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Online Relationship: Does It Have a Future?

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Oct 05, 2017

Question

Dear Sister, ma sha’ Allah, you are doing a commendable job. May Allah reward all of you. I am a 29 years old Muslim man. I come from a culture/family where talking to the opposite gender isn’t appreciated. As a consequence, I met a girl online. We talked about marriage and found out we are compatible, but unfortunately, we live almost opposite sides of this planet. Also, we’ve never discussed this relationship with our parents. I don’t want to leave her, but at the same time we are unable to meet now. As an expert, what would you suggest me and many others who are involved in this kind of situation? Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


Online Relationship: Does It Have a Future?


In this counseling answer:

“Maintain realistic expectations; if you cannot afford to travel and marry within the next 6 months to a year, perhaps you may want to rethink the relationship and end it until there is a time wherein you both can meet and then decide to marry.”


 As-Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

Thank you for your kind words. We strive to help and guide the best we can with Allah’s blessings and direction in sha’ Allah.

Many cultures do frown upon speaking with members of the opposite sex, thus, making it rather difficult to meet someone suitable for marriage. While dating and talking alone is haram, in Islam, as you know, it is permissible to get to know your “intended” with someone present. As a result of these cultural constraints, which may act as a protection in some cases, many do resort to online meeting venues in order to get to know someone for marriage.

While often it is a good way to get to know someone, one must also be mindful of keeping even that online relationship halal as I am sure you know.

Yes, dear brother, there are many worldwide who have met their spouses or future spouses online. We live in a media-driven world with FB, Twitter, MySpace and many other platforms for social interactions. Meeting online and meeting in person are two different things. Often times when you finally meet the person, they are the same face to face as they are online. Often times, they are not, which leads to hurt, disappointment and wasted time.

I would suggest dear brother the following:

1-Keep the relationship online halal at all times

2-Keep the focus on a future marriage with making concrete plans to meet in the near future

3-Set up a time limit as to how long you both are willing to wait to meet

4-Talk to your parents and inform them of your intentions to meet and possibly marry if you both are compatible after meeting.

5-Introduce your parents to your intended spouse and keep them involved in your plans at every step of the way. This is a protection for both of you.

6-If possible, have the families also meet via Skype or some other video platform.

7-Maintain realistic expectations; if you cannot afford to travel and marry within the next 6 months to a year, perhaps you may want to rethink the relationship and end it until there is a time wherein you both can meet and then decide to marry.

By ending it if there is no near future possibility of meeting, you are preventing a prolonged interaction which can cause one to fall into haram actions. Additionally, if the one you hope to marry is intended for you by Allah (swt), then nothing can prevent it.

However, waiting and waiting for years with no clear date or options can lead to one getting more emotionally involved as time passes and, therefore, possibly crossing Islamic lines. You might experience feelings of frustration and depression as well as missing out on opportunities to meet and marry someone who is attainable.

So, dear brother, I am happy for you that you met someone you want to marry. May Allah (swt) bless your paths and grant you ease in your intentions to marry her. Make du’aa’ to Allah as well istikharah for direction. It is a different world now with the access to meeting others online. It can be a wonderful way to meet someone to marry, whom we might not have otherwise meet, as long as we know and are realistic about the obstacles we face, set boundaries, limits and time frames. Additionally, the involvement of parents, or a trusted friend or family member, can help guide us in a realistic direction, which often we as emotional beings cannot directly see, but they may.

 We wish you the best for you and your intended future wife!

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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