Dating in Greece

Greece is known worldwide as the cradle of Western civilization, having contributed significantly to philosophy, politics, science, art, and architecture. The Ancient Greeks pioneered many concepts and institutions still prevalent today, including democracy, the Olympic Games, theatrical drama, and philosophical schools of thought led by iconic figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Greek mythology, with its pantheon of gods and goddesses and intricate legends, has permeated Western literature and art for millennia.

Even the modern scientific, artistic, and philosophical discourses owe much to Greek influence. The Byzantine Empire and subsequent periods, although often overshadowed by classical antiquity, have further shaped Greek history, which is remarkably represented in the diverse architectural landmarks and museums across the country.

In some ways, the dating culture in Greece is influenced by Greek mythology and linguistic history. These aspects shape their worldview and attitudes towards relationships, even subliminally at times. In the next two sections we’ll provide some additional context on these ideas.

As for dating culture, Greeks are known for their passionate nature and deep respect for family values, both of which are clearly reflected in their approach to romantic relationships. Courting and dating in Greece tends to be traditional and somewhat conservative, influenced by close family bonds and societal norms. It’s common for relationships to progress toward long-term commitments, often culminating in marriage. Hospitality and generosity are integral to Greek culture, and this extends to the realm of relationships, where grand gestures of romance and deep emotional expressiveness are prevalent. Public displays of affection are commonly accepted, particularly among younger generations. Social gatherings, both among family and friends, play a significant role in Greek social life and, by extension, in the dating scene. These gatherings often revolve around shared meals and celebrations, epitomizing the famous Greek ‘kefi’ (joy or passion), providing ample opportunities for singles to meet and interact. As with its history, the Greek approach to love and relationships beautifully combines tradition with a zest for life and emotional depth.

Local church with blue cupola in Oia village, Santorini island, Greece

Thus, Greece is a country of full of long-lasting traditions. It’s a European nation located on the Mediterranean with a rich history. Because it is on the sea, there have been many cultural exchanges throughout the years. Many civilizations, from the Romans, Ottoman Turks and Persians have all impacted modern day Greek life in one way other another. Though, as a testament to Greek cultural pride, their mythological beliefs have remained relevant to this day. This is in spite of the presence of Orthodox Christianity.

Let’s take a look at some other aspects that affect dating in Greece.

Interesting Facts about dating in Greece

  • Paternal Blessings: Traditionally, a man needs to ask the father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. While it’s less formal nowadays, many Greek men still follow this custom out of respect. Familial relationships are very important in Greek life.
  • Greek Folk Dancing: Music and dance are integral to Greek culture, so much so that being proficient in traditional Greek dances is highly appreciated in potential partners. Couples will often go to parties (known as glendi) so . Greeks often dance at celebrations, family gatherings, and local festivals. In modern dancing, going to a club or taverna can be a fun and romantic way to spend time with a partner.
  • The “Komboloi”: Often seen as a symbol of Greek culture, the “komboloi” or “worry beads” is a string of beads manipulated with one or two hands and used to pass time in Greek culture. This tradition can often be seen during the courting period or even within relationships.
  • Proxenio: This is the traditional dating approach, similar to matchmaking, which historically was used to arrange marriages. The family’s eldest members choose a suitable mate. Today, this tradition has faded out, but it might still be practiced in some rural regions.
  • Plate Smashing: This famous Greek custom (although less common nowadays due to legal restrictions) is often associated with celebration and expressing joy. If you find yourself at a Greek wedding or engagement party, don’t be surprised if plates start shattering around you!
  • Pame Kafenio: Meaning “Let’s go to the café,” this phrase encapsulates a vital part of Greek dating culture. Greek couples often spend time at local cafes, enjoying the vibrant coffee culture.
  • Flirting is a Game: Greeks are known to enjoy the game of flirting. It’s often viewed as a form of social communication rather than a direct invitation for a date. So, don’t be surprised if your Greek date is a pro at playful banter.
  • Greeks are Loyal: Once you are in a relationship with a Greek, they are known for being incredibly loyal and committed. This trait is often attributed to the strong family values in Greek culture.
  • It is common for Greeks to express their affection through physical touch, such as hugging, kissing, or holding hands. This is seen as a natural and healthy part of a relationship.
  • In some parts of Greece, particularly on the islands, it is traditional for unmarried women to dress in white and go to the beach on the feast day of Saint John (June 23rd) in the hopes of finding a husband.
  • Even with the rise of online dating, it is still somewhat customary to be introduced to a potential partner through mutual friends or family members. This is considered a more reliable way of meeting someone, as friends and family are thought to have the best interests of both parties in mind. Further, there is the idea of trust.
  • Greeks also place a lot of emphasis on physical attraction and chemistry, so appearance and grooming are important.

Most Romantic Day in Greece

Ironically, Valentine’s Day is not widely celebrated In Greece. This is ironic because Eros, who the Roman Cupid takes after, is effectively a Greek invention. Though many countries celebrate this origin, Greece historically does not.

There are two days a year which are considered to celebrate the theme of love for religious Greeks, those are celebration of Saint Priscilla and Saint Aquila, which takes place on the 13th of February and 3rd of July, which is devoted to Saint Hyacinth (or Agios Yakinthos. However these days aren’t likely celebrated by everyone in the country.

Cupid or Eros - the Greek god of love

In reality, “Name Day” is considered to be one of the most important days of the year. Name Day corresponds to ones given name and the date associated with a saint or martyr. Greeks celebrate their own Name Day by hosting a party and inviting friends and family over for food and drinks. Name Day is an important cultural tradition in Greece and is often seen as a bigger celebration than birthdays. The significance of Name Day dates back to the Byzantine era when the Orthodox Church first introduced the tradition of naming children after saints. The name given to a child is believed to influence their personality, and celebrating the saint’s day is seen as a way to honor the person’s character and spirit.

On Name Day, Greeks exchange small gifts and good wishes, similar to how Americans exchange Valentine’s Day cards. Couples often use the occasion to celebrate their love and affection for each other by spending time together, exchanging small gifts or indulging in a romantic dinner. However, it is important to note that Name Day is not limited to romantic relationships and is celebrated by people of all ages and relationship statuses.

Typical First Date in Greece

A typical first date in Greece often involves going out for drinks or coffee. This is because Greeks tend to be very social and enjoy spending time with friends and family. It is also common for the man to pay for the date, although some women may prefer to split the bill or take turns paying. Greeks are very passionate people, and first dates can be quite intense and romantic. There may be a lot of physical contact, such as holding hands or kissing, as Greeks tend to be very affectionate. It is also common for the man to bring a small gift, such as flowers or chocolates, to show his interest and affection. Overall, first dates in Greece are often lively and romantic affairs.

Social cues and gender roles

In Greece, there are traditional gender roles and social cues in dating. Greek men are expected to be the pursuers and are generally the ones to make the first move. It is also common for men to pay for the first date. Greek women are expected to be modest and play hard to get. They are often pursued by men and are expected to be coy and reserved.

Family is very important in Greek culture, and it is not uncommon for family members to be involved in the dating process. In more conservative families, parents may have a say in who their child dates or even arrange marriages in extreme examples. Overall, Greek dating culture values tradition, respect, and strong family connections.

The importance of language

As the distance between countries and cultures inside of Europe is small, most Greeks are multilingual in some capacity. As Greece borders Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey, students will often study and/or have familiarity with English, Albanian, Bulgarian, Macedonian or Turkish for practical reasons. This is especially true in bordering towns and cities since the need to use the language in everyday life is tangible.

In many ways, Greek is a love language. In fact, there are 8 ways to say love in Greek:

  • Agápe (ἀγάπη) – “unconditional love” or “godly love”
  • Éros (ἔρως) – sexualized erotic love
  • Ludus (λούδος) – puppy love
  • Mania (μανία) – obsessive love
  • Philautia (Φιλαυτία) – self love
  • Philía (φιλία) – brotherly love
  • Pragma (πράγμα) – committed love
  • Storgē (στοργή) – familial love

If you are a foreigner or tourist, we do always recommend learning language and studying local culture. Language is incredibly important form of human connection and knowing some of the local language will greatly enhance your experience. It may not be possible to learn all languages, especially if backpacking through, but relying on your English is limiting and alienating. If you can learn to speak basic or intermediate level Greek, a few phrases will go a long way. Nothing shows your date more respect than genuinely learning about his or her culture.

While some Greeks will also speak English or other languages, being able to communicate in any other local language can help to build stronger relationships with, facilitate communication in a variety of contexts and gain respect or trust with Greeks. It is a win-win situation for you and Greek culture.

What is the story of Eros and Psyche?

Basically, the story of Eros and Psyche is a Greek myth that tells of a beautiful mortal woman named Psyche who falls in love with the god of love, Eros. However, Eros’ mother, the goddess Aphrodite, becomes jealous of Psyche’s beauty and commands her son to make Psyche fall in love with someone hideous. Eros instead falls in love with Psyche himself and secretly visits her at night, but he forbids her from seeing his face. One night, Psyche disobeys and lights a lamp to see Eros, causing him to flee. As punishment, Aphrodite demands that Psyche perform impossible tasks, but with the help of ants and other creatures, she succeeds. Finally, Zeus intervenes and makes Psyche immortal, allowing her to marry Eros and live happily ever after.

Is Greece gay friendly?

Greece is generally considered a gay-friendly country. Same-sex sexual activity is legal and the country has recognized civil unions for same-sex couples since 2015. Additionally, Athens, the capital city, hosts a large annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade. However, it’s important to note that conservative and religious views may still be prevalent in some parts of the country, particularly in rural areas.

Best dating apps Greece

The top dating apps in Greece may be dependent on what the person is looking for.

  1. Tinder – This is a widely used dating app in Greece, where users can swipe right or left to express their interest in a potential match.
  2. Badoo – Badoo is a social networking platform that also allows users to connect with potential partners.
  3. OkCupid – OkCupid is a dating app that uses an algorithm to match users based on their preferences and interests.
  4. Happn – Happn is a location-based dating app that allows users to connect with other users who they have crossed paths with in real life.
  5. Greek Dating – This is a dating app specifically designed for Greeks and people interested in dating Greeks.
  6. Eligible Greeks – Another dating app designed for Greeks, Eligible Greeks offers features such as photo sharing and private messaging.
  7. eHarmony – eHarmony is a dating app that uses a comprehensive questionnaire to match users based on their personality traits and interests.
  8. Zoosk – Zoosk is a dating app that uses a behavioral matchmaking algorithm to match users based on their behavior on the app.