Ask Marwa: I am SICK of Dating Egyptian Men!

Date posted: April 29, 2014


This article was published in Identity Magazine – December 2013

Dear Marwa,

I’m a 24 year old Egyptian girl and I’m already sick of dating Egyptian men. My first boyfriend was a big flirt who tried to pick up foreigner girls every time he travels with his friends which I considered cheating and was a big turn off. Another one was so controlling that he wanted me to do anything he wants without even discussing it first. He also considered me as his own property, and not in a cute way. My third boyfriend was too conservative that he wanted me to change everything about me, from the way I dress to the people I talk to. I was never attracted to foreigners but at the same time I keep finding it hard to be with Egyptians.  Are all Egyptian guys the same? Should I give up on finding a good one? Or should I find out a way to deal with them and maybe try to change them?


Dear Fatma,

I have good news and bad news for you; the good news is that you are still young and you have a lot of opportunities to meet your match. The bad news is that many of the guys you will meet are victims of typical Egyptian households one way or the other. The way boys are brought up in our culture neither promotes independence nor security. Most of the problems you faced in your previous relationships are the outcome of such upbringing; your first boyfriend was an insecure little boy who needed constant reassurance that he is an attractive man. He also has no respect for women in general and pursues them in a hunter-prey manner. Your second boyfriend was also insecure and depended on your blind obedience to reassure his masculinity. Your third boyfriend also is insecure about his ability to satisfy you and keep you in his life without imprisoning you behind social traditions. They were all scared! The three of them needed to damage your self-esteem to be able to control you! They all thought they needed to control you to keep you in the relationship.

Egyptian or not, when you meet a man, get to know him first as a person! Get to know his thoughts, beliefs, and opinions by interacting with him in his daily life. Meet his friends, talk about work, and exchange stories and anecdotes about childhood and parents. Before you invest time and emotions in a relationship invest time and effort in a pure sincere friendship with that person – a friendship that has the potential to grow into a steady relationship or would remain a great reliable friendship. Only then, you will be able to save yourself from more frustration and heartache. This way, you will also give him the chance to get to know what kind of person you are; he will know that you do not need to be leashed to a man to behave well and that you willingly and consciously chose to be in a relationship with him.

In any relationship there will always be issues to work out and creases to smoothen but do not waste your time on a man whose actions and words are not aligned with your needs. No one changes; a flirt is always a flirt, a control-freak is always a control-freak, and a conservative will always be a conservative. Your three heartbreaks could have been easily avoided if you took your time getting to know each one of them as a friend first. Give time time, dear Fatma!

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