Tayyeb Laish?

To be perfectly honest, I hesitated before writing this, and before publishing it too. I thought it too ridiculous to talk about and too personal. But then I thought, this is something that bothers lots of girls and they do talk about it offline a lot so why not? Besides, it’s my “personal” blog so I can talk about whatever the heck I want.

Few years back I would get the impression from people that they seem to think I’m wasting my life, meaning that I was doing things that don’t involve trying to get married, especially activities that don’t necessarily bring in money.  Now I can safely say that we’re past that phase as I’ve established that I am actually doing something with my life, and people seem to respect that but of course there are those occasional hints and questions, and nagging of course, because we can’t survive without a healthy dose of good old nerve-racking nagging.

And even when the nagging abates, there’s still “The Look”, oh you don’t know “The Look”? Let me tell you what “The Look” is. It’s usually that look of compassion you didn’t ask for, and you get it mostly from women of all ages when you’re at a wedding party or something, and it’s usually accompanied by things like “You’re next” and those are the people who think that you’re single and miserable, or things like: “Oh you’re doing the right thing, marriage is overrated” and those are the people who seem to think you have some sort of complex and that you’re against marriage and hate all men.

Well, I wish I could tell all these people to relax because: I’m neither. I’m just a happy person, that’s what I am, and I believe it has nothing to do with your marital status. I’ve decided to be happy, the “How” may differ from one person to another, and for me it is something I only trust God with, not people, not even myself. Yet people seem to think that there is that “formula” for happiness. They even make themselves miserable worrying about that. Some single people seem to think they’ll be happy once they get married and some married people secretly wish they could go back in time. It’s stupid to think that a getting a man or getting rid of a man will solve all your problems, just ridiculous.

But I don’t blame them, this is how girls are collectively raised in this society, they grew up with ideas that have seeped in too deep that became almost sacred so don’t you dare argue with them. Ideas that criss-cross individual differences and throw them out the window, leaving us with a free-size unisex  “shirt” that’s supposed to fit everyone. What they basically teach us is that marriage is a purpose in itself, and it’s certainly the only way you can have a decent life, and if you don’t get married you will end up a maidservant in your brother’s house and his wife will abuse and humiliate you on daily basis (Yes, some people still use this argument).

By that reasoning, sometimes you may need to sacrifice your own happiness to get married and you should cling to the first good chance that knocks on your door. You have to settle for whatever flaws the potential husband has if they weren’t deadly enough, you have to tolerate him even if being with him makes you feel out of your own skin. And you kow that old lie: “All men are like this” For example: He lies. – All men lie. – He’s insensitive. – All men are insensitive. So that you can shut up and accept those traits instead of looking for someone who doesn’t have them. And at the same time you have to be perfect. In a nutshell: The man should be happy, and the woman should be “not unhappy”.  No thank you!  I believe it’s my responsibility to be a happy, productive person in this society, and it’s my responsibility to think every step I take through and make the right informed decision even it seems ridiculous to everyone else.

Anyway, I’m usually a rational person, so I thought this through and came up with a decision, or more like a diagnosis, if you will. I’m not saying I’m taking a stand against marriage and determined to never get married, I just don’t think I will, there’s a big difference. And, please, don’t read this as “Oh I’m miserable I’ll never find true love”. Read it as: “I just don’t think it’s for me” and it’s really not a big deal, I do have some good reasons. Of course I can’t list those reason each time someone asks me: “Tayyeb Laish?” I know them in my mind but I’ve never put them to words. So here we go, a reference I can use for Tayyeb laisher’s, just  a few reasons why I don’t think I’ll ever get married, or be in any kind of relationship for that matter:

1-       I’m an easy-going person, at times too easy-going, and, as I gather, men tend to take advantage of that, and I refuse to be taken advantage of, and I also refuse to change and become a witch so that someone won’t take advantage of me. I don’t have it in me to fight and make a big fuss if someone hurt me or did me wrong. I think I’ll just be disappointed with my choice, and I’ll resent him, but I wouldn’t waste my energy on him, I’m too passive aggressive for that. Add an insensitive, self-righteous man to the equation and it’s a recipe for misery

2-      Speaking about insensitivity, I’m not saying all men are insensitive but I do think a large percentage of them are, or tend to become insensitive with years. Well, I can’t handle that, even in the small details, like if I’m working all day inside and outside the house and then he comes and frowns because the food is a bit salty. I don’t have to deal with that if you ask me.

3-      I value my privacy and my individuality, and sadly the prevailing idea in society is that once you get married to someone you should become conjoined twins. Couples now have each other’s e-mail passwords, why the heck do they do that? Here’s how I imagine a conversation would go:

Him: “Why don’t you tell me your e-mail password?”

Me: “Because it’s my e-mail, personal e-mail”. Him: “But what’s wrong with that? I’m your husband”. Me: “there’s everything wrong with that! People send me things expecting that I will see it, not someone else” Him: “Are you sure it’s not because you have something to hide?” Me: “Are you questioning my integrity? 6allegni”

4-      This might sound silly but I really hate all those social formalities and pre-requirements for marriage. You know, Jaha then engagement party then a wedding then social visits and 3azayem and I really hate to be formal with people and it makes me feel uncomfortable and everything. It’s not a real reason but it’s just makes the whole idea more intimidating.

5-      For some reason People always use the term “Settling down” which looks like a relative term, and it sometimes sound like being tied down, but this is not how I see it, I don’t want to “settle down” in the conventional meaning of the word, you know the one that turns men and women into boring and bored couch potatoes. No thanks, I’ll pass.

So, these are the ideas I managed to express but if you want the truth they won’t be easy to explain in person not to mention that not too many people would understand or agree with them, I expect. So, I have a plan B, that if anyone asks me that notorious question ever again and they say: “Tayyeb Laish?” I’ll just say this: “3ashan ana 7orra”


34 responses

  1. Great post Ola.

    “So here we go, a reference I can use for Tayyeb laiser’s, just a few reasons why I don’t think I’ll ever get married, or be in any kind of relationship for that matter”

    You really don’t have to explain yourself, 3ashan ente 7urra 🙂

  2. Now that my elder sister is engaged I’m facing this issue more & more, but thank God I did not graduate yet, so I won’t face the full-blown picture for another year or so. What saddens me that my educated friends think that way & ask me time & time again why am I not with someone. The thing is, if I cannot find that someone who is everything that I’m looking for, why do I have to be with someone anyway?
    Thank you for writting about this dear, it is difficult trying to explain to someone who thinks it’s pitiful being alone so I just smile say inshAllah & move on to the next conversation=]

  3. well i totally and completely agree with you..
    and the fact that society really pushes that idea makes girls like u repel it more and more..
    i think we should marry only if we felt that this marriage would enrich our life, if not, balah men aslo!
    and i also think that the guy you’re marrying should really be worth going out of your comfort zone for him..
    other than that, being single is much better than marrying someone just for the sake of it 🙂

  4. I actually found a few of the points very relevant. Coming a very conservative background, I see a lot of these examples and I greatly despise them. There are, however, exceptions to the rule. I do believe that generations of the latter years (80s and forward) have a different view about “settling down.”

    That said, the “tayyeb laish” question will always be asked; whether you’re getting married traditionally, refusing marriage, or deciding to study something you’re passionate about and doesn’t necessarily provide as other professions do. Beautifully said.

  5. Hi there, I really don’t know why I’m writing this comment but you should be really lucky ;). I’ll try to help out and summarize your case. But first let me say that I’m a male (early twenties) and I’ve pretty good experience with what’s mentioned above. I’ve dealt and faced so many of those “exceptional cases”.

    In summary: You’re a girl with good skills and you’re better than a lot of girls (even men) around you. You want to be different. Different in everything. You hate their traditional thinking and you believe you’re just different. Actually, you’ve written that above to prove you’re different to yourself and others. You want people to know that.

    However, internally you really want love. True love, from someone who could understand you, praise your mind and insanely be in love with you. Someone who loves you because of your talent and skills. Not because “that guy made good money and now it’s time to get married”. You wanna be exceptional in your marriage. You don’t care about all those fancy stupid marriage procedures in the Arab society. You simply don’t care.

    In a nutshell: Don’t say you won’t get married. Just say I’ven’t found the right guy yet. There are good people out there, just look correctly. I know it’s hard for you girls because you don’t have the chance of picking the guy you want. I’m sorry for that. But if you are really exceptional, then most likely there will be an exceptional guy waiting for you :).

    I hope that could make you feel better.

    P.S. I found the post through Nour’s tweets. She knows and doesn’t know me.

  6. Yis3id rabbik 🙂
    I love this post! Good job articulating how many girls feel… might even use some of those references when I bump into “tayyeb laishers” 😀

  7. y3ni ola this came in the right time..my sister is getting married so is my brother as well, so ucan imagine what everyone is saying to me..tab3an ma nensa ” the look” lool eno yala u’re next shedelna 7alek..ithink eza el ” naseeb” ma eja then still its nt time yet..thx for this post ilove u for writing this without even knowing u in person.

  8. This actually relates to the whole community..

    It have been a while since i’ve read ur blogs, though i’m still getting them on my email one by one !

    I loved the whole post all in all, but man, point # 4 is like an arrow pointed to it’s exact goal !

    Thanks for sharing em garabah !

  9. I knew this would stir quiet a lot of “feedback” 🙂
    Well, now it`s the turn of “a” married rather a bit old “man” to say something 🙂 – oppps
    I read all the comments, formulated up mine, read the comments quickly again , made (multiple) revisions of mine 😀 “and the boring introductory prize goes to…”
    Seriously though, I didn`t expect all the comments to be “in favour” but I`m nOt shocked.

    Obviously all commentators are single, probably most being in mid/late 20`s (haitham`s analytic skills kicking-in :D)

    Is there a theme going on of “I wanna be single” around here :), I wonder. I`m not blind to the social changes going on, they r massive indeed and any1 denying those is kidding themselves, it is eclectic, ok granted but still allow (don`t u just love the intellectual hypocrisy of our human race, “allow” and barge-in with “it” w/o waiting for consent :P) me to add: “I wanna be single” because [italics here]
    u ,ola, tried to verify the “because” , good attempt 🙂 really and a called for too for that matter, but (aha, here`s comes the [insert adjective here] part:

    If u/we r waiting for the “near” perfect time/person/situation/ to come around for getting married then forget it, it won`t come/happen that way (oh so that`s it? Thank you so very much, u managed to give us the answer or big parts of it, commitments need work, ok then,,, let`s go buy some dozen from the nearest pharmacy/consultation website/etc.. :))
    Wallah ya ola I don`t mean to mock, and I usually don`t go into much of discussion in such topics (actually I either apologize for it or trim my comment(s) when I do) just because I feel “writing” about it won`t do “I mean for me here, not generalizing” , I`m inclined to fully blv that one should go through the experience to be able to speak bwt it, marriage being one of the ultimate experiences here.
    You spoke bwt the “procedural” aspect of pre-marriage, right u were/are on that and everybody else too maybe, still with alllllll what can be said regarding it, IT is worthy the weary path! Tayyeb Wallahy it is 🙂 sho a3milik 😀

    At this very moment I`m writing on the dim lights of the screen because my daughter is asleep and I don`t want to wake her, my wife and her mother (grrrrrrrrrrr, she`s staying over, yes, lol) are in the other room struggling with our new born and me the sleepless me is writing a “comparison story” trying to both of our kids on their sleeping habits (or none habits there of!) , my eyes burn like no tomorrow but still it`s the sweetest feeling ever! Now I`m not pushing a personal success story agenda here, I`m not pointing out to “u r missing out on a lOt” trap (trap!) , but jad ya ola, isn`t it one of the existencetual (I have slept less than 100 hours past month, I`m entitled to invent a word or two!) matters of our life to be with some1, to share ALL what there is to share with that .. other “half” [no matter how cheesy it sounds]? isn`t it? Don`t get me wrong, it`s not all wala 7atta half roses and birdies, but u see, it`s part of that “ALL” 🙂

    Getting married is a medium for that existencetuality, having someone that is purposefully willingly to be yr witness of/on/at/in this world is a thing we wanna do/have/possess, one way or another it`s what all this life boils down to. Some would argue that this could be done through relationships other than marriage (and here I`m not referring to homos, but family, acquaintanceship, and what have you but to me it`s never complete w/o a person who is the one person u give all what u want/can the most and you be the one receiving such in return. Now that might not be in exact or nearby balance but that`s what u got and accept.

    It`s not bwt all the things encompassing the “idea” of getting married, nor when or for how long (the things that I think u touched in yr post), these r surroundings (although very crucial and have merits) it`s bwt the idea of letting yrself exposed to a single other soul, maybe it will never reach 100% but s/he will be the one getting most of that from u.
    RISKY! Ooooooooooooh yes, but worth it? Even a bigger yes.

    Relationships r hard, but u don`t throw the (marriage) baby with the bathwater b/c it`s hard.
    U might say I`m saying this now OR that I`m among the lucky (very few?) ones who found such comfort cozy feeling. I don`t know what to say to that, will it happen to u? I cannot answer , no1 can. no set formulas but to “maybe” dismiss it from yr life is equivalent to not missing a cornerstone piece of having a life altogether.

    I mentioned the “example” of my 2 kids for a reason; we all want the same basic things, all aspire to fulfill human agreed-upon needs, we r not that different after all, having kids and making them live a happier life than u did is 1 of them (I hope!), to reach that and sustain it over the course of yr time on this Earth u shall have some1 beside u, some1 that will be yr witness of life , some1 that will notice -the most- yr time on Earth and make it more viable and vivid.

    I visit and revisit yr blog a lot ola, and this is not an open ticket to suggest I know who u r and how u “partially” tick aw haika, but lines such as “But I don’t blame them, this is how girls are collectively raised in this society” + “By that reasoning, sometimes you may need to sacrifice your own happiness to get married and you should cling to the first good chance that knocks on your door” I felt u were not … u! I guess it`s -again- because u tapped into the surroundings of it, made valid arguments and tackled on them to reach the “points” u`ve made. Of course there is nothing wrong in that, and I understand, I truly do! I never thought I will get married at 27! Never ever, I had plans , time period schedules, accomplishing personal / career dreams …the whole thing. So did my wife! And little by little I/we realize that there is always something missing til u share, and there shall be no sharing utmost other than a sharing of a couple.

    1+1 = >50000000000 🙂
    it really does!
    I challenge each and all of u to tell me that the void one faces cannot be traced in more ways than one for being “single” 🙂
    I always say to family members/friends that if I knew for a fact that I would be experiencing ONLY 50% of what I`m feeling now in my marriage I`d beg my father and mother to get me married even if it meant I will be dependent on them for a while 🙂
    و أنا صادق في هذا و الله

    again, it IS worth the weary path and although I know for certain that some might think “well, good 4 u, but ..” AND “but that doesn`t need to be in a organization of a marriage solely”
    I still stay put on my ground and my “challenge” is still on 😀

    طيب ليش لأ!؟
    جد “ليش” ، شو الجواب؟ 🙂

  10. Thanks for your comment, Haitham! But it seems like you misunderstood me. I wasn’t saying marriage is not worth it, and I wasn’t saying I am determined to stay single forever and I don’t think that was what the other commentators were saying. It’s just that I refuse the stereotypical ideas attached to marriage and I refuse to marry for the wrong reasons. And yes, if I feel that the right time and the right person didn’t come then I won’t do it. I won’t take that risk, because I admit it, I’m afraid of being hurt, simply put. Maybe you are willing to take that risk, it’s your choice, to each his own, but I am not

    • I didn`t misunderstand you but rereading my comment I can see why u think so, it was so fragmented, varying between [means and ends] if I may call so.
      In a nutshell,
      u said in yr reply:
      “I refuse the stereotypical ideas attached to marriage and I refuse to marry for the wrong reasons”
      I can get that, really and totally. Still, when u (and all the others in favour :D” dismiss the very idea and kinda` postponed it for things/timing to be “better” it won`t work/happen, getting into a relationship is hard but it`s harder to ignore such a “need” , it shows our humanistic vulnerability but it IS ok. It`s not a choice of changing yr major in yr senior year or deciding to relocate to another continent for a career move, it`s a chief purpose of life, and by the dismissing u r hindering this move OR achievement, hence my argument that I painted in my comment that being in the highest stratum of (single) is and will always be less than the lowest one at being married. Sounds like a cheesy generalization but that`s what I feel and see things r (there r lousy marriages / successful singleships…true but striving at staying on notion of the idea)
      u also said:
      “ And yes, if I feel that the right time and the right person didn’t come then I won’t do it”
      Not that I challenge u or something, but let`s revisit this blog in 6-7 years and see? 🙂
      Battles are 1st won inside our minds, conceptually, other courses of action/war just follow through 🙂
      (some nutshell)!

  11. Hi Ola! It’s been a while… I closed my blog down and didn’t keep in touch with other blogs. I’m glad I came across yours though and I love that you’re still active 🙂 I actually can’t stop reading.

    Thank you for posting about this issue, I’m all the way in the states, and everybody I know including my aunt in Ramallah is trying to fix me up.

    I wish people would follow the “live and let live” rule, marriage is a choice!!!

  12. Haitham, not to disappoint you, but not all of us are single, i am actually happily married since 1 year.. and my marriage is anything but traditional, as a matter of fact we’re not even from the same country.. 🙂

  13. Hi, am not single, engaged but not completely married, well technically i am as i wrote my book lol.

    While this post expresses what goes through the young girls (3la bwab el jeezeh – though this term hits the nerves), it actually applies to men too, how ? here how it goes:

    our generation (mid and late 80’s) are not conventional one, we are exposed to the world in a different matter than our parents and ancients were, although they might went across more places in the world than we did..

    the exposition tickled our self-interest of how much i can really achieve ? which is to Men generally and to me perso-specially the HapMeter; Happiness Meter Gage, the more i achieve, the more i am happy and satisfied. I think this is generic for all people; regardless of the goal of achievement, some consider money is an achievement, some considers marriage, thus settling and kids is an achievement itself, and mine is creativity and brain utilization converted to productive technology engineering, and manufacturing, which is sadly (and i blame my lazy A$$ and my whole Arab society for that including my family for that).


    Dream Girl: Lowering the standards:

    A funny story i recalled just now, one day i was chatting with a friend of mine who went to UK to get Phd in Computer Engineering, while my shallow me ( but i think in the end it’s destiny ?) i moved to the Gulf, to work, and save money, to marry the one i love..

    So after the -<>- chat i asked him the following question:

    Me: Man, 3am betdawwer 3la bent thakeyyeh, wo shatra, wo 2ad 7alha, wo neghsheh wo nahfeh, wo keen, wo geeky, wo video/computer gamer, wo samme3et Metal, wo pretty wo gothic themed style dressed, wo mtdayneh wo btsalli wo a5la2 wo zoo2 wo bent 3alam wo nas ?


    Me: et3’albesh 7alak man, i’ve been looking too, there is no such thing..

    sho bedkom bel taweeleh, the girl that i intended to get engaged to after 4 years of love mas sar naseeb, shit happened/s and i did mistakes too, a series of successive epic failure of “7amraneh” rebounds that if there is anything in my life i regret most, it would be those foolish acts.

    so here i am; got engaged and almost married, did i find the full option dream girl that every guy dreams about ?

    No, i didn’t, but i did know this: law balef el 3alam kollo, 3’er naseebi ma ba5od, and my engagement story was funny and useful, i learned a lot from my mistakes.. i will not discuss it, not that i think it’s too personal (la2 7aki fadi :P), but because people will see it as Filim Hindi..

    But i have to be honest, did i lower my standards ? yes i did, but i prayed Este5ara, and now am engaged, and i believe Allah had chosen me the best, he knows me better than i do.. wo heek rayya7t rasi wo rafkeeri, plus i have sniffer of hope, that i’ll be able to turn my future wife into my dream girl, sounds strange eh ? but nothing is impossible, patience,sharing and acceptance, the same way she wants me to be her dream man..we’ll deal in this way.. fair enough..

    i don’t blame you Ola at all for your way of thinking, on the contrary i find it completely healthy and natural, from an achiever, who is anxious / hungry / thirsty / raring / wishful / striven / studious /solicitous /wistful (بالعربي تواّق ), for achieving, getting more out of her self, and looking forward a better her, a better version of her..

    So guys and girls:

    loosen the tangle a little bit, even if you have compromise and lower your standard’s elevation, wo sallo este5ara wo waklo 2omorkom LELLAH rab al 3alameen..

    and don’t expect, even if you found the one, either partially or totally, don’t anticipate and fantasize about spontaneous action coming out from your partner that will be exactly what you dreamed of like a Shobeek Lobeek Hollywood romance bully movies, It”s a relationship killer..

    @Haytham, i like your writing style, it looks like mine, no ?

  14. Sure! this is not rule-based thing, wo fel3ajaleh el nadamah kman, i can feel me sometimes saying (why i was in such a hurry ?, i could use a couple of years more of my bachelorhood, to maybe achieve more), and i didn’t also say finding the dream one is impossible, am just sharing my experience that:

    1. fantasizing about the result/outcome of the partner can be extremely disappointing and create doubt in both about their decision that may lead to fights

    2. Pray este5ara wo tasleem el 2omor lellah helps alot in decision making, a life time partner is not an easy decision to take byom wo leleh.

    wo salametkom.

  15. interesting post with interesting comments. I admit that I find myself agreeing with many of the points stated in the post; however, what if someone was smart and instead of asking “Tayyeb laish” asked ” laish Tayyeb”. That would throw me off guard honelty, now we know how to deal with Tayyeb Laishers but not Laish Tayyebers, should I pivot, do I reiterate the same reasons as Tayyeb laish. please advise.

    P.S. The above comment is no way an uncharratibale statement against the Blogger or the Commentors.

  16. Nice peace, I sure have enjoyed reading it. However, I would like to have my own take on Tayeb Laish and ask all of you girls out there, why do you act superciliously when it comes to choosing your grooms. I sympathize with those that are talented among you who feel they can not find their match or those who happen to be at the same intellectual level, but if you meet someone whom you feel you can positively influence and help become a better person, you are doing him, yourself and the community as a whole a huge favor. Don’t you claim that behind every significant man is a woman! Or were you referring to their Mothers.
    According to national geographic nature wants us to reproduce, and I also want to reproduce, however, a better version of myself is what I want. If I have a partner who can add her experiences and insights in life the better the outcome would be. My children would benefit from an all rounded Mother who can better educate them in all facets of life so they can compete in an ever viciously competing world.
    I think finding the right match while being quixotic is romantically endearing, but oddly conceivable.
    So I ask you Ladies“ Tayeb Laish”?

    • Simply because, as I always say, I believe that people can change, but I won’t count on it. Besides, I’m not perfect, maybe I want someone to influence me in a good way too, not to mention that you’re talking here about those who are willing to change and willing to be influenced which means they are good people. I’m talking about insensitive and self-righteous men who won’t admit being wrong or who would yell and shout and hurt people. I don’t care if they apologize later, I don’t care if they will change few years down the road, I’m just not willing to take that risk or make that sacrifice, not selfless enough for that

      • “I’m just not willing to take that risk or make that sacrifice, not selfless enough for that”
        that is Laish!
        إن الأمومة عطفها لا ينقضـي ومقامها في التضحيات كبير

  17. Well to be honest I will not pretend that I know what’s going on your mind or how you feel and the rest of the bloggers reply code of ethics rhetoric . Personally speaking I have never seen my self settling down with any of the ladies that I have been with in my life while we were together , sadly i always think about it and seriously regret it retrorespectively , which leads to my conclusion ” hard learnt conclusion I might add ” that you can’t be with someone or ” settle down ” it’s because usually you are a narcissi self centered ass who will always think that they can do better than their current partner . Sad and pathetic I know, but hell that’s just me and my stupid drama .

    I know that when you wrote this blog the last thing you were thinking of is getting advises from people . So I will fight the temptation to do so .

    Peace and love

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