Saturday, 24 October 2009

Being "Choosy" When Choosing The Right Spouse

This word is thrown about so often that I'm not even sure how people define it. But one can be sure most often it's when people are aiming for something higher than what other people aim for.

Lately, I've been told to lower my expectations because there aren't any decent men. I really don't know why people think that because every day somewhere or the other people are getting married. Either they just close their eyes and pick a guy at whom their finger pointed or they've actually thought the guy was decent enough to get married to. And if they can find a guy, then I suppose I can too. If he's in my destiny then I'll find him, inshaAllah.

But the advice of lowering my expectations is hard for me to swallow because I don't feel like they are expectations as much as finding a guy who likes me for what I am rather than what I can become for him (not in terms of religion). There was a joke I used to read about how women marry men trying to change them and they never do and men marrying women hoping they never change and they do. Seems it goes the exact opposite in us Muslims. The guys are trying to change their wives according to their desires and the wives are hoping the husbands remain as what they were when they got married.

Who really gets to decide when one is being "choosy"? Shouldn't the reasoning of the person be understood as well? We are all unique and if we have a little insight, we understand ourselves and our needs. If the advice is based on a better reason than "it's difficult to find a decent man" or "you are getting older", then it has more worth when it comes to being considered. Being single is not the end of the world. And marriage shouldn't be what defines us Muslims.


Habibti said...

i cannot lower my expectations soubhanallah. i would hate him. and there is nothing to lower about my expectations. i ask for someone who complement me, not someone in the far opposite than me. what no way!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
should i lower my expectations and choose a man who i cannot have discussions about islam. no wayyyyyyyyyy insha'Allah

Tara Umm Omar said...

Asalamu Alaikum

What a beautiful blog masha'Allah. Thanks for linking mine...I linked yours :-)

May Allah grant you a righteous brother who loves you unconditionally and treats you well ameen.


Mon Vie & Etc said...

No one should have to lower their standards but at the same time, your standards have to be reasonable and crucial to you future spouses character and how their character developes as a person during the years to come. I think that some set their standards to high and end up being dissappointed when they don't find that can fulfill their standards. It hard, ladies but we need to be reasonable and look at the most important aspects in a man that will contribute to making a successful marriage in the long term.

I'd also like to say thank you for making this blog, you've given me many things to think about and you are also helping sisters who a thinking about getting married.

May Allah Bless You

single4now said...

Firstly I'd liked to say Jazakallah khair to all for visiting my blog and leaving such positive comments. I really never expected anyone to end up reading it. lol.

Habibti - I know what you mean. I would prefer to clarify what his expectations are so that there's no shock after marriage. Although, that can still happen but inshaAllah if the people are honest then at least the major things will not be an issue. Although, my discussion was with a friend who is a lovely person, mashaAllah, but her advice seemed odd to me.

Tara - MashaAllah, you are doing an awesome job on your blog. I think more women should be aware of it, especially those considering marriage with Arabs/Saudis because there's always that culture shock. :) Ameen to your wonderful dua! Jazakallah khair for dropping by. :D

Mon Vie - I agree. There are certain criterias which are not as important as a person seems to think they are. It's also very difficult to find someone perfect because each of us have faults. It also depends on the person one is considering. If he/she turns out to be good we can work on the fears that are making us hold on to our high standards. It may take a bit of time though. :)
Thanks for visiting and am definitely checking out your blog soon. :D

mari said...

Salaam sis,

firstly, let me just say that i love ur blog..keep the posts coming :)

and i sooo agree with what you said:

'Being single is not the end of the world. And marriage shouldn't be what defines us Muslims.'


single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam,

Jazakillah khair sis. :D Hope you keep coming as well, inshaAllah, and sharing your opinions with me. :) said...

The above mentioned quote totally made me smile. Its true that marriage seems to define Muslims. I recently went through a bad break up (by recent I mean months), but now I get that sad/disappointed face whenever marriage is if something is wrong with me for not being engaged or married. I'm in my mid-20s and quickly approaching my desi bride expiration date (the big 25), but I what I will not do is lower my standards. Is it too much to ask for a good Muslim brother who respects women (including me) and loves me for me without wanting to change me physically or intellectually??? I don't think so.

single4now said...

^ You've given me inspiration for my new post. :D

I think currently everyone is trying to find the person who will accept them as they are. For whom they will not have to move, change jobs, change their lives, etc. Change is a good thing provided it's not done at the cost of one's happiness. The key is to ask ourselves, "Is this really that important to us? What would happen if I change? If it's fear thats holding us back then can I share my fears with this person and expect them to understand?" If this person ignores your fears, you know they are wrong for you.

Is-za Jelass said...

Salam wa alaykum! I believe you are absolutely right that "being single is not the end of the world." There is nothing wrong with the sisters who are older and single. And there is nothing wrong with having standards in the marriage process. But lets ask ourselves something, would we choose living a single life over lowering our standards? I remember feeling this same way before I was married and the man who eventually swooped me up truth be told did not neccessarily meet all my standards. He wasnt as educated, he was much older, and he cautiously told me of his value for a domestic wife and children (which I was not really interested in). BUt but but....marriage changes things. Let me say it again, after the nikah (name of my blog haha) everything changes. Things you expect will not materialize or you have to work harder for them. Imagine turning down someone because of a certain list of criteria that could have occured after working with one another, building a life together, love and sacrifice (all in marriage). What we will for ourselves and what Allah (swt) wills is different. Nevertheless we should follow our intuition, if you get a bad vibe dont go for the guy but if you dont, and its matter of passing criteria make sure to take the proper time to self-reflect if these things are important. What I am basically trying to say is dont lower your standards because of fear of what is to come, accept it but always take a look on your standard because marriage lasts a lifetime and it is filled with conflicts and accomplishments. May Allah reward you for your efforts sister and grant you easiness to come.

single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam,

That's a really good point. Do you mind telling me how you realized that you should give your husband a chance even though he didn't meet all your criterias? Or did you simple keep communicating and felt his character/deen were worth sacrificing your criterias over?

There have been a few brothers that made me really think twice about rejecting their proposals. And I still wonder about it sometimes. Alhumdulillah, I don't have an emotional attachment for any of them but I did respect the way they communicated and that's what made me wonder if I made the right decision. But eventually my doubts took over.

Jazakillah khair for the dua though. Ameen. Marriage teaches you things you can't really understand/anticipate when you are single. So, I would really appreciate more of your insights. :D

Is-za Jelass said...

Salam wa alaykum sister!

Inshallah I hope this is helpful.

Well I know this sounds cheesy but I have always been interested in relationships in general and things like that and actually took to reading a book about finding the one way before I met my husband. Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It basically goes like this. First you spend a good few days or hours relishing in discovering yourself and creating criteria of the ideal mate. After you come out of lala land lol you find the “deal-breakers,” the “can’t live with-outs.” These are the criteria that you know that NO MATTER WHAT you cannot compromise on in any way. They must be met and guaranteed before you pursue any meaningful relationship. You have to really be critical about the deal breakers. Then you take a look at your list, scale it down. Then basically you should have a succinct set of your criteria and pursue or take note on ognly those that pass for at least 80% of what you are looking for. The idea is the other 20% can be gained through compromise during your relationship.

Alhamdoolilah I glad for you sister that you have it together in terms of all the emotional trials that searching for a spouse can bring. I say trust your intuition definitely. Perhaps maybe it’s your kind nature that makes you second guess your decisions because of their politeness, then I would say sister maybe there could be something more you could find out about their character, or values, or principles that would make you less doubtful (when you reject them) no matter how kind they were. Inshallah it will give you a better peace of mind.
As for passing my husband…some of the criteria I set I can now see was very idealistic. For example one of the things I didn’t quite like was he was not as educated academically as I wanted. But when I learned more about his life I discovered he overcame hardships at the same age I was starting uni. He actually pulled himself out of poverty to the point of being one of the most successful workers at his job. His will and determination I realized could keep any family stable and overcome almost any challenge. After we got married the recession in the US here caused his company to go out of business and through self study (and long nights) he actually worked his way up to receiving a very good job alhamdoolilah that is secure earning various finance certifications on exams I had trouble passing lol. I know now from marriage he is more intelligent then I assumed and we both teach each other new things every day.

single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam,

I like the 80-20 idea. InshaAllah, I'm going to give that a try. Your suggestion of getting to know their character is really good as well. I really enjoyed listening about how your husband proved your initial impression of him wrong. MashaAllah. Jazakillah khair for sharing that. May Allah grant you both a long and blissful married life. Ameen. :D