When most college students consider going through recruitment, they evaluate the benefits of becoming part of the Greek community. While some of these advantages include sisterhood/brotherhood, parties and networking, there is also the hope of meeting a potential girlfriend or boyfriend. But should one date another member of the Greek system? Though dating someone outside of Greek life can quickly become complicated and stressful, things can get equally messy when dating inter-Greek. Here are the some of the pros of dating a fraternity bro/sorority girl, as well as the drawbacks:
Pro: Understands the System
When dating a fraternity brother or a sorority sister, they know how demanding Greek life can be since there are many social events, sisterhood/brotherhood obligations and community service opportunities. Officers in sororities and fraternities are especially busy, and may find it hard to balance their personal and social life with someone who does not understand how much time it can take. Jealousy is also less likely to come into play when dating fellow Greeks since they know it’s normal to socialize and party with so many members of the opposite sex at least two times a week.
“I know girls who dated guys outside of the Greek system, and they freak out because they think their girlfriends are going to be exposed to a lot of drinking and a lot of guys,” said Rachel Cornwall, a senior at UC Berkeley. A sorority girl herself, Cornwall has been dating a fraternity brother for two years, and believes their relationship has been easier due to the fact that they are both involved in Greek life. “He doesn’t get jealous when I’m at a social with another frat because he gets how the system works…When they’re in the same environment as you, they understand.”
Con: The Greek Bubble
While dating Greek may help some find a future boyfriend or girlfriend, it can also get them stuck. If people constantly surround themselves with their fellow sorority or fraternity friends, they may be less willing to explore other options. Non-Greeks can be refreshing and enlightening, and can introduce people to another world beyond designer heels, lettered tanks, sticky beer-battered floors and fist pumping keg stands.
Pro: Common Interests
Going Greek isn’t for everyone, and it definitely takes dedication and time if one wants to be involved in his or her chapter. In inter-Greek dating, it is likely that both partners have great leadership skills, want to contribute to the community, have high life goals and, of course, enjoy the party scene. There also are many opportunities to hang out as couple, whether it’s at Greek events, socials or formals.
Con: No Privacy
Frat boys gossip just as much — and maybe even more than — sorority girls, so be prepared for everyone to know the latest drama and every bump in the road during the relationship. Adam LoDolce, a dating coach and the author of Being Alone Sucks!, was in a fraternity during his college years and is familiar with some of the benefits and drawbacks of dating within the Greek system. “Greek life in general can be pretty gossipy because it’s such a tight knit community,” he said. “That can put a lot of pressure on a relationship because everyone knows the details, so dating someone within a similar circle can be a big issue.” Lack of privacy in the bedroom is another disadvantage if both partners are living in their sorority or fraternity house. There is a strict rule in sororities that boys cannot spend the night, and if the other option is the fraternity house, good luck. Boys don’t knock, and even if a bro is able to sexile his roommates, fraternity men hear everything, and the details will not be spared.
Pro: Mutual Friends
If one is involved in Greek life, he or she will have many of the same friends as his or her partner, making it easier to socialize together as a couple. Also, when a sister dates a brother and vice versa, often times this expands to at least one more relationship between houses, if not more. Multiple couples from two houses can build a strong overall relationship between the fraternity and sorority, meaning more mixers, formals and parties that couples can attend together.
“You have similar social circles and that can allow you to spend more time together,” said LoDolce. “Clearly the disadvantages of dating someone outside of Greek life is that because it is a very closed-off group, it can be harder for couples to socialize with that group if one of them is not in a sorority or fraternity.” Not only will Greek couples be able to hang out more if they have mutual friends, but these friends can also help them through a rough patch and be the “cheerleaders” of the relationship.
Con: Sloppy Seconds
Greek life can be one incestuous mess, as it is common for people to hook up with the same fraternity brother or sorority sister. Though that is inevitable, things can get complicated if someone else from one’s sorority or fraternity hooks up with an ex they still have feelings for. Whether it’s out of spite or pure drunkenness, people can find themselves in sticky situations. “I know girls who’ve had sex or made out with an ex’s frat brother just to get back at him,” said Renee Leap, a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton. “I think that’s really immature and probably not worth it in the end since it can cause a lot of problems.”
The Bottom Line
Whether one decides to date within the Greek system or outside it, keep an open mind and don’t take the multitude of options for granted; “College is the easiest way for you to meet someone,” explained LoDolce. “If you go to the same school as someone, you automatically have that kind of commonality. Take advantage of the incredible time that you have.”