Armenian dating marriage culture chelsea korka dating

My whole life, my father beseeched me to marry a woman of Armenian descent and have children to carry on our bloodline.

At 32, while working in a remote village in Armenia, I met the perfect potential fiancée—a woman who had everything my father wanted in a daughter-in-law.

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I could easily envision the home we could create, with kids running around, holding on to her apron strings. My conundrum began all the way back in second grade at a day school for my ethnic community.

Every morning students recited the Pledge of Allegiance with an additional pledge.

“Above all else I will love my fatherland,” we chanted in Armenian.

My father would admonish me: “You must marry your own kind, have children and teach them your mother tongue.” He’d said there weren’t many of us left.

The fate of our race lay in the hands of my classmates and me. Surely I could wed one of the pretty schoolgirls and have my own family like he did.

But later, as a 20-year-old in college, I was well aware of my attraction to men, even though I hated feeling that way.

Being with another guy sounded like cheating on my destiny.

I felt an obligation to procreate with an Armenian-American woman and save my 3,000-year-old culture from the brink of extinction.

I willed myself to feel attracted to the opposite sex, wondering if I could be bisexual.

Girls gravitated to my wavy hair and easy smile, and on the last day of my junior year, I approached an Armenian-American classmate and asked her to lunch. And I so wanted to fall for her—her cute freckles gave me hope. I didn’t bring up my anxiety about the pressure to marry within our community.

Our conversation fell flat, and neither of us could revive it.

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