When I think of dating when it comes to our generation, man we have some hurdles to cross. Social media, increased dependency upon technology, and being able to connect with just about anyone, anywhere at anytime – dating gets tricky. Yet, when you add in the personal lives and affiliations of your significant other (or even just someone you are “seeing”) it can get even more tricky.
Within this circumstance, I’m going to focus on dating (and dating to me is a committed relationship between two individuals – I know in 2016 there’s a million definitions for dating) someone Greek when you’re not. Being that I don’t know if all of my readers are familiar with Greek life and the differing entities that fall within it, I will provide a few links that give a brief overview of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (Divine Nine), National Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Councils, and the National Multicultural Greek Council (MGC)- these are the types (if you will) of Greeks you may see on your college campuses or in the community at large. The websites provided will not only give you a list of which organizations fall under each council, but also a history of the councils – why they were founded, when/where they were founded, who founded them so on and so forth..
Moreover, being an African American woman that attends a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) in Nebraska, from the very beginning of my collegiate experience I gravitated towards those that (a) looked like me, (b) held leadership positions on campus, and (c) were thriving within the college setting, therefore I was often led to those who were Greek – just kind of the way the cookie crumbled.
I will also add that I grew up in a household where majority of my family members have Greek affiliations so I was always exposed and aware of what it was and the many benefits that came about from being involved.
For whatever reason it would never cross my mind that I would date anyone Greek, I suppose subconsciously it seemed like a lot. I can recall all of the events, late nights, trips, workshops, conferences, etc that my dad (who is Greek) had to attend and how much of a time commitment it was overall for him. So when I would reflect upon the “type” of man that I wanted, one of the many qualifications was just someone who would be able to be around more.
Yet, here I am.
Dating a very involved Greek man. Which leads me to the whole sha-bang of this post. What it’s like, because it’s different than dating.. well just an Average Joe. Before I get any further, this isn’t to bash or deter you from dating someone Greek (or shoot even being Greek yourself if you have yet to make that decision), because at the end of the day they are people (just like regular ol’ you and I), but their Greeky-ness is a HUGE part of them that you have to accept within your life as well once you begin dating. Here we go!
Dating someone Greek, you view the relationships they have with one another and it’s easy to feel, a bit uneasy. From referring to each other as brother/sister, varied pet names, their individual line names, and so forth, in the back of your head you’ll be like, “What’s really going on here?”
You’ll ask this because a great deal of the time the relationships will seem to be a bit beyond friendship, and that’s because they are. Yet, from the perspective of someone who isn’t Greek or has little knowledge of Greek life it’s easy to feel “insecure” (I hate that word, but ya’ll get the point) especially when others of the opposite sex are all over your man/woman. Which leads me to my next point..
This perspective is really for my women dating men that are Greek; ladies, when I tell you this is this is the hard part..this is the hard part. Understanding and more so accepting that your man due to his Greek affiliation is going to have women interested.. no, lusting over him is *takes a deep breath*.. a bit frustrating at times, and requires some patience. If you’ve ever been to a step show, probate, etc. you’ll see that Greek men (Divine Nine) are often performing to woo over the ladies, and that’s fine. It’s all a part of it, but while you’re watching your man do his thing with his fraternity brothers you can’t help but to observe the “ooo’s” and literal heart eyes within the crowd. But hey, like I said it’s a part of it.
While it can be a bit overwhelming, just remember to be respectful. Everyone has a right to like who they want, for whatever reason. Keep it classy and keep it moving, at the end of the day – he’s yours and it’s just a part of the show.
On the other hand women who are Greek can be a bit territorial over Greek men, I’ve encountered a few nasty remarks, looks, and so forth about non Greek women “taking” away their men. Like anything else in life that’s seemingly negative, take it as a grain of salt, don’t engage, and keep moving forward.
For me, this is also one of the harder parts about dating someone that’s Greek – a great deal of their involvement will pull them away from you. Whether that’s late nights, road trips, practice, etc. you really have to get secure in being alone sometimes while they are out with fellow fraternity members (and sometimes other women – bleh). Again, it’s just part of it..
Closely tying in with time commitment, there’s also a lot of events and social gatherings you won’t be able to go to because.. well you aren’t Greek sweet pea. At the root of it, it sucks, honestly. Reminds me of when I was little and we had the “cool kids club” and only those deemed cool were allowed on the swings during recess.. Well, I’m not allowed on the swings sometimes.
Overall, like any relationship, it takes work, commitment, and consistency to make it past the more difficult times, and just a little more patience on your end when you’re dating someone Greek.
Yet, what I love about dating a man who is Greek is seeing the brotherhood, love and support they have for one another. Seeing black men come together for something larger than themselves; working diligently with youth, issues that impact our communities specifically and being at the forefront of change. Lastly, knowing just how persistent he had to be to get those letters..it’s truly admirable. Despite some of the harder aspects of dating someone who is Greek, I find that I love him even more for it.
I remember growing up my dad’s fraternity brothers were the uncles I never had. They were there for me when my father couldn’t and always made sure I was good. Even now I know I can call on my “uncles” for anything and they will be there.. and I am forever thankful for that. I suppose that’s what I see in my significant other and hope for in the future. Even though I am not a part of the Greek community, those in my life who are have shared the wealth of their connectivity and fellowship with me, my family is a little bit bigger because of it..
Long story short, I love my Omega man, but more so I love OJ. His Greeky-ness is a part of who he is, and like in any (successful) relationship, I will support, encourage, and uplift anything that continues to make him a better man.
Devin J, your favorite GDI