Nadia: The Love Guru

Today I’ve decided that I can dish out the love advice and wisdom just as good as – nope…even better than – all those writers who have written books on love and romance without necessarily having an academic background to support their advice.

I might even end up writing a book summarizing my endless wisdom on love and romance. I’ll put together Nadia’s ten rules of romance. And her ten don’ts in love. I’ll tell you how to find the perfect partner. And then I’ll tell you that there’s no such thing as perfect and that you’re delusional if you think there’s such a thing. I’ll tell you how to keep the fire alive in your relationship. And I’ll tell you how to handle break ups. I’ll tell you all this and much much more because I’m the expert. I know it all. I have this stuff down, dudes!

And to show you, consider this your lucky day. I’ve designated today: Speak to Nadia the Love Guru Day. I’ve already handed out some of my love and romance advice to family, friends, and complete strangers on Facebook and Twitter.  It’s going so well and I’ve already changed so many lives that I felt it was my duty to extend my offer to my blog audience. So I’m dedicating this post for the next 48 hours to giving out my endless wisdom on love and romance issues. Tell me your problems. Dish it all out. And I will help you solve them. Don’t post your name if you don’t want to. Stay anonymous. But tell me your story. And I’ll tell you what to do.

This is a limited offer, so order now!

37 comments

  1. Allow me to start the process myself with bits of a conversation I had with someone on Facebook:

    Her: where can I find someone real who is good looking, available, kind hearted, a good person and who wants to marry me?

    Me: Those guys are found on the tops of mountains🙂 (This is a reference to where I first met my husband).

    Her: LIES! I went up Mt. St. Catherine and found no such man.

    Me: They aren’t at the top of every mountain every time. You must keep climbing till you are on the right mountain at the right time.

    Me again: Man. That was some deep shit i just wrote.

    This is the kind of eternal wisdom you can expect from me. Come!

  2. Another example from a conversation on Twitter:

    Him: In 2 years I had 3 or 4 breakups, 10 dates, [all with the same girl]. Every time we break up we go back to each other without an obvious cause to do that. I’m not sure if it’s just out of habit or true love. Plus the family objects to her. We haven’t spoken in 1.5 months.

    Me: Look. If you are able to live without her then you’re not in love with her. And if you really loved her you would have been able to solve the problem with your family. It’s time to look for love elsewhere. Also, the one you love deserves nothing less than you knowing you can’t live without her. Don’t give her anything less.

  3. Okay Dr Nadia, The Love Guru, I’d like to hear your thoughts on my situation. Hmm..maybe I should send you my blog posts to give you background. (I closed my blog almost a year ago because all I could write about was love, heartbreak,him)

    Getting to the point & trying to keep it short. I was 28 when I met him socially.Strangely,I thought ‘this is a guy I can take home’ even though I wasn’t immediately interested. Two months later, he visited me in Cairo.I was interested. Two weeks later he called to tell me he likes me. We immediately embarked on a whirlwind courtship. Everything just felt right. I prayed Istikharah from the outset. Two weeks after we started talking (we were living in different countries) he told me he thinks I’m ‘the one’, that he’s been in enough relationships to know. As for me, I had abstained from dating, but knew what I was looking for. I don’t believe in people being perfect, but I do believe in people being right for each other. It turned out my name had been mentioned to him by several people as a suitable match over a couple of years.
    One month after we started talking (& we discussed major marriage compatibility subjects) we both went home, & met each others parents. Red alert. His mum refused to accept me-because I’m 5 years older than him. I was ready to end things, but he wanted our ‘relationship’, as it then was, to continue. I was doubtful, but prayed Istikharah again. And all my doubts disappeared. The Egyptian revolution began-we fell in love. He asked me to have a secret nikah, until the time his mother came round. I refused. I also said if his mum doesn’t come round by a certain time, we can’t continue, since I didn’t feel it was right Islamically to be in a long-term relationship which I wasn’t certain would end in marriage, due to his mum’s refusal. Four months 10 days after it began, it ended. I accepted it because I didn’t want him to have to choose. (His mum told him to choose me or her) He was hurt too, & for 2 months he’d still call & write regularly. Until I told him it had to stop-because it was preventing us from moving on.

    We both returned home in July last year. We were friends, until…he started dating a girl my age, someone I knew well. I was devastated. A month later, it ended. A certain incident occurred, which resulted in him sobbing, telling me how much he loved me, was so unhappy, but couldn’t be with me. I forgave him, but told him we needed distance before we could truly be friends, since we both still had feelings.
    I asked how he could possibly date someone my age, & he said because it wasn’t serious, & she wasn’t looking for commitment either. It wasn’t what we had, & that it ended because he realised it was a rebound relationship.
    He reiterated he’d only loved once before me, & it didn’t compare to the love he felt for me.
    And then…a month after that, he started seeing someone my age again. They’ve now been together for 7 months. I know that he can’t be alone, always needs to be in a relationship. Always needs to be surrounded by people. I’m the complete opposite. Even though I see not being able to be alone as a weak trait, I can overlook it.

    Since then he’s wanted to meet up, called & emailed a few times. I didn’t want to see him. I’ve lost all respect for him. But I still love him.
    It’s 14 months since it ended. Lately I’ve been questioning if I should have insisted on the time frame. Maybe I should have stayed with him, waiting for his mother to perhaps eventually change her mind. We know so many others who did that-waited years before they married.
    I’ve also been wondering if I should tell him I still love him.
    I know that Allah Knows Best, and that it not working out between us is something I should accept. And I have done so.
    But a part of me wants to tell him, that despite him hurting me, I still love him. That I see past the person he now portrays himself to be to the person I knew. That I know he’s still growing into becoming a man, but that I see the man he can be.

    It’s not that I can’t see myself marrying someone else. It’s not that I haven’t moved on. I have. And in doing so, I’ve accepted that as my first love, he will remain in my heart. And I can live with it.

    So my question is (I honestly did not intend to write such a lengthy story :D) should I tell him what I feel now? Not that have hope of us being together. Just because..there is no pride in love.
    Or maybe I should just let it go..?
    I’m inclined toward the latter…

    So there you go, Love Guru.

    Miss B

  4. Miss B,

    You are a wise young woman who does not need advice from a wise old woman.

    You are at a stage in your life of maturity such that you know what you want and how to get it. You know yourself well. You are comfortable in your own skin. And those assets allow you to make wise choices about who to be in a relationship with and when to end it.

    From what you describe, it would seem to me that the young man you are in love with has not yet reached this same stage of maturity. If his mother refuses that he marries a woman who is older than him and he finds himself unable to convince her otherwise, the fact that he continuously involves himself with older women indicates that he may perhaps not be ready for true commitment. He knows that his mother won’t allow it.

    I have long had faith that men and women of strong character are able to gain the trust of their parents to accept the decisions that they make even if they don’t always agree with them. The fact that this did not happen says something about him.

    We cannot control our hearts. But we can control our actions. The fact that you still love him is out of your control. Either that will continue or it will eventually dissipate. That is something for time to tell. But as long as this young man is incapable of changing the situation at home, and as long as it seems that he is capable of moving on to other people, it would not seem to me that holding onto him for now is a good idea. I see no point in expressing your feelings to him. And friendship between you while you still love him will never really be friendship. It will more than likely just be more heartache.

    Keep your feelings to yourself. If it is written that this love live, he will reach a stage of maturity in which he can make choices and enable action. From what you describe, I wouldn’t wait for him too long. You deserve better.

  5. I received the following question from Zeinab:
    حضرتك قولتى اللى عنده مشلكة فى حياتة العاطفية يتفضل يسألها، أنا معنديش حالة عاطفية اصلا، وأظن أن دى مشلكة فى حد ذاتها😦

  6. شوفي يا زينب. عدم وجود حالة عاطفية…أو حالة حب…ليست مشكلة في حد ذاتها. الحب ليس مطلب في حد ذاته. بإمكان الانسان أنه يعيش سعيدا وراضيا دون أن يعيش حالة حب. لو أنت سعيدة وراضية بدون حب لأنه لم يأت بعد، فأنت في مكان جميل في حياتك. أما لو كنت بحاجة للحب ولا تجديه واقفا أمامك، فعليك بعدة أشياء هامة:

    لا بد أولا أن تحبي نفسك. وأن تعرفي نفسك واحتياجاتها. لا بد أن تستطيعي أن تستمتعي بصحبتك أنت قبل أن تبحثي عمن تشاركيه تلك الصحبة

    لن تجدي الحب وأنت قابعة في منزلك أو محدودة في معارفك. اشتركي في الأنشطة التي تحبينها لأنك ستجدين هناك أشخاصا يحبون نفس الأشياء التي تحبينها انت. ولا تبحثي هناك عن الحب. ابحثي عن صداقات جديدة ومفيدة وابحثي عن خبرات تكتسبيها. الحب سيأتي وبشكل طبيعي وتلقائي حين تكونين أنت جاهزة له وحين تكون ظروفك جاهزة له أيضا

    عدم وجود حالة عاطفية مش مشكلة يا زينب. لازم تعرفي تحددي المشكلة الحقيقية. أو ربما ليست لديك مشكلة أصلا🙂

    1. أنا فعلاً متأقلمة مع ده، أو تأقلمت عليها ، يعنى عند
      ى اهتمامات وحاجات اشغل نفسى بيها_وإن كانت محدودة وبسيطة بين الاهل والاصدقاء_ لطبيعة المكان والمجتمع الذى اعيش فيه، بس لا اخفى عيلكِ سعات بيجلى هاجس أنى مش زى غير، وينقصنى شئ

      1. وكأنك بتقولي أن الهاجس ده بيجيلك لأنك شايفة غيرك عايش حالة حب أو بيسعى لأنه يعيش حالة حب وبالتالي ظنيت انك انت كمان لازم تعيشي الحب أو تسعيله حتى تكوني مثلهم. ولو ده اللي بتقوليه يبقى لأ. ما تدوريش على اللي عند غيرك أو على اللي عايزه غيرك. دوري على اللي انت عايزاه. انت لو سعيدة وراضية بحياتك ونشاطك يبقى الحمد لله. بوسي ايدك وش وظهر. انت لست بحاجة لما هو عند الآخرين ودي نعمة من عند ربنا. لما تلاقي الحب بيخبط على بابك وانت مستعدة تفتحيله الباب…افتحي. غير كده انت كويسة زي ما انت. الحب في حد ذاته مش هدف. الحب حالة جميلة من ضمن الحالات الانسانية الكثيرة اللي ممكن البني آدم يعيشها.

  7. اكيد حالة جميلة، خبط على بابى مرة بس طلع العنوان غلط، مافيش يأس عندى، بس هو الاستعجال الطبيعى اللى فى الإنسان…… تشكرات لحضرتك جداااااااا، وسعيدة بالتواصل معكِ لأول مرة :)،

  8. My wife likes to hang out all the time
    I am financially broke and I am bored from the city that we live in and by the time I get home from work I am tired and I want to relax. Also, I feel hanging out with my wife is too boring because she is with me home most of the time. I enjoy hanging out with my friends once a week and that’s it. I would love to take my wife for a tour or a trip but I work 7 days a week and I am still financially broke. She does mind to go for a coffee. She is simple woman but I find going for a coffe is silly thing. Drink it at home. I love going to bars l but my wife does not drink and doesn’t like when I drink. Please help me. Thanks for this

    1. If I understand your problem, you are telling me that your wife wants to go out more with you but you aren’t as enthusiastic; first because you believe it will cost more money than you have and second because you’ll just be bored. I will base my answer on this understanding of your question. Please correct me if I am wrong.

      It’s easy to get into a rut with your spouse after a few years of marriage. We all know that for a marriage to continue to work and for it to be successful, we need to work at it.

      You need to work at giving your wife some of your time outside of both of your normal routines. Break the routine. You see each other a lot at home. Do something new outside of the home. Going out does not have to be an expensive ordeal. Find an activity that you can both do together that you enjoy. Start jogging together, for example. Take a language class together. Volunteer at your local temple or find an NGO that does work in a field you would like to support and help them out.

      You say you work 7 days a week. Surely you don’t work 24 hours a day. Set aside one hour a week that you both go and do something together that is different. Try that out and tell me how it goes. You won’t regret it.

  9. انا ظللت طول حياتى مؤمنة ان الحب من اهم الاشياء فى الدنيا وهو الحاافز لعمل وتحمل اصعب الاشياء ظللت انتظر ان يمر بحياتى ولكن مر الوقت طويل جدا دون حتى ان يمر طيفه بى انا اعرف ان الحب فى حد ذاته ليس هدف ولكنة احساس جميل بوجوده فى حياتنا يجعلها اجمل واسهل فى تحمل مصاعبها املئ حياتى بحب اخواتى وابنائهم بمشاركة كل من حولى اخوتى , زملائى فى مشاكلهم ولكنى فى لحظات كثرة بدأت تثقل على وتلح على كثيرا اشعر فيها بحاجة ان يمر بى هذا الكائن الجميل يشعرنى بوجودى ختى ولو كان للحظات بعمرى قبل ان يذبل هذا العمر ربما لا يوجد حل سوى نسيان هذا الكائن واتقبل قدرى فقط.

    1. الحب نصيب. ده شيء مؤكد. قد يأتي وقد لا يأتي. والأمر في النهاية متروك لربنا. ولكن…هناك أشياء نستطيع عملها حتى تزيد فرصنا في الحصول على حب إذا كان الحب…أو فلنقل إذا كانت علاقة انسانية جميلة وراقية ما بين رجل وامرأة…هو أحد أهدافنا واحتياجاتنا في الحياة.

      أحد مشاكل مجتمعاتنا العربية هو أن المرأة كثيرا ما تكون محدودة في علاقاتها الاجتماعية داخل دائرة صغيرة من الناس تشمل عائلتها وزملاء العمل وبعد الصديقات. وقد لا يكون الشخص المناسب لتلك المرأة داخل تلك الدائرة الضيقة. مهم للانسان…سواء كان رجلا أو امرأة…الذي يبحث عن شريك حياته أن يوسع دائرة علاقاته بشكل كبير حتى تتحسن فرصه في ان يجد الشخص المناسب له

      أين تجدين الشخص المناسب لك؟ أنت لازم الاول، زي ما قلنا لحد قبلك، تعرفي انت مين وعايزة أيه في حياتك. انت لما تبقى عارفة نفسك بتبدئي تقدري تعرفي انت ممكن تبقي عايزة أيه في شريك حياتك حتى بتحثي عنه.

      انت لو عايزة شريك حياتك يكون رياضي، يبقى لازم تروحي له الأماكن اللي فيها ناس رياضيين.

      لو عايزاه متدين…يبقى لازم تروحي له الأماكن اللي فيها الناس المتدينين

      لو عايزاه مثقف…اشتركي في ندوات ثقافية

      وهكذا.

      كمان مهم انك تكوني شخصية اجتماعية فاتحة قلبها للناس وسامحة للناس تتعرف عليك أكثر. في حدود الأدب وتقاليد ديننا ومجتمعنا بالطبع. يعني لو رحت ندوات بس قعدت ساكتة مش بتتكلمي خالص مع أي حد، يبقى استفدت أيه؟ ما حدش حيكلمك برده. اتكلمي مع اللي قاعد جنبك. اتعرفي عليه. خلي الابتسامة على وشك. تجاذبي أطراف الحديث. وشوفي حيحصل أيه.

      وسعي فرصك يا وفاء بأنك توسعي دائرة علاقاتك وانفتاحك على الناس. واتركي الباقي على ربنا

  10. Dear Love Guru,

    I’ve been single and lonely for three years now and even though I’ve climbed 4 mountains so far, traveled to many places, met lots of guys, most of them aren’t interested. I’m already 31 and I’m starting to wonder if I’ll spend the rest of my life alone. Even though I’m trying to prepare myself mentally and emotionally for a life of loneliness, it’s a sad thought. What’s your advice on that?

    Lonely Old Lady

    1. Dear Lonely,

      My initial reaction to your question is: get a grip, woman! You’re only 31! You’re practically a baby still. You have your whole life ahead of you.

      You say you’ve been single for 3 years. That means that three years ago you had someone in your life. If that was a decent relationship, be thankful for having that in your life. If not, be thankful it’s over with and you’ve been able to move on.

      I strongly believe that it’s important that we learn that we are able to live alone without being lonely. We need to learn to enjoy our own company. We need to be able to have full lives without being in love. I believe that when we reach that stage of knowing ourselves that well and of being comfortable in our own skin, that is when we are most open and ready to bump into someone else to share the rest of our lives with.

      You need to figure out how to stop feeling lonely without the answer necessarily being I need a life partner. You to need to figure out how to enjoy your own company.

      You’re on the right track. Travel is an excellent way to keep busy, learn new things, culture oneself, and enjoy life. Don’t travel with the explicit goal of meeting a guy, though. Do travel with a goal of meeting new people and making new friends.

      The more you put yourself out in the world, the more likely you are to meet Mr Right. Just be patient and enjoy the ride.

      You don’t need a man for you to be happy and for your life to be full. We all need to surround ourselves with family and friends, though. Do that. Be happy.

    2. Dear Lonely,

      I’ve been thinking about your question and my answer since yesterday. Something has been bothering me about my response. It doesn’t acknowledge the natural yearning most people have to share one’s life with a significant other. Lonely, I acknowledge your yearning. I need you to know that. I remember when I was single listening to the relationship experts telling us how important it was to be able to be happy alone. I do believe that. But I also remember feeling angry at them because what they were saying did not acknowledge my tremendous need to share my life with someone else. I think God created this yearning in us. It drives us to find our significant other. So, Lonely, just keep doing what you’re doing. You’ll find him. You’re already on the right track. Get out there in the world and let the world know you’re here. Speak with people. If you find someone you really like, don’t wait for that person to initiate things. You need to give signals as well. I find that one of the problems many of us women have is not knowing how to send signals to men that we like them. Work on your signals. And really, best of luck to you.🙂

      1. Dear Love Guru Nadia,

        thank you very much for your advice, I know what you mean about being happy alone, and I do mostly enjoy my own company, but some days I just feel that yearning you spoke about, and it scares me to think that I may never find someone…but you’re right, the best thing to do is to enjoy life as it is and hope for the best I guess… thanks again for listening🙂

      2. You got it! And just as a final note: when you do find someone you like, a little bit of flirting never hurts😉

  11. سؤالى حول السن فى الحب هل له حدود .. لو كنت بحب حد اكبر منى بكام سنه كتار شويه .. وعايزه اصعب السؤال شويه هل يستطيع احد ان يحب احد بدون مايتعامل معاه كتير فقط مجرد متابعة بعض المواقف ليه عن بعد ؟

    1. شكرا يا سمر على أسئلتك. وهي فعلا صعبة . وصعب علي أجاوب عليها بالمعلومات القليلة اللي اديتيهاني. فرق السن مش دايما عيب. يعني أنا لو عندي 40 سنة وحبيت شخص عنده 60 سنة أيه المشكلة؟ أنا في سن نضج وعارفة أنا عاوزة أيه من علاقاتي الانسانية والشخص الثاني نفس الشيء. لكن لو قلتي لي بنت عندها 20 سنة ورجل عنده 40 سنة حأقولك خلينا نفكر شوية. هل انت عارفة بجد انت عايزة أيه من العلاقة اللي بينك وبين رجل حياتك؟ الحقيقة ما أقدرش أقولك فرق السن ينفع أو ما ينفعش على عمومه. لازم ننظر في الحالة نفسها وبعدين نقيم.

      أما الحب لمجرد المتابعة عن بعد فده مش حب. ده إعجاب. وده عادي وبيحصل. يا بنعجب بناس عشان بنشوف منهم مواقف كويسة. بس ده مش معناه أبدا أن الشخص ده لما يدخل في علاقة معاي انا أنه حيبقى الشخص المناسب لي. بمعنى أن تقييم نجاح علاقة من عدمه لا يبنى فقط على ما نراه من الشخص في تعاملاته مع الآخرين. وطبعا الاعجاب شيء والحب شيء. لازم نفرق بينهم.

      1. انت فعلا قلتى العمر تقريبا بس الحقيقه هو 24 و 47 .. انا بس مؤمنه ان الانسان قد يضحى بالكثير كي ينسجم مع روحه وممكن عدم الاكتراث بفارق العمر هو نوع من انواع التنازل كى انسجم مع روحى .. بس فى مشكله تانيه هو نفسه مايعرفش وحاولت كتير اقوله بس دايما بتراجع عشان خايفه من رفضه هو نفسه , كمان مجتمعنا نفسه ممكن مايقبلش فكرت بنت تحاول توصل احساس لحد بعينه🙂

      2. مش عيب – حتى في مجتمعنا – أن البنت تعطي إشارات توضح لرجل ما أنها معجبة به. ولا أقصد أن البنت تتمايل أو تصارح أو أو…لكن البنت الذكية بتعرف ازاي تعرف الرجل أنها معجبة.

        لكن في حالتك الصراحة لا أشجعك على إرسال إشارات. والسبب هو قلقي من مبدأ الإعجاب عن بعد اللي يخليكي تكوني معتقدة بأن الشخص ده هو روحك. أنا بأقلق من النوع ده من الإعجاب ما بين أي اثنين مش بس ما بين الرجل والمرأة. والنوع ده من الإعجاب – في رأيي – يدل على عدم نضج. ولو الانسان لسه أمامه الكثير من النضج العاطفي يبقى مش جاهز لأي علاقة فما بالك لأن يدخل في علاقة مع رجل يكبره بأكثر من 20 سنة.

        لولا شكل شرحك للأمر وقلقي من شكل إعجابك بهذا الشخص كنت سألتك بعض الأسئلة حتى أعرف ان كنت شخصية ناضجة أكبر من عمرك…وحتى أعرف ان كان هو مرتبطا أم لا وظروف حياته السابقة ما هي ووو. ولكن بصراحة مش حاسة بحاجة للأسئلة دي. حاسة أنك محتاجة تتريثي. جدا. وتنتظري حتى تتعرفي على نفسك أكثر وتعرفي ما يناسبك وما لا يناسبك. وان شاء الله لما ييجي الحب حتعرفيه. وحيكون مع شخص انت عارفاه كويس. ومش عن بعد.

  12. Alright, here goes.

    A family friend proposed to me. He’s a good guy, but I’ve never felt anything for him. My family loves him. I declined, but for months and months, he patiently waited.

    During this time, I met someone else and fell deeply in love for the first time in my life, with someone who matched me religiously, intellectually, and socially. However, because he lived in another country, I knew my very traditional parents would have very strong reservations. However, I prayed istikhara and elhamdulela he said he would even be willing to move here if my parents would allow the marriage on that condition.

    He met my father, who refused him. And because I am trying to be a good Muslim daughter, I did not try to fight any more, and made du’ua that Allah show me the right way, and try to remove from my heart the idea that the reasons for refusal were the other man my parents loved. And one week later, I was engaged to the man they loved, even though they’d seen for months how deeply I was in love with someone else.

    It has been almost six months, and I am still deeply in love with the man they refused, still cry every other day, and occasionally get weak and call him. He vows he will not get married until I do.

    The man I am engaged to is mash’Allah an amazing man. After I got to know him more, I realized he has faith, character, and intellectual compatibility. On paper, we are a great match. He also really loves me.

    But I have no feelings towards him whatsoever, other than respect and admiration as a human being. I do not hate him or dislike him at all. But I cannot imagine spending the rest of my life with him, engaging in marital relations, or having his children. On my best days, I think “get married, and if you still don’t fall in love, get a divorce.”

    My question is: what should I do? Is it truly okay to marry someone while you love someone else? how is it even possible to do that? The emotional infidelity when I’m engaged kills me, what would it be like if I was married?! I feel like I would cry on my wedding day. To this very day, if my parents tell me they’ve changed their minds about the man I love, I would leave the man I’m engaged to and get married to the one I love in an instant. And it isn’t just love: we are compatible, and the sheikh I tried to have mediate with my parents also met him and told me he was an amazing guy. the main reason of refusal is that there is a chance I would move countries.

    I am in such a difficult position. I don’t know what to do. I should be getting married in a couple of months. And when I think about it, I cry. But when anyone asks what is it about the man you’re engaged to you don’t like, I have nothing to say. because on paper, he is a great match for me, and I know that. Even more so than the man I love.

    But can I risk my life and his on the chance that I will one day have feelings for him? When currently there isn’t even a seed of emotional attachment? I do not miss him, I do not want to talk to him, I don’t even want to see him every day. I think of excuses not to. But my head tells me he is a great choice, that what if it’s only because you’re still in love? That in front of Allah, I have no ‘legitimate’ reason to turn down this man–feelings change over time. That if I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is 0 chance I could ever marry the man I love, then I probably would marry the man I’m engaged to–my next best choice. but do I risk losing him? let him go, spend a couple of years fighting, realize it is futile in a couple of years and then wish I’d married the man I was engaged to because I’d be nearing 30 and getting worse proposals?

    But what can I do? I think of being married or I’m called a “3aroosa” and I start crying. Parents and family and starting to pressure me into starting to prepare an apartment and a wedding, and all the thought does is bring me misery. It is supposed to be the happiest period of my life and it is the most miserable.

    So guru Nadia, what do you advise?

  13. oh and, to make matters more complicated, my fiance knows I do not love him, and that I still have feelings for someone else–I was more than honest. He stays, hoping one day my feelings will change.

    1. Dear Anon,

      It is sad that in 2012, girls are still getting engaged to men simply because it’s what their parents want. No. It is frightening. It happens too often and continues to happen in so many places in the world.

      Anon, do not marry the man you are engaged to. Do not marry anyone that you do not feel emotionally attached to. What kind of a marriage will that be? Why would you even consider doing that to yourself? Or to him?

      The answer about what to do with your engagement is easy.

      The answer about what to do about this other man you love is not as easy. All I can say is that if you think your love for him deserves a fight, then fight for him. And by saying that I do not mean go against your parents’ wishes. What I do mean is that you work very hard to get their approval. You said that this man lives in another country and that this was your parents’ main reason for refusal. Can he move to your country now? Settle down, get a job, and prove to them he is willing to do anything for you? To marry, one of you would need to uproot themselves to be with the other. For some reason, it’s usually the woman who is expected to uproot herself to go be with the man. Why not show the world that men and women are equal partners in marriage and that things can also be done the other way around?

      You deserve to be happy, Anon. What you are now doing to yourself will only make yourself miserable. Stop before it’s too late.

  14. dear guru Nadia,
    this is the very first time to talk about a very personal situation, being an introvert makes it harder to explain but i do trust you as you always inspire me so i will skip the introductions and try to get right to the point
    i am a mid twenties girl who has literally never been in love before.being an introvert it isn’t a huge problem for me as i love being alone.but LONELINESS is my serious fear i mean i love being alone for sometime but sometimes i think like i really need someone to watch over me and to continue our life together but every time someone tries to propose or even gently approach i never good till i shut him down.
    which leads us to history, as my father passed away when i was three and my elder brother was TOUGH with me and the kindness of the rest of my family did not succeed to make me forget what he was like with me,in addition i am very much into people with intellect which minimizes my choices(sorry but the people i see are very depressing when it comes to culture) and the most crucial issue i never liked someone in my age i really like OLDER men (is it being orphan,am i in trouble?) since i was a teenager i always admire middle aged men rarely thirties and i don’t know if it’s right or not.
    please help me guru Nadia this is the first time to trust someone and tell about such a personal situation.please advise me as it is to the extent that every time someone talks to me about engagement or relationships i hardly can breathe.

    waiting for your wisdom, dear.

    1. Dear Rooka,

      You did not mention your age, but I am assuming you are still young. If you are, just slow down. Take your time. You do not need to rush into being in a relationship or getting married if you are not ready. Readiness for a relationship involves a lot of different things. Most importantly, you need to meet the right person. You simply haven’t yet. When you do meet the right person you won’t shut down the way you do right now. So don’t worry.

      You like smart, cultured men. Good for you. They don’t have to be a lot older than you, though. There are many many young, smart, cultured men out there. You just need to go to the places where they are found. You didn’t mention which country you are from, but if you’re from Egypt, why not get involved in a political party? That’s where a lot of active, intellectual young men can be found these days. Or, as I suggested to someone else, get involved in voluntary work. Think of a cause you’d like to support and volunteer your time to support it.

      In short, go to places where you might find like-minded people. Don’t over-analyze things too much. Don’t think that you HAVE to be in a relationship or married if you’re not married. There’s a time for everything. It will come when it comes and you will recognize it immediately.

  15. dear guru,
    thank you very much for your advice. i do know you are right and completing my data i am 27 and indeed i live in Egypt.hopefully i can achieve what you advised me and try to mingle with the world out there,although everyone sees me thinks i have an older character than my actual age(if i put it in the right words) and that’s how i see my self also but i will try.
    thank you dear i really feel like i had a good advice🙂

  16. I said I didn’t have anything I needed advice on but turns out I was wrong, although technically it isn’t my issue at all.

    One of the girls at work is being pressured to marry someone she can’t stand, he has a temper and a tendency to resort to emotional blackmail, by her parents who will not accept this as an excuse. Everyday she comes to work and sits in my library and cries and asks for advice.

    Some of the older women at work side with her parents and keep the pressure on. My instinct is to tell her to tell her parents to piss off ( more politely of course but still the message would be a clear NO) or at the very least remind her that this is a decision she will have to live with for the rest of her life and thus not one to be taken just because her parents think its the right one to make. Then again a) she is coptic and minority issues add pressure to marriage I know that, and more importantly b) I don’t really understand this aspect of Egyptian culture at all not having lived with my Egyptian parent since before I was 16.

    I don’t know what to do, do I keep quiet and give her no advise at all and watch her get strong armed into this? Or do I say something?

    1. Leila,

      Cultural issues DO play into this sort of thing. But the way it plays into it for you is to try to understand why this girl is in this situation to begin with. Have her explain to you how it is that her parents think it’s all right to force her into marrying someone she doesn’t want. Have her explain to you what might happen if she refuses to marry the man. Have her explain what her options are, who she can go to for help and protection if necessary. Without information like this, it’s very difficult for you to give her proper advice. It’s very easy to tell her that she shouldn’t marry this man. Because she simply shouldn’t, regardless of the cultural issues. It’s not right in any religion to force a girl to marry a man she does not want. But then what? When she refuses? What happens? She may need serious help. And you may need to work through her options with her. Or it may be a simple matter of parental respect. That she believes that out of respect for her parents she needs to do what they tell her to do. In which case you need to explain to her that it’s her life and not theirs. Get more information, Leila. And help this girl delicately and sensitively. Hopefully you and those around her can save her from a bad marriage with minimal damage to her relationship with her parents.

  17. Thanks that does sound like good advice.🙂

    I mean I understand some about parent cultural issues. I will probably never go to Nigeria or Jerusalem though I am dying to because my parents do not approve. A fact my ‘western’ friends just can’t understand.

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