MEN – WHERE THEY AT? WHERE THEY AT?
I am a young and independent Muslim woman searching for a potential spouse. My very close friends can tell you how they remember from the day we met how much I wanted to get married. I was as young as 18. Right now, I’m 23.
You would think that the chances of getting married are better whilst you are young. That it would be easy to meet someone you like in university or when you are travelling to different cities. That someone is bound to approach you because of your reputation and presence within the community.
Sadly, it’s not that easy.
In this moment I am mentally and emotionally exhausted but still refuse to give up hope. I have learnt a lot more about myself and what I am looking for in a husband going through the process. I also learned about the different personalities men have and how to suss out their intentions. But along with this knowledge and experience, I am more likely to end the conversation than figure out if a man deserves more of a chance.
This is the way I understand it: You read a basic profile of someone, they read yours. You exchange pictures. If there’s mutual interest, you have a conversation to introduce yourself. This may involve even exchanging numbers. At some point, you arrange a meeting with the parents. If there is an agreement between both parties, that is when you have the permission to meet each other more regularly to get to know each other – whether that leads to marriage or not.
When I decide to invite a potential spouse to come over and meet my mum, these guys act like I’m crazy or moving too fast or having high standards. Why? The real problem is that their parents don’t know they are looking for a wife, let alone even being interested in marriage!
The reality is that men use the same methods women do when looking for a spouse (networks, websites, apps, events) but with a different intention. I am the type to be straightforward and brutally honest with men so I can try to understand exactly what is going on in their heads. According to my not-so-scientific research, men are just curious about how these methods work and going with the flow to see if someone captures their interest enough to inspire them towards marriage.
Note how I strongly implied that they still cannot decide if they want to get married! So here are just a few examples of personality types to help you build your list of ‘red flags’! These come from real experiences and I have dealt with each at least 2 or more times, so you can be certain that this is all legit.
This guy is a sly Prince Charming. He uses his lame pick up lines and always shows up to flirt with you. He wants to take you out for an evening. Losers will make you go to them. The older and more independent ones might even offer to pick you up. This guy believes that he should be able to get to know you on his own terms and will make you feel guilty for pressuring him to talk to his parents about you. He is not clear about his intentions for marriage and gives you no real goals or plans for the future. The problem I have is less about him because I have a talent for cutting him off.
What is worrying is how many of his type I am finding in our Muslim community. It is so normal for brothers to ask me how long I’ve been single for – like haraam relationships is something I get into! They are so surprised and I often get a ‘Well done!’ It’s hilarious and offensive at the same time. If you haven’t noticed, we are in a marriage context and the hijab I’m wearing should also be a clear sign of my purity and fear of Allah.
Some player-types also have the audacity to give a religious lecture regarding issues such as Milaad and which Ahl-al-Sunnah scholars to follow, to later change the subject when they want to get a little flirtatious.
Pure men are for pure women – so BYE!
At some level and especially with the age group that I find myself in, I put the blame on sisters for lowering their standards and allowing such behaviour. Guys would not be persistent if they were never reinforced. Basic behavioural psychology! I guess it’s just easier for guys to realise it won’t work on a girl like me.
The Single Muslim Best Friend
This guy has been the most annoying for me. You have mutual interest and your conversation is never-ending. You learn a lot about each other quickly. He has a genuine character and is sincere in regards to his deen, whatever level he is at. The DTR (‘defining the relationship’) conversation happens and he reveals that there is no romantic attraction but he would like to stay friends.
That is completely fine. You should be able to have an honest conversation about your feelings with someone and deal with rejection maturely. However, in the situation where you were introduced in a marriage context, this guy needs to realise that a friendship cannot happen. Communication should stop but he is encouraging fitna by dropping you messages and forcing his presence after every few weeks.
If you are this guy, stop playing yourself. You would not be making so much effort to stay in contact with the girl if you did not have feelings or see a future with her. You need to pray istikhara and have a conversation with your parents about her and get their advice about what you should do – because in the end, they have the most influence over you.
This guy is acting on his own account but will throw his efforts away according to his parent’s wishes. I have been in debates with many men about their views on marrying someone from ‘back home’ and almost always got turned off straight away. I’m not sure why men are more open to this decision than women are. And I’m talking about individuals who have been born and brought up in the UK.
However, the problem here is the attitude of the guy. He is arrogant due to his ‘options’. He is indifferent to you. You are trying your best to prove that to him that you are the best contender but there is still the constant insecurity that you are not his priority.
You can still respect your parents and their wishes but the way to do this is to have a conversation about expectations on both sides. In this way, the guy will understand what he needs to look for. He needs to learn how to focus on one girl and make a decision about her without having options to compare her to. If you are serious about her, you have to make your own decisions and fight for her. You need to realise she’s putting a lot more on the line than you.
The point of this post is to provide a reflection for guys so they can fix up. Too many of you do a lot of talking but when it comes down to it, never act right. If you relate to any of these personalities, you have to be certain about yourself and what you want. Be certain about your intentions and fear Allah. I cannot stress enough how important it is to talk to your parents, understand their expectations and work out a process with them – all before even putting yourself out there!
Another underlying problem is that guys are ambitious to think their parents will be happy with whoever they like. The guy will delay the process as much as he can to avoid parental pressure to get married without realising that he’s wasting a whole bunch of time, effort and feelings when the parents disprove of the relationship. As soon as you want to consider someone, take the matter straight to your parents. It will also force you to consider a potential spouse a lot more deeply because you don’t want to introduce your parents to every single woman you have on your contacts list, right?
In conclusion, I would still recommend using all the methods that our community has brought forward to help you in your search for a potential spouse – with faith that Allah will guide you to the right person.
Earlier I said I refuse to give up hope. On one hand, that’s because a true believer in Allah is always optimistic and trusts in His plan. But also, I did have one experience which made me feel respected and supported. Without delay or hesitation and after praying istikhara, our families met. You cannot expect every rishta to work out but I was still happy because he acted according to the process!
I have yet to find another example of an action man. But at least I know they do exist. So imma shout along with Destiny’s Child – WHERE THEY AT? WHERE THEY AT?
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