Ishqr Diaries: Sometimes, words fail.

It would have been a story worth a movie script considering my sister had been lucky enough to find the right man for her on this very website. After days of arguing and debating, my sister finally convinced me that this forum was the safest way to find or decline a commitment without any drama or strings attached. I solemnly agreed and ended up making a profile as accurate as possible, stating exactly what I was hoping to find. I kept thinking to myself, maybe this isn’t that bad after all.

Multiple requests came, some from men who never messaged back, others from profiles I didn’t find interesting or the third kind, where the guy was way shorter than me. That for me was a major concern and nonnegotiable. Finally, a guy asked to connect. He was 8 years older, a difference I wasn’t very pleased with, but his picture made him seem approachable and young, and therefore, I decided to give it a shot.

We started talking. There were many similarities; same city, similar interests, same view on halal haram. He asked for my number after a few days. I wasn’t ready to reveal myself yet, but sharing her experience, my sister convinced me this was how it was done. For the first time ever, I gave a guy my number. I felt paralyzed at the thought of exposing such a big part of myself. He messaged; it was sweet and he was friendly and I got to know his work required him to travel a lot. We exchanged pictures and I felt attracted to him immediately. Time passed and every day I woke up excited, hoping to see a message from him.

Belonging from a conventional set up, I always believed the man should take the first step. I waited for him to take the first few. We spoke but this guy wasn’t like the other guys I had come across in my city. He required effort from me, initiating a conversation and questioning him about his life. Things I hadn’t bothered with any other guy before. I knew then that this would be a challenge for me and I was ready to take it up, as four days down the line, all he gave me were good vibes.

Things changed after the first week. He disappeared. He seemed distant. I didn’t quite understand. He stopped messaging and I told him I would like to speak with him but he never left me a reply. I was nervous and constantly questioning myself. Had I said something wrong? Did I freak him out? No answers. I realized it wasn’t me. So I left it to Allah. I performed istikhara to getmy answer. I felt more drawn to him. My feelings didn’t change. My heart felt content. I left him alone and two days later, I sent him a normal hello. His response was not what I had expected. He sent me his location, told me about his day and sent me pictures of his college days and close friends. Later that night, he unexpectedly called me for the first time ever and we spoke for more than an hour, erasing all my confusion and answering my istikhara positively. I finally had a voice to hear in my thoughts when I would read his messages. For the first time he felt real and I could no longer question his being.

More time passed. I became a part of his everyday routine, as he became a part of mine. I would wake up every morning concerned about what he would eat as he lived alone and often ate unhealthy or skipped meals. I started caring about him. He brought out the domestic woman in me. I wanted to cook for him, care for him, see him happy and even settle down and start a family: Things that took my family by surprise considering I was the career-oriented sort.

It wasn’t one sided. He liked me a lot too and I knew it. What I loved most about him was that I could talk to him about anything and he had an opinion on most things that mattered to me, which just made me fall in deeper. His humor left me in fits for days. I imagined spending my life laughing with him and being silly and admiring him for how much we could talk about without hesitating.

It wasn’t what I had perceived it to be. One day we had a “discussion” on religion and when I stated my opinion, he just left the conversation and didn’t reply. I waited and waited. Three days passed and he appeared on whatsapp all the time but didn’t message me even once. The confusion and restlessness surfaced again. Third day, I messaged to ask what had happened. He stated he was expecting an apology after the ‘fight’ we had had. Wait. What fight? I didn’t understand. It was never a fight. It was just me stating my opinion on religion as a matter of fact. I asked him for a call and sorted the matter out with him, revealing a dark reality about him. He told me he would cut off with people he didn’t agree with as he wished not to impose his opinions on others and didn’t wish to argue as well. I felt like trash. All the times we spoke and laughed and shared jokes and pictures were down the drain because I had a different view than him on a tiny aspect of religion?

I decided that I would try again. I liked him too much to let this be goodbye. We decided not to fight and talk things out if such a situation arose again. Like every fight brings people closer, we got closer. We started having calls more often and I felt it was my responsibility to change his view of the world and make him have faith in women and marriage; something he had lost after multiple bad experiences in the past. I should have realized some people can’t be saved no matter how pure the rescuer’s intentions are.

Conversations on marriage increased. He jokingly spoke about “our kids” and meeting my family and asking whether I would fit into his family or not. I knew I would. I love people. I believe I was born on this planet to make people happy, to care for them. I would adjust as I was still so young, flexible and compassionate. I was ready to accept everything that mattered to him. Things got more intimate. We started with the ‘I miss you’ and the nicknames. I thought this was it. Everything was going too smoothly and it turned out we even had a mutual family friend which could have made the whole marriage process easier.

He left. We never spoke again. Why? I made a joke on a small cult of people who stay in my city and spread violence on the streets. He punished me again for having an opinion. Yes, I admit it was way out of line, but I clarified that this did not matter to me. Here I was, day dreaming about marriage, hoping to make this man’s life better and work towards a bright future and this guy just left without a word like I was a repulsive destination he would never want to fly back to.

This time, I gave up. It took all the courage and strength in me to pull myself out, but I had had enough. My self-respect demanded me to let him go, free as a bird, without a single question or complaint. I had told him I was joking but like the last time, he forgot all the good in me and judged me for something that would mean nothing between a husband and wife. Humiliated to the core, especially after having admitted to him that he had a special place in my life and he was my first and last shot on this website, I cried wondering what I had done to deserve this. I felt annihilated. Was he expecting me to chase him every time? I knew I couldn’t live my life like this. I prayed to Allah and questioned Him constantly as to why the istakhara had been positive if this man wasn’t even willing to give me a chance or know me enough before judging me.

Today I found my answer. It was never me. It was his past, his insecurities, his experiences that had turned him into a bitter, cynical soul. I was positive, welcoming and forgiving. I came into this with a clean slate and I was ready for a serious commitment. I had faith that good would come out of this and I wanted a halal relationship instead of getting into any wrong dating scene. The two months I spent getting to know him and talk to him about marriage has left me feeling ragged and depreciated. His jokes haunt me now; his words exist like empty bottles with a deceptive fragrance of existence.

This first experience has left a deep, dark hole in me. Investing two months of my life like that on a person was a lot. It may not seem like a long time, but when you have the idea of marrying someone, and have a pure intention in your mind, it feels like a lifetime. Seeing a man treat that as a one-night stand by not calling back, or messaging over something so petty, is why I get to judge him, and not the other way round.

From this I’ve realized that if I continue investing in people, or taking other chances, and if those were to fail, I might become cynical and faithless like him. I do not want that. I want to save myself for the right man who will love and value me and appreciate my honesty and commitment. I want a man who will respect my opinion and instead of trying to keep me under his thumb, will look me in the eye and explain to me where I go wrong and expect me to become a better person. Marriage is about love, compromise and forgiving. It’s about growing together and making each other better people. His ego was the only true relationship he had. He didn’t have place for a third person in his life.

Take this from me, if you decide to get to know someone, keep your ego aside, and come with the thought of working towards something substantial and serious. Choose your priorities wisely, don’t focus on shallow factors while choosing your partner and be patient; you’re getting to know a complete stranger here. Don’t judge on opinions and views; those evolve with time. Instead, find truth and substance in the person’s words and whether together you could make a good team and bring good people into this world. Be honest if you don’t see a future, and most importantly, remember that when you make a relationship halal, Allah bestows His blessings on you. Have faith. May Allah be with us all.

(Photo Source: Doug88888)


This post is a feature of the altM/ishqr partnership.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *