Hi everyone and welcome back to Global Village, the girl talk edition. Welcome back Carlotta. Welcome back Miky.
In the previous two topics, we were talking about things that are interesting but a little bit more formal, so we talked about culture, similarities between Chinese and Italian culture. Today I thought since we're all girls here, and then 70% of our listeners are girls. We're gonna do some girl talk about dating and relationships.
And more importantly, probably Italian guys. You know I always get… when I teach like cross-cultural classes, I sometimes ask my students I said, so what is stereotype if I say this is an English person, what do you think? If I say that this is an Italian guy, what do you think? When it comes to Italians, they would say passionate, romantic and…I think it's not just us who have the stereotypes of that idea of Italian lover.
First of all, to real Italians, I'm gonna ask are Italians more passionate, romantic in dating and relationships? What do you think？Is this whole Latin passion, is it mere stereotype or is it real?
No, it's real.
Yes, it's not a stereotype, it's the truth.
We are passionate people about food, about drinks, about other people, it’s the whole thing, the whole like we are 360 degrees passionate about everything. If you think about how we speak, also we use hand gesture a lot, that's how passionate we are. Words are not enough to express ourselves.
It's like a whole thing.
They say if you stop an Italian from using hand gesture, they simply don't know how to speak anymore.
Yes, the meaning is how you use your hand gesture.
…do not express yourself enough than…
But does that mean a lot of relationship drama as well? Like this love passionately but also fight passionately.
We put emotions in everything that we do, so we put emotions in dating, we put emotions in fighting.
So let's start from the very beginning. When do people start to date based on what you can see or your own experience?
This is a good question.
I think from high school is when you start having the first like relationships, but it's more like my boyfriend but you're very shy, you don't really…
15, 16 years old?
Yeah, you get the first date.
But I remember when I was in kindergarten, I used to say I had a boyfriend already, but it was just like the guy or friends that we used to play with. He's my boyfriend but every day I had a different one, he was more like… today I'm playing with this guy, tomorrow I’m playing with another one. It was just funny. Yeah, kids, I just say that from my younger age, but they don't really know what the meaning, it's just like a funny thing, it was like you would write a card for some valentine’s when you're a kid, and just bring, I don't know, some chocolate from a very young age.
I was thinking about my past and my first date I actually forgot about it.
Now you make me think about it. It was fun, we went to the movie.
That was in high school?
Yeah, I was 15 years old, the first year of high school, we went to the cinema to watch a movie.
And what about parents’ attitude? Were they encouraging or they tolerating?
Yeah, my dad drove the car to take me to the date.
Yeah, it's not a secret.
It was the afternoon date.
So it's like you have to be back at when…
They come and pick you up, sure.
Sometimes it's even like groups of boys and groups of girls go together and then they will always be like a couple, you will have backup in case.
It's normal to start to have a boyfriend around that age, so parents kind of approve that too.
But I've always been very picky.
So I remember when I was really young, it was probably elementary school so it was about six or seven and it was Valentine's and a friend of mine, he gave me a card saying do you want to be my valentine? And I probably broke his heart like I ripped it in front of him and I was like we are kids we cannot be…you cannot do that.
It sounds brutal.
It was. Now that I think back to that I hope he’s fine, but I hope yeah…too sad for him.
I'm sure it took him a while to get over that.
Like he thought he was doing something nice, and he was, now did I think about it, but it was just yeah, I was like no, I don't want you, so sorry.
But that's passion as well. I guess. Let's just talk about adult dating because teenagers, I mean, it's a bit different.
But in a dating market or so to speak, who are the popular guys, who are the popular girls, what kind of people are popular from how they look to how they behave or maybe even other sort of elements?
I think the most like, let's talk about guys first, since we are girls. So the most important thing like nowadays it’s hard to find somebody that is looking for commitment.
Oh, is that a thing? So Italian guys are not really that into commitment. It’s more into casual dating?
You don't have to sugarcoat it or anything.
Yeah, I think it's hard to find somebody that's looking for commitment now these days, so…
But both ways I think, also women, both men and women.
I guess now even in China, it's like young people don't really want to be committed in a relationship anymore because they have so much other things to do. There's so much fun to be had.
But speaking of which, I just tell you one of my experience, this I've noticed when I was in Italy, like in Rome, absolutely love Rome, you know all these famous attractions like, for example, Spanish Steps就是罗马假日里面那个西班牙阶梯，because they know girls from all over the world are gonna be there to search for that Roman holiday scene, and there are some local guys just hanging around and try to hit on women.
So I guess it's that sort of you know they're fitting a stereotype of the Italian men, the Italian holiday romance type.
And you haven’t been to Romania, they are the worst, it's on the which side… it's close to Veneto, along the seaside they're known to be the worst in Italy.
As in hitting on women?
Yes, especially foreigners, but foreigner women like they're happy then so you know…
For them, they're also not looking for commitment and you know…
Yeah, for sure like if you go…
But I think why they succeed especially with foreigners is because they're like one of the main characteristics that you look in a man like why they are so well-received is because they're funny.
They know they are charismatic, so it doesn't matter how handsome they are, that's a second like requirement. But the most important thing that is most characteristic of Italian guys, I think, as you said, being charismatic.
How they approach you, how they court you, how they flirt with you.
I think especially for women who are from a culture where men don't outrightly give you a lot of compliment. And when you're in Italy and even it doesn't really matter what your age is, even if you're older, you will always get the chance of getting flattered or getting sort of compliments from Italian guys. I think for women, this is like candy really. Who doesn't want to get compliment?
It can just happen you walk down the street and someone would say “Ciao Bella”, it’s like “Hi beautiful”, it’s a compliment. So it's very common.
I think it's just completely different mindset, maybe some people they would think that's seedy but others would really lap it up because it's just the compliment they get that make their day, why not? But still coming back, So Italian guys who are considered attractive by Italian women, are they also the sort of charismatic or confident?
I'm gonna just go very, very blunt, doesn't matter if they have money?
I wouldn't say money, we're talking about adults, right, so I wouldn't say that money how much money they have. But for sure if they are financially independent, like I wouldn't care if he has to take care of me or not but for sure like he has to take care of himself first.
You wouldn't want him to go back to mummy for date money.
That’s a big thing that you mentioned mummy like most Italian guys are famous for being mummy’s guys.
Mommy's boys is that a real thing?
Yeah, it is.
They have a hard time leaving the nest because it's just so comfortable there for them and it's like …
It's the mommy's fault actually.
They're too dependent, they're not independent. It's just you get your food prepared and cooked for, and then you get your clothes ready, you get everything done; or even if you live by yourself, mummy's house or what mummy says is always gonna be like the rule and is gonna be what matters. So that's something that is hard to accept sometimes.
So does that mean that if you're dating an Italian guy, you have to sort of compete with his mom in terms of like your cooking in terms of like how…
You will always be competing.
Like mothers in laws are always…
Difficult, I mean in China, mother-in-law for girls, it's also a problematic area, but in different way.
What about girls? What kinds of girls are popular, apart from obviously... by the way, what is the Italian definition of attractive in terms of women and men actually, in terms of appearance.
This is a good question.
Yeah, I think everyone has different tastes. But good looking guy.
Good looking guy, good looking girl, what is good looking? For example, do they have to be super fit, like say, are Italian guys the most popular type, are they more muscular that sort of really be that…
No, healthy fit, I would say.
And also I think being stylish, because you can see that someone takes care of themselves, how they dress, how they walk, how they eat, how they behave with girls, how they treat girls. That's the most attractive part inside of it rather than the body.
Like being smooth and suave.
Yeah, definitely, but the same for girls like the style is something that's really important because it goes deeper than just your physical appearance.