From the moment I first stepped foot in the Middle East a very long time ago, I immediately noticed how physically attractive the men are. I’m not a woman who is attracted to people based on their physical appearance so for me to make a mental note of the GQ’esque surroundings I knew they were something special. And it wasn’t just a select few every now and then, it was as if a trip to the local Starbucks was more like a photo-shoot at Playgirl… with clothes.
It wasn’t just me standing around wide-eyed and drooling. It seemed almost every woman I knew who came to Kuwait from the world of the pasty pinkish white people also realized they were suddenly surrounded by unlimited eye-candy. And not just the pretty kind you sit back and look at, but the interactive kind! Kuwaiti men (single, married, or otherwise) have absolutely no problem going out of their way to get the attention of a woman. Any woman. Not a beauty queen? No problem! Fake nails and hair? No problem! Overweight? No problem! The only criteria is being a female… and in some cases even that can be overlooked.
So what is the appeal? Is it their striking good looks? Or their ability to make any woman feel like a queen? Perhaps a combination of both?
Before you women start booking your tickets to Kuwait on the next thing smoking… there’s a downside. In most cases all that ‘love’ talk is temporary and lasts about as long as they’re getting what they want from the deal. And once they get what they want, marriage is pretty much off the table all together. The emotional games they play are destructive to a woman’s self esteem. Remember how he once made you feel like a queen? Yeah, the opposite of that.
Yet the merry-go-round relationship continues. Sometimes for years. Eventually the woman is asking herself how many personalities the man really has while questioning her own sanity.
Prior to marrying my husband, and armed with a great deal of information, one would think I would have stayed as far away from Kuwait’s eye-candy as I could. But I couldn’t. I found a great deal of comfort in the culture and knew any man I married would need to possess certain characteristics. I had very little in common with American men and those located in Kuwait were generally wrapped up with runaway maids. The option just didn’t exist. And though Kuwaiti men have a reputation for cheating on their wives with their girlfriends, and their girlfriends with the neighbor, and the neighbor with the hooker, there is a sense of loyalty only seen with true love. Once you’re ‘in’ and have their true love and respect, they begin to mature (a little). Their desire to protect and care for their wife outweighs that desire to conquer as many woman as possible. I guess this was my ‘selling point’. That kind of loyalty is difficult to find even among our dearest friends. Arab men make the absolute best husbands once you find one invested in marriage.
Could it be that we’re attracted to the drama? The chase? The challenge? Are Western women exactly like Kuwaiti men? Is it our common behavior which results in the attraction? Or is it the undeniable intensity that accompanies every interaction?