Freedom of Date

My mum – who unlike many Egyptian mothers does not care that I’m 22 and single –  recently asked me if I would like to “meet” the son of one of her friends.

Apparently, the guy’s parents were on the hunt for a wife. My answer was a scowl the size of Africa and I was surprised that the woman who raised me to be a no-bullshit, independent woman would make such an offer.

“Yasmine, I didn’t say marry him or even date him, I said meet him”, she said in exasperation.

“Yes mum, but why on earth would a 25-year-old man get his parents to find him a wife? Something must be seriously wrong with his social life.”

She dropped the conversation. Hmm, I thought to myself, did this guy actually ask his parents for this, or are they volunteering to put an end to his bachelorhood?


Growing up, I was always surrounded by negative attitudes on being set up on dates by your folks.

My parents for one, never sought that path because they believed in their children’s’ independent ability to find what is right for them in life. And yet that afternoon when my mum made her unusual offer, she prompted me to ask several questions.

First of all, why do many of us have such a negative attitude towards meeting guys through our folks?

Well, the amount of horror stories we listen to and read about stubborn, often violent, arranged marriages is one. Another is the feeling that our parents’  are usually far removed from our “real” identities and would therefore set us up with men that are good for them, rather than good for us.


Secondly, does acquiescing to such a “traditional” way of finding a partner contradict my many values about independence?

Well joonies, here is my conclusion.

Although, I would personally not pursue being set up by my folks – because I believe in getting to know the person in a less stressful setting – I do not think there is anything wrong with the idea. Some people are not into the idea of maneuvering the dating scene as tirelessly as others.

How you choose to find love is just a question of your own aspirations and the expectations you make of your life.


All too often, we make judgments of other people because they chose a path we deem as dependent or “desperate”. But consider this, would you accept a comment denouncing your choice to date? No, because we believe that is repressive.

Remember, the only notion of freedom that is as yet missing among humankind, Western or Eastern, is the freedom of choice and that can be as simple as choosing how to find love.





YASMINE یاسمین

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