Eastern Orthodox Rules of Dating: An In-Depth Guide

Let’s face it: Finding “the one” in our faith tradition, especially the Eastern Orthodox one, can feel about as easy as explaining the Holy Trinity to a toddler. No worries; we’re in this together, armed with centuries of tradition, a dash of Byzantine flair, and enough blessed oil to grease the wheels of romance.

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22

Now, I’m no Church Father, but I’m pretty sure Solomon wasn’t swiping right on Tinder when he wrote that. Our Orthodox approach to dating is a bit more… let’s say vintage. Think less “Netflix and chill” and more “Vespers and phyllo.”

But here’s the thing: our faith gives us a beautiful framework for love and relationships. It’s not just about finding someone who looks good in a profile pic (though, let’s be honest, a well-groomed beard never hurt anyone’s chances). It’s about finding a partner in salvation, someone to journey with towards theosis.

So grab your prayer rope, my friends! We’re about to explore the wild world of Orthodox Christian dating. It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride of faith, tradition, and maybe a few awkward coffee hours. But hey, at least we’ve got some killer chants to set the mood, right?

man on his knees, offering a rose to a woman standing, I am Orthodox, darling text above the image, black and white, bright colors, in the style of Keith Haring

Holy Matrimony: More Than Just a Big Fat Greek Wedding

Marriage in Orthodoxy is not just an excuse to break plates and dance in circles (though that’s a pretty sweet bonus). In our faith, marriage is a full-on sacrament. That’s right, it’s up there with baptism and communion. No pressure or anything.

“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:31

When the Church Fathers read this, they didn’t just see a green light for hanky-panky. They saw a mystery (that’s “mysterion” for you Greek enthusiasts) – a physical union that mirrors our spiritual union with God. Mind. Blown.

But wait, there’s more! In Orthodoxy, we don’t just slap a ring on it and call it a day. Marriage is a spiritual journey, a three-legged race towards theosis with you, your spouse, and God. It’s like the ultimate team-building exercise, but with more incense.

And let’s not forget the physical side. Unlike some prudish interpretations, Orthodoxy says “Hey, bodies are cool!” We’re not Gnostics, after all. Physical intimacy in marriage isn’t just allowed, it’s celebrated. It’s a glorious “image” of Christ’s love for the Church. So yeah, Orthodox married life can be pretty hot – in a holy way, of course.

But here’s the kicker: this sacramental view of marriage means it’s not just about you and your boo. It’s about your relationship with God, your role in the Church, and even your place in the cosmos. Talk about high stakes for your Tinder bio!

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So next time you’re eyeing that cute cantor across the nave, remember: in Orthodoxy, we’re not just looking for a date. We’re looking for a co-sojourner, a partner in prayer, and a fellow warrior in the spiritual life. And if they can make a mean moussaka? Well, that’s just icing on the prosfora.

Read: How to Rizz Your Christian Man

Taking Your Time to Find the Right Person

Alright, lovebirds, let’s talk about the art of not rushing into relationships faster than a priest swings a censer. It’s tempting to jump headfirst into romance, especially when your yiayia keeps asking when you’re going to give her great-grandchildren. But here’s the thing: good relationships are like a fine bottle of Communion wine – they take time to mature.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Looks like even King David knew the value of hitting the brakes on the relationship speedway.

Now, when it comes to spotting your Orthodox soulmate, it’s not just about finding someone who can rock a Byzantine chant or make koliva that doesn’t taste like birdseed. We’re talking about qualities that really matter. Like, do they love God more than they love their Instagram feed? Can they fast without turning into a hangry monster? And most importantly, do they understand that marriage is about getting each other to heaven, not just sharing Netflix passwords?

Remember, folks, in Orthodoxy, we’re playing the long game. It’s not about finding someone perfect; it’s about finding someone who’s willing to work on becoming perfect together. So take your time, pray a lot, and maybe learn to make a mean moussaka while you’re waiting. Your future spouse (and your taste buds) will thank you.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Orthodox Courtship

First up, cohabitation before marriage? That’s gonna be a big fat “Nyet” from the Church. Living together before tying the knot is about as welcome as pork at a fasting potluck.

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18

Paul wasn’t messing around, folks. In Orthodoxy, we take this stuff seriously.

Now, for meeting and dating expectations, think less “Netflix and chill” and more “Vespers and chill”. We’re talking chaperoned dates, group outings, and definitely no hanky-panky. It’s like Pride and Prejudice, but with more incense.

Premarital consecration? Yep, it’s a thing. Some couples choose to have their relationship blessed by a priest before engagement. It’s like God’s way of saying, “I see you two making googly eyes at each other across the nave.”

And let’s not forget the role of family and the Church in decision-making. In Orthodoxy, marriage isn’t just between two people – it’s a community affair. Your yiayia, your spiritual father, even that nosy lady who always brings spanakopita to coffee hour – they all get a say. It’s like having a whole village swipe right (or left) on your behalf.

Remember, in Orthodox dating, we’re not just looking for a hottie with a body (though that’s a nice bonus). We’re searching for someone to journey with us towards theosis. So next time you’re eyeing that cutie in the choir, ask yourself: “Can I see myself fasting Great Lent with this person?” If the answer’s yes, you might just have found yourself an Orthodox match made in heaven!

Read: Biblical Advice for Senior Dating

Trusting Your Circle

Let’s chat about the OG dating app: your Orthodox community. Yep, I’m talking about your family, your parish, and even that nosy lady who always critiques your koliva at coffee hour. Trust me, they’re better than any algorithm Tinder could dream up.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” – Exodus 20:12

Turns out the Fifth Commandment isn’t just about not sassing your parents, it’s also solid dating advice. Who knew?

Your family and church community aren’t just there to judge your fasting game or comment on your hemline. They’re your personal relationship advisory board. Think of them as your spiritual Avengers, assembled to help you fight off potential heartbreak.

Now, let’s talk red flags. If your priest starts doing more crossings when you mention your new boo, or if your yiayia suddenly decides it’s time for an emergency exorcism, it’s probably time to reevaluate. And if your potential partner makes your godly aunt clutch her komboskini in horror, well, Houston, we have a problem.

Remember, these people have seen you at your best, your worst, and that awkward phase where you thought fedoras were cool. They know you. And more importantly, they know what an Orthodox relationship should look like.

So before you go changing your Facebook status, maybe run it by your spiritual squad first. After all, in Orthodoxy, we don’t just date each other, we date each other’s entire parish. Talk about a package deal!

Splitsville: The Orthodox Edition

First off, our Church isn’t exactly throwing confetti at the idea of divorce. We’re more into the “’til death do us part” thing. But hey, we’re also not living in la-la land. Sometimes, marriages fall apart faster than a poorly constructed souvlaki.

“But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Matthew 5:32

Yikes, right? Jesus didn’t pull any punches. But before you start panicking, remember: our Church is about healing, not condemnation.

Now, onto Church councils. Picture a bunch of bearded guys in fancy hats debating marriage for hours. That’s basically what happened. The result? A kind of “it’s complicated” status on divorce.

The Church recognizes that sometimes, marriages become more toxic than week-old tzatziki. In cases of adultery, abuse, or abandonment, divorce might be permitted. But it’s not a “get out of marriage free” card. It’s more like spiritual chemotherapy – a last resort when all other treatments have failed.

As for remarriage? Well, it’s possible, but don’t expect the full “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” experience. The service is more penitential, like a spiritual rehab program. It’s the Church’s way of saying, “Okay, round two. Let’s try not to fumble this one.”

Remember, folks, in Orthodoxy, we’re all about second chances. Just maybe not third or fourth chances when it comes to marriage. So choose wisely, pray often, and maybe consider premarital couples therapy. Trust me, it’s cheaper than a divorce lawyer!

Read: Do It Yourself Presents for Christian Boyfriend

When Cupid Crosses Jurisdictions

So you’ve fallen head over heels for someone who doesn’t know their Chrysostom from their chrismation. Don’t panic! It happens to the best of us. The heart wants what it wants, even if what it wants can’t tell a proskomedia from a souvlaki stand.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Paul’s coming in hot with the interfaith dating advice! But before you start sweating through your stefana, let’s break this down.

Engaging with non-Orthodox partners can be tricky. It’s like trying to explain why we kiss icons to your Protestant crush without sounding like we’re in some weird long-distance relationship with a piece of wood. But here’s the thing: it’s not impossible. It just takes patience, understanding, and maybe a crash course in Orthodox Christianity 101.

Now onto embracing Orthodox beliefs and practices. This is where things can get spicy. And I don’t mean the kind of spicy in your yiayia’s pastitsio! If you’re serious about your faith, you’ll want a partner who’s at least open to Orthodoxy. That means being cool with fasting seasons, crossing themselves from right to left, and maybe even growing a magnificent beard if they’re a guy. (Sorry ladies, no beards required for you!)

But remember, it’s not about forcing your partner into a baptismal font. It’s about sharing your faith with love and respect. Who knows? They might just fall in love with Orthodoxy almost as much as they’ve fallen for you. And if not, well, at least they’ll appreciate your killer Byzantine chant playlist.

So if you’re in an interfaith relationship, remember: Communication is key. Patience is a virtue. And always, always have some extra fasting snacks on hand.

Balancing Marriage Intentions

In Orthodoxy, we don’t date just to pass the time between Vespers and Liturgy. We’re in it for the long haul, like a never-ending Lenten fast (but hopefully with more joy and less hangry moments).

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” – Proverbs 18:22

See? Even Solomon was dropping hints about marriage. But here’s the tricky part: how do you keep marriage in mind without turning into a walking, talking wedding planner on your first coffee date?

First off, chill out. You’re not auditioning for the role of spouse-to-be every time you grab a post-Liturgy coffee with someone. Relax. God’s got a plan, and it doesn’t involve you measuring finger sizes on the sly.

But also, don’t treat dating like it’s just a fun pastime. We’re Orthodox, not “Yolo-dox.” Keep your eyes on the prize: a Christ-centered marriage. Think of each date as a tiny step towards the altar, not a giant leap.

Now, let’s talk about avoiding emotional overcommitment. You know that feeling when you’ve fasted too long and suddenly you want to eat everything in sight? Yeah, don’t do that with your emotions.

Just because someone can cross themselves correctly doesn’t mean they’re your future spouse. Take it slow. Get to know them. See if they can handle your off-key attempts at Byzantine chant before you start planning your wedding crowns.

Remember, in Orthodoxy, we’re all about balance. Like a good Greek dance, it’s two steps forward, one step back. Keep marriage in mind, but don’t lose your mind over it. Trust in God’s timing, and maybe learn to make a mean moussaka while you wait. Your future spouse will thank you…

Read: How to Get a Boyfriend the Christian Way

Keeping It Orthodox in a Tinder World

We’re living in a world where swiping right is easier than making the sign of the cross, and “Netflix and chill” is more common than “Vespers and chill.” But fear not, we can still keep it real (and Orthodox) in this crazy digital age!

First up, young adult expectations. Let’s be honest, the pressure is real. Your non-Orthodox friends are living together, your cousin just had a beach wedding officiated by her yoga instructor, and here you are, trying to explain why you can’t go out for souvlaki on a Friday during Lent. It’s enough to make you want to trade your prayer rope for a dating app!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9

Remember this verse when you’re feeling like the odd one out. You’re not just any millennial, you’re an Orthodox millennial. You’re basically spiritual royalty!

Now, let’s chat about staying engaged in your parish. I know, I know, sometimes coffee hour feels more like an audition for “The Real Housewives of Byzantium.” But hear me out – your parish is your spiritual gym. It’s where you flex those faith muscles and build your spiritual six-pack.

Try getting involved in youth groups, volunteer for that charity drive, or hey, maybe even join the choir (warning: may result in unexpected marriage proposals from babushkas for their grandsons). The point is, stay connected. Your parish isn’t just a place to show up, cross yourself, and peace out. It’s your spiritual family – weird uncles and all.

And here’s a pro tip: Church events are like Orthodox Tinder, but with more food and less swiping. You never know, your future spouse might just be that cute altar server or the girl making killer baklava for the festival.

So yeah, being a young Orthodox adult in today’s world isn’t always easy. But remember, we’re not called to be comfortable, we’re called to be faithful. And who knows? Maybe one day, “Want to come over and read the Church Fathers?” will be the hottest pick-up line around. A girl can dream, right?

abstract art, background of large geometric shapes , in the foreground a man standing at one extreme, his hand reaching out to a woman on the other extreme
He will take you to your spiritual goal.

Dating Up the Spiritual Ladder

Alright Orthodox singles, let’s chat about punching above your spiritual weight class. You know that feeling when you’re at Liturgy and you spot someone who’s crossing themselves with the precision of a seasoned monk while you’re still trying to remember which shoulder comes first? Yep, we’re talking about dating someone who’s spiritually stronger than you.

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” — Proverbs 27:17

Looks like even Solomon knew the value of a good spiritual workout buddy. But here’s the thing: pursuing someone who’s spiritually stronger isn’t about finding a personal prayer warrior. It’s about finding a partner who challenges you to grow in your faith.

Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying you should start stalking the most pious person in your parish. But if you find yourself attracted to someone who makes fasting look easy while you’re over here sneaking cheeseburgers on Wednesdays, go for it. Just remember, it’s not about feeling inferior. It’s about admiration and inspiration.

Here’s a pro tip: Look for someone who makes you want to be a better Orthodox Christian. Someone who inspires you to actually read those Church Fathers books you’ve been using as doorstops. Maybe they can even teach you to make koliva that doesn’t taste like birdseed mixed with sadness.

But here’s the kicker: humility is key. If you’re dating someone who’s spiritually stronger, don’t turn them into your personal confessor or treat them like they’re one prayer rope away from sainthood. They’re human too, probably struggling with their own spiritual battles—like resisting the urge to correct your horrible pronunciation of Χριστός Ανέστη.

Remember, in Orthodoxy we’re all on this journey together. Some might be a few steps ahead, but we’re all heading towards the same goal. So go ahead, pursue that spiritual powerhouse. Just make sure you’re ready to up your game. And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be the one inspiring others to actually enjoy Lenten recipes. Stranger miracles have happened, right?

Read: The Ins and Outs of Dating as a Christian Single Parent

The Role of Prayer in Relationships

Folks, let’s get into the heart of our dating journey—the divine hotline, also known as prayer. When it comes to navigating the confusing waters of romance, our first port of call should be on our knees (on a prayer mat, not proposing—slow down!).

Remember, “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). These aren’t just fancy words; they’re a blueprint for seeking divine guidance in finding that special someone.

Praying isn’t about rattling off a wishlist to God; it’s about tuning our hearts to listen to His guidance, reaffirming our journey towards a partner is not just about mutual likes but a shared journey towards salvation. Whether it’s clarity about pursuing a relationship or strength to move past one that’s not meant to be, prayer is your spiritual compass.

Time to name-drop some heavenly intercessors who specialize in matters of the heart. First up, St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, the Patron Saint of finding godly partners. Fun fact: She’s known for her post-mortem matchmaking skills. If anyone knows how to navigate the complexities of love and faith, it’s her.

Then we have Sts. Joachim and Anna, the ultimate example of divine timing and trust. Their patience and faith were rewarded with the birth of the Theotokos. Talk about relationship goals! Praying to these saints isn’t about sidestepping effort or personal growth; it’s about inviting divine wisdom and patience into the process.

Embedding prayer into your relationship from the get-go sets a strong foundation built on faith and guided by divine light. It reminds us that we’re not walking this path alone but with God and a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on.

So, before swiping right or drafting that flirty text, maybe start with a little chat with the Big Guy upstairs and some of His closest friends. After all, divine matchmaking has been in the business way longer than any dating app.

Maintaining Purity and Modesty

First things first: our bodies are temples, not amusement parks. That means we treat them with respect, dignity, and a healthy dose of self-control. Remember:

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Paul’s not kidding around here. He’s basically saying, “Keep it in your pants, folks.”

So what does this mean for your budding romance? Well, it doesn’t mean you need to wear a hazmat suit on dates. But it does mean being mindful of physical boundaries. Think of it as a spiritual workout – you’re building those self-control muscles.

Now onto living out a Christ-centered relationship. This isn’t just about avoiding the horizontal tango before marriage. It’s about infusing every aspect of your relationship with faith. Pray together, and not just when you’re tempted to cross those physical boundaries. Attend services together. Volunteer at your parish’s food bank. Make fasting a team sport.

Remember, in Orthodoxy, we’re not just dating each other – we’re dating with Christ as our chaperone. So before you go in for that goodnight kiss, ask yourself: Would Jesus approve? If the answer’s no, maybe stick to a holy high-five instead.

Living out a Christ-centered relationship means putting God first, each other second, and everything else after that. It’s about building a foundation that’ll last longer than your priest’s blessing over Pascha baskets.

So, my friends, keep it pure, keep it modest, and keep Christ at the center. Your future spouse (and your conscience) will thank you.

Read: What Does ‘Christian’ Mean?

Avoiding the Fixer-Upper Mentality

Hey there, Orthodox DIY enthusiasts! Let’s chat about a dangerous dating trap: the fixer-upper mentality. You know that urge to date someone thinking, “Oh, I can change them!” or “They’ll be perfect once I fix XYZ”? Newsflash: you’re not starring in your own spiritual renovation show.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

Notice it doesn’t say there’s a friend who completely overhauls your personality?

Here’s the deal, folks: We’re all work-in-progress icons, but that doesn’t mean it’s your job to be someone’s personal iconographer. Your partner isn’t a project, they’re a person. Remember, you signed up for a relationship, not a reformation.

When you’re sizing up potential partners, look for someone who’s already on a path of growth. Not someone who’s waiting for you to drag them to church or teach them the basics of fasting. We’re talking mutual growth here. Like two saplings reaching for the sun, not one tree propping up a withered branch.

Now, let’s talk expectations. Reality check: your partner won’t always smell like roses and incense. They’ll sometimes be grumpy during Lent, forget to set their alarm for Liturgy, or burn the Vasilopita. The key is finding someone who’s willing to work on themselves and grow with you. Not someone who’s perfect, but someone who’s perfectly willing to strive for theosis alongside you.

So next time you’re tempted to date a fixer-upper, remember: You’re not called to be someone’s savior. That’s Christ’s job. You’re called to be a partner. A co-combatant in the spiritual arena. A fellow-struggler on the path to salvation. Now that’s a renovation show worth watching!

As much as we’d all love a magic icon that points to our perfect match (sorry, St. Xenia, that’s not quite how you work), dating as an Orthodox Christian is about way more than just finding someone who looks good in a Byzantine crown. It’s about growing in Christ together.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.” 2 Corinthians 13:5

Paul’s basically saying “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” And he’s spot on. When it comes to Orthodox dating, we need to turn that magnifying glass inward. Are we living our faith or just wearing it like a fancy new vestment? Do we pray as much as we swipe? Is our spiritual life as active as our Instagram feed? Ouch, right?

But here’s the thing: integrating our Christian principles into our dating life isn’t about being perfect. It’s about being authentic, real, and honestly striving to grow closer to Christ. Maybe that means setting up an icon corner in your apartment before you set up that dating profile. Or perhaps it’s about learning to fast together instead of just going out for fancy dinners. It could even be as simple as praying together before you dive into that Netflix series.

Remember, in Orthodoxy, we’re not just looking for a date. We’re looking for a co-struggler in the faith, someone to help us carry our cross (and maybe share a few laughs along the way).

So as you navigate the sometimes choppy waters of Orthodox dating, keep your eyes on Christ, your hand on your prayer rope, and maybe a few fasting snacks in your pocket. You never know when you’ll need them.

And who knows? Your perfect match might just be waiting for you at the next Vespers service. Stranger things have happened in our Church history, after all.