This is a pretty interesting post, and the writer emailed me asking for advice about the strange actions that Arab girls seem to have with relationships.
He wrote the following,
I just wanted to randomly say I enjoy reading your blog. I admittedly found the site by searching the ‘net for advice on how to handle dating Arab girl when I myself am not Arab.
A few years ago I hit it off with a girl an old college friend introduced me to at a small gathering. We exchanged digits and found each other exchanging texts like teenagers; eventually the texts turned into 6 hour conversations over the phone, and once in a while, a discreet cup of coffee. I had developed feelings for the girl, and her, for me, but she had mentioned before that her parents were very much against her dating anyone that was not Arab. I told her I didn’t care about that, and in a heated moment, she agreed, and we started dating. The first month or two was quite fun – we experienced your typical new relationship bliss, which of course was done in secrecy, but nonetheless, quite the experience.
Near the end of the two months, she was taking a trip to visit family overseas. I had known this was coming, and it didn’t really bother me, but the trip itself seems to evoke a bit of anger and apprehension in her and we had a few little fights via Skype while she was overseas. When she came back from the middle east, she was very irritable all the time, and so I gave her space; I knew she was apprehensive about the whole thing, with her having strict parents and me being not-Arab or Muslim. Our trips to the movies and random car rides became less and less.
The emotional distance as indicated, of course, lead to her breaking up with me. I shied away from her, but she kept asking if I would stay in her life, so for the first time, I made the exception and became friends with my ex. We still had long phone conversations and texted each other constantly; she even decided to kiss me a couple of times. I still have many emails in my work email’s inbox sent over the course of a few months. There were jealous moments on both sides – me talking to other girls. her parents wanting her to meet men with the prospect of marriage in mind.
The friendship was dismantled completely in about 2.5 months, however. The thing about this girl, Miss, is that she is in her 20′s, has not completed college, but sits home playing around on her computer 4-16 hours a day. I, myself, was raised to be very different and independent, and have been so since my teen years – so this lead to some conflicting views as well. One day, we had an argument where some heated and silly words were exchanged. What I said to her left a mark, however, and even though we made up, there was still some tension there. All it took was an argument the next month to end our friendship, when she made it clear she did not want to speak to me again.
I know everything, though rather truncated and vague, sounds senseless and dramatic – especially coming from a guy – but I digress: I can be a jerk, but I am also very sentimental. I think maybe I am sending this email because it brings a heavy hearted feeling that goes well with some scotch and an Iron and Wine song.
I’m curious, though, what makes someone risk their family’s approval at the beginning of a relationship only to give up so easily? I suppose it isn’t even fair to ask such a question. While this girl was not “the one that got away” or anything, I still ponder what could have been, and notice her absence from my life is still rather… well, noticeable.
Your [usually] energetic and witty rantings/posts remind me of her at her best, and while that may not be the most flattering reason, it is what keeps me coming back. So if you took the time to read this, thanks.
Question was: “What makes someone risk their family’s approval at the beginning of a relationship only to give up so easily?”
My answer: If a girl, especially Arab girls who have lived their entire lives being raised in a very reserved culture, trying different things, even though they are wrong seem to be ok for a little while. As long as they try, then in the end, when it becomes serious they do the following:
1. Start fights or arguments that are pointless.
2. End it without any reason because if their family knew what was really going on, then it is up to the family to marry her off to some stranger or unknown relative from back home, or marry her to the one she loves only if he meets all the criteria in their list.
I don’t know what else to say, but the risk that some Arab ladies love to take is their way of living life at the edge. More of an adventure and a secret they can hide in the back of their heads to the rest of their lives.
Oh well, I am not really generalizing, but I would be lying if a bit of adventure and risk taking to try new things is not part of it.
I guess if a non-Arab really wants an Arab, is like a wolf trying to catch a young lioness cub from its parents. Picture that!