Help A Sista Out!

Hey joonies,

Every so often – we get emails asking for advice or our opinion on a certain situation.  Of course, this makes us feel great as sex wizards but — we don’t always have the answer. A lot of times, we are still trying to figure out our own love lives and the best advice we can offer is what we’ve learned through our own experiences.

With that said, we received an email recently asking us for very specific advice. And because we aren’t really sex wizards, we decided to open up the floor to our joonieshelp a sista out:

Do Persian men ever marry non-Persian women?

Especially black women.

whatevs

I am talking about a non-Muslim (he’s Baha’i), Iran born, USA raised man.

Or do they only date people from another ethnicity with no intention of  ever marrying them?

Background: I’ve known and been involved with him for about two and a half years.  I’ve never met his family — who he lives with. I’ve asked him to be straight with me: is it because I am not Persian or the same religion? He claims no. He says that it’s because once you meet them – then all the floodgates will open and his parents will keep asking when we are going to get married and have kids. I countered that by saying we will just have to explain to his parents that we are not ready for all of that yet especially, financially. To which he said that reasoning will fall on deaf ears.

So ladies, what do you think? Am I barking up the wrong tree with all Persian and Middle Eastern men? Clearly, some of them do marry outside of their race — shout out to Tehran SOParvaz. But, are the odds not in my favor?  

hunger

To be perfectly honest – when we first read this email, our initial reaction was — move on honey — if he hasn’t done it now, he never will.

But then we look at OUR parents… and there are so many things (like a relationship) that we would keep from them just to make sure they don’t get overly involved… like they always do.

But there’s always a limit, right? There is always a limit to how long you wait, how much you give up, how much you take — and so like with anything else, there should be a limit.

If you don’t enforce it – it won’t happen.

If you want something to happen, then you have to make it happen.  We aren’t talking about ultimatums or force — but giving him all the power isn’t exactly going to get you what you want. In a relationship – both people involved should step up… not just the girlfriend and not just the boyfriend.

Joonies – what do you think? Do you agree? What should our reader do?

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XX,

THE S&F TEAM

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Comments

  1. Holly Dagres says:

    It is more common for Iranian men to marry non-Iranian women than vice versa. In terms of Bahais and black women, one of my friends are from an Iranian dad and black mom — they’re Bahai (She converted). Turns out that Bahais revere African culture and believe civilization roots from there.

    • I love you Holly. It’s funny you say Iranian women don’t marry outside their race when you’re the product of one!!!

      • Holly Dagres says:

        Where did I say otherwise? Did you not read my Huffington Post article about halfies being the future of the Iranian Diaspora???

    • Yeah I did read it, but you kept complaining about how the PBS documentary didn’t feature any.

  2. don’t break it up but also don’t give him all the power….It’s a fine line…honestly i as a persian gal have the same problem when i’m dating somebody from another race…they keep wanting to meet my family and even though we might be seriously involved “not casual dating” , I just know that by showing him to my family my mom will have my “jahaz” ready the next day!!…cuz our awesome persian parents love to have ” naveh” ( grandchildren) as soon as possible!!…on the other hand make sure he is not just playing you and then bring a virgin from iran to marry….I’ve seen people do that after a 10 year freaking relationship …#thishitisserious!….

    goodluck jooni

  3. I’ll try hard to keep this short. But we have to analyze him not as just a persian but a, well, boy. 2&1/2 years?! Thats not a good sign, my initial reaction would be to drop it. But on the other hand there needs to be a reason. Maybe it stretches further than just “they’ll push for a wedding” (which they will, probably.) But the most he can do is say “soon, inshallah” and move on. his parents will move on too, after a while…
    But on the other hand, you two have had a relationship thats been going on for quite a while and it seems you have an intended serious future. So if he’s all in, he better act it.
    Solution? Tricky from someone who doesnt know you two personally. I think he needs to step up. Prior to doing anything drastic you need to take a bit more charge, but dont attempt to push him out completely. Whatever reason he doesnt want to introduce you should be minimal when youre in love. As the parents will learn to accept it or automatically accept it. (Were mixing cultures alot and parents are still happy) i cant give you a straight answer, thats for you to decide. Good luck azizam ! ❤

  4. As an Iranian, I can understand where he’s coming from, because we can all admit Persian parents are embarrassing sometimes. But I think it’s odd that he can’t just deal with a few questions about your future together from his parents. He should be able to deal with the pressure from his parents for you if your relationship with him is a huge priority. I think you should pass on him, sorry :/

    But still, follow ur heart! Good luck xx

  5. Sara number 3 :D says:

    My initial reaction wasn’t “you’re not Iranian therefore he is playing you” but rather it was..urmm 2 and half years and still haven’t met the parents the parents?

    I mean unless you guys are very young THAT is what I found alarming not the race thing. I have seen Iranians getting married to various races but I think if you are serious with someone and you’re no longer 18, you would bring them home. Specially if he lives with his parents, them not knowing you exist makes things very hard and makes one wonder is them asking a few questions really worth him hiding a relationship and not being able to take you home?

    Best of luck!

  6. Two and a half years and you haven’t met his family (who he also happens to live with???)? Does this mean that in all the time you’ve been dating him, you have not been to his home? Has he been to yours? There are a quite a few questions I have here.

    He’s not wrong when he says Persian families can be a bit overbearing, but that’s not an excuse. He’s making it sound like he’s trying to protect you when you’ve already said you’re fine with whatever the consequences of meeting his family are. If you’re okay with facing questions about the future of your relationship, why isn’t he? You’re not his dirty little secret and if you are, then maybe it’s time to move on.

    Now, to address the ugly side of your question. Yes, some Persians are racist. Let’s not sugarcoat things. It is definitely a possibility that he may be hesitant to introduce you to the family because of your race. I hope that is not the reason, but it is possible. Now, even if his family is racist, if he is really invested in your relationship and a future with you, then he’s going to have to face the music at some point or another anyway.

    You need to have a discussion with him that expresses these concerns. It’s not just about meeting his family, it’s about his hiding your relationship from people he is close to. If he has a need to do that, then it’s time for you to move on.

  7. Oh my… First reaction was screaming “Runnnnnnnnnn sista!! Runnnnn!!”… But running isn’t an option or the one you might choose, if you considered reaching out to all the JOONies for help ;)
    The question isn’t if Persian guys do or don’t marry non-Persian girls. They do it’s a fact. As you said there is Tehran SoParvaz and so many others… I, myself, am also a half-Persian ;)

    Now to let you in on a little secret, Persian guys tend to marry more non-Persian girls for different reasons:
    1) Once they’ve chosen a girl, they don’t need to try to convince (maybe in vain) the girl’s daddy…
    2) No dowry… and some of our Persian JOONies do exaggerate. Sometimes it feels like Love is Love, but Jahazi is Jahazi ;)
    3) They want a girlfriend/wife and not to adopt a whole family…
    4) As men, they were able to evolve, modernize and “occidentalize” themself.. Persian-girls even if we do or want, when we are with our family, we turn into “Sakineh, the Persian tradition addict”…

    So don’t worry much about if Persian men do marry non-Persian girl or not. Focus on your relationship! Does he respect you? Does he love you? Does he make you happy? Does he make you feel like your unique, sexy and perfect?
    If you said “no” to all the questions above dump his ass.
    If you said “yes” to all the questions above then stop worrying girl. Seriously STOP for the sake of all us, single ladies ;)

    About what he said about his parents… Dear it’s crystal clear that you’re not dealing with Persian parents! When you said “I countered that by saying we will just have to explain to his parents that we are not ready for all of that yet especially, financially” I so wanted to hug you… It was the most cute and innocent thing I’ve heard for a long long time. You can make people eat corn syrup with everything, you can create the need of traveling on Mars, you can do practically anything those days… except making Persian parents change their mind and not meddling in your personal life.
    The concept of “privacy” and “personal” don’t exist in our parents dictionary.
    Make your relationship official once and only when you’re ready to think about being engaged (engagement can last for a year or two in Persian families, it’s our parents answer to “but we are not ready yet… we have to finish our studies… find a job… have the budget…”).
    Like Saaghi_Joon said “there’s no reasoning with the unreasonable!!”

    Hope not to have scared you too much about Persian craziness ;)

    Lots of love xxx

  8. OK, as a persian parent I’m telling you to break it up asap and find someone who will love you and respect you as you deserve. This boy is apparently playing with you and your mind. If his parents are that backwarded that cannot accept a woman from another culture and he is afraid of them, then he will not change in any future. If they are not, so he is simply lying and he has no intention of introducing you to them for personal reasons. Either way, you need to know your place in his mind which is not very high, he is either too scared to be with you or has no respect and is simply lying. Break up and find a man, from any race or culture, who loves you and respects you and respects his relationship with you.

  9. I think it’d be great to hear a boy’s point of view on this ……come on persian pesars!!!

  10. Allright,
    A guy’s opinion,
    Dear jooni here is a couple of things you need to know:
    First generation persian guys have the tendency to screw around with anyone and everyone while they are here and when it is time to get married they usually end up going to iran to get married and then bring their wife here to the states. But this would only be true if he is a muslim, not even a real strict muslim but someone who was born to muslim parents.
    Now you mentioned that he is bahai! This makes the case a lot different since most of iranian bahais are refugees so they are not allowed to travel back to iran.
    Then again since bahai is a small religion, its followers are doing their best to spread the word around about their religion and get as many new followers as they can. So even if he’s trying to factor out the parents approval, you still HAVE TO BECOME A Bahai. So most of the time if they are super serious about getting with a girl after a while they start talking about their religion and would try to make you convert to bahaism. This is a huge factor! Unless he is just saying that he is bahai just to have its benefits!
    Another thing to look at is how old are you guys? A lot of persian guys are trying to push back the age of getting married. It used be when they were in their early 20s but these days its something around the age of 27 or higher!
    Something that you shouldn’t worry about is the part about you being black.
    I have a cousin who married a black girl and one of my friend’s sister got married to a black guy.

    Lastly, as others might of have told you, Persian families are very traditional and moms tend to always want the best for their sons and thats why they think finding a wife is their job not their sons’.

    Hope this help. Excuse my writing!

  11. Move on….
    If he really loved you, he would be courageous enough to stand against our culture’s way of allowing family to ruin our lives.
    Forget any Middle-easterner who pays too much respect to his parents. Period.

  12. Ghormesabzi lover says:

    I’m not even going to front. I’m an Iranian male and I’m definitely not opposed to marrying outside my own race, however I’m also very big in keeping my family out of my personal business. In my personal case it would have nothing to do with the woman, moreso the annoying badgering of my parents in my business. I agree if a man is serious eventually he would have to take the step and introduce the woman to his parents but I can say personally in my case it probably wouldn’t be unless I was considering a future where this woman would be a part of the family.

  13. Ghormesabzi lover says:

    For the record to answer the question which I believe I neglected, race could be a factor but if your bf feels strongly enough about his love for you, he wont let it become one. I personally have 2 female cousins who ended up marrying black men and now have beautiful children by them. So if a female can do it, a man certainly can because they face less pressure in this regard than Iranian females do. My guess is it may be something else and if it is you should find out what it is, because if he’s unwilling to tell you, it could be a tell tale sign of worse things to come. Can’t have a relationship without trust no matter what the race or creed.

  14. Sista here,
    I am the one who posed the question and from the bottom of my heart want to thank all of you for taking time to reply. Your comments, made me cry, laugh and relief and more doubt, but I needed to hear the good, the bad and ugly so thanks again.

    I wanted to give some background. We are not young ins, I am 27, he 28. I am in grad school and he runs a business that supports himself, parents and younger sister. Concerns of racism on his parent’s part never crossed my mind, as I know for a fact he and his siblings have brought home many different friends of varying backgrounds. No, I have never been to his home, though have picked him up and dropped him off a few times when his car was out of commission, never once going to the front door…
    He has met my parents, who live an hour away from us. As far as ever converting to Bahai, for him or someone else, I would do it in a heartbeat as I find very beautiful and not a religion were sacrifices are expected.

    As for US, we are on a “break” as the stress of this and other things has been strenuous. I love this man with all my heart, and if we do ever get back together, Meeting his family would be a must for me. I am a lovely, articulate and genuine person, and I have won many a mother over :) I want my love for him to b expanded to his family…..

    Again, thank you all so so much!!

    • Iranian families are diverse in terms of world views and values so I really wouldn’t take any of the above advice to heart. I don’t know why a lot of Iranians try to pass their own backgrounds and family dynamics as being representative of all or even majority of Iranians. It usually isn’t. Like some have said before me, my concern stems from you guys having been together 2&1/2 years. If it’s been this long and you still haven’t been introduced I would be concerned. I understand if he doesn’t want his family to badger him, but the fact that he’s 28 and he still isn’t able to cope with his parents overbearing ways seems to show that he’s not very mature.

  15. ***meant to say, made me feel relieved and doubtful all at the same time

  16. Sista,

    I read your post and had to chill a few days before responding, I felt so much for your situation. I’ve decided to keep it short, and just give a small point of my perspective.

    I empathize with you, a lot. I’ve been there. I’m full Iranian, and the guy I dated is also full (we were each others’ firsts). However, I was raised as a non-religious Muslim (I know how to pray but do so on my own, possibly once a year or two), and love all faiths, as does my family. He’s Baha’i. Turns out, Baha’is tend to be (ARE) more religious.. fanatic, almost. His family is no exception. It is a beautiful religion — most faiths are.. but any sort of fanaticism is an unfortunate turn of events. It’s ironic that a multi-dimensional faith like Baha’i would be so closed-mind to accepting other faiths and ethnicities.. particularly in the name of love.

    In my situation, after two years, the religion issue and his family (who we tried to hide our relationship from, for their “ease of mind”), just became too big of a deal. I asked him to talk to me about what are future held, so I don’t stick around when there may not be a future, where I didn’t want to change my life without reciprocation. Anyway, he didn’t handle it well (neither did his family — he tried to tell them, and they freaked), and we were broken (dramatically). It’s been a couple years. I miss him all the time. He missed me a lot for the first year, too — we couldn’t be in the same room together without one of us bursting into tears (babies, I know).

    But, looking back, I realize we could have lived in the moment and enjoyed the time we had (we didn’t know for certain that things would (or would not) work out). I wish we could have found out on our own, without his family meddling or hurting us like that. But, for my own sanity, I had to ask — and though I doubt we’re both over it completely, even today, and he really hurt me with the way we left things, we couldn’t hang around forever. Enjoying your time for a year or so is nice — but after a while, I’d advise asking for the next step. If he can’t give it, as much as it will hurt, you will learn so much.

    I don’t agree that “it’s better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all”. It hurts, A LOT, especially with a situation like yours. But, you’ll learn and it will mold you into a person that’s just.that.much.more. w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. <3

    DM

    P.S. I love S&F.

  17. Just like DM…I’ve recently experienced the same situation. I’ve known (my now ex) for 4 years; and we dated for 2 of the four. Most recently, his mother “negotiated” him to be married to another lady of Iranian descent. As he explains, he tried to explain to his mother that he was in love with an African-American female but was given an ultimatum. Either way, he had to pay a price – losing his family or losing me.

    He’s an only child; first generation; and a long list of other factors that requires him to stay within his culture.

    Just like DM, it is very difficult to move on; especially when you must part due to circumstances not due to your own choice but someone else’s. It hurts like hell, but at least I can move on. He is to be with someone he doesn’t love and bear children.

    I say cut your ties now. I hate to advice this because if he has the characteristics of my ex, he is very trustworthy and dependable. When it comes to his family he will push you aside…and not because he wants to is required to do so.

    Please note – this was just MY experience. I do know that more progressive families support their children’s wishes. It just so happens my ex’s family is very traditional and have a devout belief in retaining their bloodline.

    Good luck!

  18. My husband is Persian and married a white chick ;) Haha I am Canadian-Italian (And Baha’i). We are are young- both 22- married for over 2 years after only knowing each other for about 7 months. We also have our own little baby jooni, and I love how she’s a mix of both of our backgrounds. His family is Muslim (he’s not) and they were super supportive from the get go. They always encouraged him to explore other religions and cultures and boy did he ever!! LOL It’s actually funny because his only previous relationship was with a black girl (to answer your question about persian guys/black women) and most of my experience was with Persian guys. And for the record, hubby said before me he never considered dating a Persian girl and would not be able to deal with them lol

  19. Also, I do find it alarming that after 2.5 years you haven’t met his family. That is so important and you would think that if you are in love with someone and wanted to spend your life with them then you would be proud to take that person home to your family and let the chips fall where they may. However, like mentioned previously, we don’t you guys personally so it’s hard to pass judgement on your relationship! A serious “Where do you see us in the future/meeting the parents” talk needs to be held. Perhaps it’s time to give him an ultimatum, if he’s serious and wants to marry you then time to meet the family, if not time to consider walking away before you get strung along even further. Best of luck and I hope everything works out how you want it to!

  20. 27 Year Old Persian Bahai male here. Born in the Bay Area. I’m going to try to explain this as best as I can, and will probably muck it up, but at least I’m trying?

    So there are really two forces at work here: The desires of this guy and the desires of his family. Lets deal with the family first:

    My parents want me to marry a persian bahai. Just flat out, in a perfect world, that is what I would do, and we would probably already be married. They have their prejudices against certain races and certain religions, but it all really stems from what they think would be best for me and the life that they want me to lead. They want a very coherent marriage where both parties fully understand where the other is coming from. Of course its a lot easier when religion and race are the same. I completely understand their opinions, but respectfully disagree with them (much to their chagrin). Relationships are hard work regardless of background. Just because you have the same race and religion doesn’t mean you understand them in the same way. It is foolish to think so.

    How do I feel about race and religion? When it comes to race, I have no preference. I find women of all races to be beautiful and I am really looking for personality. I honestly think halfie kids are beautiful and would love to have some of my own, but honestly, it doesn’t come into my mindscape during the dating process. From the point of view of my religion, there is nothing telling you not to date someone of a race or religion. I see the benefit of marrying a bahai: knowing my kids would be raised a certain way, knowing that my lifestyle wouldn’t really be questioned, and most importantly, knowing that my partner shares at least a portion of the same values I do. With that in mind, most of my family (bahai’s) are not married to bahai’s and their relationships are as wonderful and fruitful as anyone elses. It really comes down to finding someone who knows you and that loves you and that you know and love. If its all there and you can communicate, I think you can work it out.

    I do, however, notice that there are some that have relationships with people who aren’t of their religion, while still searching for a person that fits the requirements of their parents (across all religions really). 2.5 years is a really long time, and honestly, most bahai’s I know are married by then (especially those that follow the no sex before marriage rules). I would make sure that you aren’t one of those unlucky people who is really a girl on the side.

    If there is anything I can clear up, let me know! I just discovered this blog and I am really enjoying it!

  21. I’m an Iranian guy and I dated a few black girls…..till I started dating Brazilian women mmmmmmmm. My parents are Baha’is and I think I was in my early 20’s when I learned they are simply closed minded fanatics who preach love and unity, but don’t approve of any girl if she isn’t a Baha’i. I keep the girls I date away from my parents not because I don’t care about the girls, but simply because parent’s opinion is not important to me. They are influenced by too many superficial cultural and religious beliefs for their approval to be beneficial.

  22. This goes to all the boys and girls who tried to judge me and kick me down as much as they could, well the best answer for you all is, You don’t know me, Please don’t judge me, I loved her, still do love her and it is not racism, it’s not my religion, it’s not me playing her, it is not me trying to lead her on, at times there are situations which you can’t share with the world, so I have to deal with it within and deal with my pain… and let you all judge me.. Yet no hard feelings, I have nothing but love….. Peace

  23. So,

    I appreciate Pedram’s honesty. Easier said than done (to be open and nevermind too much family opinion), but it is nice to hear the acknowledgement that yes, this is because sh*t is easier if we’re from the same faith, etc. I completely agree. It’s hopeful to hear that many mixed-faith couples are successful. It does make things more difficult, and is almost impossible if both parties come from pious backgrounds. Somebody’s gotta give a little (not be as religious). And that may not even be good enough, sometimes (like in my own situation).

    As far as H’s response above goes — dude. We’re human, we have opinions and experiences and perspectives that make us view a situation, even if not our own, in certain ways, be it fair or not, foozooli or whatever. In the end, it sucks for both people. Obviously, there is a lot of love going on and you’re right that things sometimes don’t work out. It might not make sense or be fair and hurt like a beezy.. but c’est la vie. I hope both you and Sista eventually find some sort of peace (perhaps never completely so, at least consciously) with wherever you are. Be it in a few months or years from now.

    DM

  24. The problem is when we get far from home, we miss mommy every day. I am 32 married and very busy but I cry for missing my mum many nights and I hide it from my wife. Of course moms would want to come over and stay a few months. Now show me a woman that can get along with mother-in-law for more than a week! Eventually we get stuck between two women whom we love, but they hate each other. This is not a good situation to be in.
    The best thing for a Persian man is to never get married.

  25. I’m a black woman in Tehrangeles (ahem… Los Angeles), and Persian-American men come on to me consistently. They are almost all I attract, and they are very, very forward about it. It could be, though, because I am mixed — my grandmother’s people are from India — so as a result I look fairly Persian myself. But come on — my dad is black, these guys know who and what I am.

    I find they become obsessive quickly. One tried to kidnap me; it was that bad. It was not a good experience. I find Persian guys to be very controlling with extremely fixed and misogynistic opinions. Like the 1960’s song Lemon Tree, they’re “very pretty, and the blossom’s fragrance is sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat”.

    Do not believe for one second Iranian men aren’t into us. We’re their number one prey and blondes are second. It’s sad though how undateable these handsome men can be. I for one will never, ever risk dating a Persian again. :(

  26. My dad war born in Tehran and moved here when he was in his teens. My mom is an Italian-American whose spent her whole life in the US

  27. my personal idea: it is not common an Iranian man marries non-Iranian girls. while they can be a good boy friend, there is huge cultural differences. religion has little role here. for example, you will not be judged on how sexy or funny you are. you cant brag that you are a good dancer. instead you need to be smart, educated and loyal. while you are expected to be so, you are most welcome as a kind wife who cares about her husband and baby. divorce is not a piece of cake and you never can brag about your ex-boyfriends. well, you see, there are huge differences. there are exceptions though.

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