I’ve recently had a few (female) clients ask me about dating apps in Italy. As they plan their Florence move, they’re thinking ahead to ensure an Italian romance is on the cards. It so happens I’m a bit of an expert…some context for you:
I arrived in Italy married to the father of my children, a long marriage that ended in 2017, only 2 years after moving to Florence. At first didn’t want to join any apps, I felt it was beneath me, what did I know? But in the beginning, it was too early and I just wasn’t ready for this kind of thing. Fast forward a couple of years and I said ok, now I’m ready. Let the games begin!
I needed to come up with a plan and make a profile. I took it all very seriously and asked friends who understood these apps inside out for advice, they were super helpful. One suggested I start with an easy app, Bumble. This was good because Bumble had a limited amount of users and it was up to me to make the first contact with the person I matched with. Girls will know that these apps are great for us, we basically choose who we want and can go on as many dates as we like. I decided to go on many first dates, I had a lot of coffees and aperitivos, it was fun. But Bumble dried out and I wanted to try to take things beyond a first date, I wanted to have a relationship, to have a boyfriend again. I knew Tinder had a lot of people, I took the plunge! I never expected it to be so much fun. The most important thing I realised was that I was in the driving seat. Tinder, and I guess any other app, gives you a superpower, you can unmatch a weirdo, you don’t need to explain yourself, and most importantly, you can go on dates and meet people. Tinder gave me the opportunity to meet so many amazing guys. I enjoy first dates, it’s just like any meeting, and I like meetings. What I realised about life in Florence is that there are many people here who are just passing by, so you can meet people from all over the world. I did that, I made sure to choose guys who were from different places and happy to be in Florence, we went on great dates, lots of pizza was consumed, great conversations were had and life went on beautifully. But since I was meeting people passing through, and keeping things so PG, this relationship I was after was never going to happen.
Fast forward to just before the first lockdown, I’m now an expert at Tinder and start swiping right differently, this boyfriend had to materialise. What do I mean? Well, Tinder is like a sweet shop, when you first walk in, there’s so many choices, ok there’s some gems like this one – why do boys like photos of themselves holding fish, why?- but you swipe left. But the more you’re on Tinder, the more you realise that the first few conversations you have on the app, are the most important ones. Not that men (or indeed women) need to be comedians to keep the other party amused and engaged in conversation, but the personality and intention show easily. I always say that there is nothing I have ever said on the app, that I couldn’t say to my mother, I see Tinder as a means to meet people, to work them out fast and have a coffee in a very public place, if it goes further, Tinder will never know, it can only work it out from my absence.
With this philosophy in mind, one day I finally swiped right on someone amazing! An Italian who spoke English, funnily enough this was always a criteria of mine, I let go of an Italian MD, after a 4th date, when he told me he watched dubbed films, and that he only spoke Italian, bye! Anyway, as well as speaking English, this great guy was tall! A rarity in Italy. Giovanni (not his real name) was a real find. Really soon after we got together, the whole place locked down. Thankfully Giovanni was considered an essential worker, so we could see each other regularly. This was lucky because we managed to get to know each other and develop a real love for each other, but not of the romantic kind, we were both brutally honest, took it as far as we could and became close friends after this. But now I had the bug, I knew Tinder could cough up wonderful people and was happy to keep dating until I found him.
Be wise, be safe!
Just so you know, Tinder works in Paris, it works in Rio, it works wherever you are. The main and most important thing in my opinion is honesty, I’m always 100% honest. This week I’m in Paris and I went on a date with a guy who was a non-vaxer, I told him there and then this was a deal breaker for me. Next night, I met my date for Paris, a really nice guy who knows the city well and is happy to walk everywhere and anywhere.
Dating in Italy, dating in Paris, in Brazil, anywhere really, should be fun, but before anything, it should be safe. No matter how long you’ve spent talking to someone on the app, make sure the first few meetings are in public, make sure you know his surname and Google search him before spending any time alone. Whenever I go on a first date, a number of my friends receive a photo and a bio of the guy I’m going to meet, information on where we’re going and one selected friend receives my live location for the duration of the date. Paranoid? No, I know statistics and how to read the news. So far (fingers crossed) I have never had a bad experience, I’ve had ordinary and boring experiences at times, but never bad or scary. Be sure to be safe, be honest and treat others as you wish to be treated, only good things can come out with a great attitude on this app, and life in general really… Be brave, you’ve got this!