Saudi Arabia: In Saudi, A Man Can Simply Disappear

This is a frank message to women who are involved with a Saudi; this message is especially pertinent to a woman who may meet a Saudi while he is a student outside of the Kingdom.

Saudi men are raised in a closed and conservative society where segregation among the sexes remains the norm.  Many Saudi men will have had little to no time alone with their wife until –after- the marriage ceremony has taken place.  The wedding night is usually the first time the couple will have been alone together.

Saudi men are raised to protect and cherish the women.  That’s not to say that a Saudi guy will not try to flirt or talk with a woman.  In all likelihood, he will.  He will enjoy those opportunities but then that may automatically place the woman in a new category where she is “okay to flirt with and have fun with” but not a woman who would be considered a candidate as a future wife.

Therefore when the Saudi guy departs the Kingdom for an extended period such as a student coming to the West for four to six years of study, he finds himself immersed not only in a new country but a whole new world.  Men and women are not segregated and have classes together.  They may even share same floors in a college dorm or be neighbors in an apartment building.  In some cases they live in the same house where they each have rented rooms.

Outside of Saudi Arabia the foreign women may smile naturally at a Saudi guy and engage with him in discussions.  After all, the foreign women have never been to Saudi Arabia and likely have no inkling of the different culture and traditions.  The Saudi guy will likely respond and enjoy the attention.  He will also be naturally charming, pleasant and personable.

He will enjoy the experiences of freedoms he would not encounter within the Kingdom.  He may also start to have strong feelings of emotion for the woman.  It may feel natural and right to tell her he loves her and that she means the world to him.  He is probably sincere at the time too.

Because of cultural differences a relationship may move quickly between a Saudi and a foreigner.  He is also influenced by his culture when he is becoming close to a foreign woman and will want to please her.  Yet eventually as it gets closer for him to return to his country many of these same sincere Saudi men start to get a dose of reality.

They will feel torn between the freedoms they have experienced and the woman who gave and shared new experiences with them.  The foreign woman will be missed.  He will pledge his love and promises of returning or sending for her.  After his departure he may continue to call her but eventually those calls will be less often, further and further apart.

He will still not want to disappoint nor have her think bad or unkindly of him.  Usually he will simply disappear.

But…wait a minute…how can a man simply disappear?  She’s met his friends.  She’s talked to his brothers.  They know her.

That may be true but again she has not been exposed to the closed and private culture of Saudi Arabia.  The men will stick together.  They may know the woman and have even referred to her as a ‘sister’ but they stick together.  Sister is often the polite term a Saudi man will refer to a foreign female he meets through one of his own (Saudi) friends.  She is the foreigner and he will be loyal and protective of his own Saudi friend.  The friend will follow whatever his fellow Saudi has requested.

Now don’t start raising your eyebrows.  This is not just because she is a foreigner.  Even within the Kingdom a man can simply disappear.  There are Saudi women who never had a clue that their husband had more than one wife until the time of his death when they find the inheritance must be shared.  Yes, the Saudi man was able to live totally different and compartmentalized lives.  The Saudi families will act and do whatever they believe is in the best interest of the families.

Saudi Arabia is not like a Western country where there are multiple alternatives for validating and verifying information such as where a man lives or works.  In Saudi Arabia, if a man wants to, he can choose to simply disappear.


14 Responses

  1. “Saudi men are raised to protect and cherish the women.”

    If this is true why are women denied the right to work, drive, travel and choose for themselves without men approval?

  2. Salam Carol,

    As usual this one is also very interesting!!!
    I know marraige is almost arranged in Saudi.

    Then how can a man court/flirt another girl or marry another girl? How can he cheat his current wife?

    I am eager to know how….

    This will reply how a man can do polygamy too..that is not done by family but by himself. Is it?

    Does Love marriage ever happen in Saudi’s high class family? Do they ever have separate n private dating in their lives?

  3. Interesting post!

  4. This is so true. Saudi or Arab men are very charming ,wonder where they get it from even living in such a conservative society.

  5. i think american men are more charming, and will do anything for a woman even after break-ups, divorce ect…they seem to stay friends with each other…saudi guys will drop your @ss like a hot potato after divorce, and if he starts finding his girl unattractive, NEXT!
    the charm can be surface and temporary toward a foreign girl..because she is different to him, so he acts different “on better behavior” …i also notice that A LOT of saudi guys have a short wick [anger], “that is a turn off” …gia in jed

  6. Md Azad,

    I will defer on answering your queries as i prefer to make them into a separate post.

  7. This isn’t completely off topic, but I just need a bit of advice here.

    I have read other blogs, with other posts about how Saudi men treat women they are serious about. I’m confused because he has done a lot of things they were saying is bad, but he has also done other things that serious saudi men do. So which is it?

    I met him and his friends at the same exact time, so he didn’t need to introduce me to his friends. Athough, he did introduce me to his uncles, and cousins. All males, as he doesn’t have any female relatives in the states.

    His mother also knows about me, we have said “Hi” and he has been teaching me arabic so I can have a conversation with her, as she doesn’t speak more than a couple words in english. She asks about me every time they talk (atleast he says she does) and he doesn’t have any sisters, so thats a no go.

    As for his male friends and relatives, yes I have hung out with them, but he is very, very protective around them. One of his friends touched my hair once, and he smacked them. And he gets severely offended if a guy talks to me or looks at me that he doesn’t know. Even men he does know (that he isn’t necessarily friends with) he watches like a hawk when I talk with them.

    So, bad, good, whats the verdict here?


  8. The fact that you have spoken to his mother is a positive sign. Perhaps you can get to know a female who speaks Arabic and with her as an interpreter, make your own call to her so you can get to know each other more. If you are able to establish a positive relationship with the female relatives that is always an encouraging sign.

  9. Why is he getting angry, offended and jealous over other men associating with you? Has he staked a claim? I find this ironic considering HE talked to you, HE looked at you, and HE probably touched you at some point…before things got a little more serious between you. Soooo…ok for him but not for them?

  10. Hi Carol,

    I am not sure if I am asking the right question but just curious to know.
    How Saudi guys in US treat their girl friends?
    Do they still maintain haram/halal thing and maintain a limit as they do in Saudi?
    or do they change in US and involve in sexual relations?
    If they do so, what is their intention?
    Just to spend time with their girl freinds and forget or they are serious to marry?

    I know it depends on person to person but generally….

    Thanks a lot in advance.

  11. @ MD Azad:

    *I am not sure if I am asking the right question but just curious to know. How Saudi guys in US treat their girl friends? Do they still maintain haram/halal thing and maintain a limit as they do in Saudi? or do they change in US and involve in sexual relations? If they do so, what is their intention? Just to spend time with their girl freinds and forget or they are serious to marry?*

    In response to your questions, of course it really does depend on the individual but in general…..

    Saudi guys welcome the opportunity to talk with women and have the chance to date them outside of the Kingdom. Generally speaking they will treat their girl friends very well. From what I hear, many of the guys will avail themselves of opportunities that they can not do in the Kingdom which would include sexual relations or even sharing a place with a woman.

    Their intentions can vary. At the time they will say words which they believe to be sincere and they do not wish to deliberately hurt a woman. Many feel obligated to say words of love or make promises of marriage as they have been isolated from women and in their heart know that they should not have any kind of intimacy prior to marriage; hence their moral obligation that they feel it is necessary to bring up words of love and marriage. Inevitably most of the guys return to Saudi and in time resume back to their former lifestyle and customs.

    Some guys will marry a woman while they are outside but usually given age and position will have to return to Saudi without the new wife which a family may not even know about.

  12. Thanks a lot Carol,
    I got better idea from ur reply.

    Hope those bad apples do not malign image of other fellow Saudis and do not destroy the life of innocent girls.


  13. greetings!
    i want to share my experience of having a saudi boyfriend, am a non-saudi working here in the kingdom.
    i met him in the hospital wherein we are in the same area. that time i was leaving for my annual vacation when he signed the contract in the hospital. i knew he was a new staff in the area but we havent got the chance to get or know each other since ill be leaving.
    i got back from my vacation and i was newly wed that time. i have to renew my saudi license that time and i need an atm for the payment and that ytime i withdrew all my money so my last option is to find someone who has money in the atm. i approached him and he immediately given his atm and his password. i was so amazed how he would trust me right there and then. i began to discover his kindness and politeness. and that time also, we exchange mobile numbers. he never asked me to pay or return his atm in a rush. he never minded to get if from me, he was just too patient with me.
    then weeks gone by, we talk if we have the chance. one day, my uniform was stained with blood, i was so shocked that he cleaned it by his two hands, from then on i feel i like him.
    one day, he called me up and he told me my face on his eyes so i feel good when i heard it, we talked for how many hours in the phone at his expense.
    later on we have a relationship. he is very different with other saudi men because he is very sweet and romantic, he always neglects himself for me and he even postponed his marriage for me.
    our relationship when deeper and i would say that he truly loves me.
    i went again for vacation and when i came back, i was pregnant, he begin to change and spend more time chatting with other girls. he is the person not hard to fall in love with. how many times he cheated on me but i fight for him and i didnt let other girl take away from me but to this date, i cant really hold him, i think he wants to have another relationship with other girls. with this i am truly hurt because i really love him.
    when i read ur post, i think saudi men, if they cant stand for you, they wiil just disappear.
    im still hoping even if finds another girl, he would be man enough to be honest with me, i dont think i cant hold his freedom anymore.
    i will never forget him and he will be the last man i ever gonna love. he is the greatest love i ever had.

  14. […] on the other hand, will return to Saudi Arabia and not be heard from again.  It is very easy for a Saudi to disappear if he chooses to do […]

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