Dating Scene in Amman
I have wanted to write a post on the 20- and 30-something singles scene in Amman for a while. I find the topic fascinating, since it is one of those issues that no one talks about, but it is on everyone’s minds. From 16 year old teenagers who are looking for both love and physical expression to 60 something grandmothers who are pushing their grand children to meet someone for marriage.
For me, the question of the 20- and 30-something singles scene in Amman continues to sadden me with its lamentable stratification and fragmentation — everyone having to keep so many secrets. It seems that most of the singles in Amman struggle with similar issues — disclosure of who is seeing whom, when to disclose any such liaison, and of course, the steep drop off between the generations, where family members’ opinions are significant in relationships between adults. Of course there is the added complication of Muslims and Christians mixing on the dating scene in Amman.
How do people date in Amman?
Based on a comment by a commenter (age, 26)
When it comes to dating, there are certain rules, you can’t bypass. Everything from driving around to going out to places, cafes and clubs to making out in a car or a room, gets adapted to those rules.
Location makes all the difference, unless they have the opportunity to make out in one of their parent’s homes “bil salon!” or one of their bedrooms when the parents are not looking (in west Amman) or in a collectively rented apartments, then the car is the place ! Usually people make out in some remote location. It is usually risky, especially if a policeman happens to be there!
Based on a conversation with Rana from Sahab: (age, 22)
“I have a boyfriend, and I am in a happy relationship. I met him online on one of the forums. We chat, we talk, and we send each other emails. He sends me pictures and songs and writes me poetry. He is my best friend and he knows everything about me.
The only difficulty we face is that we can’t take it offline. When I see him in the street, I keep going as if he is a stranger”
Dating online is becoming very fashionable these days. I have been told that it works too, by that I mean it ends up in marriage, with one adjustment though–they don’t allow each other to chat or go online after marriage!
Based on a conversation with Mo (age 31)
“For me, we go out to have a drink or coffee, a brunch, a lunch a dinner… either in a group or alone. It is not so shocking to see people, sitting so close to each other in certain places; it is not shocking to see them holding hands. Dancing in a night club is usually a good place to get physically close. But really what we do is either drive around, meet at our married friends’ house to play cards, or talk. We talk over the phone for hours every night!” (to the delight of telecoms)
Based on a conversation with Ghada from Jabal Natheef (age 24)
Dating in our side of the world can be defined in stolen glances. I know I am dating when the guy stops to look at me, whenever I cross the street. Sometimes, when no one is looking, we exchange a hello.