While Lucy’s taking a break, here’s another wonderful Guest Post – this time from Serena, who offers a different perspective on the trials and tribulations of finding a partner in 2019.
Hello everyone! When I saw Lucy was accepting guest-blogs, I jumped at the chance to give a snapshot of my experiences in the ‘Muslim dating’ world. I put it in quotes because as a Muslim woman I don’t technically ‘date’. Instead, I speak to/meet up with men for marriage purposes. Both sides know that marriage is the long-term goal, and there is no concept of dating endlessly or engaging in intimate relationships pre-marriage.
That said, the meet-ups often make for interesting stories, even if they are a little awkward. Often, they involve the guy coming to the girl’s house for a cup of tea, light snacks, and general chit chat. The guy often comes with his family, because the whole process is a family affair.
Having done this for a while, I’m completely opposed to the hassle of this process, and would recommend that anyone stuck in this situation should try to meet the guy one-on-one in a coffee shop first, before involving the whole family.
Anyway, I’ve a whole range of crazy stories, but I’ve chosen the below two to share. For some context, I’m in my late 20s, have been looking for the past few years, and generally use Muslim dating apps, websites and any suitable recommendations from people I know.
Mr Nice-Guy, and his Not-So-Nice Mother
I frequently use a popular Muslim marriage app, which is renowned for a very high success rate. However, I’ve used it on and off for over two years now, and had very little success. Lots of potentials; no real stickers. Anyway, this one guy out of the hundreds I’ve spoken to stands out, so here’s his story. Let’s call him Malik.
Malik messaged me, and we hit it off. He seemed like a lovely guy, and he ticked the right boxes. He was 5’11, and he assured me that my height (significantly shorter) was no issue to him. We arranged a meet up at my house: him visiting with his family. It was great up until then, but this is where things quickly go south.
He turned up at my house, looking gorgeous, I might add, with his mum and sister. His dad was out of the country. We all sat down in our living room, and the mother made a point of sizing me up. Literally. She dragged her eyes, in a very obvious manner, up and down me. I should point out that I was wearing a lovely pair of purple high heels to match my outfit. I don’t normally wear shoes in the house, but I’d made an exception.
At this point his mother is making me feel very self-conscious with her staring assessment, so I engage in small talk with her. She starts interviewing me. What are my hobbies? How religious am I? What can I cook? The questions are endless, and my patience is wearing thin. I stick on a smile and answer as best I can. Malik gives me an apologetic look, but continues talking to my dad on the other side of the room.
At some point, the ‘kids’ separate from the parents, and we are now in separate rooms. Finally, some breathing space from this horror of a mother, and I can get to know the guy a bit better. He works in finance, in the City, and has his head screwed on. For what it’s worth, Malik was a lovely guy. His sister was lovely. Everyone got on well together, I could see it going further, and I was even willing to put up with the mother.
At the end of the evening, we all say our goodbyes, and he says he will be in touch. The next morning, I awake to several missed calls and messages from him saying please can I call him, he has something urgent he wants to discuss with me. He then says we can discuss it on snapchat. Since I haven’t replied, he gives up and sends me a very long text.
His text message says that he really likes me, but his mother hates me, and he apparently has had a very long argument with her, and unfortunately it’s not going to work out. He also claims to have discussed me with his brother, who didn’t come to my house, and his brother is on his mum’s side. I have no idea what his sister thinks.
When I brave the question of why his mother didn’t like me, he answers with what is possibly the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. She didn’t like my heels. More specifically, that I was wearing heels in the house. Even more specifically, that I was “most probably” too short for her son. She went as far as accusing me of wearing heels to make myself “look taller”.
I laughed. Like actual laughter. Was this woman being serious? And more to the point, why wasn’t this guy fighting for me over something so outrageous? Just to be clear, I have no problem with my height. I might have a shoe problem, but that’s another story.
Anyway, I told him he should really re-examine his life choices and not let his mother dominate his life. I also wished him good luck in getting married, because at this rate, she would disapprove of anyone that breathed. No one would be good enough for her son.
A year and a half after this meeting, and the guy is still not married. I’ve seen him on other dating apps, and community matchmakers have been recommending him to my mum, completely oblivious to what happened. My mum politely declines.
All I have to say here is, best of luck to Malik, because although he was a lovely guy and very handsome, he lacked any sort of backbone to stand up to his mother. I really hope he finds a wife who puts his mum in her place.
The Hipster Doctor
I came across this guy, let’s call him Faisal, on an ‘Islamic hipster’ website. Don’t ask why I was on there – I’m anything but hipster in real life – but most other avenues weren’t working for me so I thought I’d give it a shot. Faisal messaged me, we chatted, we seemed to hit it off. He said he was a junior A&E Doctor in training, and was dealing with emergency medicine. He had a crazy schedule, as I imagine most junior doctors do, but we arranged to meet.
He agreed to come to my house, but apologised that his parents were out of the country, so it would just be him popping round, and would this be okay? I had no complaints, and so he came over to visit me and my parents. The meeting went well, on the surface he seemed legit. OK-looking, religious, lived not too far away, stable job, the right age. He seemed to tick a lot of boxes.
My parents were a little concerned about him turning up without his parents: why couldn’t he simply come over whenever they were back from holiday? I thought something was a little off, but I put it down to nerves on a first meeting with the girl and her parents.
We continued chatting by phone and WhatsApp for a week or so. I was then due to go on holiday for two weeks, so he arranged for me and my family to visit his place when I got back.
So far, pretty normal behaviour, right? Well. This is where things take a strange turn. I return from holiday, beautifully tanned and relaxed. It’s a Friday evening, and we’re due to go to his house the next day. I’m in the car, en route home from dinner at approximately 9pm. He calls.
I pick up, thinking this is weird, I hope everything is okay. After the hellos and how was your holiday small talk, he drops a bombshell. “I’m very sorry, I’m going to have to cancel tomorrow. The thing is, I actually had my engagement party today. With someone else.” ENGAGED.
I was shocked into silence. Cue the guy starting to apologise profusely for wasting my time, my parents’ time, everyone’s time. Sorry for stringing me along. Sorry, sorry, sorry. My goodness, I’d never heard so much bullsh*t in my entire life. He had literally messaged me a few days ago, acting completely normal, no hint of a fiancée. Nothing, nada.
I was stunned into complete silence, and I let the man grovel his apologies, and when he had gone on for a while, I told him I hoped his fiancée found out what kind of man he is before it was too late for her, and then promptly hung up.
What a piece of trash.
What’s the current situation?
I’m still trudging along in the murky waters of the dating world, meeting up with men in the hope that one of them is ‘The One’. I often go on an app hiatus because this dating malarkey really does take its toll, and repeating the same conversations over and over is not fun. All in all, I just want someone to come home to at the end of the day, who’ll tell me that they love me, and that everything will be okay.
Surely, that’s not too much to ask?
Lucy is currently taking a short break from writing the blog – but you can catch up with her over on Twitter @lucygoesdating.
If, like the lovely Serena, you’ve got a story to share, or dating advice or opinions, and you’d like to write a guest post, please contact me with your suggestion!