[tweetthis] I am a 26-year-old unmarried woman with a graduate degree and an excellent job. Now that my academic/financial future is in order, I’m eager to marry.[/tweetthis] A friend set me up with good practicing Muslim brother whom she knows. When we met and chatted, I was completely underwhelmed. He could barely speak English, and had a minimum wage job. To top it off, I wasn’t attracted to him either. He told my friend that he really liked me and would like to get to know me even better. [tweetthis] Is it wrong that I feel like he is “beneath me?” How do I let him down easy[/tweetthis] and let my friend know in the most polite way possible that I would prefer someone closer to my level of education and income?
Congratulations on your academic and professional accomplishments!
One of the ways in which Islam has honored women is by giving us the right to choose a husband. Our religion does not allow family or friends to coerce a woman into a marrying a man she dislikes. Marriage should be based on a certain degree of compatibility between two people; in other words, the two should share common ground when it comes to religious values, education and interests.
It is your prerogative to decide that this man is not the one for you, but he does deserve kindness and honesty from you. Be honest, yet not too specific, so as to spare his feelings and dignity. For example you can let this man and your matchmaking friend know that while you appreciate the introduction and meeting, you feel there is a lack of chemistry and compatibility and you don’t see marriage in the cards.
My recommendation going forward is to make a list of your must-haves in a spouse. Think of all characteristics you want in a partner, then prioritize them, placing the qualities you absolutely cannot live without at the top of the list. Remember, this should be a short list (i.e. no more than five criteria) because no one is perfect, including ourselves. Hand over this short list to your matchmaker friend. In shaa Allah this way you will avoid such an awkward incident from occurring again.
May Allah bless you with a good spouse.
I have a good Muslim husband, who is responsible, faithful, and a practicing Muslim. He is much older than I am though, and as a consequence of our age gap, we are in two different stages in our lives. While I am active and eager to experience new adventures, he is not up to doing much. I do not want to be disloyal to him, but find myself attracted to other men my age. [tweetthis] I am worried that his unwillingness to do fun activities with me might push me to doing them with someone else.[/tweetthis] I want a successful marriage but I also want to grow older without regrets about what I didn’t do in life.
Young and Vibrant
Dear Young and Vibrant,
[tweetthis] Temptations don’t disappear when we are married.[/tweetthis] It is normal to be attracted to other people who seem to possess qualities we find lacking in our spouse. Your husband likely faces the same temptations. This is where our intention and commitment is tested.
Spouses should not be expected to fulfill all of our desires or serve as the single source of our happiness. That would be an unrealistic burden to place on any one human being. It is we ourselves who are responsible of our own contentment and fulfillment.
You described your husband as a responsible, faithful, and practicing Muslim man. Alhamdulillah. Trust that he wants you to be happy. You don’t have to share the same interests to enjoy each other’s company. My recommendation is for both of you to plan activities that cater sometimes to the interests of one person and sometimes the other. It is also important to surround yourself with good female friends who share the same aspirations with you.
May you two able create a home filled with affection and mercy.
M is a skilled dating coach with many years of experience in helping women find suitable spouses online. She utilizes lessons learned from her own personal experience along with decades of proven professional skills as a business consultant with focus on human behaviors, communication and relationship development.
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