Welcome to my first post! Why have I decided to blog? Well, I’m an incredibly opinionated person – something I am very proud of but others have made it seem like a bad quality, as if intelligence and speaking your own mind was something that needed suppressing instead of being able to voice your opinion freely. I have been called “hard to handle”, “a complete handful”, “too much hard work” to name a few and that is one of the reasons why I am apparently single. That’s fine – till a man is ready to step up and understand and appreciate my mind, I am fine just as I am, ta – more on that topic later though. This still doesn’t explain why I have started this blog – I recently went for dinner with some friends I hadn’t seen in ages and we spoke about our trials and tribulations as modern Muslim women and that’s when I realised, there must be more of us out there with very similar opinions but ladies where are you? Hopefully this blog reaches more like-minded women or even women with differing opinions – I would love to hear from you! Open to men too – be nice to get a man’s perspective!
Let me give you some background on me – I am a British Bangladeshi Muslim professional working girl and let me tell you, I am very proud of each one of those labels. I wasn’t born in the UK but I have lived here since I was a baby and it has been my home ever since. I was brought up in a Bengali speaking household and I know exactly where my roots lie as well as Western values – I have always felt like a good balance of both. My faith is very important to me, in fact THE most important thing to me. I’m not 100% practicing just yet but Inshallah I will get there!
So let me start with a topic that is recurring especially for a girl my age (I am in my mid-twenties) – when are you going to start looking to settle down? I have been working for a number of years now so for a Muslim girl like me, it must be time to start husband hunting. That is fine, I have no issue with that – like I said, I have a career and so I guess I am ready to share my life with that special someone but quite frankly, until he drops on my head from the husband tree, I don’t really know where I am supposed to find him. Please note, I am in no rush – if it happens, it happens and when the time is right InshAllah it will. One thing you need to know about me, I am not interested in settling. Does this automatically make me high maintenance? No and what an assumption to make. I haven’t waited 20 odd years to find one person (multiple relationships don’t work for me – it’s just not the kind of person I am) that I am going to say yes to the first doughnut who approaches me. I say doughnut based on the men I have come into contact with and from what I have heard from other women’s experiences. I am not a wacko man-hater at all, it’s just I have unfortunately had some pretty poor experiences or am a magnet for unfortunate men. So what have I tried?
- Asking my parents the good old fashioned arranged marriage way
The best Plan B any Muslim has in case they never meet someone. However, let me break down a few issues here:
- If you send me your details and pictures, please make sure that they are current! Current does not mean from 10 years ago when you had a head full of hair – if you are bald now, send me your bald pic and own that baldness. In my case, it was grey hair – no problem with the salt and pepper look, but please be honest so that I can at least recognise you in person?! Too much to ask?!
- Make sure your intentions are clear with your parents. You don’t want to get married now? Tell your parents that. You’re not particularly religious so don’t want a religious girl? Tell your parents that. Whatever you want, be clear with your parents. Don’t be that guy who makes a girl turn up just to say yeah…I’m not really looking to settle now, I am here to keep my parents happy to say I tried. Fool, there’s the door, I’ll see you later.
Wow – what a minefield. I am not a trusting enough person for that stuff at all – for all I know, Mo, 31, lives in Manchester, you could be a psycho mummy’s boy – the literal worst. As I went through faces, names and profiles, that is all they were to me – faces, names and profiles. Completely 2D. Yet somehow, without even knowing my surname, hobbies and interests, favourite film, favourite food and you know, any other basics to find out whether or not we were compatible, some of these guys felt it appropriate to jump in with the following questions:
- How many kids do you want? (Do you mean with you…? Because currently that is the last thing on my mind…)
- When we have kids, will you go straight back to work and leave the kids in care? (Really…? Slow down there, Speedy Gonzalez)
- How do you feel about moving far away from your family?
Me: Depends what and who I am moving for.
Guy: Your future husband.
Me: Erm, if he was good enough sure?
Guy: What would make him good enough? What are you looking for in a guy?
Me: *Better conversation than this…Remember guys, he still knows nothing about me, we are currently on Q3* Well, he’d have to be respectful with a good heart, well mannered etc
Guy: I am all those things.
Me: That’s nice. We’d have to click
Guy: Well how do we click???? Me: The fact you are asking me that is telling me we haven’t, see you later sunshine)
4. How would you feel about moving in my family? There are 14 of us. (That sounds…like a nightmare. I’m not moving into your zoo, Mr I-Still-Know-Nothing-About-You!!!)
Like I get it, these guys want to get straight to the point and not have their time wasted – that’s cool but cool the pressure cooker and bring it down a couple of notches!
Then there are those that cry when you don’t message them back. Or cry when you don’t message them back quick enough. Or are probably sat crying in general. Definitely a little bit unhinged – how are you so emotionally invested in me??? We’ve known each other over messaging on an app for 3 days and that’s not even continuously – I’m the girl and stereotypically meant to be the clingy, emotional one and yet I am looking at them thinking mate, look up a therapist, it would be more beneficial to you.
Then there are the “Nice Guys” – clearly Mother Dearest has told them what a wonderful boy they are and so comes in to play “Nice Guy Entitlement”- I am a decent guy, how dare you not like me?? Erm, quite easily, love, when I have met far more fascinating lamp posts than you. Jog on. Then they have the nerve to send you rude, unpleasant messages about how I’m the idiot for not making an effort with them. Take your Nice Guy Entitlement and shove it.
Thing is, these aren’t Muslim issues – or even Asian issues. I hear from plenty of people that this is the case with a lot of guys – we are in 21st Century, it is 2017 – BE COOL!
Finding someone yourself/through friends circles etc:
Yeah…that definitely hasn’t worked for me yet. You get introduced to a guy and it fizzles out. Like no one has the time to keep working at it and see if they might potentially be for you. Or you meet someone yourself and that really is a lead balloon. I’m a fairly practicing Muslim girl who comes from an Arts background – this leads to several different conclusions. A) I must be a complete loon B) Clearly mustn’t be very religious C) Too open minded and opinionated which brings in the hard to handle aspect D) Too westernised. Obviously, I am no good for the religious boys and too religious for the liberal menfolk. Sadly, in my experience, the open minded boys are the ones that really aren’t religious – sowing their wild oats to use a delicate euphemism, drinking alcohol, eat non-halal etc which makes us completely incompatible. I found myself drawn to a guy – open minded and could make good conversation but morally we were water and oil and I had to let that one go, as difficult as it was, my practical side will always preside over my heart. I could write a novel on him but look out for the story in my future blog posts. You have to look back and think what a bullet to dodge – definitely the best thing I never had.
I think I have rambled on for long enough now – there are definitely some points in there that I could very easily expand on and some that I actually will in future blog posts – let me know if you guys want more specifics. I don’t just do the topic of marriage and love by the way, it just seemed so relevant as it has cropped up in conversation recently.
Salaams/peace and love xxx