I never really gave much attention to blogs or articles on marriage before, but as I’ve struggled to find my ‘perfect match’ on my own, have taken to reading them over the last year. Now whilst I think most of them are fairly agreeable, I think they all come down to the one question – why aren’t we all finding it so hard to find someone – and what can be done about it.
I’ve decided to write this article for Muzmatch in the hope of putting my own thoughts down on paper so that a) to help me understand my own needs and whether I’m being unrealistic myself, and b) for the wider audience to appreciate the typical scenarios and issues that I personally come across (and would assume many men do too).
Lets start with my personal situation. I in my late 30s, have previously been married and have 2 beautiful children Alhamdulillah. I’ve been looking to get (re)married seriously now for 3 years. I’m educated to Masters degree level, can speak Arabic, would like to think that I keep myself fairly fit and active, presentable (although my family are always telling me to get a haircut). I am 6 foot tall and whilst beauty is in the eye of the beholder – and I’d never openly say this of myself usually – for the sake of this article, would think I’m above average on the attractiveness scale (Allahu A’llam). I pray 5 times a day (although struggle to get up in time for Fajir), I’ve performed Hajj and Ummrah (May Allah accept them and of all the Muslimeen) and generally consider myself a positive and well intentioned person (Inshallah) with a good sense of humour.
Ok now that’s out the way, allow me to describe what I’m looking for in my future wife. God fearing, practising muslima, good looking (at least in my eyes) and preferably slim. I’d prefer someone Arabic or is open minded to learning Arabic.
My initial thoughts were that I’m not asking too much, although 3 years on and I’ve still not re-married. Ok, I may be considered to have ‘baggage’ although I think having the kids is a blessing and the experience has made me into a better person, and able to deal with any future issues in a better way. I tend to find most muslim women have an issue with someone having kids. On one occasion I viewed a profile on a muslim marriage site and the lady had marked ‘do not contact me if you have been divorced. Divorce is a sign of failure’ – Wow I thought – obviously I didn’t write to her. Whilst I was a little shocked by her statement and did initially think of writing to her to explain sometimes divorce happens and it’s not always possible to avoid, in the end I felt it best to just move on, as I didn’t want to cause any potential argument. To my surprise, a few days later I received a message from her asking to get to know me! I replied gently pointing out her requirements on her profile, to which she replied ‘oh, I don’t think that way now. I got divorced a few months ago’. Subhanallah!
I’ve actually found non Muslims much more accepting of my situation, and in all honesty I came very close to marrying an English lady, who I got to know. She was kind, understanding, beautiful, and had knowledge of Islam having lived in the Gulf for a few years. She was also looking to convert to Islam, and we almost got married. However, her family whilst they liked me as an individual, had issues with their daughter converting to Islam and she felt she couldn’t do it in the end. Turns out it’s not just our culture that has issues with interfering families!
I started to think about what I really wanted, and if I’m honest, I prefer someone several years younger than myself, somewhere in range of 22-34. Attractiveness is important to me and I don’t see why women (or men for that matter) should let themselves go as they get older. For me, I prefer a slim and sporty physique, that’s just what makes me tick. I prefer someone above 5’6″, although would consider anyone over 5’2″. I have realised that my main point is a show stopper, the lady has to be God fearing and practising musilma.
I recognise that I’m not able to meet may Muslim women, partly because of our cultural tendencies that we’re more modest and don’t just hang out on street corners or pubs/clubs (thank God), but also because my line of work tends to be male dominated. I need to address that by getting myself out to more social events or thinking outside the box.
Now I don’t the answer to my issue (never mind everyone else’s) – but my feeling is that we all need to put a little more effort into a) Looking after our physical appearance; b) become a little more accommodating – if the person in front of you doesn’t match all your criteria but you feel there’s a connection, give it a chance; and c) making ourselves more available – whether by putting our faces on our profiles on these marriage sites (what’s the point in not showing it – if you’re serious about marriage, then who cares about what anyone thinks – After all, yore not doing anything wrong. Keep your parents in the loop if you feel the need to).
On that note – if anyone feel that we’d be a match, feel free to get in touch 🙂
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Written by a muzmatch user.