With all of the flowers and pink and red hearts everywhere, it’s not hard to realize that today is Valentine’s Day.
For us single people, we sometimes get questions or comments like “Who’s your Valentine? Oh, you don’t have one? Umm, it’s okay…maybe next year.” We are also asked for our skills in helping those of our friends who are in relationships think of creative ideas to impress one another. Awww.
I’m a hopeless romantic and I love love. I love romance. I hate PDA, but that’s a different story. Anyway, it is okay to be a romantic and love love. Even though Valentine’s Day is certainly a commercialized holiday to make money off of us, it does get us thinking about love and marriage and all that gooey stuff.
So I put together several tips about love and marriage, specifically for us single Muslims to to keep in mind during this time:
Tip 1: Don’t cave into pressure to get into a relationship too soon.
A lot of single Muslims feel like there’s a clock that’s ticking and time is running out. They need to get married and fulfill half their deen.
Maybe it’s your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, even friends, but you might be getting bombarded with questions about why you’re still single. I get stuff like this. “You’re pretty and smart, why are you still single?” “You graduated, right? What are you waiting for?” “I know this rich, single guy that’s looking for a wifey. Wanna meet him?”
Like we were taught in elementary school to not fall for peer pressure, DON’T FALL FOR THIS. You should get into a relationship when you feel ready and when you find the right person for you. It doesn’t matter when it happens. It is only half your deen after you get married. Being single doesn’t mean you’re any less of a Muslim.
Tip 2: Keep a list of qualities you’d like to see in your future partner.
Try not to keep a list of silly or too-specific expectations (i.e. your future wifey has to be Indonesian, exactly 5’5” with hazel eyes and be an astronaut/doctor based in Maine).
I’m thinking a better list would be qualities that you’d like to see in someone that would be compatible with you (i.e. Do they have the same sense of humor? Do they care about the same things you care about? Are they loyal and trustworthy? Are they family-oriented? Are they interested in being at the same spiritual level?) I feel like questions like this are more important than looks, location, and career, which could change over time. These should focus on a person’s character more than anything else.
Keeping a list like this is really important because you learn about yourself and how you can build a life, family, and future with someone else.
Tip 3: Don’t let yourself fall too easily.
If you are interested in someone, try not to let yourself fall for them until you know them well and they show they want to commit to you.
It is really easy to fall for someone that you feel has the qualities you’re looking for. They might also show interest in you, too. But have they committed to you? If not, keep your options open and don’t fixiate on this individual.
It also may seem like this person is perfect for you. You talk every night and you have fun. They’re everything you want in a partner. But there may be hidden qualities or sides of a person that you won’t know about until later on (i.e. this person could be abusive, possessive, controlling, manipulative, deceitful, etc).
Do not open up your heart too soon and make yourself vulnerable. I know firsthand that it’s easier said than done, especially for those of us who are hopeless romantics and love love. But getting attached to someone before a commitment is made can cause so much heartbreak and pain when it doesn’t work out. Protect yourself and keep your heart guarded.
Tip 4: Work on yourself.
Before getting into a relationship with another person, there are many things you have to know about yourself, such as your strengths, weaknesses, and where you can improve.
Be honest with yourself. We all have qualities and habits within ourselves that we don’t want people to know about us. Write those things down and ask yourself if you’d want someone to spend the rest of their lives with you knowing these qualities. Because these things cannot be hidden from someone who will live with you and spend every day with you for a very long time. If the answer is no, work hard to improve these weaknesses.
Tip 5: Work on your relationship with God and don’t worship people.
The most important relationship of all is your relationship with The One. You shouldn’t seriously consider finding a spouse until you work on your relationship with Allah (swt).
In mainstream music, movies, TV, magazines, etc, love is portrayed almost as worshipping the other person. Living for another person. Being lost without that person. Dying without that person. But is this real love? Or is it mental illness?
Remember, people will let you down in life. People will break your heart. They will leave you. They will die. These are facts. But only The One will always be there. The One should occupy your heart always. Do this, and He will take care of you in one way or another. Trust.