By Kippie “Sumitra” Aguilan, Staff Writer
“I spend a lot of my free time with the sorority and have had arguments with my boyfriend about the things I am doing when I am not with him. How can I get him to understand that our sisterhood is truly important and not just for ‘partying’?” – Sister Stuck in the Middle
First off, I want to say congratulations to you – you seem to have caught yourself a gentleman who genuinely concerns himself for your well-being. Though I can see how it would be perceived as nosy or even controlling, men who take time to worry about what kind of people his partner is associating herself with, whether or not it be sisters, can be signs of deep emotional maturity, wishing only what is best for her and wanting her to be surrounded by good people with good intentions. One type of man that is a great example of this concern: a loving father towards his daughter. As a daughter myself, I would say that my father raised me with some sense and has characteristics I know I would want in a life partner.
Now, it may be easier said than done, but to get him to truly understand what it is to be a part of this great sisterhood, you will want to get him involved. As a sorority, “we hold our virtues to be true” and compose ourselves in demonstrating those virtues with every action we take, whether it is in the work place, at play or our regular daily routines. Start by introducing him to those virtues – explain to him events that may have taken place in your life that you feel the sorority has gotten you through, before he came into the picture. Often times, we join Delta Phi Lambda, looking to belong to something greater than ourselves and find it in supporting sisters – tell him the hardships you endured in your personal life and how those sisters helped you through that storm; talk about late-night study sessions that drove you and fellow sisters crazy, but the amazing grades you received that semester; explain how many shoulders you were able to cry on when times were tough with family or outside friends; remind him that when you two fight, you have at least five sisters within reach to talk to so you can calm down before addressing the issue together again.
Next, get him involved with these women you call sisters – we love to party, so why not invite him to join the fun? One or two get-togethers may be enough, but if he wants to be a part of your life, he will want to associate with them on a regular basis to see just how important the sorority influences you. Remind him that you understand he will not remember or even meet everyone (because we are growing as a sisterhood every single day), but that the ones closest to you will accept him with loving arms because they know he cares for you and you care for him. He may not even like to party, but if you are both in college, why not invite him to regular study sessions? Show him we are a studious bunch and he is more than welcome to join in on the academic fun, for lack of a better term. Or better yet, ask him to help out with philanthropic events your chapter may be planning – for example, sisters of the Loyola and DePaul chapters participate in volunteering with city-wide marathons. If your beau is a runner, remind him of the volunteer work we do and introduce him. Not only would your sisters find him quite the catch after running so many miles, but he can see that the chapter’s dedication helps you develop your own values at the same time. In time, he will get to know their names, have their phone numbers and even plan surprises with them to demonstrate his feelings, with the help of the girls that know you best.
Finally, sit and talk with him about the concerns he may have or that you may even share. Listen carefully to what he has to say and explain that his opinions are important to you. Explain to him that you understand you may not always see eye-to-eye, but that you appreciate his involvement and you want him to be comfortable with the choices you make and the people you surround yourself with that involve the sorority. Even if he may not ever fully understand the bonds that we build as sisters throughout our years together, a man who loves you for you will respect your wishes and see the good and bad with any situation, including the sorority. A man will never force you into accepting his opinion or try to change your mind about such important relationships – if he does, you may want to think about what his “best interests” are for you.