Dating a foreign man?

So I am an American woman dating a Turkish man for 3 months now. He brought up the subject of engagement (not asking mind you just discussing it) and I already made it clear I was no where ready, to which he agreed with himself. This isn't my issue here because it was simply conversation. But it did get me thinking, I have a couple of concerns. Such as the fact that he does sometimes go to mosque (he is Muslim but not super religious) and I'm not a religious person at all (which hasn't been a problem so far). I am spiritual but I don't go under any religious organization. The second is that I refuse to go into a mosque, only if he is going to pray, because a woman would not be allowed into the same area (not like I'm going to change my religion but I have no problem going into religious places and acting respectful or learning the customs). I have always been a feminist so this bothers me, especially since I don't see why a married woman should be prevented from praying with her husband. Second, is that all his friends mostly speak Turkish and whenever I'm the only English speaker his friends don't make much effort to converse with me. Some do and all of them make sure to say 'Hi. How are you?' but it's really frustrating not knowing what the hell is being spoken about. I've already spoken to him about this and he forces the conversation in English so I can participate in it more (which I'm very grateful for).

I'm not thinking about marriage or anything but we do both care about each other a lot. He is the kindest person I have ever met, he always compliments me, he is willing to bend over backwards to help me, he always makes me smile, and he even notices something small (like if I'm wearing a dress he's never seen before). But the thing is, is that this situation is different for me so I don't know how to handle some things. I tried looking for American and foreign couple forums or help groups but found nothing but a bunch of male bloggers talking about how American woman suck. I really would like to talk to someone in a similar situation.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • "I don't see why a married woman should be prevented from praying with her husband."

    If you want to understand why, it is better to find out the reasons from educated people in that culture, and you will get your answer. Don't bother asking just anyone the streets, they probably just follow the customs. The depth of the answer may surprise you in some cases. Again, it depends on your "teacher", which again, depend on your "level of evolvement". Good students always end up with good teachers in the long run.

    "ll his friends mostly speak Turkish and whenever I'm the only English speaker his friends don't make much effort to converse with me. Some do and all of them make sure to say 'Hi. How are you?'"

    Look at it this way. They may be thinking "Why doesn't she make an effort to learn a bit Turkish and converse to us, it is OUR land that she is on!" You see, people notice attitudes. If you take a crash course, and utter like a 2 years old, you will be speaking fluent any language in 2-3 years (age "5"). This way, you show that you are not the typical arrogant westerner who think "all of them SHOULD speak 'international' language, which is English).

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    • Well I know that I shouldn't just ask anyone why that is. But, I do understand the reason why a bit from research. Even so, I don't agree with it fully.

      And second, I never said I was in Turkey. We are both in America, so they are actually on MY land (if you want to say it that way). They know English too and I don't see how I can be expected to learn much in the 3 months that we have been dating. I know a few words but that can not make a long conversation. So the uttering part doesn't help.

    • Show All
    • My attitude was neutral at first because I just got into this whole relationship. Then it became frustrated, mostly because of the lack on their part. By a one word answer I mean I would say something then they'll just say 'Yeah.' and talk in their language. Which basically leaves me out again because they aren't even addressing me or trying too. I find it rude because my friends haven't acted this way towards him (and I do have male friends in the group); they have been warm/welcoming.

    • It may appear like they are shutting you out on purpose. You mentioned they have preconceived views about American girls. That can be a reason. BUT, there can be another, middle east cultures are very male dominated (pros/cons), it maybe considered invasive to talk to another male's gf/wife. Mindsets are v. difficult to change overnight. This experience of yours put you on an accelerated path of personal growth, as all inter-cultural relationships do. Not easy. But can be rewarding IN THE END.

What Guys Said 4

  • you need to be informed on these Muslim marriage custioms , Muslims who may marry outside of their faith .however it is expected of Muslim men that their wives are personal property.

    and if you go to a Muslim country the women must obey Muslim religious laws if married to a Muslim man. he may not be a die hard Muslim here in usa but if at home country he is required to be and to respect Muslim beliefs.

    my opinion steer clear here also it must be of some concern otherwise you wouldn't be posting this question.

    there was a movie on life time some years back about an American woman who married a Muslim man here in the usa some years latter with a daughter he said they had to move to his home country to take care of some family business they moved . in his home country he treated here as though she were chatle (a slave not a wife) she was forced to wear the garb of the women of his country . even her American statis didn't protector her inthat country

    i believe the name of the movie was something like "not without my daughter."

    to make a long story short in that country she had no rights even the American embasy had little to offer as help . this movie was based on a true story.

    deffinently think 3 times before making any final discessions

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  • Okay im a Turkish guy. The reason they don'T talk to you as i suppose is, they don't want to be seen as bad speakers. Also they don't want to make fun of. It is about insecurity us, men. Also your boyfriend told them to call you Yenge. Yenge means like your Uncles Wife. It has much usage between friends to call their girl friend to others Yenge.

    Secondly you can pray with him at home. There are no restrictions for Women Pray with her Husband at home. In Mosques Friday Prayer = Sunday Prayer. It is a must to go. And lots of times Mosques are full with men. He is praying with nearly 2000 men it varies from mosque to mosque but you being there would be weird. Women has their own praying space at Mosques. There is a little personal space when praying, you won't want to see other man's butt neither they want to distract from women body, in spiritual meditation you need to think God. All children are allowed though. I see some men Praying with their little girl very often.

    We call Abi (Big Brother), Kanka (Buddy), Naber?(Sup?) a lot. We use "Lan" a lot at the end of the words with other man friends. Not with a female. By the way word Lan doesn't mean anything It varies from "Boy" to "Faggot" and it doesn't mean anything in last 100 years. We just use it for fun and a lot. Like "naber lan?" , "Kanka nabıon?" , We don't use Merhaba as greetings we use "Selam"

    Tell them "Selam Gençleeer" next time as Greetings. It means Greetings Youngsters, it will warm up the mood. They would be very impressed. Genç is written like this but speaken like Gench.

    We Use Nicknames After their name. For example Burak Başkaan "Mayor Buraq", Burak Babaa " Papaa Burak", Deli Kadri "Irregular Kadri ".

    Also we use "Delikanlı" for boys, Delikanlı means like boy who is crazy, who can overcome any matter, any uncircumstance that comes up to him.

    So you can tell their friends "naber delikanlılar" .

    There is also a saying "Dunya ahiret bacımsın", means you are my sister in this world, and afterlife.. This is sayed when a boy friendzoned a girl. Stating that he sees her as his sister both this world and the other.

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    • If you don't want to call them names, just call them abi (Big Brother) real old Turkish word is (Ağa Bey) literary means Feudal Land Lord. So if you don't want to use their name call them "Abi",

      Like "Abi Napcaz?" = Now What we gonna do, "Yok Abi Yaa !"= Nope Brother im not in mood

    • Also you can be a little racist and Call them "Genç Turkler" it is a cross-reference to Young Turk movement in 19th century which is a liberation movement. It is about young Turks who studied in France and such western countries and comes back with liberation ideas to change the society.

      You can say "Naber Genç Türkler?" but use it after a while when you have good relations with his friend group.

  • Sounds like a good man to moi.

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  • maybe you need to do some homework about how men treat women in turkey what is expected of you and what he would expect of you and any children should their be any

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    • I think that would be better if I just ask. Everyone is different and just because people are using stereotypes or assumptions about a certain place (that they claim to be fact simply because most do that) doesn't mean he will be like that. Everybody has preferences and opinions.

What Girls Said 1

  • What an interesting situation and read, care to update?

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