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The Egyptian Rules of Relationship

Almost nine years ago, two women published a very famous book on relationship rules, based on well kept and practiced secrets; women worldwide went crazy for it, the book was so famous that it reached every continent and every country, including Egypt and barely stayed on the shelves of local book stores. As any famous craze, many tried to cease the moment and endless books were published in an effort to reach the global success the “Rules” book did, needless to say none did, many however, succeeded in their own countries, because they addressed their culture so well.

The problem with those books is that the advice, doesn’t really fit our culture that well, not to mention that we have our own cases that are too local to find in any internationally published book; therefore, we collected some Egyptian relationship rules to help you maintain a healthy relationship for both yourself and the man you love.

Rule 1:

Three things you never say to your man “mabetrodish 3alia leih”, “makalemtinish leih”, and “mein elli kanet ma3ak dih”. First of all, these questions are suffocating to the man you love; second, if he loves you, you don’t need to ask these questions.

Let’s analyze the statements:

“Why aren’t you answering your phone?” if you know he loves you and you feel secure about this relationship, then it doesn’t really matter if he was in a meeting or with friends and didn’t want to answer in front of them; however, if you are asking because you are suspecting something, then there is a bigger issue that you should investigate before you address.

“Why didn’t you call me?” the man who loves you doesn’t need a reminder to call you, when he wants he will, he doesn’t have to check in like he’s at school. Always remember you have a life that does not revolve around him, even if you don’t you should pretend that you do, and women who have full lives, don’t wait beside the phone.

“Who’s that girl that’s standing with you?” this question screams “I’m insecure”, always remember we live in a mixed culture, men and women meet every day, he meets and talks to women quite often and he chose you above all those women because he loves you; however, if you are asking because your man has a record of cheating, then give this relationship up, men never change, done it once will do it again.

Rule 2:

If he mostly calls you after 12am, this is an Egyptian booty call! You are basically someone on the side he spends his free time with. No acceptable excuses for this case, it doesn’t matter if he works 16 hours a day, when a man likes a woman he will be thinking about her a lot, he will want to hear her voice and he will find a few minutes to talk to her, when he’s driving-stuck in traffic, working, getting dressed, or even in the bathroom pretending he’s not – they find the time for you, because they want to.

P.S if you are engaged, this means you are not a current priority – sometimes there is a good reason, but often it means you come after work and friends.

Rule 3: Become the safe zone.

We are in difficult times, ever where people are giving each other a hard time, add to that the stress of a hectic job. Your man needs to know that you are his safe zone; whenever he sees you and talks to you, everything should be calm, fun and peaceful. Save the complaining and small problems for your lady friends.

If you are out together and everything goes wrong, never complain, he’s probably trying his best, and if he’s not then nagging won’t get you a better result anyway. Always remember the important thing is that you are spending time together.

Rule 4: Tone down the “Zann”.

Men hate nagging, plus the more you keep repeating the less he will listen from the first time. Set things straight, you address an issue once, if he doesn’t respond with appropriate action, ignore it, especially if it has consequences, how else will they learn to listen ;) .

Rule 5:

Avoid mentioning any exes, men -especially Egyptian men- hate the mere thought that you had previous relationships. Don’t deny their existence also, it’s important not to lie about these things, Egypt is not that big, people meet – just saying.

When he asks make a short summary, answer his questions excluding any details he didn’t ask about and close the subject as soon as you can.

Rule 6:

Don’t cancel arrangements with your friends and family, to be with your man, especially on a short notice, you have a life that shouldn’t revolve around him, they are equally important and they will be there for you when he isn’t.

Rule 7:

Don’t check your man’s mobile (messages, call history, pictures…etc) this is his privacy, respect it; you should also extend the same courtesy to your phone, he should also respect your privacy and not check your mobile.

Rule 8:

Don’t change anything about you for your man, this advice benefits him more than it benefits you, there is a reason you are this way, it’s who you are, it’s who you are comfortable being, unless you are changing because you really want to for yourself, you won’t be able to maintain the changes; in addition if a man loves you he will take you as a package, the package he fell in love with in the first place.

Here are a few examples for this one; a friend of mine, wears flats because her boyfriend hates it when she wears high heels, her plan is when they get married to keep her high heels in her bag and wear high heels when he’s not around!

A friend of a friend wore only black because her conservative boyfriend starts a huge fight if she dares to wear color; the problem is she loved wearing colors and mixing and matching, and it really showed how unhappy she was to wear black.

Another girl, has a problem with her fiancé, insisting on her figuring out a way to gain weight. What’s funny is that another friend of mine had her fiancé dump her – literally- because she gained weight and didn’t manage to lose it as quickly as he had hoped.

Ladies, if he doesn’t like who you are leave him, many others will jump to the opportunity to replace him.

Rule 9:

Two men you should never marry, a cheap man, and an aggressively rude man. The best way to know if he’s cheap or not is by the tip he leaves, it’s an indicator than never fails; if he’s aggressive or rude with anyone no matter whom, he will be with you. No exceptions.

Rule 10:

General rule of thumb, never ever say ‘I love you’ before he does.

Rule 11:

This is not Europe, unless he is building himself financially, you should not be dating more than a year before he proposes. If it’s been a year and you haven’t even discussed the future, evaluate the situation with your mind (no feelings) and leave him if you think the relationship is not serious enough.

Middle eastern cultures are very limiting, pushing the course of any relationship to go faster, if he loves you he will be racing to marriage, if he is not (unless for financial reasons) then he either has commitment issues or is not entirely convinced that you are the one; in both cases you deserve better.

Rules for Engaged Ladies:

Rule 12:

Respect your man’s mother, never come head to head with her, and generally avoid complaining about his family, it will get you no where.

If your man does not put his mother – the woman who raised him, took care of him, and gave him her life- first, then you should not marry this man, he will treat you even worse.

Rule 13:

Choose your arguments – treat arguments as you treat a budget; Engagements contain endless arguments, don’t spend time and effort on unimportant arguments. Ignore how frustrated or annoyed you are, if the argument is about something not crucial ignore it, if it’s about something in the future, no need to waste time on it now, it may not even be an issue in the future, if it’s about something that will not work, let it not work. Only pick the arguments that are worth it.

Rule 14:

What goes on between you and your man should never reach your parents nor his, no exceptions!

Rule 15:

Plan romantic outings, make your time together memorable, this is the highlight of your lifelong relationship, make it count.

This a summary of the things you should generally get right, when you are in a relationship; however, there is a list of endless mistakes, that we women make when it comes to relationships, check how to lose a guy… Egyptian style for more details, of course there is also the biggest mistake of all, loving the wrong man, check how to spot a loser man for more details.

Finally remember, that relationships, are about being in love and happy, if you are not, then work with your partner make your relationship more romantic and fruitful, don’t settle for less, you deserve the best.


  1. Maritza Portillo

    I been with an Egyptian guy bout 7 months now,he was marry before and had a lot of problems but now with me he promise things and than he change he’s mind,hes been telling me trust me I will marry you,since we not marry we have to be hiding from everyone and this is getting annoying for me,I feel like he’s not taking this I am please help me think positive bout all this..because before supposedly he cheated on his wife I don’t want that to happend to me..thank u hope u respond…

    • Nadine Abou el Atta

      Sorry to say so, but once a cheater always a cheater; and a hidden relationship will always remain hidden. Nationality is not the issue here. Good luck dear.

  2. Katie

    I have more of a question really. I just starting dating an Egyptian guy, so I am still liking about his culture and all. But he kissed me on the palm of my hand and told me that was a sign that I belong to him now… Is this true?

    • Nadine Abou el Atta

      No dear :) there is no such thing in our culture. I am not sure what you mean by belonging to him, but as a rule in your relationship with an Egyptian man, you belong to no one, your heart maybe, but you no.

      • Katie

        I was just asking based off what he told me if there makes any sense. thank you so much tho. I am just trying to learn about his culture so that I can be respectful to him and his friends. thank you so much for answering my question.

        • Nadine Abou el Atta

          No problem at all :) Post any future questions you have here and I will answer them :)



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