Posted by BR on January 24, 2001 at 06:04:54:
In Reply to: Does a Non-Greek Girl Have a Chance?! posted by Xenni on January 23, 2001 at 22:43:44:
Have faith!! I am not sure if it is harder for men or for woman, but there is more then just hope that exists. Is it easy? No way. Is it worth it? That is for you to decide.
The first thing you need to do is guage his parental and community attachment. You basically need to figure out if he is motivated to be independant, and can be happy without the full approval of his parents (particularly his mom), and the Greek community in which he lives. It is important to note that he is not abandoning them in anyway, he only needs to realize that he is an independant person. He needs to listen to his heart and not his yaya. When his family recognizes that he is truly happy and that they can not control his life anymore (and believe me they would like to do that until he is 40), they too will come around and be accepting. He will not lose their love nor the communities respect, and you will find that you will be accepted as a part of that community too. And for those who won't respect him, or those who refuse to recognize your existance, forget about those people (And your boyfriend should too). Tell him to bag the cultural excuses and recognize that if those people truly loved him, cared for him and respected him, they would give him (and you) there blessing).
Go to www.goarch.com and check out the message board section. There is a section on interfaith marriage which deals with the cultural and religious issues that you are facing (whether you are considering marriage or not).
As for feeling out of place at Church, find a more progressive Greek Orthodox Church, perhaps one that even does the mass in English.
If it makes you feel any better, I too am Catholic and my now fiancee is Greek. Her parents moved here (USA) from Greece, and she is still very much entrenched in the Greek community. It took a lot of work and a lot of heartache, but together we got through all of the bull shit (and there is a lot of it out there). Best of all we got through it with a better understanding of both of our cultures and religions. We figured out what was really important in life (the answer is love). It took alomost 18 months to get her mom to even acknowledge the fact that I was dating her daughter, but when I asked her parents if I could marry their daughter, her mom was the one who gave me the biggest hug.
Over 75% of all marriages in the Greek Orthodox Church are mixed marriages. Take heart, you are not alone. If your boy friend can follow his heart and cut the ties from his mom's apron (which we all must do at some time, but men who live at home when they are 25, please people), and you can find the strength to stay the course, it can work.
Might I suggest the book "Greek Customs and Traditions in America". I found it very helpful in understanding the culture and a launching point for additional research.
: This is an easy one......yeah, right.
: The love of my life is Greek. I am Catholic. Despite my "flexibility" with this issue and our love for each other, it feels as though there is a guilty undertow to our growing relationship.
: I love this man with all my heart and it makes me sad that THAT doesn't mean as much as my being a non-Greek. This is the ONE thing that I can neither help nor change....if I ever attend Church with him, should I wear a bag over my blonde hair and blue eyes?!
: After reading a lot of these posts, I'm not feeling too hopeful.
: Thanks for any words of wisdom!
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