Mailbag: Is It Okay To Date A GDI? Do I Have To Spend Time With His Friends?

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A guy’s fraternity is just one of those things that makes him a little bit more attractive. It’s almost like locking down a guy who has already been deemed worthy by 70+ other guys makes you feel somewhat accomplished. It’s so easy to let your feelings cloud your judgment when it comes to love, but his brothers have already pre-approved him, so you know he’s a good candidate — he’s cool, attractive, rich, and can stand his own, socially.

Of course, there are guys outside of the fraternity world who can sometimes catch our eyes. Your guy might seem great, but there is a divide between Greeks and geeds, and sometimes it’s hard to look past it, because you are young, and therefore superficial. One reader is struggling with her non-fraternity man.

Dear Hot Piece,
So I have been dating this guy for a couple months now. I was introduced to him by one of my sorority sisters who thought we’d be perfect together, and I think she did a great job. He’s really smart, funny, cute; even my Big likes him. There’s just one problem: he’s a GDI. Now that alone is not a reason for me to break it off with him, but it does come with some challenges. He doesn’t want to go to formals, he doesn’t like frat guys, and although he would never say it, I know he thinks a lot of my sisters are the typical airheaded bimbos (and even if they are, I love them for it).

He’s looking to take things to the next level (girlfriend status), but I’m afraid if we do, I’ll end up pulling away from my sorority. He would never ask me not to spend so much time at the house, not go to a frat party, or even pressure me to spend more time with his other geed friends than I want to, but I’m terrified that I’ll feel obligated to either way, or even worse, end up actually wanting to spend more time away from my sisters.
I have plenty of GDI friends, but he’s the first I would want to date. I really like this guy, and I think he would be a really good boyfriend, I’m just worried if the Greek world and the GDI world can really overlap.
Thanks Hot Piece

Hey girl,

I think it seems like you might be starting a problem where there isn’t one. Your guy seems really great, and I will go on the record saying it’s absolutely stupid not to date a guy just because he’s not in a fraternity. If he’s smart, funny, cute, and your big likes him, he’s probably a quality guy, which, believe it or not, is not invalidated by the fact that he didn’t go Greek. You know that. You said so yourself, yet you seem to be using his non-affiliation as a scapegoat for the other “issues” you have with him. Let’s explore those, shall we?

1. He doesn’t want to go to formals.

Since when do boyfriends have choices in these matters? Seriously. Would it be awkward to force Sir Randoslam to accompany you to date functions? Maybe. But a boyfriend? It’s really not about what he wants, now is it. You have to do things you sometimes don’t want to do (re: blow jobs, anal, his laundry), but you do them anyway. He can force himself to put on a suit, eat a nice dinner, get blackout drunk, and have sex with his girlfriend. All joking aside, though, he probably just feels intimidated by formal because he’s never been to one before. They’re fun for everyone, and even if he doesn’t love the event, it’s only one night a semester. If he’s your slave boyfriend, he’ll go with no minimal complaints.

2. He doesn’t like frat guys.

Nobody likes frat guys. You don’t like frat guys, I don’t like frat guys, and frat guys don’t like frat guys. I mean we love frat guys, but I have hated entire fraternities, nationwide because a Theta Chi did me wrong. Most fraternities hate most other fraternities. Maybe they respect them, but they won’t be on board with the idea of hanging out another frat house. There is always an unspoken “us” vs. “them.” In your boy’s case, “them” just means all fraternities instead of all fraternities minus one. He will get along with your guy friends just fine (as well as any boyfriend gets along with his girlfriend’s guy friends) if that’s your concern. If, however, you’re just trying to be a frat rat, you’re not ready for a boyfriend for a whole slew of other reasons.

3. He thinks your sisters are airheads.

And your sisters’ boyfriends think you’re an airhead. And the sky is blue. Being Greek has no bearing on a guy’s perception of you or your friends. You probably do have some ditzy sisters, as do I, but he doesn’t think they’re airheads because he isn’t in a fraternity. He thinks they’re airheads because they use the word “like” in every sentence, and they don’t know how the thermostat works, and they went a year without changing their oil, just like all the girls at TFM HQ (see also: just me). He’ll learn to love the girls you’re closest with despite those things, because he’ll get to know them. If he can’t do that, it’s not because he’s a geed — it’s because he’s a jerk.

All of your “issues” with him are pretty minor. Your main concern, though, tells me something different:

“I’m terrified that I’ll feel obligated to [spend more time with his geed friends than I want to], or even worse, end up actually wanting to spend more time away from my sisters.”

This, my dear, is the real issue, here. It has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with you. It sounds like we’ve got a classic case of commitmentphobia on our hands here. You basically don’t want to sacrifice any of your own time, or time with your friends for him. That’s okay, but it might mean you’re not ready for a relationship with anyone, not just with him. College is the best time to be carefree and focus all of your energy on you and what you want to do. Don’t feel guilty about not taking the next step if it’s not something you’re interested in doing, and don’t feel like you have to want a relationship just because a relationship wants you. Ultimately, that will make you feel suffocated and resentful of him, because if you’re in a relationship, you will spend time more time with his friends than you’re used to spending (he sucked it up and went to formal, you’ll have to go to an occasional house party), and you will spend more time away from your sisters to be with him, and that will be what you want to be doing.

However, becoming FBO doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of movie nights and leaving the party early. I know so many girls take it overboard, which makes it seem like becoming Mr. and Mrs. Attached-At-The-Hip is inevitable, but it is absolutely possible to have a great relationship while maintaining your independence. It’s definitely a tough balance, but the fact that you’re already fearing neglecting your friends means that you’re less likely to let it happen.

A few pointers to let him into your life, without letting him be your life:

  • Don’t feel obligated to sleep in the same bed every night. You’re not married, you’re like, 19. Sometimes, a night just watching TV and eating takeout is more fun with your girlfriends than your boyfriend. My best college memories are getting silly with my roommates on a random Monday night. Be sure to leave room for that in your schedule and you won’t feel like your friends are doing random bonding activity without you.
  • Don’t skip out on mixers and frat parties just because your goal isn’t fornication. It’s fun to dress up and pregame with your sisters. Even if you feel yourself wanting to hang out with your boyfriend instead of getting rowdy at a rager, get rowdy anyway. You’ll be glad you did.
  • Don’t just assume that you’re going to be spending all of your free time with him. It will make you feel like you have to schedule in time with everyone else, not to mention it will piss you the fuck off when he “ditches” you for a night with his boys. It’s okay to plan to spend time with him, rather than assume you’re just going to sit on his couch, watching TV…especially in the beginning. This one’s tough, and often goes by the wayside, but I’d make an effort in the early stages if your independence is important to you.
  • Don’t compartmentalize your life. While you should never forget to make boyfriend-free time with your friends, you also shouldn’t feel like every single night is a choice between him and them. My last boyfriend and my sisters were great friends. We could all hang out, without it being weird, and it wasn’t long before they didn’t even need me around to hang. It got to the point where I wasn’t bringing my boyfriend everywhere, but we were all friends, I just happened to be dating him. The same was true of his friends and me. This is the goal in all relationships. It does tend to make breakups tricky, though.
  • Don’t be on top of each other when you hang out in a group. You don’t always have to sit next to each other at dinner, or always be part of the same conversations. The best couples are comprised of two awesome individuals, not one awesome twosome. See the difference?

You may have to make a conscious effort to do these things, but it’s worth the effort if he is. And if he’s not, then say your goodbyes, and move on to the next one.

***

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at veronica@grandex.co

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