Advice: On internet flirting & kissing at a wedding

Dear Love, InshAllah:

There’s this Muslim guy I met a few times through work.  He messages me and we chat for a few days, then he vanishes. He says we should meet up but never makes a plan. Is he just stringing me along? Should I block and delete him and move on? I’m not interested in pursuing something that will not culminate in marriage. I should mention that I am no longer in my 20s.

Sincerely,
Is he stringing me along?

Miss Sunshine replies:

Does this man know your intentions? He may only be looking for a friendship. He may also be hesitant because he’s not sure what you want. If you feel comfortable doing so, and you think he’s worth the effort, it’s probably a good idea to just tell him exactly where you stand. If he’s interested, he’ll step up, if not, he’ll step off. Either way, you’ll have the comfort of knowing exactly what he wants without all the guessing.

Shy Desi Boy replies:

I once read an article perhaps around 1999 or so (back in the day when AOL was still sending those annoying CDs in the mail), that argued we need to revise our understanding of what it means to flirt in the internet age. I wish I could find the article because today it is more relevant than ever: after all—how many hearts have been broken, or misled, because of internet chats?

The challenge with internet communication is that it is inherently vague. This is why it is important for you to define your relationship with and to this person. But before you do that, you need to ask yourself a more basic question: do you like this person? If so, do not be shy to tell the person in a sort of round about way: “Hey I really enjoy chatting—perhaps we can hang out for dinner or coffee?”

If the person insists on only chatting online, my advice is to run the opposite direction. I know too many men, and women, who spend their days and evenings flirting online with people they have no desire to commit to in real life. There is no way to find out what potential you both may have (or not have) unless you make the decision to transition your conversations from the virtual to the real.

Dear Love, InshAllah:

I would like to know if it is acceptable to kiss my husband on my wedding day as part of my wedding celebration in front of our guests.

Sincerely,
PDA OK?

Miss Sunshine replies:

Many Muslims believe that such displays of affection between husband and right violate sexual propriety, while they’d be hard-pressed to offer any sort of convincing proof from the Qur’an or hadith, it remains a cultural taboo. I would suggest you discuss this issue with your husband to be, if this display of your love and/or culture is important to you, then enjoy your kiss. Either way, I hope you have a long, fulfilling, and wonderful marriage.

Shy Desi Boy replies:

I understand a wedding is a celebration of two people and two families. It is also a sacred part of our faith. But it is also an expression of you and your partner. We should be respectful of our traditions but we are not talking about a make out session, are we? It is a light peck on the lips. I say it is perfectly ok, even if that creepy aunty of yours gives you the cold eye all night after.

But that is not the real question: do you want to kiss your partner? If so, then kiss your partner at the wedding. Yes, you might have an uncle or an aunty that is unhappy but then that same uncle or aunty will never really be happy with your choices. We spend so much of our lives doing things because someone thinks they are “right” or “wrong” or because it does not “look good.” The wedding is your day, a chance to celebrate your and your partner’s personality. Reclaim the day. Speak to your partner and decide what makes you both most comfortable. And then do that thing. It is your life, not theirs.


2 Comments on “Advice: On internet flirting & kissing at a wedding”

  1. JC says:

    A double feature! Yay!
    To “stringing along:” be careful. As both ShyDesiBoy and MissSunshine said, he may not be flirting or interested in pursuing a relationship with you. Often, and particularly in the workplace where Muslims may be scarce (I don’t know if this applies to you), sometimes Muslim men and women will try to “stick together” which can seem like flirting. On the other hand, he may genuinely be interested in getting to know you for more ‘long term’ purposes. Regardless, there is no harm in befriending him as long as you maintain your Islamic limits (remember the Hadith that where a man and women are alone, Shaitaan is the third). Be direct with him, make sure you learn his intentions. Remember, however, that whatever his (and your) intentions are now, may not be the same weeks, months, or years from now.

    To PDA: The Prophet (saws) was known for limiting his PDAs with his wives to holding their hands in public. That is an established Sunnah. I have not heard of any circumstance where a Muslim marriage ceremony involved a moment of kissing of the newlywed couple (in the seerah, hadith, or other traditions). While it is your day of celebration, keep in mind that Allah’s (swt) rules are there to protect everyone, not just a few, and you should be cognizant of the fact that many people may be dismayed at having to see you and your new spouse kiss each other. Know this: once your Nikah is completed, you have the right to kiss, hold, etc. your spouse. The issue here is one of modesty. Modesty, Hayaa’, is a precious and valuable asset. It serves to protect you and your spouse. It gives you credibility and respect. It is a much desired trait to have in the Eyes of Allah (swt). Your love of Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saws) should always be more than your love for your spouse, your kids and your parents, and by NOT kissing your spouse on your wedding day, you are paying tribute to your love of Allah (swt) just as much as to your new spouse. In fact, kissing your spouse in a more private setting PLEASES Allah (swt). The Prophet (saws) is reported by A’isha (ra) to have regularly kissed her before leaving for salat. So we have proof of the preference of showing one’s love for our spouse, but *in the right setting* – i.e., out of public view.

    Ultimately it’s your choice. It will affect your reputation. It may be something you could face on the Day of Judgment. On the other hand, it may not. My advice: better safe than sorry. Put your Love of Allah (swt) on display by (1) fulfilling ½ of your faith by marrying, and (2) maintaining your modesty in front of your guests.

    Allah (swt) knows best.

    • Carry On! says:

      If by kissing your spouse on your wedding day will affect your reputation among guests, then maybe you should consider who you invite to your wedding. So sick of foreign cultural politics and perversion. If the intention is pure, to share a moment out of love and compassion and mercy for your spouse, then carry on. God encourages it! Either way, be an adult capable of making your own decisions irrespective of what this or that person may say.


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