I never expected ever to start dating an Egyptian man. My man was an American citizen, but he adhered to Arab culture and religion. For example, some Arab cultures believe that if a woman goes to her boyfriend’s house to meet his parents and family, the family believes that the relationship is severe and that the couple is planning to get married.
I did not want to marry the Egyptian man I dated, and the trouble in our relationship started after I visited his parents. They looked shrewdly at me, sizing me up to see if I’d make a good wife for their son Amir. After we left, Amir joked about his parents, assuring me that he didn’t follow their old-fashioned ideas but that it was better to accept what they say without protesting.
Amir reassured me that he just wanted to date and see where it would take us. I agreed, relieved. But after a few months, I noticed habits of Amirs and his feelings about women, which made me step back and think about what I was getting myself into.
Go With Your Gut Instinct, Not Your Heart
I have heard horror stories about dating an Egyptian. Some of them are true, but some are entirely made up. For example, an Egyptian man living in America is not a scammer but is often a successful entrepreneur.
A year ago, I started dating a Jamaican man. He was a lot of fun to be with on a date and even better in bed. He laughed all the time, and his perspective on life was not to take anything too seriously. His philosophy helped me, an American woman who often works too hard and gets stressed out a lot. So I was intrigued with the idea of dating an Egyptian man so I could get another perspective about my American culture from the outside.
Amir, it ran out, was more materialistic than most Americans I knew. He cherished his car, he liked to buy things, and gave me a lovely ankle bracelet and a cashmere sweater, among other things. While I appreciated his generosity, I wondered about his priorities – capitalism or romance.
Egyptian Men Have Old-Fashioned Ideas About Women
According to the 2017 International Men and Gender Equality Study in the Middle East and North Africa, they found that only one in four Egyptian men believed in gender equality. The study pertained to men living in Egypt, not America, though. However, though an American citizen, Amir had some expectations that I wasn’t comfortable with.
One time he came to my apartment for dinner, I prepared. He enjoyed the meal and then got up from the table, walked into the living room, and turned non the TV. I didn’t mind him leaving and not offering to help clean the dishes so much. What irked me a little was when he said, “After you clean the dishes and take out the trash, we’ll go out and see that movie I talked about.”
It wasn’t exactly what he said, but the way he said it. He assumed I’d clean the dishes and take out the trash. Instead, when he said it, he was channel surfing with the TV remote, looking at the TV, speaking at me rather than speaking to me.
I returned from taking out the garbage and told him I was tired and wanted to go to sleep alone. I needed time to think. Amir then asked me if he had done something wrong. I didn’t feel like answering, so I just waved it off. He looked like he wanted to come to bed with me, but I apologized and said I just needed sleep.
I liked Amir a lot. My heart told me I could explain to him that although I wasn’t a feminist, he should still not make assumptions about my role in the relationship. But my gut was telling me that I was going up against an ancient year culture that hadn’t changed much over two millennia. What did his mother and father think about my role in a relationship or a marriage? Was I supposed to stay home and raise children and keep the house clean while he went out and worked? I need time to think about it.
Once I was dating a cop who came from a similar background as mine. Yet the cop had his own set of expectations and believed that when he came home from work, I was to provide all his comforts, such as taking off his shoes, cooking, and cleaning. This occurred a few months after we started dating, and although the cop assumed we’d stay in a long-term relationship, I was not yet there in my mind. So there was no “please” or “thank you” when I did things for him. At the end, which is all he needed to say, and I’d be his.
I enjoy doing extraordinary things for men. I’m a good cook, and I am easy to get along with. I never put my needs above my partner’s needs, and I don’t like to be selfish. This is why I have so many friends and have been with so many good men.
I was once dating a cowboy, a charming, older man who owned a ranch in Tennessee. He was a gentleman, opened doors for me, surprised me with gifts, even coked for me now and then. I think of him when I meet people like Amir or the cop I dated.
Amir is a dashing, handsome man who has likely been with many women. He has a nice car, and his house is spectacular. But, what Amir has in material things, he lacks warmth and selflessness.
For the first three months, we were together, I marveled at his ability to sense what I wanted and made sure he did it for me. But when he began to see, I was enamored with him, his sexuality, and his attention to me, he started to slip. That’s when I saw the honest Amir come out.
I didn’t mind him flirting now and then, but the last time I caught him, his hand was inside a woman’s dress, between her legs. She moved closer to him as he stroked her pussy. I called him out on it later, and he shrugged and told me it was a former girlfriend, but that was no excuse.
That was when I broke it off with Amir. His pleas to get me back included that his mother liked me and wanted me to be part of the family. Amir didn’t see that was the last thing I wanted.
My experience dating an Egyptian man was a negative one. But a month later, I dated another man from Egypt, Rafael, and had some of the best experiences of my life.