Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Choosing A Matrimonial Site

Until recently, I never realized how many kinds of match making sites exist that cater to Muslims. However, on careful inspection some sites are not so "Islamic" than they appear to be. Some feature the words "halal dating" or "Muslim dating" which makes me feel very weird about the site considering they are oxymorons and proper Muslim owners be aware of that. Or at least those wanting to genuinely bring two people together for marriage wouldn't call their site a dating website just to attract attention.

So how do we go about picking a site that is the best for us? Here's my take on it:

1. Know yourself - This means that you have to understand your needs and what you are looking for. If you are a religious person who would prefer to be matched with like-minded sisters/brothers then perhaps shaadi.com is not the most ideal place. Although, it doesn't mean that you won't find such a sister/brother there but it simply means the chances are less likely. However, some of us are still building our imaan and perhaps we don't feel we are quite there yet and finding a site with extremely deeny people might feel intimidating, then definitely go for shaadi.com and the like. The only reason I'm mentioning shaadi.com is because there isn't a heavy focus on religion (or the Islamic perspective) because it caters to a variety of people.

2. Budget - Not everyone who starts out on a website has the budget to start off as being a paid member. Most at least would like to try a site and have a look around before they decide to pay. It's a good idea to compare sites and see what the prices are like. Paid sites are usually better managed than free sites so you have more chances of having the staff get back to you when you have a problem. But most paid websites also allow you to be a member for free to test the site before you can make the leap into paid memberships. If this is not the case then it's a good idea to ask people who have experience with the service or contact the people in charge directly and ask if your money would be reimbursed if you aren't happy with their services.

3. Security/Safety - This is extremely important especially since many of us will be sharing a great amounts of personal detail such as name, location, photos, phone number, etc. How the site uses this information and how it makes it available to other members is extremely important. How much control does one have over these is also important. It's a good idea to be cautious when sharing these details over the net. Regarding phone numbers, it's usually safer to give the number of your wali to drive away time wasters and players. Some sites watermark photographs & prevent right clicking in order to protect them from being downloaded even though someone can always download a picture if that's really their intention. Further protection is when you can choose who sees your photograph. It's always best to have a decent picture that you would not be ashamed off to show your family and relatives. Get the pictures approved through your family. Your picture is a reflection of you and the kind of image you'd like to portray.

4. Ease of use/features - A lot of sites provide all kinds of features. It's important to assess what kind of service you will be getting, especially if it's something you are paying for. Are the features too complicated or the site takes too long to load or you end up having too many technical difficulties? It may not be the site for you because you'd just end up frustrated. Most important is the ease of communicating with other members. Free sites may allow the ability to communicate with other members free of charge or they may require one or both parties be paid members. If both parties are required to pay then it might be frustrating to communicate with members. An important feature is also a way to block members from contacting you. This may not seem like an important feature but it can be frustrating when you are constantly receiving messages from people who don't seem to get the hint or have become threatening for whatever reason. Does the site owner take any responsibility in these cases or is the site popularity more important? Another thing to assess is if you will be able to get the kind of information you require when looking at a member's profile. This can be things like whether a person gives importance to religion, salah, halal food, etc.

5. Members - It's important to have an idea about the people using the services and who you will be communicating with. You can do so by using the search feature of the site and see if you like the kind of people on the site. Especially if you'd like to communicate with them. Joining and paying for a site where you don't see eye to eye with anyone doesn't make a lot of sense. However, there are a few sites that do not allow access to the members or search feature unless you join. This has it's advantages and disadvantages. The advantages being players will most likely not join, especially if it's a paid site because they aren't actually serious about the process. The disadvantages are you can't really see what kind of information or service you'll be getting nor if they have people you'd be interested in contacting. However, if the site is well known and/or not a new site then this would be a good risk to take.

The combination of the above can really help you make a good decision to what site is best for you. But you can always join more than one site and compare features. It also opens up more doors to finding the person you are looking for. If you'd like to add any other things do share them with me. :)

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every website should list that older perverted men should not contact anyone way younger than them, seriously.

Is-za Jelass said...

Mashallah, very succint post! God knows, there are many creepers on the internet and the more you protect yourself the better.

My favorate section is the first. THe more that someone takes the time and is truly honest about what they are looking for the better.

Good job sister!

single4now said...

Anon - I've noticed the same thing with guys my age range. Some of them seem to want girls upto 10 yrs younger. Some guys won't even consider a girl their own age let alone older. Some men do it because they have a fascination for younger girls. You can see that in Hollywood as well. I think the decision for an older/younger husband/wife should be made based on personality and deen rather than age. But I do find it awkward when men as old as my dad contact me for marriage especially since I generally specify the age range I'm considering. :S I guess you can do that too and it might help give most older men the hint. But there's no way to prevent it because some guys don't mind marrying men much older.

Is-za - Thanks hun. There are a few Muslim matrimonials which are not really halal so just because a site caters to Muslims doesn't mean it's a good site to find a match.

Chiara said...

I think the 10 year age gap is a pretty standard one in traditional cultures whereas a 2 year age gap is more common in Western cultures, and among more educated and Westernized members of a traditional culture.

The reasons for this have to do with biological maturation, the need for the man to have an established means of supporting wife and children, and the idea or legal reality that the man is the adult decision maker, and the woman the adolescent contributor to adult decisions. Wrap it all up in cultural romanticism and social expectations and it becomes the norm.

This is something I have to warn foreign students from traditional and non-dating cultures. Their advances to students 10 years younger than themselves will be seen as inappropriate, may have legal repercussions depending on ages of consent in different jurisdictions (often more that 2 years difference in age turns responding to a seductive teenage girl's advances into statutory rape, ditto the gender vice versa).

And then there are the ones looking for control, and hence a younger less educated, experienced woman, or in their middle life crisis and looking for rejuvenation. OR just like Sarkozy getting a newer model (pun intended) of the same wife every 15 years. :)

single4now said...

I think control may be a part of it for some men while for others like Sarkozy, it might be a trophy-wife syndrome.

When it comes to dating, there's a big difference because there is no commitment, although in the western world, even marriage isn't a guarantee hence the need for prenups. Between not giving your wife a dime and paying alimony till she gets married, I think Islam is extremely reasonable in allowing the couple to decide prior to marriage how much the husband will pay the wife in the situation of a divorce and yet some men seem to have a problem with that. That's rather unfortunate.

Changing the topic back to websites, I have been reading some very strange comments/decriptions on people's profiles which somewhat goes along with my post on what NOT to write. But I need suggestions from my readers whether I should post a few sentences from various profiles in my next blog post or not?

Is-za Jelass said...

@single4now....I say yeah to post a few sentences. If its anonymous and you are using it to establish a point to teach something (protection...beware...etc) why not? I think it would show insight to many young brothers and sisters about what they are getting into when they go online.

single4now said...

Oh it wouldn't be for protection because honestly, I can't read a person's profile and think this is a bad person. I look for signs that would indicate this is not a good person for marriage when I communicate with them. There have been a few times that the personality that came across on the profile was very different from when we interacted through emails.

What I was thinking was taking perhaps a line that sounded odd to be writing in a marriage profile or framing it better but some sentences are slightly more unique than others and some are just kinda funny that you wouldn't take a person seriously. I'll probably have to edit the phrases to protect their identity if it's extremely unique. I wouldn't want them to think I was making fun of them. I just feel that there are so many more guys who need to put more of an effort in writing a good profile without copying it from someone.

single4now said...

Ah nvm, I decided against it.

sree said...

I seen lot of matrimonial sites such as shaadi,bharath matrimony, jeevansathi etc Every one is provideing good services but some of them are not genuine profiles. The Indian matrimonial services which i observe most of them are genuine and every thing they provide for free.

Usman said...

Salaam!

In a recent post on my blog I have talked about your wonderful blog in my typically funny but respectful style. I did not provide your link since it could be awkward for you for some obvious reasons. But if you allow..., I can put it up there.

single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam

Thanks for that but I'm afraid I can barely read Urdu so I'm not sure where you've referred to my blog.

Usman said...

well, you are from Pakistan...but you can't read Urdu?...quite surprising and disappointing.

You are mentioned in paragraph four. As I said earlier...., that I talked about you in respectful yet in a bit funny tone. Some of the readers are interested in your blog. Though I am not sure how would they come around in comments.

Anyway, I let your link appear on the post.

یاسر خوامخواہ جاپانی said...

i hope you'll find a nice Husband.
i'm looking too for second wife.lol
give me chance too.
but my english is poor like me.

یاسر خوامخواہ جاپانی said...

why i can't put here my comment?

Inzi said...

Assalamualaikum sister in islam,

I came across your blog when i ran a search on Google about marraige in islam.I really enjoy your style of writing, Inshallah, you will find your partner soon.. Keep praying and allah will answer your dua,inshallah.
take care of yourself, may allah bless you and protect you.

~insaf

single4now said...

I don't remember specifying my ethnicity besides being Desi anywhere on this blog. :P I've never studied Urdu but I can read it to some extent because I can read Arabic and a friend of mine helped me get familiar with the other alphabets, however I'm terribly slow at it.

Thanks for specifying where to look. I'm glad you found my blog worth mentioning. :)

single4now said...

^ Above comment was for Usman.

Yasir - all I can say is good luck with your search. :)

Insaf - walaikum as salaam. Jazakillah khair for your dua. Thank you for visiting and inshaAllah you'll keep visiting. :)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree too many random people you are not interested in contact me. Either the age is screwed up, or ethnicity or even those visa seekers.

I checked out Muslim Harmony and I was able to eliminate all these things. Plus the questionnaire was awesome. Made me think about myself too and what kind of person I am.

Anyway been on there for like a week and had a bunch of matches and the best part is even they cant msg me or see my pics until I let them LOL :)

Good luck to you all out there

BYE

Anonymous said...

Salaams sis,

Nice site:)
I had always assumed that it was easier for single young women to marry than slightly older women. Alhamdulillah, I'm in my 30's & divorced now with a daughter for 12 years & it's been sooo difficult to find a good person to marry. I am so totally put off the internet marriage sites cos it's so deceptive. All that I am doing now is making dua that Allah (swt) help me...to find a good Muslim Practising hubby...Insha Allah & May you & every other Muslimah who is looking attain success....Ameen!!!

single4now said...

Walaikum as salaam,

Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment. I've been taking the Ramadan off.

Technically I think it shouldn't be hard for me to get married but I think a couple of things I'm looking for has made it a little harder than expected. And when you add to that what your parents expect, it's a one in a million combination but inshaAllah with Allah's will even the impossible can be possible.

I hope you, me and all single Muslims are successful in finding good Muslim spouses soon. Ameen. :)

Jazakillah khair for dropping by. I do hope to hear more from you in the comments, inshaAllah. :)

Anonymous said...

Thats very true even i have seen many old mens looking for younger women s to get marry