“Date whoever you want”
ZAHRA We get a lot of emails from Muslim women who are dating non-muslim men, asking how to deal with telling their parents. And while many of us care what our families think, you can’t date to their expectations. Everybody has perceptions about how a ‘good woman’ dates, and you won’t be able to live up to them all. TANZILA Do whatever you can to keep your parents out of your dating life. Mine tried to arrange meetings for me with random computer engineers looking for green card marriages. I had to be firm and tell them, “That’s not how this is going to work.” As I got older, I created a life where I wasn’t dependent on my parents and built a community of like-minded people who helped me realise I could create my own path. Now I’ll tell my parents about a guy when I know he’s going to propose. Z My family is very religious, and I’m married to a white atheist. One thing that made dating him, while my parents were constantly watching, easier was I had a sister who did the whole ‘dating a non-muslim who then converted’ rigmarole. That carved out a way for me, so see if you can get a relative to do it first. OK, maybe that won’t work; try sending your parents articles about someone in your situation. T I’m super single and don’t know if I’m doing the right things to find love – I often wonder if I should let them arrange my marriage. Z You can still do what your parents want, and your relationships might not work. Date whoever you want, because all you can do is be true to yourself. Too cheesy? T Don’t know. Is cheese halaal?
Zahra and Tanzila explore what it means to be a modern Muslim woman on #Goodmuslimbadmuslim (good muslim bad muslim.com).