The dating life of a young Lebanese is just like a romantic comedy starring Katherine Heigl or Josh Duhamel; the outline of the story is the same and what merely changes is the characters. Every Lebanese love story starts by a guy approaching a girl (ta7ash 3laya), but never the other way around (la2ano 3ayb) they will exchange their numbers and chat for the next few days via Whatsapp. It is at that particular moment that the love / hate relationship begins; one day the girl talks to him like he is the only guy in the world, the next she completely ignores him; dumping him like a gym sock. If the girl takes 20 minutes to reply to the message, the guy will take 30… (You can guess the rest of it).
They will talk to each other throughout the day narrating every detail of their lives; from how many eggs each had for breakfast, to what are they going to do in the next forty five minutes, to finally how many times they went to the bathroom during the day. They will talk to each other relentlessly until that time at night when they are both so very tired, sitting in their beds waiting for the reply of their soon to be partner (however they told their chat partner that they are not home, they are someplace having the time of their lives, because no one who is someone stays home on Saturday night), fighting the urge to fall asleep, because the first one who will succumb to this demon will not be the leader in the relationship, but he’ll be the follower; because in Lebanon the more you sleep, the cooler you are. Who is awake and on Facebook at 8 am? (Besides me)
Finally when all this gibberish nonsense is over, it is finally time for the boy to pop the question (and I do mean the boy). His heart is beating, his hands are sweating, as he presses the send button. “Will you go on a date with me?”. The girl receives the message, she reads the message, she puts her phone on the table and continues watching her TV show, leaving the poor fellow drowned in his thoughts, analyzing every possible outcome of the question he asked, and then after this endless wait he receives the reply.
Before, there used to be only two answers to such a question; yes or no, but with the evolution of the species of men, their relationships became more complicated thus inventing the friends with benefits composure: where you like the guy, but not like like the guy; when he is great, funny, but not the kind of guy you want to settle with, (note: the girl we are talking about is 15 years old) or the no PDA (public display of affection) solution, which is practically saying: “you’re loads of fun, I want to hang out with you, but you’re ugly as hell”. And finally the territory that terrifies every living man/boy: the friend zone. Where the girl says: “you are funny, kind, smart, good looking and she LOVES YOU as a friend” (“as a friend” are the three words that can crush a man’s life, just like “is it in?”) and she wishes she can have a boyfriend JUST like you, and it is at that moment that you realize; you are not just like yourself.
When and if those two persons end up together, an unexplained chemical reaction called “altecolove” will take place, merging these two creatures together to become inseparable. They will ditch all their friends and their family and build their new world around themselves showing their love in all the public and wrong places rubbing it in the face of the “forever alone” people.
After some time they will start to get bored, everything will become routine, as if they were married, and the disputes will start, announcing the end of the honeymoon period, and then they will break up. Then get back together. Then break up. Then they will just stay friends…and they never talked to each other ever since.
What do you know, at age 15, a boy and love is like a dog and his tail: it is near him, he keeps chasing it, but he’ll never get it.
(P.S.: Am I the only one worried about how soon kids want a serious relationship ?)