Amorous in Amman: Dating Takes on a New Twist in Jordan

by Anisa Benmoktar on November 27, 2009

A hot new nightspot called La Calle or the bar at a trendy new Amman hangout named Books@Cafe; these places and a handful more are becoming regular haunts for young Jordanians looking to express their freedom. There, they can be single and mingle or flirt with present or potential sweethearts. A few years ago it would have been impossible to imagine, let alone picture.


Jordan’s new, more liberal daters are still a niche community, but numbers are growing. According to those on the inside, it’s also easier for men than for women, but who knows… given time, that could also change.

Dating Under Development

The current generation of young Jordanians is breaking down barriers and although core cultural concerns about dating and sex remain there are more possibilities for exploration than ever before. The shift has been several decades in the making, according Husein Al-Mahadeen, a sociology professor at Mu’tah University in Karak, Jordan, in an article in The Global Post.

Gender mixing has been on the rise in Jordan since the oil boom of the ’70s that saw young people move around the Gulf for work: freedom and romantic curiosity naturally came with that. Over the past couple of decades, more women than ever are entering the Jordanian workforce, which has also created more opportunities for gender mixing.

Books@Cafe Bar

Technology has also played Cupid: The Internet and cell phones have made it easier for young Jordanians to connect privately and at the same time, foreign media has revealed more liberal lifestyles. To top it all off, nightclubs in Amman have become more affordable and therefore more accessible to many young people.

To Date or Not to Date: That is the (Personal) Question

Although the face of dating may have changed in Jordan, the extent to which young singles are prepared to take “dating” is still a very individual matter. It often depends on how young Jordanians were brought up and how open their parents are. One thing’s for sure: there are now more options than ever before.

“We’re moving from a conservative society to a more open society,” Al-Mahadeen said in the Global News article. “It is expected that people’s personal freedoms will continue to grow still wider.”

The whisper of a pretty girl can be heard further than the roar of a lion” – Arabic Proverb

LoveHabibi - Arab & Muslim Dating, Friendship and Marriage

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