Can A Greek/Non-Greek Relationship Work In College? 4 Things To Remember When Dating Outside Your Social Circle

Greeks and GDIs aren't enemies. Heck, they make pretty good boyfriends and girlfriends.

4 Important Things To Remember If You're Dating A Non-Greek Affiliated Student (GDI) When You're In A Sorority Or Fraternity Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

I’m sure we can all agree that dating in college can go one of two ways: you either get extremely lucky and find the man of your dreams on the first shot, or you spend your entire college career in hookup and situationship territory because there isn’t anyone worth getting into a serious relationship for.

And all of these relationship complications become even more intense if you’re affiliated with Greek Life on your campus. How do I know? I’ve been a sorority woman for four years.


There are so many stereotypes that come with Greek life, some true and some false, and these stereotypes and expectations can make dating really difficult — especially a relationship combination that a lot of people find to be unlikely: Greeks and GDIs in a relationship.

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First of all, what's a GDI in terms of Greek life?

Greeks refer to our non-affiliated counterparts as "God D-mn Independents". A lot of campuses use this as a derogatory term, but on my campus the non-affiliated students use the title with pride, and its become the pseudo organization GDI. Since Greek life isn’t the majority on my campus, Greek students and GDIs get along relatively well, with a lot of us having lots of unaffiliated friends, but I’m not speaking for all campuses and communities.

Is it realistic for Greek-affiliated and non-affiliated students to date in college?

The simple answer is yes! Greeks and GDIs can totally date. In fact, on big college campuses a lot of relationships happen between these two groups. There is a learning curve that comes with this dating situation, but with my current relationship being one with a GDI, I’ve learned a thing or two about it. Here are some important things to remember when you're in a relationship with someone who isn't involved in the same college fraternity or sorority as you:


1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

The key to any relationship is (shocker) communication. This is so incredibly important when a Greek dates a GDI, especially one that has no idea about Greek Life. Parties, socials, and mixers are inevitable, and a lot of the time these events are restricted to just members of Greek life (for liability purposes). This means that if you want to still be a part of the social scene to build friendships with other organizations, you need to tell your partner about these things.

Make sure you’re always letting them know what’s up. I’m lucky that my boyfriend has brothers in Greek Life and gets it, but not everyone will be so lucky.

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2. Don’t assume your partner knows Greek terminology.

Greeks, especially sorority women, tend to use a lot of terms that to the GDI ear makes absolutely no sense. Big and little, Grab-A-Date, chapter, and ‘doing it for the philo’ are all things that can just go way over their heads.


Explain what these terms mean, and why they’re important to your experience and to you. Introduce them to your Big and your Little. Take them out to events when you can. I’m planning on introducing my boyfriend to my Greek friends soon, so he can have a peek into my world and understand it more.

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3. Schedule time to be together.

Greek Life takes up So. Much. Time. It’s honestly crazy and should definitely be a crime. With this in mind, please tell your partner your schedule!

I know that with my boyfriend, letting him know when all my big events and weekly events are going on allows him to understand why I’m so busy and why we can’t spend every waking moment together.


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4. Expel the myths.

The best thing you can do for your GDI partner is dispel all of the myths surrounding Greek life. Every campus is different, and not every campus does the crazy things you see on TV. Let him know what the realities are, educate him on your process, and tell him about how your campus is working to change the stigma and the environment.

My boyfriend isn’t used to Miami’s version of Greek life (contrary to popular belief, my school’s isn’t that rowdy or crazy) so seeing and understanding my community helps him understand it better.


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Kayla Baptista is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.