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Dating a Jordanian Man- Difference in Culture?

Hello,
I need some advice I meet this Jordanian man 3 weeks ago. I decided to meet him for coffee after he asked me 2 days in a row. When I meet him he got super close to me. I ended up meeting his cousin (as he has family that lives here). I talked to him every night after our meeting and even spoke with his family on the video chat. I met him at his family's house a few days later and met his family in person and had dinner with them. His aunt talked to me about my interests. His cousin said that he was happy to have a friend in the USA since he went through a lot with his ex-wife. His aunt also told him to slow down the courting because it's not fast in American culture. She told me that Arab men (especially him) are quick and direct about what they want. 

He was deciding whether or not to stay in the States and work on getting his CPA. The next night over video chat, he asked me to marry him. I was in complete shock! It was an emotional phone call. It was confirmed by family later on that he was not marrying to get a green card.

Since then we have had some nice chats and some arguments. He already said he loved me. He had to go back home to Jordan. We kept in touch while he traveled and after he got home.

We had an argument Sunday. He talked about how he can't concentrate at work because he is so far away from me. His said communication was bad between​ us. He begged me to marry him. I told him I wanted to get to know him better (as we agreed on after the first time he talked about marriage).  We haven't spoken since Sunday.

Can someone be help me understand what is going on? It is cultural?

Hi,
     Regarding this situation, I’ll give the best advice I can based on experience and my own thinking.
     Firstly, begging to marry someone isn’t cultural. I want to ask you to look at this through a psychological perspective. When someone wants something so badly that they’re begging for it (or showing that they’re “incomplete” until they have it), that shows they they are lacking something important in their lives, and they believe that point can be fixed by gaining the thing they are so fixed on getting. But once they get it, the sad truth shows and the void is there once again. That’s when true colors begin to show. The person will then begin to be fixed on the next thing to get, and the cycle starts once again. Soon, you will find him asking other things of you. Instead of things being mutual agreements, everything will seem pushed from one side. Decisions like having kids, lifestyle decisions, and more will seem to come from a “need” to do so. I don’t know this guy, but if i’m getting his personality type right from reading what you said, this description seems pretty accurate.
    On a side note, I don’t know what it is about what his cousin and aunt said, but the family seems to have a pretty open mind about him marrying a woman who isn’t Arab. So…. of course their words are going to seem supportive of what’s going on. Okay, they want him to slow down and they state Arab men are direct, but they can’t change any of that, can they? It is good they are being respectful to you, but again I suggest you be careful.
       Consider what he will do if he does marry you. Will he stay in America to continue his studies? Or will he choose an alternative path (business, something else) because his legal way for staying in the States is you? Will he take you back to Jordan to show you to all of his friends?
        Part of my response is coming from my own experience. I never would have thought that I would be one to date or marry and Arab man. I once did (thankfully I never married him), and it was… very unclear and indirect. What I mean by this was his intentions weren’t clear or direct. He would say one thing but show another. And he gave me a small window of time to marry him, as if it was our only chance. I guessed he wanted to do this for himself, so I told him, “sorry, I need more time,” to which his response was anger. Long story short, he wanted things his way and wouldn’t even come to see my family. As soon as we ended things, he kept playing games a little while longer, then everything was over. The whole thing wasn’t very clear or clean (in communicational and intentional terms), so I’m glad everything ended. He was always telling me how he'd leave Jordan after we're together, and I learned afterwards I was simply his key to living in the States.
         In a relationship, both sides have to respect one another and seek to help understand and comfort one another, as well as form stronger ties of understanding and mutual agreement. However, not listening to what you say and trying to win you over with sweet talk and begging you to marry him isn’t exactly the best way into a healthy relationship. I think what you’re saying is right to get to know him better over more time. I suggest making clear to him you won’t be seeing any other guys during the time being in which you are with him, but you need your time. Tell him it is for the good of the both of you. Also tell him if he can’t understand this about you, how can he understand other important life decisions in the future if you two were to get married? Let him know if he doesn’t want a girl who needs time to get to know the other party, then he has the wrong girl. Simple as that.
        I’m now in a better relationship, yet not with an Arab man (not to say Arab men are no good or anything, it just turned out that way). In this relationship, we have taken our time to get to know one another and have been seeing each other seriously, even when it’s long distance. This has helped us to learn more about one another and has made things better for us, allowing the relationship to grow- through ups and downs and all. We’ve both learned more about one another and grown to respect each one’s boundaries. I suggest being with a man who helps you do the same.
        Lastly, the fact that he hasn’t spoken to you since Sunday may say something about his temperament. Be careful. The Arab guy I knew before also had a terrible temperament. Is he running away from problems and avoiding them? Or is he trying to scare you since he feels you are caring and sensitive so much? From my experience, when guys play games like that, it’s the worst thing ever. It shows their insensitivity and a lot about their characteristic as well.
         There are a few American women on this site that have seemed to have unhappy marriages to Arab men, complaining about how things turned out, their husbands changing after marriage. I suggest you play this game by your own rules and get to know this guy better (if it is destined for you). Ask him about where he plans to raise his children (if he were to have any), what does he want to do in the future, etc etc. You might discover a thing or two more about him.   
          Also, is it the guy or the cousin with the ex-wife? If it’s the man you’re talking about, how they ended, why, and how he treats her today may say a lot about his personality.
         All in all, just be careful. There are a lot of good men out there. But there are also more just running after their own benefit. This is because they have not given enough time to learning and attending to themselves, rather focusing on things outside of themselves. No one is complete, but a relationship should be one where two people help build one another, not one where one stands on top of the other. Good luck~.

I don't mean to put any party down on either note. Again, this response is from my own experience and thinking from the information you provided. May God have the best in store for you. Most importantly, I suggest you pray to God to bring you the right guy, and if this guy is good for you, to bring him closer in your life; and if he's bad for you, to keep him away from you. Maybe this is just a situation where the two of you have somethings to solve. But if it is a situation where your growth is being stampeded upon by this man, I suggest you take a hint from the universe and let him go. Best wishes!

Well said, Jane. You pretty much covered everything, and frankly, your reply has valuable advice to couples and people who just started dating alike.

I totally agree with Jane, taking time is paramount. If someone is pushing or trying to force an outcome, they usually have an ulterior motive to do so, one that's very different from what they tell you. They will show you they love you, that they care, but it's all deception. You're only means to an end.
I get a different vibe, when an Arab guy is so keen on marrying an American, it's usually because they're after the green card. The woman is simply a key to get in the US.

As an Arab man myself, I know we're pretty good at sweet talking. However, some of us are genuinely intrigued by you. We find you interesting, funny, and lovely! It's not about finding a way out into the US or Europe. It's not about sex. It's only that your company is breathtakingly good that beautiful words come out to express how much we appreciate you.

I guess I did a bit of sweet-talking myself right here lol

You sure did lol
Like I said before, I didn't mean to state all Arab men are a certain way, with ill-intentions. I just meant to point out from the way this guy was acting around, there were probably other motives than him simply being a guy that really likes her, without other intentions behind his actions.
Also to you, point well said~.

@jane _Al. Thanks for the response. I think you right on about the psychological aspect. This guy has been divorced for over a year, so there is a loss of a relationship. This guy made it sound like the I needed to give him an answer. I always ask him questions back or not even answer the question. I want to take my time to get to know someone before making such a big decision. Before he left he agreed that he would respect me and allow for us to get to know each other and his family. But he goes back and forth. On the phone, he'll tell me his hates his life back in Jordan.  Might I add that he as daughter from his previous marriage.

@RoyalDuke He does do some of that sweet talk stuff. lol But so do the European men. Being an African-American woman I find that foreigners and people who are not of color are curious. When he first asked about the marriage I came back with the green card question and he became upset and said. "What kind of monster do you think I am".

Sometimes, I think the motive is "trophy wife". I am in my late 20's and he is 8 years older than me. From am evolutionary standpoint, it make sense to make him feel a bit younger. Also a younger mate increases chances of reproduction.

Its very common in the Arabic world  to have that age gap for several reasons.
One of the main reason is that the man must provide everything for his future wife: a full equipped house, the cost of the wedding, wedding gold and money. He can't afford that right after his study so he needs a job for several years and safe all his money up for this. And its harsh to say but now days the girls becomes kind of a gold digger and want everything. The pressure on the men gets higher to meet their needs. It doesn't matter if she has a job too because in this culture she can keep all her earnings to herself. Unless they make other arrangements.

Much advice is already been given to others so I have nothing new to add unless you have more questions.

Hey There,
My name is jenny and I read your post and our stories have similarities.  I would love to hear more about your story and I can share with you mine.  My email is ***  If you don't mind I would rather talk to you via email.

Moderated by Priscilla 8 months ago
Reason : do not post your personal contact details on the forum

It's actually not that age difference, nowhere!  Not everyone studies, and lots of city people have a income no higher than 250, marry and manage.  Flats are mostly provided by parents. Wedding celebrations are mostly supported by Families too in case the bridegroom cannot afford it. The dowry can be reduced to a  minimum (can even be delayed). Almuakhar causes most problems in case of a divorce, still under circumstances payable by instalment.  Family wants to secure the daughter, the man wants the girl, so he agrees despite of often very high amounts.

@Primadonna and @JO/EU I see what you mean about the age difference. On average women tend to date men a couple years older due to different rates of maturity in the USA at least.
He told me that his ex-wife always liked everything to be about her. I guess this ties to the "golddigger" persona.

Another issue that comes up with difference in culture is religion. I am Christian and he is Muslim. I know the concept of "co-existing" is promoted but with all that is going on in the world it's is difficult. I know my family would not be accepting.

My two cents were about how matters are being delt with back home. Life abroad is different, thinking and sentiments may take different directions. For being abroad and non Moslem, your question does not really meet these criteria....
Your questions are being asked thousands of times, and we can only provide same answers thousands of times: We don't know you or any of the people you mention. Your story does not meet criteria and procedures of back home. You tell how you met a person and so on abroad....
I think it would be useful for the site to open a                                       " My Diary " section, since such stories can rather be read than answered seriously or precisely...

Well the site doesn't have that section so people post this on where they think it would be a best fit. But I guess people start yo to try to reach the right direction.

To be honest, such topics doesn't belong on a site where people looking and share information about expateriate.
Personal affairs of the heart isn't as the most of us aren't able to help ( there are some exceptions )
And we always hear one side of the story and not completely as well.

At the other side, the mods, often leave the topics because there are country forums, like Jordan and Egypt, where it is indeed a big issue. In these cases it can be helpful for others too. But be aware that the answers are mostly based on personal experiences and can contain information which are doubtful. And it can turn into a direction which the discussion can heat up. Specially when religion is involved.

I learned and am still learning  when to think with my heart and when with my mind... Please keep in mind you are seeking a quick decision regarding one of life's biggest challenges... Patience is definitely a considerable notion to start with! Wish you the best of luck.

Oh God,what ever you do,do not marry this men. I just got married my self to a Jordanian men. I wish I listen to my friends but I didn't. They need the green card and they will tell you that they love you and when the time comes is not like they said. Don't trust anybody but yourself.

I am from a Western background and was in a similar position to the one you are in, being pressured into marrying a Jordanian when I was living in Amman. From my experience, it's not always about whether or not they have an ulterior motive like wanting the green card, even if he doesn't, because of the patriarchal society and the patriarchy embedded in the culture his feelings as a man tend to be more important than your feelings are as a woman. A male voice is louder than a female voice. He may not even be conscious of that he is dominating you and love you but it is an entitlement that is ingrained in the culture in a way that may be different to what you may have experienced before. I don't know what you two will decide or your relationship, just that the most important thing is that you are both heard and valued and treating each other with respect, especially if you come from different backgrounds you will need to be patient with one another. You have the right to take the time to get to know him and not feel rushed into marriage. Whatever each other's culture is you have the right to say no or to ask for things to slow down. His background doesn't entitle him to demand things from you. You need to be able to ask him these questions about who he is and what he wants without him creating this sense of urgency for you. I don't know your situation, but I hope this is helpful

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