Internet Powered Marriages: the Good, the Bad, and the…very Millennial Guide to Muslim Online Dating
In more ways than one, the Internet raised us.
Google answered our embarrassing questions we wouldn’t be caught dead asking our families or friends. YouTube taught us how to dougie, how to cook, and how to solve for X. WebMD diagnosed our ailments (while always keeping anxieties of brain cancer at bay). Yelp told us where to eat and drink. Khan Academy powered our all-nighters. And Facebook shared just how “happy” our friends were.
It’s no surprise that relationships and dating have followed what our brains, bodies, appetites, and social networks have been powered by all this time. Enter, the online world.
(PSA: I hesitate to use the word “dating” when referencing the Muslim community, but halal-dating is lame, and if you try to mesh them we get ‘halating’ and ‘hating’. So for a lack of a better term, lets stick to that. Haram police, stay where you are.)
While many have openly embraced this emerging way of meeting and getting to know people for the sake of marriage, many still shy away due to the “taboo” of finding your spouse online, or, use online dating platforms in secret, too embarrassed to admit they’ve “resorted” to meeting someone online.
So, what are the pros and cons of online dating? Let's break it down.
With many people not living near other muslims, we don’t always have a large ocean of suitors to choose from, but thanks to online dating, people no longer have to entertain the random marriage recommendations made by old aunties at the masjid. Online dating allows you to connect with people you never could have come across organically. Whether from different states, or countries, the options feel endless.
Depending on the service you choose to use, online dating platforms allow you to be a little more flexible and casual. Being a more informal way of getting to know someone, there isn’t high pressure to click or make things work with each person you talk to. You can have the freedom and flexibility to move at your own pace, and if something isn’t vibing, you don’t have to move forward.
Online dating makes meeting people as easy as can be. It’s as simple as getting online and making a profile, and usually within minutes you can be connected to several people. You can chat from the comfort of your own home, and at least initially, you don’t have to stress about how you look, where to meet, what your families will think or the numerous other stressors that can arise.
Now that i've mentioned some of the pros, let's tackle the cons.
Too many options
Sometimes, having options can be a great thing, but i believe there is a such thing as “too many options” Often, when people are using specific dating apps or platforms, they find themselves chatting with multiple people at one time. This can complicate things because it can make it harder to focus on the right person. Someone truly great for you could get drowned out amongst other prospects that might not be the best match. It's easy to get caught up and excited, but this could lead you to being jaded very quickly. I thinks its instrumental to have self discipline and focus your attention on people you truly think you could have a connection with, not just whoever is available and can occupy some of your bored nights.
I hate to be so vulgar, but it's something that has to be acknowledged. And they can be girls too. Unfortunately, not everybody on these dating platforms is always looking for the same thing. In a perfect world, everyone would be serious about seeking a relationship for the purpose of marriage, but we don't live in a perfect world. It's highly likely you'll encounter a few people whose intentions are not aligned with yours, and that can seriously suck. Sadly, on most platforms, there isn’t a great way to weed out who is looking for something serious and who wants to just mess around.
There is a simplicity that comes with meeting your spouse in college, or being introduced by a mutual friend. There's comfort in knowing their background and their families, or at least knowing somebody that can vouch for a potential spouse. When using online dating platforms, there’s a high probability this person is a total stranger, and that can of course always come with risk. You don’t always know what you’re getting yourself into, and that can be a little scary.
Ah, yes. The act of evaporating from the very flesh that holds your body together, suddenly and completely losing the ability to text back, all the while still opening your exes Instagram story from the grave where your soul and dignity lies. Do you guys know if they have wifi in graves? People have different reasons for ghosting. Some don’t know how to tell the other person they just aren’t feeling it, or some people are just a**holes. Online dating poses the very real threat of ghosting.
Online dating isn’t for everyone. Some people really luck out and find their spouse online, while others are left questioning why they tried it in the first place. With everything, there will always be good and bad, and it is up to each person to decide for themselves whether this could be the route for them. While you make this decision, try to drown out the voices in your head worrying about what other people might think, or if people you know will see your profile online. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with putting yourself out there, and trying something new. Best of luck :)