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Posts Tagged ‘Dating’

Reality on “The Week”

Before I start, I would like to give my “thank you” to Emma Williams (from The Week) for writing an article about Dating and for including my views in it.

I think the article depicts the true state of dating and getting married in Oman, so check it out tomorrow or you can read it online at (http://www.theweek.co.om/). I also attached a .pdf file of the article here The Week

Oh, and B.. please don’t forward this to all your friends saying “This is my wife”.. There is a reason why I’m being anonymous.. :-p..

Those with slow internet, here:

The Date Debate: Dating in the City
by Emma Williams
theweek@apexstuff.com

Picture the scene. You are in a popular restaurant in Muscat when you notice a beautiful Omani woman dressed up in her best abaya but alone in one corner of the restaurant texting  away on her phone. She finishes writing her message and places her phone back on the table. Moments later a young Omani man, who is sitting on the opposite side of the restaurant to the woman, picks up his phone after a text tone goes off loudly. He smiles and starts replying; the woman meanwhile sips her drink and toys with her pasta.
Maria, an expatriate from the UK working in Oman, thought this was just a coincidence until a second after the young man put down his phone, the girl’s loud door bell style ring-tone announced she had a reply. The messages continued throughout the meal until the girl paid her bill and left, the youth following minutes later. After raising the incident with some local friends of hers, Maria was surprised when they said these types of encounters were becoming increasingly common as young men and women try to date or get to know each other without risking damage to their family name or distress to their traditional parents.
‘Reality-in-Oman’ is a young and popular Omani blogger who is married and thinks there are a number of problems facing young people in Oman when it comes to finding a partner. “One problem is that dating is looked down on. Good girls don’t date and good boys never marry girls who have been in previous relationships. The idea of absolute purity and innocence seems to be most dominant when it comes to selecting your future partner, which is not  possible,” she said.
Reality-in-Oman’ feels that it is a lack of communication and understanding between young people and their parents that cause problems for those trying to date. She finds the kind of secret relationships like the one described above to be unfortunate. She said, “Sometimes the hardest part is not finding
love, but finding a healthy relationship that allows two people to grow.
“Once love is found, young people face another huge obstacle that they have to pass, which is presenting that love to their families in the hope of receiving a positive response. Instead, many couples are faced with angry parents who
reject the marriage proposal. Hence, you find couples looking for ways to deceive their parents into  believing that the guy just happened to see the girl somewhere and fell in love.”

—- Emphasis mine, if you want to read the rest, then go through the pain of downloading the pdf file.

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After posting an article on dating in Oman, and after reading Dhofari Gucci post on “Internet Dating“, I wanted to write a more comprehensive review over the situation.

What I will try to do here is not to state whether dating is good or bad, but to tackle the issue from a more objective point of view rather than a judgmental one.

There are a couple of points to consider here:

First: Past vs. Present
The difference between the past and the present is that in the past, women would get married at the age of 14 (and above) and men would get married at 17 (and above). The act of marrying your children off was such a sacred act that very few girls would reach the age of 16 without having a fiancee.
Today, you have kids from both sexes that are between the ages of 15 to 25 (and above) that are unmarried for family, educational, and financial reasons. So, the issue is.. if people reach their prime in sexual needs at the age of 18, where would you put all their sexual frustrations? If talking to a guy, dating, and even masturbation is a taboo… where does all their sexual needs (which are normal human needs) go?

I don’t blame girls that believe guys who tell them over the chat room or the phone that they are in love. These girls are in desperate need to fulfill their emotional desires, and the guys are in desperate need to fulfill their sexual desires (or vice versa).

Also, the big difference between the past and the present is the sensitive situation women are put in. In the past, if a woman gets married and it doesn’t work out, then its okay. She gets divorced and after a few months, she is married again. Now, women are in a difficult situation. She is labeled a “divorcee”, secluded from society, and people looked down on her. A woman tries her best to chose that one person who will be good to her for the rest of her life. Therefore, looking for a suitable partner becomes her responsibility too. Women prefer to know their partners at some extent before marrying them.

Second: Marriage Obstacles
There are many women and men that desire to get married, but they are faced with obstacles that premarital sex is soo much easier to do than get married. This is one of those serious situations we are facing here in Oman. Marriage sometimes is not delayed for financial reasons. Sometimes the guy “is not good enough” for the family. His heritage, his lineage, or his level of education does not meet the parent’s requirements no matter how much the girl feels about the guy.

We don’t live in a culture where someone is only valued based upon their morals and good intentions. No. Some people would say, “you can’t blame the parents for wanting the best for their kids”, well.. my response is “Can you blame the kids for wanting to fulfill their needs?”.  How many guys and girls have fought to be together but all tries were in vain? Who are we to judge them later on for ending up dating and having premarital sex?

Third: media
Dhofari Gucci mentioned the media’s influence over dating in Oman. It is very true that it feeds young adults with sexual imagery. However, does the problem lie on the media only?
If you look around Oman, and the Gulf for that matter then tell me.. what do young adults do? What other options do they have? Where can they direct their energy other than it being suppressed into massive sexual desires?

The activities that happen in Muscat are what? Girls walking around the Shatii or driving their cars over and over again at the Qurum area along with the guys. (if you can see the headlights flashing and hear the honks from time to time, it means.. helooo there! or check me out!). If playing sports is somewhat seen as a waste of time for girls and sometimes as a taboo so that they do not injure their hymens. I mean, not all young people are interested in going to Quran lessons (with all respect), or participating in poetry events.

My final conclusion:

When I was in college in the US, I used to have friends that were conservative protestants. They also believed that premarital sex  and inappropriate male to female behavior was unacceptable. However, you might wonder, how were these young adults able to avoid acting upon their desires in a society that not only it does not condemn it, but encourages it in many instances. Well, these kids did a hell lot of community work. Volunteering and participating in group activities as much as they can. They also married young: around the age of 22.

However, they also don’t ban girls and guys from having friends of the opposite sex. I think this teaches a very valuable lesson, that you can look at the opposite sex as just a friend with no sexual connotations.

To be honest, here.. many of the men and women that are unmarried (even married in some instances) are seen as potential sexual partners.

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Dating scenes in Oman

Many wonder about the dating scenes in Oman between our younger generation. Well, about 60% of the dating happens in Universities and Colleges! Many of the students that attend these colleges come from conservative families. However, in any case, there is a pattern that you will notice happening on the dating scene.

Guys:

Some guys come to the college and have never seen uncovered girls (not wearing face cover, or the head scarf). Being sexually suppressed, they start to spot a potential victim. The whole thing begins with them trying to be nice and funny (sometimes the scene is just sad! But some girls still manage to giggle!). After they get the signs of OKAY, which are usually indicated through smiles and giggles, they start by asking help in assignments. Then, the guy starts telling the girl that she is different the rest and that he feels sooooooo comfortable around her…. Etc (you get the point).

Girls:

Well, I must say that girl’s transformation is the most predictable of all. A girl comes to college and finds many boys that she is not used to seeing. Coming from a conservative family, she “rejects” the idea of even talking to a guy. She gives her “stares” of disapproval and gossips with her “similar mentality” friends about those “sluts” that talk with guys. Now, of course these girls would brag about how they are better than those “sluts” and that they are the “good apples” that are left. After the first month, these girls will find that they cannot help but smile whenever guys try to be funny.

Then, the transformation begins… you start seeing signs of make up on their faces. The head scarf becomes smaller (not bellow the chest). The abaya’s become tighter. After another month, the head scarf becomes loose and the silky (straightened) hair starts to show. All of this includes the smiles and giggles they have been sending towards the guys. Then, girls starts having that special someone in their lives that they talk to every night. Ohh, and yes, these are the girls that start with wearing clothes under their abayas and end up with undergarments under it only!

So here is the dating scene:

In a college, the girl and the boy look for a place that they “think” is invisible to everyone else. So, they might chose the library and go behind the book shelves. If the library is quite, you will be able to hear the giggles. Otherwise, that “invisible” place in not so… invisible. The guy might start touching the girl on her hand, then as the relationship advances, the more touching occurs. Then, all signs of compassion and love between the two appear in public. She leans on him, puts her arms around him.. etc. The difference is, it is not always love and compassion. Guys in this country like to brag about “how many” girls they have. They usually have more than one!

Then, as any relationship, things start to advance. Girls start attending college even when they don’t have classes (parents think they are studying very hard.. well.. they are working hard on something!). However, they are picked up from college by their guys. God knows where they go, but I’m guessing they just stay in the car and the guy gets some action. Once they are done, they guy drops the girl back at school.

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