10 Reasons Why I’m Still Single

How can the amazing that is Ms. Hala still be single, you wonder? Peeps, I’ll give you ten reasons why I’m still single!

In the last few years, I’ve decided to date more seriously, keeping an open mind as I’m in a good place in my life now to be in a serious long-term relationship. I haven’t seen much difference in the dating scene be it back home in California or Qatar to be honest. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

Call me picky. Call me stubborn. I don’t care! I may be ready for a relationship but I’m not settling to just be in a relationship. There has to be a set of realistic standards and if those aren’t met, then it’s simply not meant to be. #SorryNotSorry

In my community at least, relationships need to be taken a little more seriously than just the idea of a relationship. It’s not about one’s status, changing your social media profile picture or having that big fat Arabic wedding. At the end of the day, it’s about two people sharing commonalities, compatibility and love. It’s about two people supporting and carrying each other through life’s good and bad. It’s about two people sharing the rest of their lives together. And I want that or nothing at all. I’m content with staying happily single despite what many in my community have to say.

كلام النّاس لا بيقدّم ولا يأخّر” – جورج وسوف”
“People’s talk makes no difference” -George Wassouf

Still need a reason why I’m still single? I’ll give you ten reasons why I’m still single.

usapassport10. The Blue Passport: Can’t we be seen for more than where our families gave birth to us? This is quite the conundrum for many of us multicultural and multi-lingual children of immigrants. Even as an expat in Qatar, I’ve been asked out by some that flat out told me they were interested in my blue passport, but not a mention of my brown eyes. I have really beautiful brown eyes. #JustSaying

9. Two Birds, One Stone: Speaking of holding the “right passport”, when you want to be with me because they’ll get both the passport and -fill in the blank with a sexist term-, it never has and never will be flattering, period. The worst I’ve heard from many Muslim men? After our first interaction, he can hit two birds with one stone being with me, and I quote, “passport and halal sex.” OMG, I’ll marry you and help you achieve your bird stoning goals. #Sigh

8. No Style, No Class: I prefer my men with some sense of style. Fitted suit, crisp thob or a clean pair of jeans and a shirt. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Fake tans, globs of hair gel and skinny jeggings that are not cute on a dude, period. And for the love of God, why do dudes wear capri/flooded pants? Those are MY pants dude! #StopIt

7. Too Pretty For Me: Speaking of style, call me shallow but I’m not interested in a guy who is way prettier than me. He can’t have better hair, better shaped eyebrows or a firmer butt than me. I don’t mind if you get a mani/pedi and your hair did but it can’t be better than mine. I want to be the pretty girl in the relationship here. And let’s be real, I can’t be in a relationship where I’ll constantly be jealous of my pretty man, with his amazing hair flicks and that toned ass.

6. Cash Money! Bling Bling!: For whatever reason, people have the impression that I’m oh so rich. Alhamdulillah, I’m financially stable but I’m so far from deemed rich. We haven’t gone on two coffee dates and you’re already asking me to borrow money? Dude, you need to go and reevaluate your life! And men that are rich think that’s how to seduce me? You trippin’ booboo because if that’s all it took, I would’ve been hitched to any of the rich monkeys that have crossed my path a long ass time ago!

5. Not Muslim Enough: I’ll never forget the first time this happened to me. Long story short, weird dude proposed marriage and I refused. He then stated that he was proposing out of the goodness of his heart because I will not go to heaven unless I marry him because I wasn’t Muslim enough. What the hell does that even mean? Ever since I’ve had this statement said to me over the years. Not 100% Muslim when in jeans and hijab. Not 100% Muslim when in mixed groups. Not 100% Muslim when you’re friends with non-Muslim. These dudes think that by faith guilting me, I will succumb to their odd advances? I’d rather be a bad Muslim than with you! #JustGoAway

4. To Be Pro-Choices:  I’m not interested in having children. If it happens, it happens but I have the right as a Muslim, as a woman, as a human being to my own personal preferences. People simply need to learn that they have the right to respectfully dis/agree. Yet men and some of their very involved mamas have had the audacity to tell me, “Oh, you’ll change your mind as you get older.” “How selfish can you be?” “Why would you deprive him of his right to be a father?” Really? Really?

3. Cultural Misunderstanding: “Is that your Egyptian or American talking?” “You’re only saying that because you’re American.” “See it’s because you’re Muslim but in my American culture…” Huh? Why do people think I switch between either of my multi-cultural globetrotting mentality as deemed convenient? Especially in this part of the world, both American and Arabs, expats and locals, have a hard time grasping the idea of being multicultural individual. You must pick one, you can only be one or the other. I’m the best of all worlds, it’s part of being human. I’m not either or. No one is.

2. Closed Palate, Closed Mind, Closed Heart: Speaking of cultural understanding, the world is so grand, how can you not take it in and appreciate it all? How can you not care to see the world? How can you hate on someone simply because they are different than you? How can you eat the same thing every single day and yet hate on other people’s foods? Stop this closed-mindedness, it’s the 21st fucking century! I just can’t deal with those who have tunnel vision and don’t go beyond their bubble.

SoGorgeousSoSillySoOMG1. Because This Is Me: As my bio states, I am simply amazing! Why would I change that? I will not change me. You will not change me. I come as is. So gorgeous, so silly, so OMG! Plain and simple. So either accept it or stop talking and keep walking, booboo! #ByeFelicia

Can you relate peeps? Share your stories in the comments below.

Quote of the Day

​”I want to do with you what spring does with cherry trees” -Pablo Neuruda

image source: Tastemade 

W.I.S.S. – The Word “Spinster”

spinster [spin-ster] Disparaging and Offensive. a woman still unmarried beyond the usual age of marrying.  Arabic: عانِس، عوانس

Being a 34 year old lady, I’m again reminded of the word “spinster”. I’m convinced that the word must’ve been phrased by a very bitter person back in medieval times (be it in any language). The fact that the word is almost only applied to ladies makes me hate the word even more. It’s sexist, hurtful, divisive and discriminatory on so many levels.

The first time I heard the word “spinster”, I was 19 years old. It was said to me by an older lady with limited education whom wanted me for her son so he can move to America. I didn’t pay much mind to her at the time. Maybe because I knew what her intentions were. Or because I was too young to understand that word at the time.

That word really didn’t hit me hard until a couple of years later when it was said to me by someone I once liked and respected. From then on, I heard that word more often than necessary. When I decided to go to graduate school, I was told I would never find a husband. When I decided to travel, I was told that I wasn’t making an effort to find a husband. Every time the subject of marriage came up, I was reminded by random people to stop being picky because I was becoming a spinster.

This all happened before I turned 30.

As much as I try not to let it bother me, it bothers me. It’s derogatory and very offensive, more so to those whom actually are looking for someone to share their lives with but haven’t. I’m not alone on this as per my conversations with people between the U.S., Egypt, Qatar and beyond. Whom decided what age a lady (or a man) should be married? Whom decided that if you don’t have children before a certain age, your prime has come to an end? Whom decided that men only want to marry a lady within a specific age group?

I have relatives in Egypt that have passed this unbeknowth marital age for one of many reasons. One cousin has dedicated his life to his work and found it difficult to find someone from the humble country town whom would share and support his passion. Another cousin in the same town and of the same age sided with her demanding parents of unrealistic expectations which has caused a hault in suitors coming through the door.

Even though the culture in Egypt asks that both parties’ families share in the financial costs, there’s this pattern of making it more difficult than necessary to get married. Anything outside of marriage is haram but the halal way has been made to be so difficult, it’s almost near impossible. And those whom wait too long to be able to go about it the halal way? They’re now spinsters.

In Qatar, I’ve met people whom remained single simply for financial reasons while others were divorced but still paying back some hefty marital related loans. Unlike in Egypt, men here are burdened with all the finances to get married and start a family. As the culture here is very tribal, there’s this “keeping up with the Jones” mentality. If one family did something, you had to do the same if not better. Even if you couldn’t afford it, you borrowed for it. I know at least two of my friends whom have been divorced in under 5 years of their marriage just over financial troubles. They got married like the Jones, but they couldn’t LIVE like them. And those that choose to wait, refusing to be a statisic? They’re now spinsters.

In the U.S., it’s a real mixed bag between the cultures but the mindset of spinsterhood is still there. People are in awe when a 40 year old celebrity gets married. Did you see the rukous over George Clooney “finally getting married”?

However, from my personal experiences within the Muslim and Arab community back home, some of this ideology exists. If a man marries a lady beyond the age of 30, it’s as if he performed a charitable act. If a lady marries a man beyond that age, it’s because he’s rich or she couldn’t get someone her age. It can’t ever be because two people loved each other, God forbid.

Sigh.

And let’s back track for a second here, is it just me or do those that barrage us with “get married already” comments the ones whom are completely unhappy in their marriage? Seriously, I have yet to be approached by a happily married person, aside from my mother and aunties, about my marital status. Maybe it’s because those happy in their marriages know what it takes to be in a happy relationship. It doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just marry the first person that crosses your path.

Maybe it’s because those happy in their marriages are happy because they actually lived their lives, learned to care for themselves before they were ready to share it with someone else. Maybe the happier you are, the happier your relationship. If you happiness depends on someone else, you will in fact be miserable in that relationship. Sometimes, one is not destined to be married with 3 kids living in a house with a white picket fence by the age of 25.

I can’t image being married at 25. Hell, I can’t image being married at 34!

At 25, while many of my friends were ready to join the marriage club, I was taking care of my family while starting graduate school. I was no where near ready to be married let alone even date at the time. People go through different phases in their lives at different ages. There really is no structure or time frame for one of the most important commitments in one’s life.

Let’s be honest, when the time comes, it’ll come. People nagging us into something you aren’t ready for doesn’t help. Using the word “spinster” only makes it worse.

So ladies, when a miserable hater comes at you with, “when are you getting married already?”

Just tell them, “I’d rather be a happy spinster than a miserable wife.”

Tarrington Spinster
image c/o  grave-mistakes.blogspot.com

The Masks They Wear

It’s always entertaining when a rant of mine strikes a few nerves. In my recent rant on what I’ve learned over the past two years as an expat, I wrote, “Don’t be surprised that there’s just as much fake people as there is fake designer wear floating around.” Why?

Ever since my decision to move to the Middle East, it hit me hard how fast people can change on you. People are not what they appear to be. I can no longer take people at their face value. I can no longer judge, trust and love people so easily. Only in good times and bad, in distance and closeness, in richer and poorer did I know whom my friends really are.

I have literally gone through a social detox several times over the last two years. (And no, cleaning Facebook friends doesn’t count, although it does help, because Facebook is a digital high school… am I right?) My most recent detox was during my last visit home this past spring. So many people went out of their way to see me. To err is human and in the back of my mind I wondered about those I cherished that didn’t even bother to send their regards. I spent some quality time with family and friends that made my trip so memorable. Even as I heard the lovely rumors about myself – from how rich I was, to my new found snubbiness and everything in between – this was a bonding yet eye opening trip to say the least.

Landing back in Doha was no different. I was determined that after what I had been through back home, I needed to reevaluate the company I kept. I let the “please, please let’s remain friends” retract the request without hesitation. I let the negative energy from the whining and complaining about the blessings taken for granted drift away. I didn’t save the wrong number of the “call me if you need anything”. I did not accept the digital apologies as I preferred human contact.

Its the only way I can remain being the family and friend I want to have.

Sometimes one needs to step away from the theater for the actors to remove their masks during intermission. Then return to the theater before they have a chance to put the masks back on and continue the act. Sometimes the masks are necessary to show the world strength when there’s weakness, confidence when there’s uncertainty and a smile when there’s tears. But not all masks were design with the same hands. One must then decide whether or not the masks they wear and what’s underneath is acceptable.

Is the person real or as fake as the “fake designer wear floating around”?

Hilarious Article on Dating by Ali Ashbaker

I just came across this hilarious article, Pickup Lines I Wish Guys Used On Me by Ali Ashbaker. This is seriously a must read for any young lady whom has hated dating for as long as I have or looking to date again after so long.

My favorite pickup line in this article has to be:

“Oh, hey.  You wanna have a Kill Bill marathon and eat our weight in popcorn while wearing sweats on my Love Sac? By the way, cool bangs.”

All of them are good and unless guys are a little bit more real and none of that surface stuff as Ali has put it so well in her article, dating would be so much easier. I prefer dating people I’ve been friends with first, even for a short but comfortable while, where all this surface stuff is simply unnecessary. With that, I will confess that as someone whom has steering far and clear from dating for the last 3 or 4 years, I’ve accepted dating again (more on that in an upcoming rant I promise). The reasons I accepted dating this dude is because he’s real, brutally honest and after the following conversation/exchange/pickup linish that took place at a New Year’s Eve potluck party we attended, how could I say no afterwards?

Dude: Where’s your share of the chocolate cake? Here, take mine, I hope you like it, it’s 3 layers and very rich.
Me: It does look good, you did good getting it man. I came to see all got a piece but yea, I’ll share yours.
Dude: I can’t eat that because of my stomach, but I’ll take one bite.
Me. Ummm… why would you bring something you can’t eat to a party?
Dude: Because you like chocolate, I got it for you really.
Me: =D

Click here to read Ali’s hilarious article and share your thoughts!

Quote of the Day

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”  –Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets

Single and Proud – My Comment

My friend posted on my Facebook this weekend the article titled “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar on the marital status Muslim ladies are choosing, specifically in Egypt. My friend ask for my thoughts and here’s what I had to say…

Skimmed through the article which is exactly what I saw in Egypt… girls dying to get married only to feel stuck. Some get out, some stay put because they don’t know what else to do. I saw a girl put up with a really stupid, idiotic fiance because people envied how cute he/they were. Now she’s married, with a kid, and dare not continue dreaming of going for her masters or her high school diploma hubby will dump her. Those same girls then always ask me why I don’t want to get married and my simple response, “what for?” I know what I want in my life, I’m extremely independent and don’t need someone to “order me around or take care of me”. Until someone out there can share my vision in life, has great ambitions to go further in life and can give two shits what other people might think, then I’ll consider getting married. Until then, single and proud!

Do read the article, “Single and Proud” by Rasha Dwedar, and share your thoughts below.