Tag Archives: dating

When Muslim meets Tinder

The rise of Tinder and Tinder-esque apps clearly demonstrates that we’re still trying to answer the age-old question: how on earth do I meet someone when I’m busy, permanently glued to my phone and more adept at a Facebook stalk than a real-life conversation? Of course, being part of any minority group compounds the issue, so it was only a matter of time before Muslims jumped on the app bandwagon and got cracking with their own versions.

I’ve spoken to a few people about whether they’d use these apps and responses have been mixed. Some people are open to it, seeing it as convenient and discreet. But others feel that swiping left or right to meet a partner cheapens the process of meeting a partner, that it erodes the seriousness and sanctity of getting to know someone within a Muslim framework. Others feel like it’d be too awkward to use an app like this because the chances of them having a cyber run-in with an ex or unwanted acquaintance are just too high. (The Muslim community in Sydney particularly is  like a squishy anthill, so I don’t blame them.)

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Whatever your feelings are on these apps, the demand for them is undeniable. I decided to head straight to the source and had a chat with Khalil Jessa, the creator of Salaam Swipe, and Hamid Saify, the creator of the Crescent app. While both are based in North America, they anticipate that their apps will have global reach across Muslim diaspora communities.

Jessa experienced these issues first-hand as a young Muslim in Canada and felt that “it is just too difficult to meet one another within our communities”, citing lack of opportunity and space to meet people as a key issue for Muslims. Saify echoed this, saying that “[y]ou either know all the Muslims in your community, or you live in a city without many options to explore the potential of love.” He noted that there were few “inclusive” spaces for Muslims of all stripes and colours to meet other Muslims, something he hopes will change with apps such as his.

Both apps have similar functionality to Tinder, which I flagged as a potential issue for some Muslims, given that app’s rather (cough) seedy reputation. Jessa stated that “[t]he fact that people are making a conscious attempt to find someone of their faith on Salaam Swipe shows that they are looking for something more meaningful than just a casual relationship.”Saify emphasised the flexibility of using Crescent, noting that while some may be on there to get married, others may just be looking to make friends.

Privacy and discretion are key in this game. For those worrying about their Facebook friends popping up as potential matches, Salaam Swipe has a feature which specifically weeds out Facebook friends. Saify admitted that there is a stigma attached to Muslims meeting people online, and while he notes that it’s already happening,  “no one is going to readily admit it.” However, Jessa believed that “it makes total sense” to search for someone online, particularly for Muslims who are looking for very specific characteristics in a partner.

Both Jessa and Saify feel that their apps provide a safe space for young Muslims who may have few alternatives. Saify noted that there is often “friction” associated with Muslims meeting partners and that apps like Crescent can play a part in making the process smoother and more natural, while Salaam Swipe reflects an attempt on Jessa’s part to “level the playing field and make it as fun and easy to meet people within our community, as it is to meet people outside of our community.”

Studies have shown that a third of couples in the US now meet online, and it appears that many Muslims are jumping right on board. Jessa laughingly notes that he would definitely use his own app, while Saify also tried his hand at Muslim and Afghan matrimonial sites before meeting his wife (offline, as it so happens). To swipe left, or right, or not at all? The choices are now all at your fingertips.

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Would you use apps like this? Why or why not?

What type of Muslim single are you?

The last post got me thinking a whole lot about the life of a single Muslim. I’ve been to four weddings already this year. Last year, I went to about six. Nevertheless, I can’t seem to shake off the feeling that we’re entering some kind of weird post-marriage era, a kind of dystopian otherworld where people are staying single for yonks longer than their parents and grandparents did. This may be as often due to choice as it is due to circumstance.

As always, I insert my tedious disclaimer about generalisations being generalisations and not granite fatwas. But enough with the disclaimers, let’s categorise people now:

1.) The cynical/bitter single

This person feels that they’ve been burned too many times to even think about putting their heart on the line. If anyone brings up the topic of marriage, they’ll often make sarcastic comments or simply try to change the subject. They pretend not to care at all about getting married, and may have trained themselves enough to believe that this is the case.

How to nab them: Underneath their somewhat uninviting exterior, they’re often deeply caring and emotional. If you’re patient enough, you can draw them out, but do it slowly or you’ll scare them off.

 2.) The meh single

This person is either indifferent to the idea of getting married or just doesn’t care quite enough to do anything about it. As a result, they’re most likely going to get married through ‘traditional’ means, and they’re indifferent to that prospect too. They’re sure it’ll happen at some point, and they’re willing to sit back and wait until it does.

How to nab them: They can be quite difficult to spot because of their low-key modus operandi, but if you do, you can probably coax them into something fairly easily. (As long as they like you, that is.) They’re pretty meh, remember?

3.)  The holding-out-for-Mr/Ms-right-single

This person has most likely been in a relationship/had strong feelings for someone and as a result, is waiting to ‘feel it’ again. They feel that they’ve experienced an intense connection and as such, anything less will just be not good enough.

How to nab them: Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to engage this type of person. They have to really, really like you for them to actually pursue anything serious, and there’s very little you can do to try to ‘induce’ those feelings.

 4.) The preoccupied single

This person isn’t averse to marriage; rather, it’s just not high on their long list of priorities. Whether it’s career or study hurdles they’re trying to get over, they have their eye fixed firmly on the prize and very little will divert them at this point in their life.

How to nab them: Once they feel that they’re ready, they will commit fairly quickly, so you just need to wait for the right opportunity. Alternately, you may be in the same field or sphere as them and catch their eye as the perfect potential partner in crime.

 5.) The I’m-not-ready single

This person just doesn’t feel ready. This is either because they’re not quite sure where they’re studies/career/existence is going, or because they know enough of where they’re going to know they aren’t there yet. As such, they feel hesitant about expressing interest in someone, worrying that they just won’t be up to the job.

How to nab them: In order for them to consider you, they’ll need to know that you value them for their innate personal qualities rather than their job title or salary package. For some, these reassurances may be enough. For others, they won’t be able to commit, regardless of how much they like you or how much you like them.

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 6.) The cute youngling single

This person may be open to the idea of getting married, but knows that it may only happen in the distant future because they’re fresh out of high school. They often have an upbeat, rosy attitude towards marriage because no one has trampled all over their heart (yet).

How to nab them: Just ask! An expression of interest is sure to get their heart aflutter.

 7.) The oft-thwarted single

This person isn’t single out of choice. They’ve been trying to meet people and may have had a few close tries, but somehow they just never make it over the line. They’ll keep trying until they get there, and are open to considering just about anybody with a full set of teeth and a heart of bronze.

How to nab them: You just need to cross paths and their interest may be sparked. From here, you really don’t have to do all that much-they’ve got it all covered.

 8.) The clueless single

This person does in fact want to get hitched, but doesn’t really know how to go about it. They may not have the connections to meet people or the social savvy to be able to know how to express interest, and they’re left scratching their head as to how it’s all supposed to work.

How to nab them: Just extend them a helping hand. If you like them and they like you, there’s no reason they won’t extend theirs.

 9.) The playing-the-field single

This person’s detractors may label them a ‘player’, but they don’t see it that way. They just want to keep their options open. They want to see what’s ‘out there’, whether because they feel they’re too young/too inexperienced/too cool to commit to one person just yet.

How to nab them: Unless they feel you’re something out-of-this world, they won’t commit. But they will get bored of keeping their options open at some point, so if you’re there at that precise moment, you may find yourself the lucky final recipient of their attentions.

10.) The precise-fit single

This person has very specific requirements for a partner, and as such has narrowed their field considerably. Sometimes, these requirements are all of their own making, but they may be related to parental expectations too e.g. marrying a person of the same culture.

How to nab them: Their openness to someone who doesn’t fit their requirements will depend on their level of discipline. Some people stick to their guns no matter what, while others will let their feelings be their guide. Or alternately, you could be the lucky person who just happens to tick all of their boxes.

11.) (you thought I’d stop at 10, didn’t you?)

The single-who-isn’t-really-single single

This person’s relationship status is a mystery. They’re certainly not married, but that’s as much as anybody knows. Whether they’re pining over an unrequited love, secretly seeing a requited love, struggling with their sexuality or preoccupied with the whereabouts of the Loch Ness Monster, nobody is quite sure .

How to nab them: You can’t pursue them until you find out exactly what their deal is, but be warned: this sleuthing may take a while. Or maybe it won’t. After all, Muslims are pros at knowing things about people we’ve never even spoken to in person.

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Life after 30 as a single Muslim woman

by Anonymous

If you’ve hit 30 and are still single, you’re probably not going to find your habibti/beta/canim.

Well then, now that’s I’ve gotten you all angry at the defeatist introduction, why not stay a while and read on yaar?

I remember reading an article once about women in their 30s missing from the marketing world, like they aren’t a desirable market to sell goods to – lingerie is for toned women in their 20s, domestic stuff is for mothers in their 40s and anything ‘cool’ is for the teen market. The writer lamented about being a demographic no one wanted to appeal to, like she had no market share valuable enough to target. It got me to thinking about how in Islamic cultures women in their 30’s are seen in the same light- you’re just not a marketable product to sell for marriage. Sorry hun, you’re like an iPhone 4…Apple don’t even want to sell you anymore.

I’ve had two friends in their early 20s actually say to my face they wanted to get married soon, as they were scared if they approach my age their prospects were next to none. As bi*chy as it sounds they honestly didn’t mean any malice by it; it was a sincere fear of theirs. This is what it’s like to be a single Muslim woman in your 30s-you’re not fabulous, you’re a warning sign that girls in their 20s will hear by their aunties not to end up like.

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Single, practicing Muslim women entering their 30s are a rising demographic. I feel like my generation of friends are the first to go through this new phenomenon, the battle between feeling like a suitable and eligible candidate for prospective men vs the shelf space put aside for you by everyone else.  I never realised moving to the next age box in a survey would dictate my self-worth so much.  I wasn’t taught this in school or at Islamic classes…

I’ve lost track of how many people have asked around about me casually and stopped as soon as they found out I was in my 30s. This means people had a good impression of my character from hearsay or having met me, or in the males’ case they clearly were attracted to me physically to want to pursue some more background information – the only thing that deterred them was my age. You can also forget the scenario where a brother is interested in meeting a sister for marriage and asks around – his requests always come with an age group – and you guessed it – 30 is the limit.

Our respective Muslim communities have failed us. Muslims living in the West are surrounded by other nationalities and religions in successful relationships with older / divorced women so it’s not a foreign concept to them. Our biggest male role model the Rasul (s.a.w) married older, divorced and single mothers – in fact the only younger wife was Aisha (ra). Men rush to lead by his example and grow a beard, use a miswak and give to charity… but when it comes to his example of marriage they simply have too much pride to consider a woman in her 30s, even then they are in the same age bracket too!

The shelf life of a woman is dictated by the elders in the community who reinforce the desirable ‘young beautiful virgin’ ideal to their sons, who are actually ‘old ugly and oversexed’ losers that frankly no self-respecting woman deserves to end up with. I’ve learnt long ago that just because community elders have lived longer doesn’t mean they know what’s best for your dunya and akhira, rather they were married off in a village at 16 and don’t really know any different to the lives they’ve led decades ago.  Can you count on your fingers how many Muslim women in their 30s have gotten married in the past year or so? Probably not even a handful, and most are to reverts who they met at work/social scenes who refreshingly don’t come with the cultural stigma attached.

Then you get told to have tawakkul and faith in God’s decree. It’s all ‘naseeb’, they tell you (after making you feel like and undesirable loser). Yes, definitely have tawakkul ladies, we do not know what it written for us, but I also believe in the ‘tie your camel’ story as a metaphor for how to then go about your life. I decided a few years ago to stop waiting for my knight in shining jilbab. I had too many dreams, and this life isn’t a fairy-tale. Start a relationship with your mind. Go back to studies if there are any topics of interest you’ve put off. Start dating your passport-instead of dinners, collect stamps and see the world! A honeymoon in Fiji shouldn’t be the only travel goal left for you. The world is too awesome to wait for someone to hold your hand and explore it with you. As lovely as it may sound, the longer you wait you’ll just end up renewing that passport with no stamps after its 10 year validity.

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You are not ‘half a Muslim’ because you’re not married. The ‘half your deen’ statement pertains to the fact that half the problems you will face with your iman will be marriage-related, and that is the specific test for married people.  Allah created you as complete in every way, and if men can’t see that, it is a product of their stupidity. So just politely ignore the gossipy aunties at the next social gathering where you are quite frankly the most fabulous woman in the room regardless of how you are made to feel.

Do people actually want to get married?

The other day, I was interviewed by a journalist about the topic of Muslim ‘dating’. At one point in the interview, she asked me if there is a ‘marriage crisis’ amongst Muslims. I wasn’t quite sure how to answer that. In previous posts, I’ve discussed reasons why it may be that people are finding it difficult to meet a partner (see the ‘Why Can’t I Get Married’ post, for example). But this discussion always assumes that people actually do want to get married, an assumption I’m coming to question the more people I see and talk to about this topic.

It’s easy to see why this assumption exists. Being in a relationship is seen as a default state for many, whether due to social conditioning or some innate primal instinct for companionship. For Muslims in particular, there seems to be a whole host of reasons why people would be keen to get married: religious dictates, prohibition of physical intimacy before marriage, familial pressures. But is it safe to assume that every unmarried Muslim is actually looking to get married?

The short answer is no. The long answer is, well, let’s-take-a closer-look-because-things-aren’t-exactly-what-they-seem. One thing to note in this discussion is that there often seems to be a discrepancy between the genders when it comes to this issue. The perception exists, whether true or not, that Muslim women are keener to get hitched than Muslim men. If this is true, there are some fairly obvious explanations as to why this may be the case.

Firstly, when we speak of people not wanting to get married, this is often a case of not wanting to get married right now, and there are many more reasons for Muslim women to be aware of the right now factor than Muslim men. For one thing, there’s the ever-present, oft-reminded ticking of biological clocks. A 35 year old single woman may be staring down the barrel of never having children, while a single 35 year old male is still looking forward to this possibility.

Another reason why it may appear that Muslim men are less keen to get hitched right here, right now is that they associate marriage with a high degree of responsibility. This may be both an expectation they impose on themselves or one imposed by women and their families. This being the case, it’s easy to see why some Muslim men may feel that they just don’t have it together. They’re not working full-time. They may still be studying. These aren’t prohibitive factors to getting married in a practical sense, but for some they form an insurmountable mental obstacle.

But wait, there’s more! There also happens to be the perception that women may attain more autonomy in marriage than they currently have as singles in their parents’ home, while men may associate marriage with a loss of autonomy. These men may be working full-time and have their finances sorted, but they’re keener to spend their dough on trips with friends and just ‘enjoying life’ than mundane, married people things like paying rent. In contrast, some Muslim women, even when working full-time, are simply not able to do the things their brothers can. They may not be allowed to travel on their own. They may have parents imposing curfew on them. For them, getting married may seem like an automatic ticket to adulthood and independence.

Of course, there are many reasons why people might not want to get married, male or female. Sometimes the thought of a lifelong commitment is just plain scary. As Muslims, it’s not like we can live with the person before getting married to them, so there are always going to be certain blind spots. Sometimes a history of heartbreak and failed relationships can render people unwilling to try again. Sometimes, people are just content with the lives that they have and feel no compulsion to complicate it with the introduction of another person.

Something I often think about is whether there will be a whole bunch of people who will just never get married, and not necessarily out of choice. Again, this seems to be more heavily skewed to the female side. This is perhaps part of the ‘marriage crisis’: people who want to get married, but simply can’t. Often, this seems to be a question of timing. At different parts of our lives, our desire to get married may be greater than others, and if we meet someone when we’re just not that keen, we won’t give it our best shot. But then we may find that in a year or two, when we’re actually seeking a partner, none seem to present themselves. This is why the funny little phenomenon of marrying someone almost as insurance for later comes into play i.e. people getting married partly out of fear that they won’t be able to find someone later.

Despite this rather grim little discussion, I still conclude that most people are at least open to the possibility of meeting someone, and if they like that someone enough, will do their best to commit to marriage. Everyone, from the broken-hearted to the happiest of singles can be coaxed gently into love and marriage. Our capacity to love and be loved is surprisingly strong, even against the odds, and there are many, many, many odds, so many that it seems wondrous that anyone even makes it to the altar. (Or masjid, to be more accurate.) But therein lies the very reason why we keep trying: the wondrous, frustrating, dynamic, amazing institution that is marriage.

The most annoying things you can say to your single Muslim friends

Like pretty much everywhere else, the Muslim community can be a cruel and inhospitable landscape for singles to negotiate. If you’re too overt about wanting to get married, you’re seen as some kind of insecure, hormonally-charged weirdo. If you don’t seem all that interested in getting married, you’re seen as self-centred and are told to ‘grow up’. People are seldom shy about offering their ‘advice’ about what you can do to change or reconcile yourself to your relationship status, but this frequently descends into cute, well-meaning but rather hilarious clichés, as demonstrated below:

1.)    It’ll happen when you least expect it.

This is so incredibly clichéd that you can’t help but roll your eyes every time you hear it. What if you’re always expecting it? What if you’re not expecting it, but it just doesn’t happen either? Can you synchronise the moment you stop expecting it with the moment it actually happens?

2.) You’re just too picky.

This translates to ‘just marry the first dude/gal who isn’t certifiably insane’. Or, ‘marry your second cousin, it’s not like it’s your first!’

3.)    You gotta put yourself out there more!

To a certain extent, this is true. You’re probably not going to meet someone if you’re sitting at home and twiddling your thumbs, unless someone happens to pass by your front door and think your thumb-twiddling is really cute. But this begs the question: why is it often the most active and ‘visible’ people in the community who remain perennially single?

4.)    It’s because you’re too into your career/too opinionated/have a brain

This one is most often thrown at those poor Muslim women who are seen to be ‘intimidating’. Basically, the take-home message is this: alter your personality, lifestyle and values entirely, and then someone will love you for who you are.

5.)    One day, someone will come along and you’ll understand why it didn’t work out with all those other people.

This is one of those quotes everyone posts on Instagram in cursive writing against an ocean backdrop. Ah, the mythical Prince/Princess Charming who’ll redeem you and restore your broken trust in humankind…*tumbleweed blows*

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Image from gossipaunty.com

6.)  Being single is awesome, enjoy it!

Any state you’re in is awesome if you feel it’s one you’ve at least had some say in. But if you feel as though you’ve been relegated there and have no way out, that’s when it tends to feel like you’re a mouse in some really trippy and unethical cosmetics experiment.

7.) Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be your turn soon.

Marriage is not a carousel ride with an orderly queuing system, folks. There are no ‘turns’ and no way of knowing where your place in the ‘queue’ is. The simple fact is that some people may never get married at all, and that’s fine if they’re fine with that reality.

8.) You just gotta have tawakkul, man.

Obvious statement is obvious. Besides, would you tell someone not to bother applying for jobs and just have tawakkul that one will shimmy its way over?

9.) Don’t worry, you still have plenty of time!

Time is all you got as a single person, baby. Nothing but time to hug your cat, water your cactus and get into Facebook fights with people you’ve never met.

10.) Maybe you’ve left it a bit late.

Ok, good. Now will you stop talking about it?

Seriously though, duas and love (of the most Halal version) to all the singles. If you’re searching, may Allah swt bless you with the best partner if it’s best for you, and if you’re happily solo, maybe, just maybe, it’ll happen when you least expect it. Now there’s one you haven’t heard before.

Love

For a blog called ‘Love Haqtually’, there really isn’t very much about love itself on here. That’s simply because it’s just so darn hard to do justice to the concept. Much of what’s written about love focuses solely on romantic love in its early stages. Sure, love is transcendent and magical and may just involve locking eyes and lightning bolts and dodging giant boulders just to be together. Those love stories uplift us from the drudgery of our everyday lives and are the lived experience of a select few. But love is also an everyday occurrence, and to deny its everyday manifestations is to deny ourselves so many chances to be grateful for its quiet, unceremonious presence in our lives.

Love is when you get up for Fajr and stub your toe because you’re trying to keep your eyes closed (it’s easier to get back to sleep that way, right?), but instead of getting mad you just laugh because you love Him enough to try it again tomorrow, this time with at least one eye open.

Love is all those times when your mother tells you to do the dishes, but you ‘forget’ and she quietly does them herself.

Love is that look spouses give each other across a crowded room which says, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go home and eat ice cream on the couch.’

Love is this morning, when my mother ironed my shirt for work because she knows my ironing is terrible.

Love is every time my father tells me to hold my folk like I’d hold a pen. Love is when he persists in telling me, even though I get annoyed and keep holding it like a bag of potatoes just to annoy him back.

Love is when your best friends take you out for hot chips and gravy because you’re miserable over some boy/girl who didn’t want you. Love is when they pretend to be interested every time you moan about some boy/girl who didn’t want you, when all they really want is to eat their hot chips and gravy in peace.

Love is in the silly nicknames your siblings have for you and all the times they forgave you for snapping at them over who got the remote control.

Love is me staring at my wriggly baby niece, marvelling at her wrinkly fingers and toes and spongy head.

Love is snoring on each other’s shoulders in front of the television. Love is folding socks and taking out the garbage on a Tuesday night and passing each other the butter across the table before being asked.

Love is remembering those who are no longer here and sending up a brief prayer for their forgiveness, not often enough because you’re forgetful, but often enough.

Love is knowing He forgives, always.

Love is posting a soppy status about your wife on your anniversary and getting 50 likes.

Love is sitting in the passenger seat as you drive home in silence, sleepy and full of food.

Love is not giving up even when you just can’t be bothered. Love is holding your tongue when you know it would be the most satisfying thing in the world to say, ‘I told you so’.

Love is those thousand forgettable moments of tiny kindnesses and concessions amongst the few memorable chocolates and flowers and fancy, overpriced dinners.

Love. The extraordinary thread running through and holding together the ordinary. This is love.

Respect yourself before you wreck yourself

There are several kinds of people you should just avoid. These include anyone who doesn’t enjoy eating avocados, people who talk really loudly during movies, and of course, people who don’t want to get married but just talk to people of the opposite sex for the heck of it. (Note: by ‘talk’, I don’t mean the dude who said salaams to you out as you passed him in the hallway. He was probably just being polite.)

But should everyone just get together and throw rotten avocados at these people? Not really, although it might be a hoot. In the majority of cases, the signs were there from the beginning, if only you weren’t so silly as to fixate on signs of your own creation. People send mixed signals, sure, but that in itself is indicative that something isn’t right. If you ignore these signs, you ignore them at your own peril.

Think of making a relationship ‘official’ as similar to paying taxes. No one really likes paying taxes, but you do it because you feel that ultimately, there’s some greater good to be served. The same goes for going to meet someone’s parents, making awkward chit-chat with their relatives and forking out time and money on functions that neither you nor your spouse-to-be will actually enjoy. It’s simply the price you have to pay to get to the greater good, which in this case is getting to be with a person you think is pretty cool.

If someone wants to talk to you for extended periods of time without stating any kind of formal intention/commitment, they’re in effect dodging their taxes. They get all the fun of having someone to talk to when they’re bored or in need of emotional support, but without any of the hassle or stress of dealing with its repercussions. They get the best of both worlds: all the companionship of being in a relationship, but all the space and independence of being single. This is fine if it’s what both people want, but in many cases, the arrangement suits only one person and the other person is simply left to hope that something serious will eventuate.

But who allows this skewed state of affairs to exist? You do, of course. By talking to someone who refuses to commit, you in effect become the eternal optimist. You hope that day by day, conversation by conversation, you’re coming closer to your end goal. You labour under the illusion that you need to keep talking to the person you’re interested in and things will just magically fall into place. All you need to do is make yourself available and the rest will take care of itself.

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This line of thinking can be utterly destructive, because it neglects to take into account a simple fact: you can’t drag someone to the altar. If someone just doesn’t want to/can’t get married for reasons of their own, they’re not going to be swayed by the awesome conversations you might have with them, or the fact that you both really like talking about Russia’s geopolitical influence. You can have the most amazing ‘connection’ with someone, but if they won’t do anything about it, that very connection will bring you unimaginable heartbreak and grief.

This is why the smartest, scariest way to handle these things is the upfront approach. What this means is that a person asks pretty early on into a regular, continuous stream of conversation, something along the lines of ‘what’s going on here?’ It could be that nothing is going on. It could be that the person freaks out completely and runs in the other direction, even if they had subconsciously been harbouring the same idea. But if they do freak out, think about it this way: isn’t it better to know early on that this person just isn’t interested in or ready for marriage?

Any person who’s worth their mustard will at least respect you for not wanting to keep talking indefinitely without some kind of stated purpose. Besides, if they are genuinely, seriously interested, you bringing up their intentions only speeds up the process, and if they’re not interested enough to do anything about it, you know early on and can cut your losses fairly easily. You don’t have to do it in the first conversation, but if you’ve been talking for months on end and you haven’t even discussed marriage at all, then you have to face the fact that it’s probably never going to go anywhere.

It doesn’t matter what their reasons are for not wanting to/being able to get married, because it’s just not up to you to try to talk them into it. This is yet another argument in favour of making the move early, because if you let things drag out, you’ll start getting emotionally attached, and things will get real messy, real fast. You’ll try to hold on, they’ll try to let go, or at the very most, they’ll allow you to keep talking to them when they feel like it. All that will happen if this state of affairs continues is that you’ll fall down flat on your face, and they’ll have already run so far that they won’t be anywhere in the vicinity to help pick you up.

So respect yourself. Don’t let someone in when they’re keeping you outside the gates. If you want to get married, be open and honest about your intentions and you will attract openness and honesty in return. You’ll probably scare off a few jerks, but no one wants to marry a jerk anyway.

How do you know when someone is serious about getting married? Have you ever been in one of these pseudo-relationships?