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They’re men who don’t have the baggage of racism and being a minority in a place where you’re trying to figure out where you belong and how you fit in.” ,” Valentine adds. But if you even look at the sheer numbers of single black men in the U. She first traveled there about 25 years ago when she was in her early 20s and has been going back religiously since.She and husband Damon Haley even got married there five years ago, in a 15th Century castle at Lake Cuomo. and I would feel completely invisible.” She wasn’t the only one.The notion of slavery, when the families were ripped apart and the men were killed during slavery, who kept it all together?Women had to build a life, a family, protect your kids, for years black women have had that weight on their shoulders.I have been bringing women to Italy for the past five years, so for me, my career is about evolution and where do I go from here? I don’t even allow that to come into the conversation.After so many years, it made sense to start matchmaking and giving women advice on dating. pic.twitter.com/Wnj BHBS2f3— Its Me (@The Atiya King) January 8, 2018“I think that goes back to the stereotype that Italian men have this fetish for black women or I’ve heard rumors they seek them out as prostitutes. It’s not about a black or a white experience,” she said.“I’m absolutely there for the women.It’s something Valentine has been doing for years now with her matchmaking company The Venus Affect, which designs bespoke private experiences for women interested in dating European men.“This is a chance for black women to try something different,” Valentine tells PEOPLE of the service.
Now, she has invited Bravo TV along for the ride while she takes five black women to Rome to land an Italian stallion on the new reality series .“I’m super excited about the show. They don’t necessarily say they want black women– they just like women. It’s more, here’s this woman, do you find her attractive.“I just fell in love with the country,” she gushes. Girlfriends of hers has the same experience when they travel with Valentine.“Being a woman of color, there aren’t a lot of places where I go where I feel culturally comfortable — where there are other people of color and food and music and fashion and cultural things that make me feel welcome. My love for that country runs very deep.” “But what stood out the most was the way Italian men reacted to me when I was there,” she said. And being an acclaimed celebrity wedding planner with a client list that includes Usher, Martin Lawrence, Toni Braxton, Kelis and Nas (among others), Valentine was already in the business of love. Not all are immediately open to the process — as seen in a clip PEOPLE can premiere exclusively above.I have to allow them to breathe and experience this on their own.I just lead them down a path,” she said.“The best way to show anybody that they may have some emotional issues they need to deal with is to simply become a mirror for them.
Once you see yourself, that’s where the real power comes in. There are areas we can’t see, we can’t see our patterns and our behavior so we continue these things without realizing we are sabotaging our potential love affair.”According to Valentine, Italian men and black women have a lot in common.“Of course, we talk about the cultural differences and some of the challenges and similarities between Italian culture and black culture.