You can tell a lot about a guy based on how he treats a woman when he meets her for the first time, and you can tell even more about him if you're hijabi.
Many guys - including those who are Muslim - maintain stereotypes about hijabis and reflect these stereotypes in the way they treat a hijabi when they first meet her.
So, dudes, take note! Here are eight annoying things many guys do when meeting a hijab-wearing woman:
1. Calling you a "hajje"
I don't know about you, but this makes me cringe every single time.
Many Lebanese guys are used to calling every hijabi they meet a hajje, regardless of how young she is and whether or not she's performed Hajj yet.
It's not about the statement per se, but more about the condescending tone they use while saying it.
2. Centering the entire conversation around the fact that you wear the hijab
They reference your hijab over and over again and show little interest in the other aspects of your life.
As journalist Saba Ali writes in her piece in The Washington Post, "Sometimes a girl just wants to talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones."
3. Addressing you extra formally
They joke around with every other girl on the table, but when it comes to you, it's always a formal conversation.
To be fair, it might be well-intended when it comes out of respect for your hijab. However, more often than not, it is simply a reflection of their misconceptions regarding hijabis, which they assume are always shy and serious.
4. Assuming you want to put a ring on it right off the bat
There's no denying that many hijabi young women seek serious relationships, but that doesn't mean we're foreign to the concept of talking and casually getting to know a prospective partner. And it certainly does not mean we will pressure a guy into a commitment before we're both ready for it.
5. Treating you like a religious guru
Wearing the hijab does not mean we have reached exemplary piety, but it is rather a single step towards that goal.
However, many assume that we are experts on everything Islam-related, and for those of us struggling with their faith, this can be extremely uncomfortable.
6. Getting surprised if you turn out to be "cool"
Because, apparently, having a fun personality and wearing a hijab are mutually exclusive.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but saying things like "You're pretty cool for a hijabi" really doesn't sound much like a compliment.
7. Obviously censoring themselves
They sometimes alter the way they talk and behave and make sure you know they're doing it. For instance, a guy would apologize to you after cussing, or like in one particularly awkward experience of mine, ask for your permission before unbuttoning his shirt. *Cue infinite eye-roll*
Choosing a certain lifestyle doesn't mean that we expect the people around us to do the same or that we're only friends with conservative people. We are not God's appointed Supreme Court Justices on earth, people!
8. Treating you like you're better than other girls
They tend to place you at a pedestal simply because you're hijabi. But frankly, many of us are against being compared to other girls and watching guys degrade non-hijabis in attempt to praise us.