Living in an eventful region such as the Middle East makes everything more adventurous and adrenaline-induced.
Dating is one of those exciting experiences that teach us a lesson about conquering hardships to reach a happy ending ... or so we may think.
Here's a walk through a few struggles when dating in the region:
1. The alibis
If you're ready to go out on a date with a guy your parents don't know about, load up the list of friends you're going to use in case your parents ask for your whereabouts.
"Eh mama ana rayha 3end rfi2te sarah la nedros," (Yes mom, I'm going to my friend's place to study).
2. The hiding game
Whatever you do, DON'T go near places your close relatives or neighbors might find you at.
Because the interrogation will begin with the "Oh, what are you doing here?" and "Who are you with?" before the news reach your parents... who will do further investigations.
3. The F.B.I. questioning
Somehow, news slipped and your parents found out about your dating life.
Prepare yourself for a series of ongoing questions till your parents uncover every single detail about their future daughter/son-in-law.
"Eben meen?" (Whose kid are they?)
"Men wen?" (Where are they from?)
"Chou byeshteghil?" (What is their job?)
"3endo bet?" (Do they have a house?)
"Fi siyara?" (Do they have a car?)
4. The social media fiasco
Your selfie with your new boo might look amazing... however, posting it on social media might cause an overflow of "mabrook" and "aywa" by close relatives and friends who will automatically assume you're getting married.
5. The pre-marital touch
Hugging and kissing publicly might sound romantic and cute in western romcoms, but in the Arab world, it's "haram" or worthy of judgmental stares.
And if you're caught red-handed by a family member, make sure you have the engagement ring prepared.
6. The dating cycle
With the power granted to us by the internet, you can easily stalk anyone you're interested in these days.
You can go as back as 2011 without seeming fishy.