January 6, 2003
Dating Greek is often a (Herculean) Labor of Love
One of the biggest complaints among young Greek adults in the DC area is that it is hard to find a nice Greek guy/girl to date and that even if you find such a person, it is just as hard to date them. Let's be honest, no one is perfect, and certainly this is no more true than in the Greek community, where it is hard to find someone whose Greek-American upbringing hasn't instilled in them certain traits that make it difficult for anyone, much less another Greek-American possessing the same or competing traits to date. In fact, dating in the Greek Community can often be a labor of love amounting to a Herculean feat in and of itself. There are many of the 12 Labors of Hercules that pertain to dating in the Greek Community and overcoming these obstacles can sometimes be the only way to finding true happiness in dating Greek.
The Nemean Lion
Greek-Americans, both guys and girls, often times have a gigantic chip on their shoulders. That Greek pride that makes many of us think that we are better than every non-Greek we meet, gets twisted when suddenly we think that we are better than every other Greek we meet. Like a lion, many Greeks think they are king (or queen) of the animal kingdom and getting someone like that to stop focusing on themselves long enough to focus on the other person in the relationship and to get rid of that sense of entitlement is a hard task.
The Lernean Hydra
The Hydra was a nine-headed serpent that would regenerate a head once one of them was cut. Dating in the Greek community is often like dating a nine-headed serpent, in that unless you are dating that new guy or girl in town with no connections, be in family or friends, in the area, it is hard to only be dating that person and only that person. Trying to find time alone at a Greek event is difficult as the guy's friends, and the girl's friends are always around. Depending on who the guy's or girl's friends are, this can make for a fun dynamic, but if the other 8 heads are getting in the way of actually spending some time alone together at a Greek event, the solution may often be skipping a few events now and then.
The Arcadian Stag
You know who these guys are. These are the guys who had too much fun in their 20s, in and out of the Greek community, to settle down. Now they are in their 30s sometimes 40s and now have the expectation that they are going to find someone Greek. If they do succeed it is often because they have found a girl who is attracted to their advanced age or higher income .
The Erymanthian Bore
A purposeful misspelling, because we are not talking about a large wild pig, but in this case, someone who has absolutely no personality, or whose personality doesn't mesh with the person on the other end. Unfortunately these relationships start and continue for the mere reason that the two people are dating in the Greek community, especially the smaller one in DC. The seeming shortage of good Greek guys and girls to date will often make someone try to fit another person's personality to work with their own. This is how you get couples where one of them loves going to Greek Night where the other one would prefer a quieter evening at home, or the couple where you have a really smart cookie dating someone whose gyro cone isn't spinning at full speed. Pretty much if you look at a couple and say to yourself, "What could they possible have to talk about?," you know they've fallen victim to the Erymanthian Bore. The cure of this is to avoid getting into a relationship with someone you have nothing in common with except for the fact that you are Greek.
Cleansing of the Augean stables
No, we are not talking about the situation where a Greek guy who had been living at home too long needs his girlfriend to clean his apartment every other weekend. The Augean stables were a space that was overdue for a cleaning and an overhaul, but it can be a metaphor for any situation that has been going on too long, i.e., baggage. There are plenty of people in this world that come with baggage. But the problem with dating in the Greek community is that the baggage is often harder to escape. If you dated everyone you grew up with in Greek School, it may be hard to go to a Greek event in the area without running into an ex. Hopefully the cure for this is peaceful resolution that allows for everyone to happily coexist and move on with their lives in the Greek community, not avoidance altogether.
The Golden Apples of Hesperides
Hopefully you don't end up with someone who wants you to provide them with everything their heart desires while trying to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. This often happens when one of the partners in the relationship has unrealistic expectations of what they deserve and what you can provide.
Cerberus, the Three-headed dog from Hades
This one is just for the girls in the community. Please don't put up with anyone, Greek or not, who is going to two-time you, or even three-time you and treat you like hell. A dog, even a Greek dog, is a dog and not worth your time.
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