Muslim Blind Date – The Introduction

So fast forwarding 2 years from when I started this blog, a lot has happened. The London life zoomed past me without me even realising that all of this time had passed.

So I am no longer in my early or mid-twenties, which is very upsetting. So as you can imagine, the pressure of marriage is pretty high right now. I tiptoe around the subject, especially around my parents. They don’t even care about all the other things I’ve achieved in my life since I moved to London, because that’s not important in their eyes.

Last summer (or was it the year before that? I can’t remember to be honest) I gave into this pressure and signed up to an online dating site for Muslims. It was pure torture. The whole thing made me feel uncomfortable and caused me so much stress. But I’ll save that story for another blog post – it seriously needs it! After that experience, I felt like I had been put off the online dating scene for a while. It just wasn’t for me at that point in my life. I kept this quiet from my mum as well – I didn’t want to give her any ideas! But the downside was that my mum thought I was sitting here idle thumbed with no care in the world about finding a suitable partner to marry.

So the pressure got more intense and my mum used every opportunity she got to lecture me. You know the usual – hurting the family reputation by being an unmarried single girl living away from home; being a burden on parents (even though I didn’t rely on them for anything), stopping them from fulfilling their duties, not saving money for my imaginary wedding, oh and that I was causing her to develop some kind of depression because of all the stress she was putting on herself. Quite lovely eh?

I’ve been able to somehow ignore all of this for a while, because… London happens! But then the other day, I got the most random message. Out of the blue, an ex-colleague asked me how I felt about going on a blind date with her Bangladeshi friend, who I knew absolutely nothing about. I’m not going to lie, I did freak out a little… or a lot. I have never dated before, let alone go on a blind date! How do they even come about? Well… apparently like this!

I messaged my closest friends and they all freaked out too – more out of excitement rather than panic, unlike me. Whilst I got a brief description of the guy (his age, background, hobbies, etc), I freaked out even more. I was scared more than anything else – this was a world that was completely alien to me. My friends were telling me to just do it, what’s the worst that could happen? And I knew they were right; there was no pressure on me to actually marry the guy – just to meet him. So after a day of panicking, I plucked up the courage and gave the go ahead, so she messaged her guy friend who got back to her pretty much straight away and was up for meeting me.

OH MY GOD.

I had so many questions going through my mind… Did I really want to do this? Will this guy like me? What does he know about me? What even happens on dates – is it like the movies? What do we talk about? How do I dress? Where do we meet? And most importantly, how the hell am I expected to greet this person?

I think out of all the questions, the last one is the one that’s stressing me out the most. If I was meeting a friend, I would greet them with a big fat hug or squeeze. But what about when it’s practically a complete stranger – a Muslim male who could potentially become ‘somebody’ to me – how do I make a good first impression? Do I shake his hands? Do I go in for a gentle hug? Or do I just do an awkward on the spot wave and say hi? What am I supposed to do!?

I meet new people in my job every single day and have to be able to do a pitch on the spot – that seems so much easier to me now compared to this!

So my friend asked the guy to choose where to meet and I was asked to suggest a weekend when I am free. And now I just have to get myself there, looking half decent, to be wooed or to woo the guy myself. This sounds like hard work and I am freaking out. It’s not even the thought of keeping a steady stream of conversation going, because my friends and I know very well that I could talk for England. But it’s everything else that goes with it.

I don’t fit the typical Bangladeshi girl mould – I am not that pretty, or skinny, or really religious and I don’t wear a headscarf. I’m sure I could add so many other expectations to this list. But with this being a blind date, this poor guy doesn’t even know any of this. When I shared these thoughts and feelings with my friends, they just didn’t get it. Instead they got annoyed with me for thinking and saying such things about myself because apparently I’m an incredible person. But they are my friends, they have to say these things. I am a realist and not delusional, so I do tell it as it is.

I have no idea how to cope with these nerves or this weird type of stress. It’s so strange to me… Somebody help me!

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4 thoughts on “Muslim Blind Date – The Introduction

  1. ayesha says:

    Salaam sis omg pls keep us posted as to what happens next. I dont ushally write on blogs but I had to on yours, I too am a british bangladeshie girl whos now 28 years old and still not married!!!! I know right!!! Lol
    Family are on my case and life is just becoming really hard but islam is the only thing helping me right now. I dont have a degree I just left school and worked in a dead end part time job as my family only allowed me to do that, they are very strict and I too live in a very tight-knit community where ‘everyone’s bussinesss is everyones bussiness’ lol.
    Reading your post made me smile though, dont worry about anything just pray and go for it and as far as u not be being the typical bengali girl well who gives a crap I bet your more beautiful then them anyway and I can tell from your beautiful and funny personality. What my question to you is that your older sibling got married abroad same as mine but would u be prepared to get married to a man born here and live with his extended family as thats the dilemma I am in??
    Would be nice to hear what you think x

    • Hi Ayesha, thank you SO MUCH for leaving a comment. I am so sorry for being really bad at responding – it just slipped through the net. I totally, completely feel your pain, and I am glad you also understand what I’m going through. Your kind words meant the world to me and I really appreciate it.

      With regards to this dilemma, I hope I’m not too late, but I honestly would be ok with living with a guy and his extended family ONLY if it is agreed beforehand that this will only be for a fixed period of time. I know it’s easier said than done, but sometimes you have to ‘do your time’, right? At least then you can say you fulfilled your duty and still make a life for yourselves. I would really love to know what you decided to do. Please do get in touch with an update if you can! x

  2. Dhalia says:

    So what happened on your blind date? Was he the man of your dreams Very interesting blog 😊😊

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