perfect! Remember in school when people would say that we all learn differently and at different speeds? I learn differently and at a different speed and therefore I am still learning a lot about the Italian language day to day. But just in the last month, I’ve felt more confident with my knowledge of Italian than I have up to this point!
Any advice to “mixed” culture couples or couples doing long-distance?
Luigi taught me this and maybe it sounds too simple but where there is love, you can succeed. This whole wild ride is just that, a wild ride, if you love someone and they’re your person, flight for the right to be together! Also going into your situation with the knowledge that nothing is permanent, things change, people change, situations change, embrace it!
Submitted by Lauren.
Here's how you can connect with Lauren and Luigi:
Vi auguro tante belle cose. xoxo
Perhaps in reading these features, you'll want to know more about my husband and I. Here's a fun post from way back to read where you'll find out all the "random coincidences" that brought us together on many different occassions throughout time: The Red String Theory. Would love to know if you believe in soul mates after reading it! For just a little more sweetness, you can read a short love letter that I wrote to him when we were apart. Cue the "awwww" backtrack.
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a sign/un segno.
And let's be honest, you'll love these ones too:
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LA LEGGENDA DEL FILO ROSSO.
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