A New Way for Greeks to Meet

Sellia Georges is a personal relationship coach…and she loves every minute of it.

She and her mother, Dr. Lena Kastrisiou, run a modern dating agency called OnePlusOne. The company started in Greece, and Georges has gradually begun to move a section to Chicago; she has lived between there and Athens her whole life. The Athens office has existed since 2004, and all staff members are licensed psychologists and certified relationship coaches.

“I was away studying, thinking about how I had always liked being with people,” Sellia said. “This was something more fun than just doing therapy. My mother thought there was a huge gap in Greek society — many couples didn’t even know each other, and were married so many years. They were married for the wrong reason.”

Georges said she is happy to be able to help people like this, and she thinks the service can be really beneficial to Greek-Americans, as well as Greeks.

“I usually look at someone’s personality and use my instinct as a psychologist when matching people,” she said. “I don’t always go by a certain criteria — we have to follow our gut and see if it works out. A lot of times people who we never thought would be together, end up together. There’s no real equation.”

Sellia said she knows it’s hard for Greeks to find each other if they aren’t in the same circles. She also said with her background, she is happy to help people if relationship problems come up as well.

The initial consultation is just to see if a person wants to be a part of the program. Georges stressed the importance of knowing each person, and said it’s a huge factor in being able to match people. There are a lot of things that build up a person’s profile, but the personal relationship is probably the most important to her, she said.

So far, Sellia said she has been happy with the progress she has made in Chicago. In Greece, she and her mother already had kind of a basis of what they were doing, and that worked very well. She said she’s very excited about this new venture.

“In Greece it’s still a little taboo,” she said. “Here, the whole idea of the program is very welcomed. I’ve already seen a lot of people, and it’s been great.

“In Greece, people still think family friends and all that is concrete. But family ties are breaking down and people come to us. In Chicago, I am focusing on Greek-Americans who are single and would like to marry other Greeks, either in America or are from Greece. It just depends on what they want. A lot of Greeks that have grown up here are children of immigrants, and their parents were married [through] their parents. A lot of these children’s parents don’t have the best relationships. I’m doing research and getting into it, but it seems that they’re not broken, but not homes filled with love. These people can have difficulty committing, their parents would like them to marry Greeks. If not, it’s upsetting to them.”

Sellia said she hopes to make an impact on the Greek-American community with her new initiatives.