When Carolyn and I reunited last month after a year apart, the conversation immediately turned to men (hey, it happens). After describing the guy she was seeing, a Chicago-based bartender with a slew of bad qualities, she finished by saying “He’s Croatian.” She and I happen to be born on the same exact day — albeit four years apart — and our lives frequently seem to parallel the others.’ As it happens, I, too, was dating a Croatian dude. I wondered if the weird things I had noticed about *Belimir* were inherited cultural traits of if he was just a freak of nature. Unfortunately for me, as per the revelations of Carolyn and several other friends, the former is true. I cannot date another Croatian man. Never ever.
Honestly, forgive me if you’ve experienced something different, but the Croatians that my friends and I have dated have all been controlling assholes with antiquated views on women. They like to be the providers, but they hate doing any work. They seem to be stuck in the stone ages and are completely un-PC in their world views. They are devout Catholics who regularly attend church, will not tolerate any diversity and love their mothers. In my eyes, that’s kind of a nightmare.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great time with Belimir…but I knew it wasn’t serious. There was no way I’d be able to tolerate his prejudiced remarks or old school sentiments in the long run. We didn’t have a thing in common but mutual attraction, and we both knew it. So, for the most part, I could ignore him when he said something ridiculous, roll my eyes, and tune him out.
He met my friends and I met his, though it took him far longer to let me into his world as I’m not the typical Croatian girl he’s been bred to marry. He was also insanely jealous, and would casually tell me he’d “beat up” anyone who hit on me in his presence.
As attractive as I found (and find) him, I was sensible and thought of him as my rebound from a bad breakup. He was the perfect antidote to a broken heart – gorgeous, fun, goofy and enough of an arrogant, stubborn jerk that there was no way I could get hurt.
But as for seriously dating one? Hell.To.The.No.
I mean, the guy wears Speedos and thinks that’s OK. Not in my book, Belimir, not in my book.
I met my Croatian in a very atypical fashion about three months ago. And our “relationship” has also been anything but typical. He works as a bartender at a nice restaurant in Chicago. I was taking a meeting with the restaurant’s owner one weeknight when I was introduced to *Antun*. Right away, I was smitten. So smitten that I stayed until the bar closed chatting him up.
He is super intelligent, older, and mysterious — exactly the type of guy I am attracted to.
Don’t judge. I spent the night with him that evening, and it was well worth the exhaustion I felt the next day at work. He was VERY talented in bed and even cuddled with me all night. That intimacy was such a wonderful surprise after the initial impression that I got from him; I thought he had a dark personality given his military experience in Croatia and his quiet nature. And I was right. But he was also very caring and generous.
That first night, he told me about how he had lived in various countries around the world, how he was half Italian/half Croatian and was fiercely proud of both his nationalities. He was smart—we bonded over a mutual love of history— and knew how to speak to a woman without sounding cheesy or patronizing. He was arrogant, but to just the right degree. In the morning, I figured it would be too much to hope that he would want to see me again after I jumped into bed with him so readily. But lo and behold, he asked for my phone number and I just crossed my fingers that he would call.
Fast forward three months. I have now seen this mysterious several more times. Nearly every time, it has been a booty call type of situation. He did take me to one decadent dinner, but that was it as far as gentlemanly behavior goes. I will give him this though — we have completely opposite work schedules which made getting together quite hard.
Yes, I know that I should just forget about him. I know I should demand more from a partner. But honestly I have nothing else on the back-burner and when we’re together, sexually I just can’t get enough. He’s not afraid to stand up to me when I sound a little crazy, but he also understands when I’m being honest about how I feel — and I like that he doesn’t play games. We both know this isn’t going to work out in the long run, but there is something keeping us together at the moment. He wants kids and a family; I’m not interested in settling down. He has two jobs that keep him busy six days out of seven. I’d prefer to have a more normal dating schedule and actually get to know the person in the daylight. We’ve never introduced each other to anyone else, and I think the secretive nature of what we have is probably what fuels our passion. All signs point to ending this as soon as possible, but when I’m around him, I find it very difficult to be rational.
All in all, this guy has everything I’m looking for…except time. But knowing what he’s like, I definitely wouldn’t shy away from dating another Croatian in the future.