So I have plunged into the world of internet and app dating and boy has it been a wild ride so far.
I originally just started with Muslima.com , having tried that in the past, long before I got married to my now ex. I also added Ok Cupid because I have also used it in the past and it was a enjoyable user experience. Then I decided to try some of the newer dating apps – specifically MuzMatch, BuzzArab, Minder, Bumble and Tinder – (FML- but we will get to that later)
Do your homework:
Ladies and gents – sit down and spend the time to hash out exactly what you want!
What are your deal breakers?
What crazy can you put up with?
What would be a want vs a need in a person you want to share your life with?
How religious and practicing are you REALLY?
If you have been married and divorced –
What were the deal breakers you discovered once you married your ex?
What were the great things about your ex?
What did you feel was missing from the past relationship? What could a new person do and what would it look like to not have that missing piece/thing?
My most ardent piece of advice is :
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
Do not edit, repackage and brand yourself to be more palatable for a potential partner. They aren’t getting the real you and you can only maintain a facade for so long. This goes for all those selfies with filters and photoshopping the bejesus out of yourself.
Even saying you love outdoor activities hiking, rock climbing, camping – hitting the gym – when you only went with a friend for the selfie opportunities, not an actual workout – and all you really want to do is snuggle up with a good book, a cup of tea, fireplace, and your special someone.
Don’t grin and bear that shit is what I am saying. Do what you love, be you and don’t be shy about saying what you aren’t into!
Someone does or says something you don’t agree with in a chat – let them know – hold your boundaries strong and high.
More than 90% of all of those seeking a partner is going to be rejected in some way shape or form. So just like when job seeking – don’t take it personally – brush it off and keep going.
Muslima – has not changed at all. When I say there has been no change, I feel that lends itself to both the platform itself and the pool of potential partners.
The platform is still clunky, ugly and slow – its app doesn’t alert you when someone you are talking to messages you. I could go days before checking it to see if someone responded to my message or “interest.”
I first tried having zero photos on the website to see who would actually stop and read the profile. Surprise! – some men actually did. I even put a secret code in my profile for those who read the profile to mention and only responded to those who mentioned the phrase – to avoid answering the same questions over and over.
I also used the inbox filter to not be overwhelmed by the sheer number of individuals who didn’t meet my basic requirements.
Sadly I ended up removing myself from the platform because the pool of visa seekers far outnumbered the number of “good guys,” there for a real intentional meaningful relationship.
Bumble – is a classier version of Tinder and that isn’t saying much. Its still swipe right and swipe left.. except the women in question get to send the first message.
One crazy thing that still stands out is the number of men who used their Tinder profile on Bumble. Which is it people – hit it and quit it – booty call or is it putting a ring on it?
Make up your mind folks!
Tinder – is where all romantic inclinations go to die. You thought Match.com in the late 90’s and early 2000s was booty call central? Tinder takes the cake for one night stands and it is a street that goes both ways with both male and female identifying individuals seeking one night of mutual satisfaction.. even people in ethical and non-ethical open relationships and the poly community get in on the *ahem* action.
Men generally just swipe through based on profile pictures and then if you mutually match – ghost on you once they realize– damn! She isn’t here for a one night stand. Some get some courage and manners enough to say – sorry I don’t think we are a match before unmatching.. most don’t even put in the effort.
It also has sex workers on there – so be sure to make sure you aren’t expected to pay for that one night of satisfaction.
Tinder can be great for meeting new casual friends before travel. Tinder Gold $30/month gives you access to features such as hiding your location and “Passport to the World,” which by far is the most interesting thing – you can change your location to anywhere in the world!! Just a note – it gets confusing AF to other users to see you pop up in their area when your location reads halfway around the world.
I decided to take a trip to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to see what Tinder looked liked and boy was it a study in the curiosities of human behavior. A right of passage on Tinder? I got my first unconsensual dic pic from a guy in KSA. Who I promptly shamed and told him I am blocking you for sending an undesired dick pic. He tried to play it off like he didn’t understand what he was doing and I just flipped him the bird and hit the block button on Snapchat – since that’s the new IM platform that most people transition to from Tinder.
MuzMatch – Tinder for Muslims! Not much more to say other than its more expensive than comparable apps per month at $5/week. So far its been hard to find anyone to have a decent conversation with. So I eventually deleted it.
The pool of potential matches –
Let us also talk about the pool of potential partners on the majority of these platforms. As my mom would say,” There are some fine young squires.”
Type One: Recently arrived in the US seeking to adjust immigration status with marriage to a U.S. Citizen – all ages – all countries of origin fall into this category.
Type Two: Mipster (Muslim + Hipster). This guy spends more time getting ready in the morning and ensuring selfie readiness than your average anyone. Cue skinny jeans, perfectly gelled hair, waxed eyebrows, and obligatory selfie in a car or somewhere fancy or exotic to try and impress you. He mentions that he enjoys hiking/outdoors, wine tastings, whiskey, travel and is a foodie. He has a secret Tinder account that his family definitely doesn’t know about.
Type Three: Elderly Uncle. Yeah, that uncle that’s always at the masjid for every prayer? He’s on the hunt for a newer younger wife model. He is expressing interest in women in their 20’s and 30’s while he is in his 50’s and up. Ignoring the fact they’re more than a few generational gaps and that he hasn’t hennaed or redied his roots recently.
He sees himself as your Amitabh Bachchan and you are his Jai Ho.
Type Four: The Divorcée – Recently out of a marriage seeking everything they feel the first spouse was lacking aka Superwoman who is opening to a co-parenting relationship with the now ex-wife if there are kids in the picture. No kids? He somewhere between is seeking to start the Islamic version of the Quiverfull movement with June Cleaver in hijab and desiring a booty call.
Type Five: Mama’s Boy – Never been married but seeking to tie the knot because Allah forbid he ends up on the shelf at the ripe age of 30. The profile is posted by if your lucky the guy in question but has strict family requirements of:
1. Virgin – yeah doesn’t matter if the guy is the biggest man-whore of all time – check Tinder for his real life and Facebook for the secret girlfriend who isn’t Muslim nor wearing hijab.
2. Must be from the parents country of originpreferably from the same city, block and street they came from back home.
3. Cooks like a Masterchef winner
4. Cleans and decorates like Martha Stewart
5. Must bounce back after birth like Elastigirl
6. Looks like Kim Kardashian if she found Islam.
After plunging in the deep end I ended up with just two dating platforms – Ok Cupid and Hinge. So far Ok Cupid has yielded more meaningful interactions than Hinge. I know others have met partners on Coffee Meets Bagel and other dating sites.
For now, I go with the flow and see no need to force the issue of finding a partner –
“Allah is the best of planners.”