7 GUY TYPES TO AVOID
Interested in that fine fella over there? Stand back and proceed with caution…
It’s great to fall in love. Any fool would tell you that. But let’s get real. In our part of the world, there’s only so little room for trial and error when it comes to relationships. We don’t get the liberty of playing the field until we figure out what we’re looking for, or dating that cute guy who works at the video store ‘just for fun’.
No, we don’t get many chances. And unfortunately, we don’t have too many options. In fact, we’re often left to pondder over and make do with what gets thrown our way, whether it’s that guy at work who’s adamantly pursuing you or the invisible man who spied you at your cousin’s wedding – the one who’s due in your parents’ living room in exactly 20 minutes.
Indeed, we know how complicated ‘dating’ à la Amman can be. And in terms of deeming whether or not a man is worthy of your affection, it’s not always black or white – it’s more like a muddled shade of grey. Which is why we’ve decided to dissect, starting right here on this page, men from all walks of Arab life. Men who are no doubt still recognnisable to even you married ladies. And no, they’re not just the obvious dead-end guys – some are men otherwise regarded (by your grandmother and most of your relatives) as ‘marriage material’. Now aren’t you glad you have the wise women at VIVA to help set you straight?
GUY TO AVOID # 1
Who he is: The successful PhD from abroad who doesn’t have the time (or connections) to meet Arab women while hustling a 48-hour work week in New Jersey.
Spot him: In your living room, in a suit, sipping coffee between his mum and aunt while they eye you up and down.
Will it work? To know this, you must first understand and fully appreciate where he’s coming from. You see, for this lonely guy who, let’s face it, holds a less-than-exciting position in some obscure suburb in the US, what could be bettter than going back to the homeland to take his pick from a line-up of wholesome girls assembled by his auntie? So at Christmas, or summer, or whenever he can afford to take time off work, he jets to Amman and does the rounds. Since he’s most likely looking for a simple (and speedy) match, you should only entertain the notion if you’re interested in something along the same lines. You have to be careful and think this one through. Don’t be swayed by the numerous degrees and the ticket to freedom (no pun intended).
How to deal: If you don’t make auntie’s shortlist, you don’t even have to worry about it. But if you do have the honoour of meeting him (note the sarcasm) our best advice is to be yourself. Yes, you want to make a good impression, but you should also stay true to your character. Above all, don’t make any rash decisions. Keep in mind that he’s probably showing you his best side – there may be a lot more that lurks beneath the surface.
GUY TO AVOID # 2
The Party Animal (also known as The Player)
Who he is: Your bar buddy. He calls you at all hours of the night, does the club rounds with you, flirts with you... but never seems to make the next move.
Spot him: Whispering flirtatiously in your ear at Fez.
Will it work? In a word, no. Now, we know what you’re thinking: «But I don’t mind the partying type; I like to party myself!» But the sad truth is he probably doesn’t share your view. Sure, he may like you. A lot. But when it comes time to ‘settle down’ and get married, nine times out of 10 the object of your wild affection won’t choose you. Why? Because he’s still Arab, and his idea of ‘wife material’ has nothing to do with the dozens of hot girls he knew in his clubbing days. Yes, it’s harsh and unfair, and downright degrading, but until this double standard changes, you’re bettter off not getting tangled up in his web, no matter how sweet and into you he seems. If clubbing in Amman is your scene, you’re better off leaving your heart at home.
How to deal: Okay, we know… you have a crush. There’s nothing wrong with hope, right? Well, not to sound all revolutionary, but think about it. Is a guy like this really worth the effort? There’s a reason they’re called players
– they play with people’s emotions, and then dispose of them easily. Is that the sort of man you want to build a family with? Not to mention that he obviously doesn’t have much respect for women if he treats them differently based on how he views them. Our advice is to hold out for a guy with better intentions.
GUY TO AVOID # 3
The ‘Distant’ Cousin
Who he is: Erm, your guy cousin. But to be honest, you never really knew each other, unless you count that time a group of you played hide and seek at Khalo Hadi’s house during Eid in 1987.
Spot him: At your next family gathering.
Will it work? Okay, now this one’s tricky. There are a lot of dynamics involved, namely health concerns, cultural implications, personal values, family politics, etc, that will all intertwine to deem whether or not this is a suitable match. For some people, marrying a cousin or distant relative aligns perfectly with their ideals and morals, but for others (and some entire cultures) the prospect is unheard of. In a nutshell, it all boils down to your personal beliefs and values.
How to deal: Again, tricky. The main concern here is to avoid conflict and sticky situations at all costs. The last thing you need is a family feud, or at the very best, awkward moments at your cousin Dina’s wedding. If you aren’t sure it’ll pan out (read: one or both of you isn’t completely convinced) it’s best not to even go there.
GUY TO AVOID # 4
The Dead-End Dude
Who he is: A Christian, and you’re Muslim – or vice versa. Or any guy with some characteristic that may pose a problem to your family.
Spot him: Everywhere. Not only does he work with you, he’s in your group of friends. You can’t seem to shake him off, even if you try!
Will it work? My first inclination is to say, See headline above. Sadly, as perfect as this guy seems, he has an unshakeable quality that you can’t get around, unless you (or he, or both of you) are willing to make some serioous sacrifices. The sacrifices range in severity depending on what the obstacle is. It can be a matter as minor as becoming more open-minded or as life-altering as changing one’s religion and potentially losing friends and famiily as a result. Now if you and he decide to work things out, whatever it takes, then more power to you. But if it’s clear that there’s no solution in sight, you’re better off ending things before they even start.
How to deal: Proceed with caution. First, you must do some serious thinking. Is this an obstacle you both can manage? Will you have to sacrifice your family, your lifestyle, your faith? And is he worth it? Open communicattion is crucial – there’s nothing worse, in this situation, than not being on the same page, which means you must both be in agreement on expectations and where this is headed.
GUY TO AVOID # 5
The Mama’s Boy (also known as The Homebody)
Who he is: The 30-something ‘man’ who still lives with his parents, enjoying all the free perks: mum’s cooking, no rent and 24-hour laundry service. Think Failure to Launch… minus Matthew McConaughey’s hot looks, of course!
Spot him: At home, in striped pyjamas and an undershirt, watching Star Academy whilst his mum peels fruit for him.
Will it work? Sure, if you have no problem picking up where mama left off. And rest assured that his parents (or at least his mum) will almost always come first. But Mama’s Boy is not to be confused with just any single man who lives with his parents – heck, that would rule out the whole population! Rather, he is a particular breed of stay-at-home son – the kind who is attached to his mother, but not in a good way.
One thing’s for certain, and it’s that this guy has everything handed to him on a silver platter. He’s not used to rejection of any kind, despite his rather pudgy mid-section and receding hairline. But before you go feeling sorry for him, remember that he’s got enough self-confidence to rule the world, due to the fact that since he was born, his mum and every female relative in his life have seen the sun shining out of his… pyjamas!
How to deal: Well, unless you somehow manage to fly through the window of his parents’ living room, you really have no way of meeting him. Until, of course, you catch his fancy at some sort of function, where you’ll see him
whispering to his mum. Then all you’ll have to do is be gregarious (or answer in the affirmative, if you aren’t interested) when she sidles up to you on the dance floor and asks if you’re promised to anyone yet. As for dealing with Mama’s Boy after that? You’re on your own!
s Whisper in his car. Oh, and he’s never been in a real relationship.
GUY TO AVOID # 6
The Hopeless Romantic
Who he is: The guy who’s on a mission to find his soul mate while listening to Careles
Spot him: Chatting with you online. His screen name is SweetLove4U.
Will it work? Well, considering the fact that he’s already told you he loves you and that you’re the woman he’s been waiting for all his life (after two chat sessions), it all boils down to how you feel about him. And, of course, if his words hold truth… and sustainability. «Easy come, easy go» didn’t just stem from nowhere, you know.
The thing about The Hopeless Romantic is that he’s really more of a spirit – he can take the guise of almost any type of man, from the guy in the next cubicle at work to a taxi driver to the guy your neighbour’s friend is trying to hook you up with. Only when he presents you with a gift (usually flowers, a candle, some chocolate) accompannied by some wildly inappropriate and untimely declaration of his undying love and commitment to you and you alone will his true nature be revealed.
How to deal: Once you capture his fancy, this guy will be after you like a shadow. And while it may be flattering (for a second), you must be careful. He loves you today, but based on what? Does he know enough about you? We’d suggest you wait until you both get a chance to truly like (and love) enough things about each other. And if he’s not interested in taking things slowly – or at least at a pace you’re comfortable with – you’re better off holdiing out for someone who will.
GUY TO AVOID # 7
The Married Man
Who he is: The devilishly handsome, charming and well-dressed man in your office.
Spot him: Leaning next to the water cooler, cracking jokes with his co-workers without a care in the world.
Will it work? If you’re seriously looking for an answer to this question, our advice is to stay far, far away… We don’t care if he flirts with you non-stop, or if there are rumours flying around that his wife is unfaithful. Why get caught in a messy trap of deception and twistedness? Irrespective of his actions, the actions of his spouse or what he tells you about the state of their relationship, you don’t want to be the woman who gets involved with the married man. It’s just not appealing, and it’s definitely not classy. And you’ll never feel satisfied, not as long as you’re second fiddle.
How to deal: If just the sight of him sends your daydreams into overdrive, then avoid him as long as work permmits. And don’t even entertain those toxic thoughts; you’ll only make yourself sick wanting someone you can’t have. Now, if he happens to get a divorce, you can come to us. Until then, leave your Angelina tendencies far away from this relationship. Unless, of course, he’s Brad Pitt. (Just kidding!)
Modelled by Rabee’ Zureikat
Hair by Amer at Toni & Guy
Clothing at Cozmo