Dating an Arab

The other day Polly made a post about some observations about dating a Russian. And I have many-a-time discussed with other people what’s unique to dating an Arab. Much of this is stuff I bond over weekly with a friend dating a man from a different Arab country than my man. Thus I have decided to stereotype all Arabs in this list of things that happen when you date an Arab….

He will promise you all sorts of wonderful things. To take you on a great vacation. To have bought you an amazingly perfect gift. To pick up onions on his way home. To clean up the mess he made. Of course he will do it, of course! And you will imagine how wonderful it will be when he does these things. And then… many times… he will not.

He will be extremely generous. Although he doesn’t do half the things he promises, he will then sometimes surprise you with his bouts of generosity. He will go out of his way to get tickets to a concert for your friends. He will show up at your house with a box of water that you needed. He will cook for you, and then wash all of the dishes. He will drive you to another country to get your visa sorted. He will pay for everything that he possibly can pay for, even if he shouldn’t.

He will be a momma’s boy. I have yet to meet an Arab who doesn’t adore his mother. She could be awful for all anyone else knows, but her son will speak poetry about her and drop whatever he’s doing to run to her aid. He will also talk to her considerably more than any men I’ve met before. Sometimes you will help him come to a decision, and he will immediately need to call his mother to share the news. She is queen of his world.

He will be late. But it won’t be his fault. I always like to reminisce about how my boyfriend was two hours late for our first date. He told me he’d be a little late. Then he told me an hour late. Then he told me another hour late. But it wasn’t his fault! He had to drive his friends to Oman to renew their visas! The traffic! The border patrol! His friends!

You will become extremely sensitive to racism and sexism. It’s amazing how subtle, but significant are the different ways that he and I get treated. When we’re in airports, I wait twenty minutes for him to be interviewed by passport control. When we’re in bars, I get looked at oddly for drinking as much as him. When I’m watching movies, there are neither Arabs nor women portrayed for us to relate to.

You will notice your word choice and language usage. I, for example, notice that I use extremely big words when I’m pissed off. For whatever reason, my vocabulary becomes PhD. level when I’m shouting in genuine emotion. And now I have to stop myself because if I want to get my exclamatory point across, it needs to be in less complex English.

You will become overly emotional. I suppose this is possibly true of all relationships and perhaps it seems unique to him because it’s been my longest relationship. But I have felt some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows while I’ve been with him. I’m not necessarily an emotional person, yet in this relationship, I’ve teared up from extreme happiness, and sobbed from extreme sadness. It is truly a roller coaster of emotions, in all the glory of that cliche.

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6 Responses to Dating an Arab

  1. pollyheath says:

    “You will become extremely sensitive to racism and sexism” One I forgot to add. I also definitely feel that in the Russian culture.

    A really interesting read, I’m glad you stole the post!

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  3. An interesting post – thanks for sharing your observations with us!

  4. Liz says:

    The way different cultures are is intriguing; what would be considered annoying most of the time in America sounds kind of normal and understandable over there. :p

    • mmarinaa says:

      Yes. So much yes! For example, from the start, he used to text and call me faaaaar too often for my American tastes. And I freaked out about it and asked all my (American, haha) friends if that was normal. And surprisingly, most of them were like “Well, he’s not American, so I think it’s cool and you should just let it be….” (Surprisingly because I didn’t expect such acceptance and tolerance. But I guess I choose my friends well, haha.)

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