Dating a Greek life member as an outsider

The first question I hear when listening in on my boyfriend’s fraternity brothers discussing their newest dates is, “What sorority is she in?” I remember once someone replied with something along the lines of, “Well, she’s a geed,” Greek life’s way of determining who’s an outsider. “Geed” is derived from GDI (goddamn independent) which refers to those not in Greek life.

From this conversation and from most of my encounters as a geed dating a fraternity man, members don’t often venture outside their world of fraternities and sororities. That’s not to say that these aren’t some of the kindest and most fun people I’ve met in college, but it has made me aware of my differences from everyone else. 

In terms of normal life, before COVID-19, every weekend was saturated with parties and gatherings at the frat houses, but one date party with my boyfriend sticks out. I was nervous, to say the least, and I felt as though the sorority girls who would be there as dates had an advantage of fitting in because they already knew other girls. 

Despite this, I put my fears aside to be a good girlfriend and got ready. I remember wearing jeans, a black top, sneakers and feeling as confident as I could at that point. However, when I arrived and met a few of the other girls, all of my fears came rushing back. They were all in dresses and sandals with perfectly curled hair, while I was clearly underdressed.

I was visibly awkward if my boyfriend left my side for a second. However, most of the voices in my head eventually quieted as I socialized with more people throughout the night. But still, I often feel as though it’s completely obvious that I’m not in Greek life.

The whole point of Greek life is to form close bonds with others involved in it, but I’ve been working on how to exactly move past the feelings of being out of place in a tight-knit community. One thing that has helped me is the fact that if someone is dating you, it isn’t based on whether or not you are a part of Greek life, it’s based on their feelings about whether you belong to a Greek-named college family or not. 

These thoughts of doubt and insecurity are hard to completely get rid of when dating someone very different from you, but I remind myself that the person I am with doesn’t see Greek life inclusion as a big enough reason to not date me. This can be more difficult than it seems, especially when Greek life isn’t typically associated with long-term dating, but it isn’t impossible. It just requires you to have a lot of trust in your partner and confidence in yourself.