Mr. DelliCarpini thought Mr. Vinti was kind and thoughtful.
“He was so calm and honest,” Mr. DelliCarpini said of Mr. Vinti. “He made me laugh with my whole self. He reminded me of home.”
Mr. Vinti was drawn to Mr. DelliCarpini’s creativity and positive attitude. “He made it seem like anything was possible,” Mr. Vinti said. “And I loved how, from the beginning, it always felt like it was just the two of us, even in a crowded room.”
Then Ms. Assante led a group trip to Iceland. Both men went along.
When they returned, Mr. Vinti sent a text asking Mr. DelliCarpini to go out with him.
“I knew two things: I would have to be the aggressor because Gregory is so shy,” Mr. Vinti said. “And that he liked strawberry shortcake and prosecco, so I made sure to have those for him.”
They met up for Asian food in Forest Hills, Queens, where Mr. Vinti lived. Then they returned to his apartment.
“We watched the movie ‘Monster,’” he said. “I was so on edge, I don’t remember any of it. I just remember thinking, ‘Are we going to kiss?’ When I thought it was time to go, I headed toward the door, and that’s when Lorenzo kissed me, which was amazing.”
On July 4, Mr. DelliCarpini showed up with a box that held a cupcake, one of Mr. Vinti’s favorite sweets, and a message.
“When I opened the box, Gregory had written, ‘Will you be my boyfriend?’ and two boxes to check yes or no,” Mr. Vinti said. “It was really cute.” He quickly checked yes.
In July, they booked a trip to Panama. In August, Mr. DelliCarpini moved in with Mr. Vinti. There was one hitch: Mr. Vinti’s family still did not know about his sexual orientation.