Testing the Waters (Dating in Dubai)

Dear Diasporic Jasmin,

I am currently testing the waters with a guy who apparently comes from a family who has strong background in academics, and here I am, without any degree.

He is quite conservative and I am quite carefree. He likes me and I think I like him too, there is problem ‘though. There are things that I do not really consider as potential problems if we will go into a deeper relationship, but lately he just told me that I should not take it personally but there are 3 points that he finds a slight concern if we are going to be together:

  1. Educational level – he is intending to do his PhD, and I am not going back to school anytime soon.
  2. Religious practices -we are both Muslim, and for him and I admit I am a very open Muslim lady. I am modern lady who loves make-up, smoke and occasionally drink.
  3. Cultural background – I was born and raised in Europe so I am a carefree person.

After hearing this, I am confused with emotions, what do you say?


Mimi DbX



Dear Mimi DbX

I like how articulated he is as he pointed out the 3 points. Did he do a power point presentation? The sarcasm on him.

First off, I am not a relationship guru nor a life expert, but you, asking for my opinion is a delight.

Rhetoric aside, If I was to go through to your concerns, we will try to reach in the same eye level as the PhD gentleman, we will try to dig from the shallowness rather the soundness of his arguments and I would be as a normal woman as I am.

  1. Congratulations to him! All praises as he seeks to improve his already strong background. Personally, I have high regards to individuals who strive for academic excellence, and it is not an everyday occurrence we meet one from these species. One’s educational attainment, on the other hand, to resort on making himself feel superior over someone especially for a prospect love interest is a big NO NO. He could be a candidate for a doctor of whatsoever philosophy, but just because you do not have the same level of education as he has, his passive doubts on you as non-effective partner, is such a pity. Unless, he tries to get to know you deeper, then his hypothesis is null and void. If your meal conversation requires thesis and arguments, then you might examine the need for you to go back to school if not, no one has the right to question your education level. (Only your employer, should they attest your school credentials, you know some companies in Dubai, they do that.)

For all we know you could be having an IQ of more than 134, and you were judge for a context that you didn’t finish your education. What is he going to do? Or what does he want you to do? Does he want you to go back to school / university so both of you can really enjoy dating? Questionable questions (pun intended)

Am I promoting a neglect on education as a standard for future girlfriend/ spouse/ mother of his child? Of course NOT, but that would fall into different circumstance that I do not wish to cause a more disoriented thought.

  1. To have the same religious belief as a common denominator with the opposite sex makes the candy sweeter. However, if still, there are attributes that makes him uncertain whether he like to proceed a period of courtship with you or not, makes me ponder, about his intentions. We are in 21st century and I do not understand why US, women, even from different belief and castes still have to explain our lifestyle and choices to men who we just met for short period of time. Of course, majority of individuals are bound to follow their own religious creed and there is no harm about that if he or she is imposing it on himself and not questioning the others. If you think he does make you feel uncomfortable to make you feel awkward about who you are now, honey, step back and count how many beautiful things you have enjoyed and tried exploring your youth without explaining until now, errr to him. We are in a digital age where you can just swipe right or left and skip seeing the person in person. Ask him, why does he point these things to you making you feel guilty about nothing, just to suit his “ideal” non-smoking girlfriend. (but seriously, stop smoking.) How about you and your  “ideal”? Or is it because he is a good catch, that he thought most people think he is, then why is he single, until now? Sorry I do not mean to be aggressive, just I try to open some windows to the narrow thinking room he is providing you.

If both of you practice the same religion and he finds your lifestyle too loud for the religion, isn’t it too condescending? Nobody is perfect, sure in his eyes you need advice but don’t you think he does need some too for being so judgmental? Just food for the thought.

  1. Mimi, I believe you are a beautiful person inside and out, you may be different culturally because you grew up in a place where you enjoyed the same liberty as the boys have, in the school back to your birth country, but with your family’s nurturement, I am taking the assumption that you have respect on individuality, understand the sanctity of marriage, and peace and love in your heart. Those are cultural universals, as you know, things that are expected from a normal homo sapiens, ‘though not everyone are living it. But how one’s culture be an issue? In your case, I assumed no cannibalism involve, no human sacrifices to volcanoes are part of your culture (I hope I am correct?) So how does one’s cultural background be a challenge for him? Wouldn’t it be nice to discover a different culture and celebrate diversity? You are carefree, you have the right and again be not questioned about it. Both of you are in Dubai, he should know that hundreds of ethnicities are here residing, he cannot play culture or race cards here. And If due to the fact that you are born outside the country or continent that the man was born is an issue, then something is not right.

Mimi, I am sorry to say, that relatively, not because I am woman, I am speaking in this way, kind of imposing our rights, but I need you to understand that the guy has his doubts and issues and you do have your own doubts too. He cannot point those things to you and expects you to fit in his category of accepted or not accepted. It is the matter of both you two consenting adults to see each other again to talk about it, or it could stop right there, calling it quits.  Dubai is city that is full or lack of opportunities to meet a future relationship, depending on one’s paradigm.

As a single lady, meeting an opposite sex that meets your initial standards like good looking, smells fresh and with good sense of humor etc. etc. makes you want to discover more. Courtship is such a nice process. Girlfriends from different nationality must have told you that, one way or another. Ideas on dating is like 4 per .25 fils. At the end, it is on your shoulder, how would you value his doubts on how dating each other will be a successful. But for me, after those counter points I mentioned, my hormones tell me: his ambiguous pointers are nothing but a way for him of saying “This is me, I am PhD candidate gentleman, I know what I want and please do not take it personally but I want you to adjust according to my standards, I want you to embrace the embodiment of my ideal woman”. Now, will you let it?

There Mimi, I said it, he might mean it differently, but this is how I perceived it, unless you are referring to Prince Harry, then you can reconsider my statements accordingly.

Yours truly,

Diasporic Jasmin


On Losing

   “I often wondered: is it some kind of a trade-off. Do others have to lose so we can win? – Zadie Smith, Swing Time.

   I love when a book strikes an uncomplicated statement that sparks a thought otherwise. Think about it, the paradox of it; the simplicity and its profoundness. On a day to day basis it happens, we lose, we win and it is a cycle: whether we like it or not.

   With experiences and countless treasures coated by what-I-thought-tragedies, in my back pack, winning and losing can be a disguise of either things that make you or break you. Now, it is difficult, Imagining myself without losing and all the winnings, would life still be worthwhile for me have I won about everything?

I Finally Caught The “Catcher…”

Lately, coming-of-age movies and books seem to interest me more than the time when I was at the age where they were supposed to influence me.
I know how adulting consumes me in a way my inner child is sometimes throwing a fit, so I need that other ‘self’ to be in that shoes, again, a teen who has full of curiosity, full of spontaneity, experiencing the joys of being prohibited to do a thing but rebelliously do otherwise, the logic that are outrageously funny and annoying, and the discoveries of life’s teaching in a come-what-may way.

During my teen years, my exposure to literature about young adults were very limited. Even though, I have read some radical books I was told not to during my teen years, still, I engaged myself to read, and boy, never I regret, for I see things differently… But then again, they weren’t meant for young adults! That was the difference! 

You see, access to books like this, (that has cult following, YA) was quite challenging for my younger self. (Please do not ask me how, there could be a lot of factors why.) And for that, I am doing myself a favor…of discovering more authors, more book titles, and more stories that I just heard sporadically during my maturing years. Those classic and authentic young adult fictions!

So! Here’s to adult peers, who, like me, occasionally yearn to relive those almost forgotten moments, of our younger and adventurous self. Let us enjoy the opportunity of being able to buy our OWN books (being adult, having a decent job 😅) and build our own library. Salute! 

The Love We Deserve 

Charlie: Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date? .Bill: Are we talking about anyone specific? .

Charlie: Nodded .

Bill: We accept the love we think we deserve. 

Charlie: Can we make them know that they deserve more? 

Bill: We can try.. 

– Charlie and Bill in Perks of Being a Wallflower

Do we, really? It is debatable in its sense. But looking around us, it has become the norm of our society. Not only in dating, but the behavior towards us by others that we condone. When we become so tolerable and complacent about something we are not truly comfortable about, we tend to be quiet and accepting just to avoid disagreement. Until, we deliberately send the signal that we are OK with that.

Predominantly, we have seen a lot of this scenario; that we are even guilty of it. We are too nice to people who are disregarding us.

Yes, outside sources can make us feel that we deserve more, friends and family who treat us great. They will always be there. but at the end of the day, when we are left alone in our thoughts, recollecting the events of the day, of the months, of the pasts, I hope each one of us find the love and appreciation. Respect, on a greater level, not the only ones we choose to accept just because…but of what we really are worthy of! ❤

Yummy, it is! 

Nope, I am not an Arabic speaker… yet😊
But! It is not impossible to detect a delicious and yummy treat. Our nostrils never will betray us, they will guide you to the path where you have walked before, to an indeed a very familiar corner. 
Just like today. The smell of the baking buns exploded unto the air and I realized, I was standing in front of Pappa Roti without looking back! ❤

Whoever you are, Middle Eastern or expats, I have met none who hasn’t liked these enticing buns. Tell me… could anyone resist them?