Greek women and men enjoy a reputation for being warm, friendly and beautiful. Traditionally, young couples were introduced to one another by their families and their dates were chaperoned until they were married. However, many young people in Greece now prefer to meet people through work and social activities.
It is a Greek tradition for young men and women to be introduced to one another by their families. The young people meet at the home of the matchmaker, usually a family member, and a date is arranged if they like the looks of one another. Traditionally, the young lovers would have been chaperoned, but this is no longer common. The courting couple also would have spent a lot of time getting to know one another's family.
Many young Greek people prefer to find their own life partner without their parents’ intervention, usually through work and socializing. However, many Greek women still enjoy old-fashioned courtship, and wining and dining them and giving them flowers demonstrates that romantic gestures never go out of fashion.
Courtship rituals in ancient Greece were very elaborate. Sue Blundell, in her book, “Women In Ancient Greece,” reveals that marriage contests, where many suitors vie for the hand of one woman, were common in Bronze Age Greece. A famous example involves Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, in early sixth century BC. He spent a year entertaining the 13 suitors for the hand of his daughter Agariste, subjecting them to wrestling matches, chariot races and personal interviews.
The Internet has changed dating habits worldwide and Greeks are no exception. Greek dating websites help Greek people to get together and are useful for those who live and work abroad but still want to meet and marry someone from their own country. The Internet exemplifies the modern trend for young Greek men and woman to choose their own partners.
Someone who is dating, or considering dating, a Greek man or woman should remember that they have their own customs and traditions. Greek people, for example, care about family values. The extended family offers a strong support network and, if you are dating someone from Greece, she may expect you to respect and to be supportive of her family.
- “Women In Ancient Greece”, Sue Blundell, 1995
- See-the-real-cyprus.com: Cyprus Dating Customs
- Kwintessential: Greece -- Language, Culture and Doing Business Etiquette