He said, she saidPosted: November 27, 2013
Many single Muslims enjoy getting to know potential spouses over dinner and coffee dates. This process can be exciting and invigorating especially if the conversation and chemistry is good.
But it’s extremely easy to get infatuated with a person and ignore red flags. This is why it’s important to seek more information before getting too attached.
Here are some tips from my own search on how to get to know someone better. (Note: I highly recommend using your wali (guardian) or a close friend throughout this entire process. Not only is it required in Islam but it allows you to keep a balanced thought process.)
A small world
It’s a small world – ask around! There really three degrees of separation, especially when you are talking about the Muslim community. Everybody knows everybody. If you are from the same community, it makes it slightly easier to find out about a potential partner than if you meet the person online. If you have met the person online, I suggest finding out what mosque the person attends and trying to find a mutual connection that way.
If the person does not attend a mosque it becomes slightly more difficult. I’ve witnessed many people utilizing exes during this process. Don’t do this. If you feel the need to contact someone’s ex then that means you don’t trust the person you’re getting to know. A majority of the time an ex will have negative things to share, which makes perfect sense since they aren’t together anymore!
Just as the seasons change, so do people. Keep in mind the references you are using to vouch for your potential mate. How long have they known him? Are they a reputable source? If the person is a convert to Islam I would refrain from asking about life pre-Islam. It can be humiliating and for most life after conversion is almost like a rebirth. Give people the space to change and be better. We all deserve that.
Remember everybody will put their best foot forward during this process (including you!). You want to impress your potential spouse by being considerate, cool and smart. This is normal. Once the comfort level increases, true colors will shine through. Once you both have had time to get to know each other try hanging out in a group setting. Have him bring some of his friends and you bring some of yours. You will get to witness him in a different element. How does he interact with his friends? What kind of things are they talking about? Don’t try and override the conversation. See where it goes and observe.
I don’t recommend becoming Facebook friends right away. Although it can be very tempting to internet stalk, this might lead to prejudgment and you’ll form a certain idea of him in your head. The truth is, some people don’t pay much attention to what is on their Facebook page. Now, if he has pictures of chicks in bikinis plastered on his wall by all means drop the brotha. But if you see some things that are “questionable” I wouldn’t hold him at fault…not right off the bat at least. Social media can give you this superficial feeling that you truly know someone when in reality you don’t have a clue.
Pay attention to your intuition. I can’t stress this enough. If you are not getting positive vibes and you feel the cloud of negative energy, take heed. I promise you that my intuition has never led me astray. As human beings we like to rationalize most things. Everything does not need a reason. Sometimes it just ain’t right!
Ihssan Tahir is a twenty something self-proclaimed “SistaQueen” living in Chicago. She is a registered nurse and specializes in emergency and trauma medicine. In her spare time she enjoys writing and practicing the violin. You can follow her candid blog about her husband hunting endeavors and relationship tidbits at http://muslimnlove.com/.