Last year, after taking a break from the social scene, I decided to pluck up the courage and get back to finding a partner.
After attending a few events I slowly realised that I was leaving events with more female numbers than male!
The WhatsApp groups started to increase, I didn’t need to go to events on my own and I felt sociable again. I realised I wasn’t the only single over 35 Muslim women out there. My story wasn’t unique. And I found comfort in that.
My wonderful sister however, constantly reminded me “You do know you are meant to be meeting guy's – right?” And yes, of course I did – but I was enjoying the fact that I was broadening my circle.
Most of my Muslim friends are married men and women. Most of my single friends aren't Muslim, so I couldn’t drag them along to a Muslim event. So now I love the fact that I have added so many single Muslim women to my social circle! People who understand the ‘situation’ we are in. They probably are more in sync with how I feel than family or other friends.
That said, I noticed that the girls I was meeting fell into 2 categories. And for the guys reading this I have opted for using a football analogy to keep you interested (was that a bit sexist!?)
Game focused – These are the women who enjoy everything about the game, the tactics, the crowd, the players, and the win!
Goal focused – These are women who are focused on one thing – the goal. No other aspect of the game is of interest, not the atmosphere, the fun of the game, the crowd or the fact that there may be no goals, but that shouldn’t stop you enjoying the whole event....and looking forward to the next game!
Now the people, who fall into this second category, probably won’t admit that this is where they fall. They have one purpose – to find a partner, and see maintaining new friendships with other girls as a bit of a waste.
Now, I do understand the goal focused category (we are all over 35 after all). However, I can’t help but think that these wonderful ladies are blinkered – and are missing a trick here.
Most over 35 year old women have been through endless meetings with potential partners, it’s tiring! You can’t help but think why me, why couldn’t I just find someone 10 years ago like all my friends? Where did it go wrong?
The fear that creeps in, when you receive a wedding invite. Please don’t let it be another person who is considerably younger than me!
The endless harassment, from all the aunty ji’s when you attend. You swear your not going to another large family gathering again! The constant questions....
"Beti don’t you want to get married?”
"My daughter got married at 25, why have you left it so late?"
Or my personal favourite;
"Beti, why are you so focused on your job and always work, why don’t you find a husband instead?".
And all I want to say is why do you think I work, I am not working 12 hours a day for the fun of it!!!
But your eyes are met by your mother's stern gaze as if to say do not say a word, so you nervously laugh it off.
So I get it, its really hard, it can be sad, its emotional, it brings you down – as all you want to do is get on with the rest of your life and do all the things you were meant to do.
The constant tick of the biological clock, which gets louder as time goes by, pushes some ladies to the point that they are so focused on one thing, that they forget to take a step back and just enjoy the game. And realise the advantages of meeting other single Muslim women.
So my observations have led me to believe there are 3 main areas, which all us women need to consider:
- Support Network
Ultimately we should all have faith. As Muslims we are all programmed to think that. We have constantly heard, "In sha Allah it will happen when it’s meant to happen", "It will come out of nowhere, you never now what’s round the corner".
But if, just if, its not round the corner, then what?
It’s a reality that some of us need to face. In sha Allah there is someone for everyone. But we are also reminded that this life is not real…. this is the test. So based on that what if it doesn’t happen for me, or some of my friends. What if?
So perhaps the best thing we can do is surround ourselves with as many friends as possible. Expand our support network for the future, so we will never be alone. As morbid as it sounds, it’s a reality that some of us inevitably will have to face. As lets be honest we seem to be the generation that got missed…not sure why – that’s another blog :)
So – create your support network! Surround yourself with girlfriends who are in the same situation and who will be there for you, as you will be there for them! It will be invaluable in the future.
In business if you want to be successful you need to network. You need to get yourself out there, get recommendations based on your work etc. So why is it any different in finding a partner?
We all know that there are more women out there then men, most of the events we go to the men are always outnumbered! So don’t not go, because you think it will be mostly women! Get your network on and genuinely get to know the women around you.
I always say to people "How do you know that a girl you meet doesn’t have 5 eligible brothers sat at home?!" So if people meet you and you get on, then In sha Allah they may well think of introducing you to people.
Ok so the cynics will say "Yeah right, what are the chances of that". And yes you could be right; (I haven’t come across it!). But what if! Don’t burn your bridges!
Who knows you may actually have fun and make some life long friends in the process. Now the same can be said about keeping in touch with guys that you are not interested in. Maintain friendships with everyone! You don’t know where it could take you.
I for one haven’t met the one yet (obvs), but I have had so many opportunities open up for me in this last year alone, just by keeping in contact with guys and girls I have met. My network has grown so much I now realise the potential of meeting someone has increased.
Thinking about all the lovely friends I have made during the last year, I would imagine some, maybe all would probably consider the same prospective partners as I would.
Do I see them as my ‘competition’? No! Why? Because I am all about the sisterhood!
So why do some girls just see everyone as their competition? I can only conclude that it comes from a place of insecurity.
Now I am not the most confident person in the world. And from time to time I look at my friends and think, “Girl, how are you still single because you’re flippin gorgeous inside and out!”
The way I see things, if someone likes you, then they are just going to like you. Simples. If they are more interested in your friend – then brilliant, be happy for your friend!
A recent quote I published to my Facebook friends recently stated:
“I am not interested in competing with anyone, I hope we all make it” Erica Cook
And that’s genuinely how I feel.
We all know how this feels, we know what its like, what we’ve been through, so why then would we want others to stay in this situation.
Don’t begrudge others, don’t be jealous – be happy that another one made it! And In sha Allah good things will come to you.
Written by - Admin (25/06/2015)
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