Esra

Where madness meets reality

relationships Archive

Wednesday

24

July 2013

1

COMMENTS

Why should it always be a husband?

Written by , Posted in Babbles, Experience

We live in the most conservative Asian culture –or maybe just a double-faced blind-sided society.

If you look around you in your own social circle, you’ll understand what I’ll be discussing here.

We women were raised with one ultimate goal, which is to get married and procreate like rabbits. It is very rare to find a family that raises their daughter to be a useful member of the society rather than grooming her to be a trophy wife.

equal

How many career-related success parties have you heard about compared to how many weddings and engagement parties you’ve been invited to during a year?

Did your elder relatives ever gather to celebrate a promotion or an achievement in your career the way they do if you get married or have a baby?

The idea of achievements and success are usually gender discriminated. Any achievement you as a woman achieve is nothing unless you have a kid jumping around your legs or a man by your side as if you are incomplete without him. We’ve never seen society caring about a man’s social status when celebrating his success.

I’m not against the idea of building a family or having a partner that supports you through life. I’m just against the concept of making a woman’s life revolve around it.

The perception of being incomplete. The idea that men are complete by their financial independency, but you as a woman will never be unless you have a ring around your finger.

We don’t need the sympathy or the sad looks every time an outstanding strong successful husband-less woman is around, and some might take it to a next level and start discussing how to make her life better by having a husband or being so generous in suggesting an x person as a candidate.

All we seek is to be defined as me, a strong independent woman with no labels and no attachments the same way you always identify independent men.

Tuesday

16

July 2013

0

COMMENTS

Smiling is Not Flirting

Written by , Posted in Babbles

I tend to be the smiling person you run into while grabbing your morning coffee or maybe, sometimes, the person striking a conversation at the airport terminal or while waiting for your dentist appointment.smiling-woman

I was raised in an open free house with a multicultural background and have been living in different parts of the world as I grew up exposed to all kinds of ethnicities being a daughter of my great never stay still family. I do believe that my background made me open to the world and more accepting of others. I really see myself as a friend to everyone.

In the past few years I settled in Riyadh, a dry, emotionless city. It’s sad that I’m giving it this name, but everyone who ever lived or stayed here would agree with me that even with all the urban modern architecture around us, the desert is still affecting the society badly in being strict, firm, and cold, emotionally. It is rarely witnessed, and relatively weird smiling to strangers in the street; same or cross gender.

With all of the strict cultures, the social boundaries, and religious barriers – as they claim-, people became aggressively closed to themselves which resulted in misinterpreting any positive or nice gesture – especially with the other gender- and I really started to notice it heavily and to be honest it is one of the most annoying feelings ever to have your genuine acts misinterpreted just because of the cultural or old social misperceptions.

What I’m writing here might sound self-involved and delusional but I want to assure you I’m not the kind of hair-flipping narcissistic diva tearing hearts apart with her looks and walk. I’m not even aware if physical appearance has any involvement here when it comes to transforming any act of politeness into an invitation to start an unwanted conversation and in worse cases you end up getting yourself a stalker with a set mentality that you were meant for each other because you did give him the green light when you smiled back while exchanging business cards at an event.

It annoys me to find that some might consider my millisecond longer smiles or my ‘have a pleasant evening’ wishes an indication of flirting or a welcoming sign to go further with their moves.

I do understand the mechanism of relationships and how social relations develop; we can see it happening everywhere in real life and in the cyber world. We all start as strangers in the beginning but there will always be body language, a physical distance, or an emoticon that can tell if the other participant of the conversation is interested. You need to pay attention to that.

The last thing I or any other outgoing woman can ever imagine is living in a closed, stressed, smile-less world because of this condition so please let’s all agree:
Smiling is not flirting!
Texting to check on your health after a week of the flu is not flirting!
Holding the door for you at the entrance is not flirting!
A handshake while exchanging business cards is not flirting!
And of course, replying to your tweet or complimenting your blog post is not a flirtation, whatsoever.

Monday

24

June 2013

0

COMMENTS

You’ve Got a Friend in me!

Written by , Posted in Babbles

friends

We all grew up listening to and humming the song (You’ve Got a Friend in me!) We grew up to understand that friendship is the most important relationship between human beings. No matter what your age, gender, location, or background we all need a friend to lean on and to walk side by side with through life.

“Friendship is defined as the relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is a stronger form of interpersonal bond than acquaintanceship”. It was never stated yet always debated that friends should be from the same gender. In my personal opinion gender discrimination is only a social barrier that we grew up with but had no fundamental reason behind it.

Society has long considered romance to be based on the prototypical male-female relationship because it keeps the life cycle going by bringing more babies into the world. Cross-sex friendship has primarily been ignored. Our typical men-women relationships were: 1.) families meet; 2.) couple gets engaged; 3.) they get married and 4.) have kids. This is who defined these relationships?

We’ve always been taught that cross-sex friendships are charged with sexual tension and danger.  However, my own personal experience is that men and women can be friends.  This is not only true with your significant other.

Society is different and things are changing rapidly around us. If we go back to 1989 –when Harry met Sally- research said less that 10% admitted to having a close friend of the other sex. However, now with the new media and the cultural shift, people have repudiated this idea. Men and women are working together, networking, cheering the same soccer team, and even sharing the same wardrobe. With everything that is happening around us, the question should be: who doesn’t have a friend of the opposite sex?

The way that men and women respond to things is very encouraging.  It is not healthy to narrow down our understanding of a whole gender to one person – a significant other.. “Men have grown up in a world in which a conversation is often a contest. For women, even a healthy debate—if there is such a thing—is about exchanging information and support.” says Deborah Tannen. Men and women are also becoming more androgynous as their societal roles become more similar. “Men are more willing to have feminine characteristics, and women are a lot more willing to admit to traditionally masculine characteristics, like assertiveness,” said Camille Chatterjee. There are many other testimonials that show you how different it is to deal with the opposite sex.

The main challenges you’ll face in this new relationship are:

– Define your relationship: “People don’t know what feelings are appropriate toward the opposite sex, unless they’re what the culture defines as appropriate.”

– Overcome the attraction by not ignoring it or being unwelcoming to it.

– In a male dominated society, ensure that you bring power to the game and establish equality.

– Deal with doubters with confidence; they will never be satisfied no matter what it is said.

– Where should you meet: working together is a start, online discussions, and surprisingly with time you’ll find other ways to interact.

Cross-sex relationships are not always about physical attraction. It is possible to share all of the qualities that define best friends. However, with time you will both realize that it won’t work in a serious romantic situation. The longer the friendship has lasted, the harder you will be able to see it as a romantic possibility.

You will never be able to experience the best that friendship has to offer until you unleash yourself from the social boundaries and just live the moment friend to friend,  human to  human and with no other labels to identify you.