In a previous post here, I wrote all about the struggles faced by Muslim women in their search for a partner. I know that many men may have read it and thought, ‘well geez, sucks to be them’. But sympathy isn’t going to get us anywhere. When the system we operate in is so skewed and unequal (yes patriarchy, I mean you), real action needs to be taken and men need to play their part. I’m going to give men the benefit of the doubt and assume that you guys don’t know what you can do to help when it comes to the area of romance, so let me make it easy for you with a few suggestions:
1.) Don’t stuff women around
Are there women who are happy to engage with men without wanting it to go anywhere? Undoubtedly, yes. However, society dictates that a woman’s window to get married is much narrower than a man’s is. When she likes you, she’s not operating on your time; she can’t simply wait around indefinitely for you to get it together. If it doesn’t work out, the stigma attaching to her as a woman with a failed relationship or two is so much worse than yours as a man, so if you know you have no intent of getting married to her, leave her be. (None of this ‘I-thought-we-were-just-friends’ business when confronted with your actions.)
2.) Approach her! Tell her you like her!
She may just like you too, but she most likely can’t do anything about it. If and when women do initiate, they run the risk of being seen as overly forward or ‘desperate’, so please help her out and kick things off.
But if she doesn’t return your interest, don’t get angry. Some men seem to think they are entitled to being considered by any woman they ‘choose’, that the attention they pay to a woman is a coveted privilege they are bestowing upon her. It’s not. She has as much of a right to say no as you do.
3.) Don’t assume she’s going to say no because of your wallet size…
Please, please don’t pre-emptively pull the plug because you think you don’t have enough to offer. Let her be the judge of that.
4.) But at the same time, at least try to sort yourself out
Work at a supermarket. Do security work. Get a lemon of a car. Meet her parents. Do what you need to do to get things across the line. Show her that you’re serious about her by taking your life seriously. Stop taking six years to finish a three year degree. You can do it.
5.) Don’t be a jerk
Just don’t be a jerk, ok? Please? (And yes, if you’re generally a ‘nice guy’ who just happens to be a jerk to women when it comes to your love life, you’re still a jerk.)
*If you need some hints on how not to be a jerk and the above hasn’t enlightened you, please note the following:
1.) Sneering at women’s less-than-perfect hijab is not on.
2.) Repeated flirting when you have no intention of following through is not on.
3.) Sharing sexist jokes/memes/anything at all is also really, really not on.
4.) Repeated flirting when you have a partner already is really, really, really not on. Really.