By the time I was 18, my mom started to pay closer attention to who I was dating. Were they eligible? Were they committed? How soon could they, if marriage was in the books, propose?
Don’t get me wrong: my mom has always known about my dating adventures and she had never once made me feel any sort of pressure to get married. However, social stigmas and the fact that my family is so liberal wasn’t the greatest formula.
But at 18, I was still young and having fun. Sure, the thought of being in a committed relationship crossed my mind several times, but it never came to fruition because of the losers in my age range that I would eventually date.
Getting my drivers license was my ticket to freedom. I could cruise around for hours, go to a friend’s house, go to dinner, go to a movie, and not have to worry about the driver picking me up before curfew or not having any sort of privacy.
So, I did what any 18 year-old at the time would do: get dolled up, cruise up and down Share3 Al-7ub (AKA Love St.) with my friends, get juice from Tha7ya, and at the end of the night, go through all the phone numbers that had been given to us by the guys that saw us, trying to remember who’s number belonged to the guy in the Range Rover and if the guy in the G-Class was Ahmad or Yousef. We never called any of them, but it was fun seeing how many numbers we could collect. Some guys would be so confused and desperate, they’d stop us and chat us up twice without realizing we were the same girls from two hours ago.
If my mom taught me anything that stuck, it would be that boys you find on the street are probably picking 5 or 6 other girls up along with you. But at 18, in a country with no real social events/scenes and where interacting freely with a stranger (let alone of the opposite sex) is considered a taboo, how else were we supposed to meet guys?
Ten years later, we face the same problem. Social media has taken the place of being chased by cars down the street, and while it is a better alternative that makes it easier to understand the male psyche, it presents a few challenges:
1) Meeting someone off the internet is still considered weird and unsettling to some.
2) A ton of people, men and women alike, live double lives and aren’t really who they say/tweet/instagram/snapchat they are.
3) The rapidly rising rate of homosexuality in Kuwait makes the chances of finding a single, eligible, STRAIGHT guy even more difficult, even with social media.
Still, I took a couple of chances, which I will discuss later. Please bear in mind that I do not speak for all Kuwaiti women, but I’m certain that the majority share these challenges when it comes to dating!
Out of curiosity: how do you go about meeting people in a country that has unintentionally(?) created restrictions on ways to meet people?