Arab parents have their own points of view when it comes to relationships. Sometimes, they think it’s for your best because it’s good to date and to know how to deal with a partner.
Sometimes they think it’s too early for you, and there’s nothing to rush about. Everything depends on the partner you choose!
They may be happy, supportive, sarcastic and laugh about it! They also might be very severe, strict or even ask you to end things quickly.
So, how would they react when you tell them? Allow me to demonstrate a few reactions we can all relate to!
1. The interrogation: "Who is that boy/girl? Where do they come from? Who are their parents?"
The famous 3 Ws.
Parents always want to know about your partner’s background, and if it doesn’t “sound” good, (I emphasize on the word “SOUND”), just forget about them because there’s no way out!
2. The detailed screening: "Where did they study? How MANY degrees do they have? Do they work?"
It doesn't end there. They also might ask how much money they make to check if they’re suitable for you.
The studying/working field is also too important for our parents. They want us to end up with a well-educated partner (yeah, right, mech kermel yfachkho 3al jara).
3. The security screening: "Do they have a house/a car?"
It is VERY possible that our partner might not have one of those! We are not getting married, it’s just dating, so no need to panic!
4. The commitment issues: "Are they willing to be fully committed to you?"
Dear beloved parents, it’s just dating, we are not getting married!
We’re just getting to know each other. If anything is serious, we’ll manage things out, with YOU of course!
5. The unavoidable warning: "Bas todharo, ou3a ysir chii!"
Our mothers be like: “ana ba3ref chou mrabbeye, ma tkhalloune ez3al menkoun!”
Our parents care too much about our PRIDE and want us to stay like 2 to 5 meters away from our partner.
6. The doubts: "Akid, manno kharjik/kharjak”
Our parents are sometimes judgmental and think that we are dating some kind of random person we met on the street (not that there's anything wrong with that).
But we'd like them to know that we are strong and responsible enough to make our own decisions, even if we get it wrong the first few times, it's the growing pains that teach us life's most valuable lessons.
To quote the famous Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran: "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself."