Life of LGBT expats in the Netherlands, an interview with Marios Selevistas

This post was firstly published in iamgreek.nl

I know that many expats out there receive questions in (and out of) social media by wannabe expats regarding the process of moving in another country. Between those expats many Greek expats often discuss life abroad with people that live in Greece or elsewhere. From my personal experience I can tell that during the last 4 years that I live in the Netherlands I have answered questions of dozens of unknown people to me. They didn’t know me but they thought I am the right person to ask stuff. That was usually happening because they may have read one of my already published posts or from a recommendation related to me they may received. In the end, I have news from a few of these people and I really don’t know if what we discussed once was helpful to most of them. Frankly, if at least one or two of them found my information useful, then I think that we had a positive result that came up from our past communication.

During discussions that I had with other expats that keep helping a lot of people in many ways (for example the columnist and co-manager of iamgreek.nl Nadia Nikolaidou) we have come to a common conclusion. We realized that except classic questions, we sometimes receive special or original questions that we cannot easily and automatically answer. For example what someone would respond to questions like:

“How are Dutch people sexually?”

“What is going on with gays in Holland? Are they really free to live normally with regard to other countries that things are more difficult?”

Time of the truth: My beloved readers, the fact that some people have moved to another country doesn’t make them necessarily experts to discuss every aspect of the family, financial and social life of this country. Often the general impression of a subject that someone may have it’s not enough for him/her to describe the whole subject in depth. So, if we have special questions we should try to find the right people to ask. Also, don’t forget how important is good timing to make a specific question. Based on this belief, me and the managers of this website decided to publish this post which includes this really interesting interview. We hope the questions were made and the answers were received in this interview to cover most of the subject of “How LGBT expats live in the Netherlands?”.

Interview with Marios Selevistas

Fani: Good evening Marios. Should we start with the introductory stuff? Will you share some personal info about you with us?

Marios: I am Marios Selevistas. I am 32 years old. I was born in Athens. The last 8 years I live in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I studied Shipping and Finance and the last 6 years I work in a shipping company.

F: How you came in the Netherlands?

M: I came 8 years ago to study here. Then I stayed to work.Read More »

Short film “In a Heartbeat”

A boy who hasn’t accepted his sexual orientation feels his heart beating fast for another boy.  He tries to ignore his heartbeat but his heartbeat is stronger and more persistent than him and it will betray him. What is the reaction of the other boy? What happens when everyone around understands that love between people of the same sex is possible? Will our boys be afraid? Will they take a step back or will they be honest with themselves and between them?

An amazing short film about a beautiful, pure love between two male teenagers. Some people say that falling in love is a choice you make but some others say that you cannot go against your heart and who you are. This story shows that things are formed for all of us quite early. We should stop going against something that already happens and especially something that could make us truly happy.

Video: “Why do we feel nostalgia?”

Do you often feel nostalgia for a specific place, for people you meet rarely or for your hometown? In the video below the emotion of nostalgia is explained and the negative but also the positive aspects of this cognitive-behavioral phenomenon are also clarified.

Nostalgia doesn’t separate us but connect us. All of us feel love, melancholia and sadness. All of us should adapt in what we have right now. Nostalgia is not a reason and a feeling of a permanent sadness but a way to feel happiness and peacefulness. Everything around us could remind us of who we are, where do we come from and where do we go. Our only mission is to live every moment consciously. We need will and  the right mood in order to build new things and create unique experiences exactly where we stand and nowhere else.

In a mental health specialist’s mind

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Quite often some of my clients would ask how I manage to do a specific activity or how I am so good at something specific, while they often don’t manage to complete properly their daily tasks. Through their questions I realize some of their deeper thoughts: They probably think that things in my life come quite easy, fast and somewhat “magically”. Quite a few times they seem to expect from me to share with them a smart idea or an amazing trick that could automatically fix everything and make their lives happier, easier and more successful.

When I respond that I don’t have any magic tricks to suggest in order them to have super fast positive results in their lives, they look at me disappointed but at the same time relieved since they realize that they are talking to a normal person and not a weird superhuman being. As time passes I will be asked again about things that most of the times could not be done by human beings but by super-heroes. Each of these moments I should clarify that our expectations from psychotherapy should be realistic and not excessive.

After this reminding note I think I should talk about some misunderstandings that already some good colleagues have tried to resolve:Read More »

How will you understand that you found your person?

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“How do you know that a relationship is different from others? How do you understand that the one and only is here or not?” a friend recently asked me. We had a full conversation about relationships (you know, women!) and how do we learn to pick right and not wrong people for partners. Before we noticed it we were to the point of the “one and only person” subject. Does one and only exist? Should we wait for him/her? And the most important: If he/she is already here, how will we know it?

I want to make clear something: I don’t believe in the theory of one and only love. It doesn’t have to do with being romantic or not, it is more a matter of statistics. There are billions of people out there so there could be billions of potential combinations, meaning people in relationships. Some fit better, others fit less and some are not compatible at all. Some of them will find their ideal partner easily and quickly while some others will be tortured enough until/maybe they will end up in a beautiful, healthy relationship. But what happens with people that will find love more than once? Is it something that they want to believe in? Did they misunderstand something? Or maybe is something else going on?

My answer to every person that falls in love deeply and honestly for more than once and they believe that they have found their “other half” is this: Everything is completely fine, there is nothing to worry about. Simply, the other half doesn’t exist. There are much more good combinations for you and you are so lucky that you found more than one during your life! You should be really happy and not worried!Read More »

Ways to “touch” love

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In Leo Buscaglia’s book “Love” it’s mentioned that love is something that is taught, learned and built slowly. Human-beings are not born knowing how to love others and actually it happens the exact opposite thing: all of us were born selfish and egocentric. If you notice a human being in the age of 1 or 2 years old you will see his/her need to have all the attention and love for himself/herself. As time passes and a child gets older he/she will learn how to share, to give, to love. The way to love never ends. Even in our adulthood we don’t stop to be “babies” that want all the love for ourselves while we simultaneously fight to learn how to share ourselves, our lives, our emotions.

Is there something that could block all this way to love? According to some health mental specialists one of the greatest obstacles to love is lack of experience and knowledge of love. In other words human-beings don’t love enough, not necessarily because we don’t want to but maybe due to the fact we don’t know how to love. We don’t know how to create experiences of love, we don’t know how to give ourselves to others. Moreover, we often believe that loving someone is a difficult and demanding procedure and we forget that because of love we could experience great moments of pleasure and happiness. If there is someone close to us who could frequently remind us that love keeps us alive and give us ideas of how we could love then maybe all of us we could be better in loving.Read More »

Notes from “Love” by Leo Buscaglia

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Leo Buscaglia is the writer of the really famous book “Living, Loving and Learning” and many other books of psychology and philosophy. During his life he tried to live with boldness, consciousness and love for life and people, exactly as he was teaching to others. Many people read his books nowadays as they consider them as useful guides of happiness and self-improvement. In his book titled “Love” he goals to analyze the nature of love in every possible way: love as an emotion, love as a cognitive phenomenon, love as a personal and social need, love as a mimicking action. Here there are some notes I kept during my reading:Read More »

Tips to rock exams!

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All of us at least once in our lives we were asked to give some exams or we are about to give an exam in the near future. Now, imagine that you have to study hard, to make clear and understandable what you read and then to keep in your mind all the necessary stuff in order to write as better as you can in the final exam. How difficult can be our preparation for an exam in order to have a positive final result? The right preparation is based on some factors that are analysed below.Read More »