by Armine Chitjian
Let's be serious- do you see yourself with an Armenian? Does one of the qualifications for the guy or girl of your dreams happen to be that he or she is an Armo? It seems impossible to find someone who is everything you want AND Armenian. Look back at all of the people you have had a relationship with. How many of them were Armos? It's true; a lot of us around the world are turning to odars when it comes to dating and the love scene. Why? Why don't all of us expect to marry an Armenian man or woman? We have to face the facts and take into consideration the blatant truth. With our community so spread throughout the Diaspora, it doesn't seem likely to date an Armo. It's easier to come across guys or girls who are the nationality of the place we live. It's likely to fall for odars when they highly outnumber us.
Ask any Armenian girl, “How are the Armenian guys in your life?” I would bet you their clich?d automatic response would be, “What Armenian guys?” The sarcastic reply sounds so familiar. I think all us Armo girls, including myself, have heard and said that too many times to count. So where are all those sought-after, unseen Armenian guys? Well, they're somewhere. And they are readily looking for a “nice Armenian girl.” It's possible that expression is even more overused. Girls say the guys are too possessive and controlling. Guys say the girls are too materialistic and gossipy. But fellow Armos, these are mostly stereotypes. Stop focusing on the negative and find the beautiful things like those “sev sev acher” and of course the incredible feeling of being with somebody who you can share your culture with!
Some people who have never even seriously thought of being with an Armenian guy or girl consider it quite disturbing to actually be with one. The girls think that hearing guys speak in Armenian is a huge turnoff because it's like hearing their own fathers! On the contrary, some people think it's a turn on. The sound of hayeren coming from a guy's lips is sweet and hits the spot.
Getting further into the issue, views are very different, especially in the
Not long ago, I was enlightened with a new point of view – Type B: Armenian guys who mess around with Armenian girls and then end up marrying odars. Ok, what's better- type A or type B? It confuses the hell out of everyone. Most type A's seem to be hayastansis and most type B's seem to be spyurkahyer. Once again, there are plenty of Armenian guys who are not type A or type B. It's just that same old Mars and Venus story… From a guy's point of view, they don't want the “typical” Armo girl. The typical ones are obsessed with gossip and getting a guy with an expensive car and money falling out of their pockets. The females who aren't like those seem to be too independent-minded, and want to be domineering forces. They don't want serious relationships, or only would because everyone is asking, “When are you going to get married?”
There's no doubt that Armenian parents pressure us to some degree to get involved with an Armo rather than an odar. Whether you're 16 or 40, parents would internally jump for joy if they know that you were going out with an Armenian. For those of us who don't see what the big deal is, it makes no difference what they want. If you don't value the Armenian culture, there's no way you're going to end up with an Armo. Fortunately, there are many of us who actually hold high the meaning and significance of being with someone of our culture. Especially after having an at least semi-serious relationship with an Armo, it's hard to turn back. This is because you have gotten a taste of how priceless it is to be able to connect with someone on a cultural level when you're going out with them. Odars then seem a little bit like strangers in your eyes. It must be admitted that it becomes more difficult to bring oneself to fall for an odar after that. An absence is felt – most say – and there's a loss of connection with the person.
However, one bad experience with an Armo can turn someone off completely of having further relationships with Armenians. An unpleasant episode can surely scar someone and lead him or her to swear off of Armos. How many of the marriages you hear about lately are Armo-Armo? Mostly, it's Armo-odar. That's just the way it seems. It's also true that the longer your family has been living away from
One thing for sure is that Armos' views on the subject vary greatly from one person to the next. Guys see it differently from girls, spyurkahyes from hayastansis, generation from generation. Some of us think being with an Armo is the greatest thing, while others debate that it's just as good if they date an odar. Perhaps the best (and only) thing to do in this situation is whatever tickles your fancy. Feel more comfortable with an odar? Then that's your thing. Prefer an Armo? Then by all means, go for it!
11 March 2001