Sunday, October 16, 2011

My response to "The problem with marrying the first person you meet"

In a recent post post blogger Naddoush contrasts attitudes to relationships in the Middle Eastern culture with that of Denmark's (and the rest of Europe). She referenced a previous post of mine to use as an example of the problem of the way the eastern culture approaches relationships.  First of all Nadoush, I'm a fan of your blog so I appreciate the shoutout.  Second of all,  I disagree with the implied overall conclusion that the West's way is more superior.

My blog talks about my own personal experiences- making conclusions about the norms of cultures and societies was something I intended to stay away from doing, but since we're on the subject....

I'm a practicing Muslim and I'm American.  I have many non-Muslim American friends who approach relationships differently, as well as Muslim friends that choose to live a lifestyle similar to mine.  Between all of them I have witnessed a wide range of relationship trials and tribulations.  With that said, I don't think my parents approach when it comes to teaching (or lack of) their daughter about men and relationships was the best way to go about it (although I have to give my mother credit for coming a long way since the first time I told her about a boy); however, I definitely don't think the Western culture's approach is in the interest of women.

I have girlfriends that have relationships with men that are detrimental to their own interests and mental well-being.  Being "Western" I've seen girls be in a relationship for too long-and yes there is such thing.  They're meeting all the man's needs without him ever giving her what she really wants-a REAL commitment.  Why buy the cow when you're getting the milk for free?  Sometimes it works out in the end, but many times it doesn't....and what do you think that does to a girl's self-esteem, confidence, and level of standards? This doesn't make her wiser and smarter, this results in heavy-ass baggage that she's going to carry on in the next relationship.  I've seen it!

How about the belief that just because you're a single girl it's ok to open yourself up to all forms of male attention because you're just "having fun".  This homegirl doesn't help you understand, become wiser, or grow as a person.  This is DANGEROUS!

Most detrimental of all is when girls date guys that they don't believe they would ever marry or know would never marry them.  Sounds crazy right? but girls do it all the time!!!!!  Girlfriend have some respect for yourself and save it for someone who deserves it.

I also must add that me being single isn't because of the way my "middle eastern culture" approaches relationships.  There's nothing wrong with having standards and expectations for yourself that don't result from having had 20 boyfriends and played house with 5 of them-but rather stem from your faith, beliefs, and culture that you were brought up in.  A couple of my friends married the first and only guy they were ever serious about and they're in the most googoo gaga awww-inducing relationships I've ever witnessed.  It's better to be single and have some self-respect than to be dating because you give your digits out to every guy whose "good enough."

In conclusion, having had previous relationships is not essential to a loving, healthy marriage.  Sometimes it could even result in qualities that could be harmful to a relationship such as lower self-esteem, being paranoid, mistrustful, and just plain confused.  Just watch Sex and the City!


  1. You made some good points, just because a person dates that doesn't mean they are more capable of handling a relationship than a person who courts (that is what I am calling the middle eastern way) There are good and bad ways to do things, I personally wouldn't agree to marry a guy after meeting him once but I also wouldn't want to date a guy and then live with him for 2 years and then MAYBE I will marry him. I just don't think that is any better either.

  2. wintersamar you pretty much hit the nail on the head! I don't believe that the norms of one culture is superior to the norms of another-somewhere in between there there's a balance. Just because one method is flawed is doesn't mean that the opposite extreme is better. "Courting" is a good term to use

  3. Very true...Yeah, I think "courting" is the best way to describe it. I also like to call them inquires!