“I’ve never fallen in love right off the bat. I get scared to say I love you too soon because it means so much. It means you’re not seeing an end to things.” – Leighton Meester

Since childhood we are fully exposed to such notions as “Love”, “Great love”, “Eternal love”, “Profound love”, “Undying love”… We grow up cherishing hope to meet the-love-of-our-lives and never let it go. For most of us to find their “True love” is crucial for self-realization. Forasmuch as it is supposed to be fantastic, to fill up our lives, to make us complete, to protect and to secure us. It is expected to be “Almighty” and “Everlasting”…

I am deeply convinced that the concept of “love” is quite the same all over the world. The thing is that the concept of love is rather simple, probably because it is formed in our subconscious by famous fairy tales and ancient myths depicting the “Immense love” stories. Moreover, the classic and modern world literature as well as movies are further nourishing our intrinsic need for love. The human love desire knows no religious prohibitions, no state boundaries, no race or cultural differences.

From Global to Local: What is The Italian Concept of Love?

For centuries Italians have been considered among the most passionate, affectionate and lovable nations in the world. True, love is essential for Italians. Italians love to fall in love. Besides, sometimes they fall in love because they are in love with the very concept of love.

And yet, Italians as no other nation have an innate capacity to fall out of love (contradiction is intrinsic to them). Sometimes, because they turn on someone else. Other times, out of rational reasons.

You see, even if love represents one of the fundamental Italian values, by no means it conflicts with the conception of Italian life cult. Thus, the Italian love concept is primary based on the conceit of personal pleasure and hence egoism. So, on every day basis, Italian love concept includes no self-sacrifice, but sacrifices love object if necessary. No wonder, most Italians believe that love is devastating and destructing.

“Should I hold love at bay or throw my life into chaos?”

Whoever has ever fallen in love, knows that this overwhelming feeling makes us stop eating, sleeping, working, feeling at peace and even knowing who we are any longer. When Cupid’s arrow hits us we lose balance. As a tornado in order to make its path, love flattens all the old things on its way.

The proverb says: “old is gold”. No wonder that a lot of people get scared to let go their habitual life course. Or, more precisely, they do not want to throw their life into chaos. So they don’t.

How can they keep the omnipotent feeling under rational control? Is it really possible to hold love at bay? How do they manage to plant their feet on shifting sands and stay there steady for a long while? For most remains a secret. But I’ve been there: In Italy, the homeland of architects of suspended structures.

“I’ve fallen in love right off the bat: the responsability is all yours, darling!”

Other Italians are made in exactly the opposite way. They submit themselves to their love object without a second thought, figuring themselves out as lovebirds. Always together, forever inseparable. They are convinced that “forever together” is a key to overcome all life difficulties and to resolve all possible problems. Could be.

The problem is that pretty soon such individuals become love addicted, insanely jealous and unhealthy obsessed. Predators and victims at the same time, they exert control by making  the other person conscious for being responsible for their personal happiness or their eventual unhappiness. They easily get euphoric when something fabulous happens or intensely depressed when something unexpectedly goes wrong. I’ve been there, too.


Keeping love under rational control or submitting oneself blindly to it seem to represent two principal ways the Italians face feelings. Fall in love right off the bat or hold love at bay – which of these two attitudes is the least destructive?

Please share your opinion. Don’t get scared…

As for me, I’m just portraying the day-to-day reality without a hint of prejudice.


This post is also available in: English Italiano