If you hold firm religious convictions, dating someone of a different religion can cause conflict, tension and stress for you, your partner and both your families.
However, with an open mind and appreciation for other religious beliefs, it is possible to date someone of another religion.
If your partner is Muslim and you are not, you can conduct yourself so that you, he and his family feels valued, respected and accepted.
Note to readers: This weblog entry on official advice to women not to marry Muslim men has, to my surprise and delight, become the springboard for an intense, heated, and personal dialogue between non-Muslim women romantically involved with Muslim men.
Judging by a number of testimonies, the site has proved valuable to many women benefiting from advice and the sharing of information; for a couple of examples see the postings by Sally, Nourshehane, Jeweler46, and Cindy (starting here, continuing here, and ending here).
Others have found solace in kindred spirits (see the posting of Becs).
Still others have drawn conclusions from their own experience and offered these for general use (see the posting of Standfree).
After a slow start, the discussion took off and now has 17,000 comments, or about four a day.
It is remarkable for its undiplomatic and anecdotal tone, so distant from the department's standard bureaucratic style.
For prospective spouses, "Marriage to Saudis" constituted an official tutorial in Saudi culture; for others, it served as a fascinating example of practical anthropology, school of hard knocks.
the Saudi-American relationship virtually always blossoms in the States, in a climate that allows dating, cohabitation, children out of wedlock, religious diversity, and a multitude of other Islamic sins which go unnoticed by Saudi relatives and religious leaders thousands of miles away.
American citizen wives swear that the transformation in their Saudi husbands occurs during the transatlantic flight to the Kingdom.
There is the universal recollection of approaching Riyadh and witnessing the donning of the black abayas and face veils by the fashionably dressed Saudi women.
For many women, the Saudi airport is the first time they see their husband in Arab dress (i.e., the thobe and ghutra).