Blog Series: Internet Relationships #10- My Arabic Friend

We have been all over the place with internet relationships, but it’s time to spill some tea. For one or more reasons we pick out people that we randomly meet online and something happens and friendship or love develops. Throughout all the 26 years that I have had the internet, there have been people I loved very much, whether they were just friends or whether they were lovers.  I will also say that there were only 4 love interests I met in person while I met somewhere around 15 lady friends in person. However, I have a big belief you can fall in love with people’s spirits just by knowing them long-distance. 

That brings us to remember a few special folks that bonded with me in the love realm but were a long way away. You may remember me talking about the German love that I had a two-year relationship with. This was the one real long-distance intense relationship I had. There were quite a few scattered along over the years before marriage and at the end of the marriage. Some were just friendships and some were just flirting and some were a bit more. 

Most of us women online know all too much about the constant intake we get in the DM, especially from the countries of India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arabic nations. It is not often we give Dm’s a second thought. Every once in a while, someone will DM you from one of these places and come up with a question or a thought that catches your eye. I to this day have two really good friendships with two such people. However, those will have to be another day. Today I will talk about an Arabic friend and how our friendship played out. 

It was a normal day and I was scrolling through Instagram (before I became a content creator) and I found a site with a lot of big people’s art. There was a question they had put in their stories that I felt inclined to answer. That sparked a conversation. In fact, that sparked an entire friendship. 

My friend was from a place of arranged marriages. Everything there intrigued me. From how girls could be in family photos but not for anyone else to see. Adult women could not be in photos out of their “the abaya.” Neither could they go to many places and could not even drive. Even when it comes wedding time the men and women party separate. My friend and I would have many conversations about the treatment of women and what it all meant. 

We also discussed how men often felt things for other men in their culture but no one spoke of it because they would be killed if anyone thought it to be true of them. This friend coming into marriage age did not know what his sexuality was. He was so confused he had spent time out of his country in which he used the company of female escorts to test his feelings. Eventually, he told me about it, telling me he was so confused. I really did not see this person as a man that liked men. I saw him as a young man who was confused due to his cultural limitations. We spent many hours talking. Once he was home in the evening, we would video call. He taught me a lot about his home and traditions.  

We also argued a lot, because he just did not understand some things and thought they were supposed to be one way and of course, I and my American views thought something else. Often or not, he would come around to see my side. I begin to love my friend dearly. He was handsome, kind, and open minded. He would have been someone I could have seen myself with actually. I felt like it was my job to help him figure out his sexual preference, help him see how women should be treated, and just inform him about things he was not aware of. Our friendship was one of learning and growing, so much laughter and even a few tears. 

It would come to pass that his mother was insisting that he marry. He would cry. He says I have found that I like women and need women, but now I have to settle for women I am not attracted to.  I was then informed all the women were thin that his mother kept making him meet. I encouraged him to go to his mother, and use the fact that she was separated from her father and basically shunned. How he never wanted a wife to have to go through the same fate. He told his mother that he liked big girls. While she thought him crazy, she went to work and it turns out it is easy to set up marriage there with a fat girl because so many men pass them up. 

I admit it happened too fast for me. I was not ready to give my friend up. He had told me days before he went to meet his bride that he would have to stop chatting with me because he did not need to be more confused and hold his wife to a standard of beauty and fun that she could not meet. I remember being a bit sad because I know that was his way of expressing his feelings for me.  After he met her for the first time, he came back home, called me, and said, she is very pretty Evie. I think I will be happy because she is an amazing cook. I will have to really watch my weight. I laughed at him a great deal. 

Those last days before he married, we talked and talked, trying to get in everything that we could possibly say before he could no longer talk to me. It was bitter sweet. I told him in America, women, and men could be friends without guilt or seeming unfaithful. However, it would not matter as he was not American and he held himself to a high standard. In the last phone call, we daydreamed about one day both traveling to London or Paris, each with our families, and across the distance we would see each other and we would smile and nod knowing we had both made it, we both had happy lives and happy families. 

Have you ever had friendships similar? Love for you to comment with your story!

XOXO, Evie

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