The Day My Mom Found Out I Was Dating a Rich, Italian Businessman I Met Online

Dur­ing my won­der­ful time spent with Brian, my dat­ing pro­file was dis­abled. All that work and I only responded to one per­son then dis­abled it; pretty good sta­tis­tics, if you ask me. After we ami­ca­bly ended our May-December rela­tion­ship of about four to five months, I acti­vated my dat­ing pro­file again. This time, I caught the eye of a suc­cess­ful Ital­ian busi­ness­man liv­ing in a big city nearby.

Marco was hand­some, well-traveled from his work and per­sonal love of travel, and cul­tured with an Ital­ian accent that was hard not to fall for. He was the epit­ome of a win in the dat­ing world, or so I thought. We talked online for sev­eral weeks while he trav­eled; he loved to talk about him­self and his work, and I loved to lis­ten. We planned to meet in per­son once he returned from Italy and the U.K.

At one point, I ended up hos­pi­tal­ized before he was due back and wasn’t respond­ing to his e-mails, which wor­ried him. My best friend did what any best friend would do; she logged into my account and let him know for me. She gave him my hos­pi­tal phone num­ber and room num­ber and, thank­fully, he called.

Hilar­i­ously, he called while I was passed out from extremely strong med­ica­tions. He got to talk to my mom, unex­pect­edly, but it went extremely well. My mom took it all in stride, as she usu­ally does. She filled him in on my con­di­tion and prog­no­sis, and advised him to call back at a cer­tain time. Much to my hor­ror, she also vet­ted him dur­ing this phone call. Marco wasn’t expect­ing that and, surely, no sin­gle man in the world of online dat­ing would feel com­fort­able with that, but it didn’t bother him one bit. Marco and my mom were actu­ally close in age as they discovered—within 10 years. With my mother’s per­mis­sion, he called back. I couldn’t believe it.

My mom has always been sup­port­ive, but this took it to a whole new level. By the time Marco had called back, I was briefed on every­thing that occurred dur­ing my med­ically induced slum­ber. I was absolutely hor­ri­fied! Marco called less than five min­utes after my mom and best friend told me every­thing, I had no clue what to say to him after that.

Marco asked me two ques­tions when I answered the phone. The first was, “How are you feel­ing?” The sec­ond ques­tion was, “When would you feel com­fort­able meet­ing me? I want to meet you as soon as pos­si­ble and your mother has given me per­mis­sion to take you on a date.” My jaw hit the floor.

Within a week, I was dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal and we decided to meet in person—we met alone at the same park near my home where I had met my ex in per­son for the first time. Once again, I found some­one whom I hit it off with right away, some­one who clicked with my per­son­al­ity, but this time, he seemed to be open to a more long-term kind of situation.

Marco was recently divorced and owned two homes in the city. He also owned two homes in Italy and had many boy toys he loved to show off. His favorite was his Ducati motor­cy­cle, which is what he rode up on the first time we met. My weak­ness for an older man on a motor­cy­cle was never more appar­ent than this meeting.

In true Marco fash­ion, he was affec­tion­ate from our very first meet­ing. He talked mostly, a lot about him­self and his work—his accent was so won­der­ful. He was very refresh­ing, unique, and into me. Marco made a lot of things pos­si­ble for me, the biggest of which was actu­ally col­lege. I am the first per­son in my fam­ily to fin­ish col­lege, and if it weren’t for him that would have never hap­pened. For that, I am eter­nally grateful.