It’s kind of an obsession we have in the Arab community, well one of many at least, but curiosity over each others’ love lives drives afternoon tea gossip with Arab mothers around the globe. However, one that seems to strike everyone, even baffle them is the fact that Arab women will date outside of their race. For Arabs living in North America and Europe (where the majority of the population is white) many Arab women (and men) will opt for dating a white guy. Why? Then again why not?
For many Arab women the choice to date non-Arabs comes from a variety of reasons, mainly the fact that they’re attracted to that person on a physical, emotional and mental level. But when eavesdropping on female conversations regarding dating Arab men, other reasons come into play. So what confuses Arab mothers around the world is why wouldn’t their Arab daughter want to be with a person that shares her culture, traditions, values and language. While that shared culture can be great, it can be the reason women hold back from an Arab-Arab relationship.
Having dated both Arab and white men there are looming concerns when it comes to dating Arab guys. Dating outside your ethnicity often means you don’t have to worry about adhering to outdated cultural norms. “Well if you’ve been physical with me, how do I know you haven’t been physical with other dudes?”
It’s where the joke of Arab women saying “enta awal wahad fi hayati” comes from, Arab women feel the need to lie regarding their romantic history in order to make Arab men feel special… the first and only one. Having been with another person makes you damaged goods, and while not every man carries these backwards ideologies, many still do (see the Scoop Empire comments).
When dating outside the Arab society and even diving into a more liberal white society, Arab women don’t have to face judgement, lie about their history, or pretend to be a delicate flower that hasn’t experienced life, or worry about overshadowing an Arab man’s ego. Again we’re not saying that Arab men are the scum of the earth, but many still hold traditional expectations that no longer align with Arab women’s needs in a relationship. Is it so terrible that an Arab woman just like everyone else wants to feel on edge with the person she’s dating?
Originally published Scoop Empire May 21, 2016