Disclaimer: Ok guys, listen. Before you go all, ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about on me’ you should know that I compiled this list with the help of about 10 different LEBANESE people, sprinkling in a few of my own experiences here and there. I’m well aware that this list isn’t going to include everyone, but I’m going for the most typical thoughts, behaviors, and views here. Tell me what you think. Is it accurate, totally inaccurate, or somewhere in between? What would you add/take away?
1. Factors to take into consideration when determining compatibility are usually in this order: Religion, Social Status, Educational Status, Political Party, Attraction, Sense of Humor, Values, and that thing called LOVE.
2. Many relationships develop in cars and parking lots (a favorite being the Dbayeh Marina), as most young people live at home with their parents until they are married (and sometimes even after they’re married!).
3. Usually when out at a pub or a nightclub, neither men nor women will approach someone they don’t know, even if they find that person very attractive..but will wait to add them as a friend on Facebook (to check out who they are, what their status is, what school they went to, and who they associate with), or have one of their mutual friends introduce them. This could mean that two people will stare at each other the whole night, but neither one will make the move unless facilitated by a third party.
4. That being said, once contact has been made..most “dating/getting to know each other” takes place over Facebook, MSN, Gmail chat/BBM since casual dating is difficult because everywhere you go in Lebanon, you are bound to run into someone you know..which makes you define the relationship too soon into it. Therefore, it often appears that relationships progress quite quickly since most of the “dating/getting to know each other before it’s official” takes place online..or in cars..or in parking lots. So, as soon as two people go out ALONE in public, it usually means that things are “official.”
5. If you and your partner have enough disposable income, you will rent an apartment so that you can spend intimate time with each other (even if you’re still living/sleeping at your parents house). This is especially true for people who are of different religions.
6. Most plastic surgeries take place in the months right before Summer and Christmas, since that’s when all of the bachelors who are working/studying abroad come home to spend time with their families and look for a potential wife.
7. Lebanese men want Lebanese women to be more open when it comes to casual sex, however, when it comes time to marry, many Lebanese men (even the most open-minded!) will judge Lebanese women (and maybe even consider it a deal breaker) if they have had sex before marriage. Because of this, a (more liberal) Lebanese woman is much more likely to have casual sex with someone she would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS consider marrying (foreigners get a lot of action because of this).., and lie to her “potential future” husband about it..and simply get hymen reconstructive surgery before her wedding day. While other (more conservative) Lebanese women take their virginity so seriously that they don’t even wear tampons.
8. If you are an Eastern European woman living in Lebanon (and not working in a supernight club) you will automatically be labeled a prostitute no matter how many degrees you have, languages you speak, or high powered positions you’ve held.
9. For most Lebanese men, looks still comes ahead of intelligence, character, and moral values. And for most Lebanese women, money comes ahead of looks, intelligence, character, and moral values.
10. Many Lebanese women are known to look, dress, and act provocatively, yet when it comes down to it, will hardly ever follow through with “it.” Especially with a man she is considering marrying. She wouldn’t want him to think she was “easy.”