Southern rules of dating

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The times are certainly changing in Italy, albeit slightly slower than in other countries.

Those social norms that dictate men should pay for everything and women should play hard to get are stubbornly sticking around in certain circles.

All the Italian stereotypes are ready and waiting to be swiped right – Stefano showing off his six-pack at the beach, Francesco and his promise of a Vespa ride and Chiara who’s already not interested.

It’s difficult to date in a country where over 80% of young people still live with their parents.

With plenty of cobbled piazzas to wander, exquisite cuisine to share and breathtaking panoramas to admire, Italy is made for lovers.

However, while the nation’s reputation for romance is well known, Italians can also be puzzling, infuriating and sticklers for the unwritten ‘rules’ of dating.

Whereas some women might view their Italian boyfriend's desire to 'protect his woman' a little chauvinistic.

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It’s entirely possible to meet a potential love interest the old fashioned way – namely while drunk in a bar – but why bother when you can browse Tinder from the comfort of your own home.

Early As in, 'don't bother being on time'. Fidanzato literally means “betrothed”, so when your Italian boyfriend or girlfriend starts referring to you as their findanzato/a it's a sign that things are getting serious.

Punctuality is obviously appreciated, but it's perfectly normal for Italians to turn up ten to 15 minutes late for a date. Be warned - the turning point is normally when you go to dinner at their parents' house.

Gender roles Generally speaking, there is a more defined division of gender roles in Italy, which could cause problems for the first-time Italian dater.

Men might find it baffling that their Italian girlfriend demands he 'look after' her.

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