Deranged Dating

Three years ago, I had a Valentine’s Day themed piece. It seems it’s time once again to strike some of those chords. I was having lunch with a non-Armenian friend a few weeks ago and he related this love story. He was seeing an Armenian woman who was somewhat distant, grouchy, and wanted their relationship kept secret because she was worried about messing with her "family’s honor". How ridiculous! What has the nationality of who you’re dating to do with you family’s honor? This sounds ridiculous enough to be in the same league as the "honor killings" rampant in Turkey! If you want to be the word starting with "b" that sounds like witch, or the male cur version thereof– obviously this foolishness is not bounded by gender, that’s your business. But please, don’t blame your family or Armenia’s for it. If you’re feeling guilty for doing what you know is the wrong thing in the Diaspora, please, don’t take it out on your significant other. He/she has done nothing wrong. They’re simply following a very natural human path. If your dating an odar puts your "family’s honor" at stake, and only for the briefest of momen’s let’s accept this ridiculous notion, then what are you doing in that relationship? If this "family honor" is so important as to ultimately terminate the relationship, why are you wasting your time and the other person’s? If pairing with a non-Armenian is the path you choose, do so confidently, consciously, and without lame excuses. All this reeks of thinly disguised racism and poor appreciation of our Armenian national plight and conditions. The point is NOT that you must "marry your own kind" because it’s wrong to do otherwise. In Armenia, who cares what nationality one or even both parents are. Odds are the children will grow up Armenian. The point is that we have a national purpose. We have a struggle. We have unresolved issues with Turkey. Who’s going to pursue these? The Tamil Tigers? Or perhaps Fidel Castro? How about Tony Blair? No, no, it must be Abdullah Gul! In the Diaspora, when entering relationships that might lead to families, if an Armenian is sincere in his/her concern for our issues, the nationality of the other is relevant in the long term. Why? Because there’s that small matter of raising children as Armenia’s who in turn will care enough to achieve our goals. Putting someone else in the middle of this, then telling him her some bogus story about "family honor" and being far from the best partner, does a disservice to everyone concerned. So please, this Valentine’s season (and beyond), be true to yourself, be decent to others, and do the right thing by not using our nation and your family as an excuse for poor behavior.

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