Openness to marrying converts

Hey all,

I recently entered the Church during this last Pascha but one nagging worry (approaching 30 now) has been eating away at me these past few months that I'm shy to ask irl. Coming from the Catholic Church in the US, there were so many options and potentials for finding a wife. The OO, at least for a white guy in NY, seems to be the opposite.

Are religious Copts / Ethiopians / other OO open to marrying white converts generally? And, if so, does anyone have any advice on finding someone? (Websites, conferences, etc.)

P.S. The truth is the truth and if that means I'm unlikely to have a family, I won't be leaving the Church. It might just mean a calling to the life of a monk or priest.

Thank you in advance for any help or advice you can give. God bless.


  • hmm, so you have been an orthodox Christian for 1 1/2 weeks now and you are still not married...?!

    maybe it will take a bit longer than that to settle down, i don't know how much of the orthodox culture (s) you have picked up, but we don't encourage speed dating!
    so you may have to try the slow way instead.

    in other words, chill out, make friends, some of your friends will have sisters / will be sisters.
    then you start to hang out with groups of friends which include ladies, then you may become closer friends with one of them, then you may start 'talking together' (we discourage getting up to more than this) and then after a long time, you start getting to know her family (or friendship group, if she doesn't have any family near by).
    it may take more than a few months.

    let me tell you a couple of nice stories to pass the time while you wait.
    (warning, long post coming - read it at leisure over the next few years...)

    just so you know, i have been an orthodox Christian 14 years and am (more or less, bit unsure of ancestry) from britain.
    i joined the church from a protestant Christian background and was (still am) married, no kids (am an aunt / tant to relatives and church friends and to some of their kids too).
    i have witnessed plenty of weddings and some divorces so can testify that taking your time to enter a romantic relationship is well worth it.

    so, now the nice stories you are waiting for (both true stories) - then afterwards i will tell you one that didn't end in romance to that you get a balanced picture.

    story 1. 

    i met a nice guy in the church about 10 years ago. we didn't become close friends, but we said hello when our paths crossed and i found out he didn't have a religious background but was from a mainstream british family who did not go to church.
    nice guy number 1 was very active in church (including learning coptic hymns) and became a kind and sincere follower of God. after a couple of years, he met nice lady number 1 and i attended their engagement party (sort of gatecrashed it, as it started straight after a liturgy i attended so i hung around). then they got married and moved to a different area so i didn't see them for ages.
    i saw them again during Holy week this year, and they have not 1, but 2 very cute kids now!

    story 2.

    very soon after i joined the orthodox church, i started exchanging messages with another Christian from an orthodox forum. he used to answer lots of questions with very wise answers and after many months of sending roughly 1 message every 3 or 4 months (i didn't spam him!) i found out we did not live too far away. so we thought it would be nice to meet in real life.

    note - if you want to do this, be very careful as there are some psychos out there / in here.

    i went with my husband to a church where nice guy number 2 was going to be and we said 'hello' and then i didn't hear from him for ages (turned out he was too busy 'in real life' to message much). he was from a partly religious family but had no roots in any orthodox church. he had come to britain as a young man and started investigating the orthodox church soon after, and had converted several years before me.

    then i heard he had married nice lady number 2, who was from the majority ethnic group in his church (he was from another part of europe to her).
    i met up with him a couple of other times in church meetings, then later on was invited to his ordination, which was beautiful. i also attended the baptisms of his first 2 kids (priests get to baptise their own kids!)

    story 3.
    last year, i was visiting a different coptic orthodox church for a study day, and met a group of friends who had come for the meeting. i tried hard to chat to all of them, the egyptian ones and the person who was different ethnically. i was curious about him, but i gave him personal space as i try not to pounce on new people and make them uncomfortable by asking them their story.

    (by the way i recommend that you give people space as not everyone is happy to keep telling their story to all the curious church members just because they don't look egyptian)

    by the end of the day i had another chance to talk to him, and i casually asked him where he lived.
    it turned out that he was just passing through britain from east asia (his country of ethnic orgin) to north east africa (the country he planned to settle in).
    he had been an orthodox Christian for several years, and was very active in the church and loved praying and studying the Bible.
    he had been working hard in evangelism and was planning to serve the church on a long term basis.
    he was single and in no rush to get married (well over 30).
    he might even be a monk by now, we didn't keep in touch.
    he was full of the peace of God, as you also will be when you leave your future in God's hands and learn not to worry about what you will eat and what you will wear, as the Lord God cares for you more than for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.

    may God bring you the peace and joy of His glorious resurrection now and for ever
  • edited April 2023
    Race isn't an issue. Your relationship to God, your ability to provide for a wife and family, and you as a human being are
    all that matters.

    It doesn't matter if you're a white guy. You're American. That's what everyone will call you. I've been the American guy for 13 years.

    My wife's cousins married a few "white" guys, a black guy, and a ton of younger kids in this region (Western PA and Northeast OH) only have one Egyptian parent. So, it's not like Copts just got here and look down on other races. It's actually becoming fairly common outside of the east coast.

    I'd say, get involved in the church, attend your local parishes activities, help around the church or assist with Sunday School. A majority of Sunday School teachers are women, and they love having men around to help. Becoming a Reader or Hymnist in the church will lead you to meet people, especially women your age. Adult classes, festivals, Bible study, etc.

    Focus on creating relationships and growing, not finding a woman to marry. Find someone who will guide your journey in our beautiful church, and bring you closer to God. Copts are extremely patient people, and put their trust in God.

    It would be best not to think in such a narrow manner about marriage. We aren't Catholic anymore. When you're married in Orthodoxy, you become one. Marriage is difficult and far more complex than thinking of it as social or societal acceptance.

    Let God guide your journey, not impatience.
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