The Greek Reporter recently asked me to write a short, humorous ‘survival’ guide for them based on my book. Seeing as how you all seemed to like my FIFTY WAYS TO MAKE A GREEK MAN HAPPY post I decided to do a short spin-off article. Many thanks to Anastasios and his team! You can see the original post on their website here.
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After she spent much of her childhood battling against the Greek stereotype that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, author Ekaterina Botziou* shares her wisdom on how to keep your Greek man happy in the following opinion piece.
A Greek male is a complex creature full of contradictions, hyperboles and oxymorons. Greek men tend to sway from wonderful, cultured, caring beings to arrogant buffoons who believe that their word and their mother’s word is law.
Ensnaring a Greek man is not a difficult task; they can usually be found lurking around coffee shops or down at the Mercedes garage. With a reputation for being notorious Lotharios, most treat women like fresh meat out of the boat; they appear starved of female companionship and a woman is like a beautiful siren calling them to their deaths. Initially they will treat you like a goddess, but keeping their attention can be problematic; that first burst of wild untamed passion can soon slide into apathy and misogynistic expectations if you don’t keep them on their toes.
Wooing a Greek man can take time and effort but if you are willing to go the distance, your rewards will be greater than King Midas’ stash of gold.
1. COOK WELL: To most Greek men, a woman’s place is in the kitchen and if you can find the key to his stomach, you will have no problem unlocking the key to his heart. Although it goes without saying that your cooking will never match up to his mother’s culinary skills, being a whizz in the food department will definitely get his tongue drooling.
2. DRESS APPROPRIATELY: Men are very visual creatures and Greek men in particular take great pride in showing off their shiniest, glossiest, most expensive belongings. In the early wooing stages, try to combine sexy with smart but don’t go too over the top. When you get to the ‘going out’ phase, you may dress as provocatively as he likes, but if you go out alone or with girlfriends, you should don a nun’s outfit.
3. LOVE THE FAMILY (and his car): They say that behind every great man, there is a great woman. Well, behind every Greek man is his mother. And his father, brother, uncle, sister, cousin, nephew, god-son, best friend, and anyone else who has known him for longer than you. Greek men are notoriously close to their mothers, so creating strong ties with your potential mother-in-law is very important. Always be kind and courteous to his family and never, ever complain about how often they turn up on your doorstep.
4. KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF: Greek men can be easily offended, so don’t ever try to make fun of them, especially on your first few dates. If he asks you for your opinion on something, be sure to agree with him and voice any differing ideas very subtly and with great caution. Avoid any comment that might threaten his ego at all costs!
5. BE TRAINED IN FIRST AID: “Hypochondria” originates from the Greek language. Along with “epidemic” and “pandemic”. So it goes without saying that most Greek men are massive hypochondriacs. He will want to see your tender, loving side, so ensure that you make a fuss over him even if he has just the slightest of sniffles.
6. BE A WOMAN: Despite all this modern talk about equality, Greek men tend to be very traditional and at the end of the day, the man is the head, the woman only the neck blah blah blah. Greeks want a woman who will tend to them, love them, look after their children, cook them nice meals and keep their bed warm. They don’t want a woman who shows she can outdo a man. So put the nun-chucks away, hide your presidential electoral speech and don the apron.
7. BE SPONTANEOUS: Boredom is inevitable in most long-term relationships and despite wanting a traditional, non-offensive woman, Greek men will also want some excitement in their lives.
Show your spontaneous side by surprising him with an extra helping of Moussaka, book a holiday to his mother-land, or simply turn up on his doorstep wrapped in nothing but the Greek flag.
8. BE SUPPORTIVE: Though they may exude an air of great self-importance, Greek men aren’t always as confident as they pretend to be. Try to encourage and motivate him even when his ideas could land him in a mental asylum and/or jail. Most Greek men are all talk and little action, so rather than cutting him down, be positive about his plans to open up a lapdancing Greek coffee club. Appreciate his interests and praise his efforts at all times.
9. DON’T MAKE A MESS: As another by-result of their highly controlled upbringing, Greek men are very fussy. This fuss may be created over their appearance, their health, their home, their food or their car. While he may be allowed to throw his dirty underwear around (because mama will always pick it up), you should be the goddess of cleanliness. Your attention to detail will impress him and have him daydreaming about the day when you pick up his dirty clothes.
10. HONOR AND OBEY: Flattery will get you everywhere. Wooing a Greek man by telling him that he is wiser than Zeus and more handsome than Hercules will have him begging you to go out with him. Just remember that you will have to keep this up for the rest of your life. But it’s a small price to pay for the love of a Greek God.