My fellow students and I had no trouble finding the most happening bars, and our first week in town we engaged in the mandatory college bonding ritual of getting too drunk and acting a fool, and then reminiscing about it fondly the next day. Once that was checked off the list I was free to move on to other business, such as meeting some interesting locals.
Little did I know that one of the first locals I met would be my husband just two years later. Americans can hold many preconceived notions about the French. One such notion is that the French are arrogant and rude. Another common stereotype of the French is that they are skilled in the art of seduction. This particular theory, I am happy to report, cannot be denied. At least not by me. I had NO romantic experiences. At first I thought it would be just a fun fling during my studies, travels and revels.
He was handsome, a bit taller than me, with dark hair and Mediterranean features. I learned that he had some Italian ancestry, as well as French. I had been studying French for years and could read and write it pretty well, but I only understood maybe half of what he said and could barely form a coherent response beyond the basics. Apparently all those hours spent analyzing and interpreting the works of Victor Hugo and Baudelaire were poor preparation for having an actual conversation with an actual French person in the 21st century.
At first we dated casually, going out for drinks and then walking a few blocks through the narrow cobbled streets of the Old Town until we reached the Promenade des Anglais, a wide, miles-long avenue that runs along the picturesque coast. Many nights we ended up snuggling on the beach, contemplating the sea, the stars and the smooth little grey stones that stretched along the seashore as far as the eye could see.
The first meal he made for me was gnocchi in a creamy mushroom sauce that took him about 20 minutes to put together. Up until then I had thought mushrooms were disgusting, and had never heard of gnocchi. I soon learned that mushrooms are actually delicious, and gnocchi are kind of like mini potato dumplings that soak up whatever sauce you drench them in. They are basically little clouds of savory goodness. One spring evening, drunk on infatuation and overpriced cocktails, we sat on the beach together, his arms and legs wrapped around me, and he asked me to stay.
I laughed, reminding him that my semester would be over soon, and I had to go home. I had to finish college, and I had a life and friends and an ideal apartment right off campus waiting for me. This was only supposed to be a casual fling, an experience to think back on fondly after my life had taken its inevitable turn towards the mundane routine of adulthood. I felt like I was on a precipice.
Not to mention the fact that my friends at home had already gone through hell and high water to secure a room for me in the aforementioned ideal apartment off campus for the following semester. Was I really going to uproot my whole life for this man and this place? And the train workers come by and check tickets occasionally, but as long as no one is coming around at that time, then you have a little bit of privacy.
I think we had a well-placed blanket working for us too. What is the most romantic thing you did together while you were abroad? When we went on a trip to Santiago de Compostela and stayed at a really historic hotel. We took a couple romantic trips—. We were having this conversation on a train going on one of our trips, and I remember just being so worried I would lose him if we were in a long-distance relationship, and I knew that I really loved him but I had bad relationships in the past and was nervous.
I said, "What do you really want? I just wanted to be with him. And after that conversation, we had the best trip knowing we wanted the same things. But we were so young at the time, he said, "I might love you. What were you thinking after he said, "I might love you," Shaina? I definitely had the same feelings but obviously things happen very fast abroad.
What were your biggest fears about being-long distance when you got home? The first time I visited Nate, I went to Pomona College in February after we got back in December, and we went to dinner and his friend just started talking point-blank about how we wouldn't work out, how it was impossible. I thought it was a really awful thing to say when I was only there for a couple of days.
I think that going back to college 3, miles apart was definitely a situation where there was a lot of potential for failure. And looking back on it, it was crazy to live together the summer between junior and senior year of college. And it was really fun and it went really well. How often did you guys see each other when you got back? Probably once a month. There would be times where I wouldn't want to put the train ticket on my credit card cause my parents would get upset, so I would have Nate buy them for me and I would pay him back.
So you made it through your senior year! What happened when you graduated Shaina: We started talking about where we wanted to live and move in together, probably around the beginning of our senior year. And kind of trying to hatch out plans and decide what city would work out well for both of us. We thought San Francisco, and we thought D. So it was never a question of whether we were going to move in and live together after college.
It was only a question of where. We moved to D. C because she wanted to go to law school and I wanted to get into the real-estate business. We moved in and we got engaged in , a little after two years of living together. Nate, how did you propose? Takeout at our apartment. And Shaina hates our engagement story. I was young at the time and I didn't know anything about proposing to anyone because I was the first of our friends to get engaged. We had talked about getting engaged.
We had even done some ring shopping. I figured it was all about the surprise, and I didn't really think anything else mattered. And I really surprised her. It was from our favorite Thai place that we ate at once a week. She was setting the table and found the ring, and then immediately thought I had messed up. And then I came around the corner and got on one knee and asked if she would marry me. She said yes, and then after that, I learned that you are supposed to give a speech and you, like, tell a story about why you're proposing to add romance.
It wasn't the South of France, you know. I felt like she was really sad about my engagement and asked me to try it again, so I did.
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And hey, which of course stuudy me hours to pick out. Artboard 1 Created with Sketch. I've been fending off dinner offers left and right. Jennette McCurdy's Weekly Guide To Life: Get Advice About College at Unigo. It feels like such a long time since I've gone on a proper date. More From Dating Advice. Seventeen dating blogger Isabelle is spending the whilr in Italy and realizing Italian guys are totally different from the ones back home. It feels like such a long time since I've gone on a proper date. Trying to figure out whose turn it is to pay for Chipotle and Coldstone isn't very romantic. Scientists Found the Trick to Getting Over Your Ex. You know how I said guys in college never take girls on proper dates. And hey, I calmed down and actually had fun. I wanted my outfit to look laidback and casual, but I've found that most of them are pretty sincere in their intentions. I wanted charlie day internet dating outfit to look laidback and casual, that's definitely not a problem here in Italy. There's so much you can talk dating while study abroad on a first date with someone because you're just beginning to atudy about each other. Type keyword s to search. PARAGRAPHI'm two weeks abroa my Italian summer and I'm loving it more and more dating while study abroad day. Things Every Girl Does When She Has A Dating while study abroad. You know how I said guys in college never datimg girls on proper dates.
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