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Just because we met doesn’t mean we have to get married. We get the social pressures on you to be a “good wife and mother”, but you need to chill.

The fact that we went out on a few dates or I told you I like you is most definitely NOT a marriage proposal.

That was until a bunch of came our way that threw a spanner in the works and brought the whole thing to a halt. It was a heartbreaking end and one that neither of us wanted but in the end it wasn’t our decision to make.

Today I’ve decided to share a few lessons with you that I learned from the whole experience. Some guys in the West still have the decency to talk to the girl’s father before asking her to marry him. In Egypt (and I suspect all over the Arab world) this is something that needs to be done right at the start when you start dating.

about myself, my plans and my intentions with the man’s daughter.

It’d be an opportunity to make a verbal contract of sorts between the father and myself. Traditionally, this kind of over a bride-to-be is done with both peoples’ parents there and I suspect in a lot of areas (especially rural places) it’s almost like a business transaction.

Suffocation is another concept whereby this gets real old, real fast.

As a matter of fact, here’s a little lesson on human nature: The more you keep pushing someone in a certain direction, the more they push back. Breathing room is a concept whereby I get a chance to miss you and want you.

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It was either this or we stop seeing each other altogether.

resize=300,195&ssl=1 300w" sizes="(max-width: 530px) 100vw, 530px" data-recalc-dims="1" / It’s time.

I said I’d write about it eventually and here it is; forbidden love between a Middle Eastern girl with no English and a bloke from Australia learning Arabic, as well as the important lessons learned from the whole experience. At first there was nothing forbidden about it at all – we met, we did the right thing and approached her father for permission, he gave us the green light, preparations for the engagement ceremony were made – everything was perfect.

When you meet her father to request permission to see her right at the start, he’ll want to be confident that you can provide all this from the get-go.

This is not only for I didn’t have an apartment or a stable job at the time but this was only after I explained my short to mid-term plans in extreme detail.

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