Saudi Arabia: A Saudi Relationship and Intimacy


When East meets West or rather Saudi meets non-Saudi sparks can fly and love can certainly be in the air.  However, Red Alert!  No matter where the relationship between Saudi boy meets non-Saudi girl takes place there are distinctions and vast differences in outlook.  The Saudi guy may seem mature and worldly.  He may seem comfortable and at ease with public displays of affection (PDA).  He may even encourage his non-Saudi girlfriend to hold his hand and kiss him.  He may use very smooth and convincing words that the relationship should be taken to the most intimate level.  He may speak promises of love and marriage.

A young woman from a Western background may not think twice on the actions or words of the Saudi guy.  They may sound like the words many other guys around the world say.  Yet there is a distinction.

The Saudi guy is raised in a culture where chastity is revered.  He is raised in a society which is oriented to ‘protect’ the women.  The woman is to be cherished, adored, faithful and unseen.  His sisters would not think to call a guy.  If one his sisters ever attempted to hug or hold the hand of a man to whom she was not closely related she would be ostracized.  There would likely be punishment and some form of retribution. 

A Saudi guy will cajole and take what is offered.  He will likely think twice of a woman outside of marriage ‘offering’ her most intimate gift.  He’ll take it.  He’ll enjoy it.  But don’t expect the giving of such a gift or the closeness from such intimacy will place a new dimension of permanency on the relationship. 

When a Saudi guy is serious and thinking of marriage, he wants to protect and shield the woman regardless of whether she is a Saudi or not.  He does not want other men to interact with her.  He does not want anyone to think less of her.

Most Saudi men are resigned or accepting that they will likely marry a woman of their own nationality or region.  However many Saudi men who do have interaction with Western women like to take opportunities to know them.  The Saudi man will generally be very curious if it is true that Western women are easy to leap to an intimate relationship…after all that is what is in the news and movies.

So what does a Western woman do if she is faced with moral and ethical challenges?  Does she succumb? 

I’m pretty traditional but not closed minded.  I do not agree with women who chose to have a relationship outside of the boundaries of marriage and more so with an Eastern man.  The odds are simply not in the favor of a permanent relationship.  Intimacy makes the relationship more complicated and a higher risk for greater heartbreak in the future.

So what does a woman do?  I suggest both the man and the woman talk frankly and candidly about morals, ethics and intent.  The man and woman need to learn about each other’s history, family, backgrounds…these are important factors which make a person who they are today.

Sadly I don’t think the woman should simply take a Saudi man’s word that he intends to marry her as he presses for greater intimacy. Knowing all of his friends and his favorite brand of deodorant are not going to make a permanent relationship.  The Saudi man with intentions to marry a non Saudi woman will respect her.  He will share with her about his family so that when he slowly introduces her to his family she has the right words.  He may want to be out with her in public and with friends present but he should also have the wherewithal to advise her that what they are doing now would not be the same either with his family or in Saudi.  If he is not preparing her for changes then he probably does not have the desire of a permanent relationship.


Some may say so what…..a couple is young and just having fun.  If neither intend for the relationship to go to marriage and both are at ease with sharing intimacy outside of marriage, let them.  I can’t say that.  I feel such relationships and attitudes just further degenerate problems with today’s society and an ever-increasing need of self-gratituzation.   Maybe I’m just getting old… (smile)


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