7 Arab Men Tell Us Their Relationship Deal-breakers

This is what they really want

Dating in the Arab world doesn’t come without its obstacles. For many young Arabs, it’s a part of life that’s often kept a secret, in fear of what their parents might think.

Being a taboo subject, the intricacies of dating are often left undiscussed and become muddled with their parent’s expectations and what their deal breakers are. We’ve all heard tales of parents getting in the way of a blossoming relationship because someone wasn’t rich enough, smart enough, or pretty enough (whatever that means).

So we’re often left to wonder, from the perspective of young Arab men, what are their personal deal-breakers? We reached out to seven young Arabs to get some insight on their top deal-breakers:

Karim, Palestinian, 23
“I’m not willing to have a partner who flexes on me and other people that he views as weaker than him.”

Bilel, Libyan, 27
“I dated a stripper once. I had to stop seeing her though. I was trying to pray and her lifestyle was far from religious. It was fun but not aligned with the person I wanted to be.”

Ali, Jordanian, 26
“One of my deal breakers is if my partner would be pessimistic towards life, people, family and everyone in general. I wouldn’t want to be with someone cynical in how they go about their lives, instead I hope for a partner that shares my love for life, I believe that that would carry over in their behavior in how they treat others (myself included) and how they deal with any type of issues that come up in life.”

Hamza, Algerian, 21
“I wouldn’t date someone who puts their own picture as their phone wallpaper.”

Ahmed, Saudi, 25
“I wouldn’t want to be with someone who forgets or disregards their heritage or views it as a barrier or something negative in their life. What I mean by that is someone who is resentful of their background. Whether it’s their language, dialect, tradition. It’s okay to choose not to partake but being resentful is a redline. Now, it is different when someone’s definition/experience of heritage has had a negative effect on them in terms of their development and their rights. That’s a different ball game. But I say this because I notice different Arabs from different Arab countries, almost always the rich bourgeoisie, who carry some sort of resentment towards their heritage and view it as second class.”

Amine, Tunisian, 21
“For me, the top deal breaker in a relationship is not being ready. You need to be in a good place with yourself, confident, in order to truly be able to share something with the other person and not just make them fill an emotional void. Unfaithfulness is also something I hate and wouldn’t tolerate in a partner. I couldn’t date someone who’s self-centered or narrow-minded as I don’t feel it’s possible to build a relationship with someone who’s not interested in what you have to say or who won’t be able to put themselves in your shoes and see where you are coming from before forming an opinion.”

Ahmed, Egyptian, 28
“I wouldn’t date a woman if she has a problem with my religion. Like, it’s a problem if she won’t let me raise my kids as Muslim. Or if she’s mean to people in general, cause then you start to feel like they’re faking being kind to you.”

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