Updated: Mar 24
In tough times like these, with a pandemic seeping through the entire planet, the safest way to meet people and make deeper connections is through online dating. For Middle Eastern men, online dating has been working for many years. Considering the fact that the majority of the people from the Middle East are conservative; mostly the women due to various cultural and religious factors, online dating has been helpful to many. Thanks to many of these dating sites and applications, individuals can stay home and tackle two issues in one. They can stay home and follow the COVID-19 standard protocol of not going out, and they can enjoy the comfort of their home, while simultaneously interacting with Arab, Lebanese and Turkish singles.
Although limited, the Middle Eastern crowd on dating apps is usually not as limited as you’d expect. Women that have the courage to get out of their comfort zone and create online dating accounts also have the courage to actually go through with the process and keep a conversation going. There might not be many people who are into the dating scene right now, considering the health factors i.e. COVID-19 and it's easy transmission but that’s not necessarily a disadvantage. Individuals can use this time to invest in a match on a site and engage in conversation to find out more about each other. This would just make meeting the person after the pandemic ends, much more exciting.
With the everyday routine of going to work, coming home and being too tired to go back again, online dating plays a big role in helping meetings make connections in the comfort of their own home. The everyday hustle and bustle can get too much sometimes and one may lose the will to go out and socialize due to the fatigue. Even if one does power through the tiredness and goes out to meet people, he may not be as lucky as to meet the right person in a single night. Which is where online dating comes in and finds the loopholes in the traditional go-out-and-meet-singles scenario, by allowing you browse through and select your match without having to expose yourself to the entire process of getting to know someone and coming up with intelligent conversation on the spot. The following sites bring you the whole package of modern day dating right to your phones/ computers.
Free Plan to $39.99/month
ArabLounge is designed specifically for people of Arab descent and most Arab’s using dating apps reside in the United States. With over a million users, ArabLounge is the perfect website for you if you already have something specific in mind or have an ideal nationality in mind. The site makes it easy for Arab singles from all over the world to link-up with ease as they all share the same values and are brought up in a similar culture. With the average age of users being between 25-44, singles on the app are ready to settle down and begin something serious with matches they can vibe with. The amount of information the website uses totally depends on you and how much you want to share with the public.
ArabLounge Membership Fees
Using the app for free, you can only upload your pictures and match with other singles. But only with a further monthly subscription of $39.99 a month will you be able to talk to them further.
ArabLounge Pros & Cons
The pros of using ArabLounge is that it puts all the singles from Arab countries into one app making it a whole lot easier for users looking for significant others of that specific ethnic background. The con of this platform is that the subscription is little pricier than most dating sites.
Free Plan to 39.99/month
With majority of the Middle-Eastern people being Muslim, Muslima.com is the perfect all-in-one package for singles looking for Muslim spouses/ partners. Coming from similar cultures, most Middle Eastern people look for the same thing, which is to find a partner of the same religion and move forward in life in the name of Islam. Muslima.com has over 7 million users and has helped thousands find their second half. The site revolves around marriage and encourages singles to complete half their Islamic faith by finding the perfect partner using the dating service offered. The site consists of Muslim women, ranging from Arab countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Iran and such.
Muslima Membership Fees
The website distinguishes accounts according to their package, of which there are 3. (Standard, Gold, Platinum). Using the standard account is free, but it doesn’t allow you to message your matches. The Gold subscription is $34.99 for a month, and the Platinum subscription is $39.99 a month, and they both offer additional features compared to Standard, such as communicating with matches and message translations for the Premium package.
Muslima Pros & Cons
The pros of this website is that it has everything you’d want if you’re looking for a Muslim woman and your sole purpose is marriage. The con is that the subscription is a bit pricey and most features aren’t available on the Standard package.
Free Plan to $12.50/month
The site to be at for all international love-seekers. Just like the name suggests, InternationalCupid connects individuals abroad of all nationalities. For Middle-Eastern men looking for that cultural touch in a woman, this app is the best to find one as the app is full of well-educated expats looking for fellow travelers, or people settled outside of their country. With thousands of success stories, international singles don’t have to worry about much when it comes to the dating scene. With an easy to use interface, and an account set-up in just 3 easy steps, get your account up and get going.
InternationalCupid Membership Fees
The membership fee of this site is $12.50 a month, which is quite cheap compared to other sites.
International Cupid Pros & Cons
The pros of this app is that it is specific to international singles and sorts out the rest, giving you easy access to what you’re looking for. A con which is common in most apps is that, without an upgrade in your subscription, there’s not much you can do.
Free Plan to $23.99/month
Match.com is a well-renowned website (which now also has an app on the App Store and Play Store) in the online dating community. It is one of the first and biggest dating services available and also consists of one of the largest databases, with 21, 575, 000 members spreading across 24 countries. It is the perfect middle-ground for users who like to go with the flow with each match wanting something different out of the app. For a culture as rich as the Middle-Eastern, individuals usually end up looking for something serious and specific, and match.com is the perfect site to look for that. The signing up process is simple, with you posting your photos and answering a bunch of personality based questions, e.g. you age, what you’re looking for, whether you want kids, or if you smoke or drink and the like.
Match.com Membership Fees
This site is designed in a way where you’ll have to pay a subscription fee sooner, rather than later. If you have a free subscription, you’ll be able to browse through the many singles in your area, but to actually message them and see who’s viewed your profile, you’ll have to pay a membership fee, which amounts to $23.99 for 12 months.
Match.com Pros & Cons
The biggest upside to match.com is the surplus of singles waiting to talk to you, while the downside is that you don’t know who has paid for the app and who hasn’t, so you could be messaging someone who had not paid and they’d would have no way of replying back until they pay the subscription.
What Is The Catch?
From the typical Middle-Eastern perspective, meeting someone from the opposite gender can be a pretty anxious task. But for Middle-Eastern singles living abroad or in the United States, who’ve already adapted to the Western culture, it’s pretty normal. But the pre-date jitters still happen to the best, so don’t let that get you down. Before meeting someone in real life, make sure you’ve already covered a few topics of conversation beforehand on the site so there are no awkward silences during your date. It’s always safe to have a couple of topics of conversation stored in the back of your hand. If all else fails, there’s always the golden topic of how things are back home and how it’s so different abroad. Date’s with people from similar cultural backgrounds always seem to end well as people who live abroad tend to always look for people who they can relate to. The feeling of home-sickness is always there, which factors into the success.
Once you agree to meet someone, make sure you both are on the same page, so you don’t end up expecting different things from the date. Get to know your match and cover as many topics as possible beforehand. Another thing to keep in mind before meeting up with your date is to pick a great location, because that plays a big role in how your date could perceive you. As a Middle-Eastern individual try booking a place which is as authentic as it gets, and one you frequent a lot. Keep in mind that not everyone you date will be 100% compatible with you but leave room to compromise and understand as even though you are both Middle-Eastern, some views may still not be shared as common. A culture as rich and colorful as that is bound to bring up some great moments.
What Are Some Middle Eastern Dating (Courtship) Traditions?
People from the Middle-East tend to “court” people, rather than go on casual dates, owing to the religious pretenses attached. In the culture, seeing someone from the opposite gender, with no intention of marriage may be considered sinful, so courtship is a great way of actually finding out if an attraction could end up in marriage or not. Courtship is done with the blessings of parents for both sides and it is agreed that it is only to make sure that they relationship is going on the right track. In most Middle-Eastern households parent’s may not have the ultimate say, but they do have a heavy influence on where their children end up getting married and who they see through-out their late teen to early adult-hood years. As for Middle-Eastern individuals who’ve migrated to European countries or to the United States, and have adapted to the Western Culture, things are different. Some may still stick to their cultural roots, while some completely conform to the Western way of dating. So it’s important to find your date’s perspective on dating before actually going on the date, and what he/she expects out of it.
At the end of the day, it’s important for individuals to not completely forget their roots even if they move to a different country. It is important to adapt to a lifestyle, but it’s also vital for you to not completely let yourself or your identity go. There are many Arabs out there looking for the same thing as you, and panicking over not finding someone is pointless, as something like that usually just happens naturally. With so many dating sites available, it’s impossible for you to not find someone, especially with Match.com and its 6 month Find Live guarantee. If you don’t find someone in 6 months of continuously using that app, they will return the money you’ve spent on the app. That just shows how it’s next to impossible you don’t find somebody. Keep the Middle-Eastern inside you alive, as there are other people in your area looking for the exact things you are looking for, you just have to match with them.
Our Final Thoughts
With the current situation, make sure you date responsibly and follow social-distancing protocols. Although Arab culture does require you to socially distance before marriage, COVID-19 is just end up making sure of it.