Val Peterson writes about travel, home, and the outdoors. She earned her BA from UMass Amherst and enjoys hiking.
Here is some advice and what to know when you are interested in dating an Armenian man or woman. These tips will help you understand some aspects of Armenian culture and people who come from it so you can feel more comfortable in approaching a dating situation.
The scenarios we give assume that you want to date a first-generation Armenian-American or someone who is 100% Armenian in their background.
Tips on Dating Armenian Women
- A date might be difficult to obtain -- not because she doesn't like you -- but because she is dedicated to her family's wishes. Some Armenian girls and women are not allowed to date boys and men their parents have not approved of. It is also common for Armenian girls under the age of 18 to not be allowed to date at all. Her family might also forbid her from dating people other than Armenians.
- What kind of reputation do you have? Do you like to date all kinds of women just for the experience? Are you a use them and lose them type? If so, these types won't fly. Armenian families make a point of protecting their daughters.
- Be prepared to inherit a family. If you score a date you will most likely have to come inside and meet her parents first. They will ask you all kinds of questions to determine your worthiness and size you up. This is because they do not want harm to come to their daughter.
- Armenian girls are sometimes spoiled. Be prepared to spend good money when you take her out and always buy her good gifts. She will hope that you can continue to give her the life she is used to.
- What kind of family do you come from? Armenians can be leery of trusting men for their daughters that come from divorced parents. In Armenian families it is tradition for fathers to teach their sons morals and values, and being the kind of man that her father would raise will put you in good favor.
Tips on Dating Armenian Men
- Armenians value insularity. If your potential date comes from a very ethno-centric Armenian family, he might be discouraged from dating you. His family might not want him dating a non-Armenian female as Armenians are sometimes wary of "outsiders," but Mixed Blessings: A Guide to Multicultural and Multiethnic Relationships, is a highly useful book for navigating romantic relationships where there might be hidden expectations due to cultural origin or birth in different countries. It will help you sensitively navigate communication with your date and your date's family. With ethnic families, there is often a lot of influence from the parents. This book will give you a better chance of getting their go-ahead for a relationship or even marriage.
- Virginity is valued. He might have second thoughts about getting serious with someone who isn't a virgin. While there are different kinds of Armenian men, really traditional ones will remain celibate theselves until marriage.
- Armenian men like women who can cook, really cook. In fact, your man might want you to become a housewife while he earns the money. Most of their mothers were excellent cooks and prepared foods like lahmajoun (Armenian pizza) and pakhlava (nutty pastry dessert). You will want to familiarize yourself with the ingredients it takes to make Armenian food. You might also want to ask his mother advice on how to cook (this will get you in her good graces!
- Your date is probably very career-oriented and is likely educated in the sciences. Armenian men commonly go into chemistry, computer engineering, or pharmaceutical fields for careers. This helps when thinking about financial security for the future. He also might not be interested in literature or the arts because he is scientifically or technically gifted instead. Some more traditional trades for Armenians are jeweler and rug maker/seller. A number of people with Armenian ancestry are still engaged in these trades.