Monday,20 August, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1283, (18 - 24 February 2016)
Monday,20 August, 2018
Issue 1283, (18 - 24 February 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Treat yourself on Valentine’s Day!

Whether you are single or married, you have much to enjoy on Valentine’s Day, write Reem A Haleem, Aytee Aly and Manar Desouky

Al-Ahram Weekly

Who doesn’t need love? Who doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day with its flowers, chocolates, balloons, confectionery and cards?

This is Valentine’s Day, the feast of Saint Valentine, the day of love. For many, it is a day of romance and for expressing affection and love.

Unfortunately, for others it can be a day of bitter longing.

But whether you are single or married, Valentine’s Day is a day for expressing love. What could be better than to love and to be loved? The feeling itself is indescribable. Love is a strong feeling of affection, and it is one of the world’s most powerful emotions.

It connects people from different countries and cultures together. Not only is it one of the strongest bonds among people, but it is also a powerful form of common sense. Every single person in the whole world loves. The feeling does not have to be just between a boy and a girl or a man and a woman. It extends to every human being.

But when it comes to the love between a girl and a boy, and what Egyptian girls are looking for, the ideal lover has to have certain traits. An Egyptian guy must be chivalrous, ardent and bashful. Some girls prefer a mix between a foreigner and an Egyptian. “Is he too Egyptian or not Egyptian enough? Is he open minded?” they might find themselves asking.

Meanwhile, many young men look for a young woman with beauty, sophistication, education and good status, funny and not too conservative, a bit open minded but not too much, and so the list goes on.

Finally, when a man finds this woman and enters into a relationship with her, he may start to find sneaky ways to flip out. Some guys, after dating their girlfriends for a long period, may suddenly have a change of heart, and say such things as, “You dated me, but I’m sure you’ve dated a lot of guys before me. I can’t stand the thought of that, so I have to break up with you.”

Or he may say something like, “I still depend on my dad for money, and I am not selfish enough to make you wait another five years until I am ready to marry you.”

Let’s also talk about marriage. When it comes to the idea of getting married at a young age, you will find a lot of people who will say it is a bad idea. Some will say you are not the same person today that you will be in 10 years’ time. Young people are not ready to bear the responsibility of a house and kids, they say.

These opinions might be right. But let’s look at it from a different perspective. Some people meet the love of their life at a very young age, so why not get married? They want to spend their lives together. What’s wrong with that? There shouldn’t be any problem as long as one partner is not going to prevent the other from chasing his or her dreams or his or her success in life.

Also, marriage at a young age has some perks, like carrying less baggage. A lot of people get into a serious relationship and then, unfortunately, it ends. So by the time they get into their thirties, they’re carrying more than a decade’s worth of break-ups, lingering feelings for past partners, trust issues and disappointments.

But when you marry young, you and your partner have fewer scars. In addition, you will grow up together, will discover each other, and could well have a life-long love relationship. No one should tell anyone when to get married and when not to. You are the one getting married, aren’t you?

If a person is ready for the married life and ready to be responsible, then why not let them be? If they are not ready, then give them time. Don’t force them and don’t make them feel guilty about missing something because they are not. They don’t need someone to “complete” them. They are already whole.

Finally, Valentine’s Day is not just for couples. It’s for everyone. Just because you are not in a relationship, it doesn’t mean you have to sulk and pity yourself! Trust us on this. You are worth so much more than that.

What is important today is for you to love yourself and not let anyone mistreat you. Go out and buy yourself a treat, or even buy the ones you love a treat. Just show the people you love that you appreciate having them in your life. That is what Valentine’s Day is all about.

All this being so, we would like to offer some tips to all the men out there to help them understand what a woman looks for in a man:

• You must take care of your appearance. Sure, anyone could say that it’s not that important and that what matters is personality. However, when the crush is there, the first thing that will grab her attention is your look. Try to look classy and elegant.

• Regarding your personality, women care about the details and they analyse every word. Watch your words and think before you say something dumb because once the words are out they cannot be taken back. Show her you are interested in her by eye contact. Mention something nice you have noticed about her looks or her opinions and make her feel she is the only one you are seeing at that moment.

• Definitely do not brag in front of her. Let her try to figure you out as a real man and let your behaviour speak for you. Don’t flirt with or checkout any of her girlfriends or any other woman in general, especially when she is present. This insults her and hurts her feelings. Try to show her you are a good listener.

• Charisma is something you either possess or you don’t. You can’t learn to be charismatic. Therefore, if you think you possess charisma, just act as usual, and if you are a nice, funny and good-hearted guy, just be yourself. It’s all a matter of taste: some women like mysterious men and others like simple guys, and others think dorky nerds and geeks are cute.

• Don’t be a control freak. Don’t take her away from the world by isolating her, following her every move or interrogating her.

• No one is perfect. We all have good and bad traits, but you can work on yourself as a human and as a lover. A man who loves a woman’s soul will end up loving only one woman. But if he loves a woman’s face or body, all the women in the world will not satisfy him.

The writers are students at the Arab Academy of Science and Technology in Alexandria.

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