How Long Should I Wait For the Proposal Before Moving On?

11 July, 2017
Q So there is this guy I found on a Muslim dating site. He's so nice masha Allah, have a good deen too. We are from a different country. We talked already for about a month. We talked about marriage and so so. Since we don't want to do haraam so I told him to contact me just weekly to not get emotionally attached or developing feelings before marriage. We agreed. However, we both are quite young. We both are 22 years old this year. He got a job already but we face some circumstances. The circumstances we face are. 1. I need to graduate first before marriage and it will happen next year insha Allah. 2. He wanted to get married next year or year after (He's still not sure) because he wanted to have a house settled first. His unsureness makes me feel insecure to continue to hope for him to marry me. When I asked him, "When will you do the khitbah/proposal to tell my father?" He's answering, "I think it won't happen this year. I told you from the first time that I want to get married next year or year after." I like him but I am scared that I will be left heartbroken. I don't want to waste my time. I want the precise time then I can wait. Even though we will not have physical contact since we're apart. Even to tell my father, the proposal or khitbah, he doesn't want to do it. Is he serious then? Should I just leave him and move on? Or should I trust him


In this counseling answer:

The questioner has a marriage proposal but she concerned about the delay. The counselor advises her to set a time scale to give him to speak up and make the proposal. This might be something that she actually tells him or a timescale that she just keep in mind, for example, 6 months. If he has still failed to move forward by the time this period is over then she might consider moving on.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

The protection of marriage can certainly throw up many difficulties even before any marriage has actually taken place. In your case, you are concerned that the delay means that perhaps your suitor is not actually serious as he is yet to make any forward movements towards pursuing marriage. As a result, you are now wondering if you should even trust him anymore or just move on

The first thing to consider is that it is not necessary for you to have graduated or for him to have established a stable home before you get married. Marriage is a highly valued institution in Islam and is why it is very much encouraged, even at a younger age. It serves as a great protection and the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to fall into sin of seeking haram relationships to have your needs met. These needs can be appropriately met through marriage. Whilst it might be ideal to be settled financially before marriage it is not essential. There is nothing to stop you from studying just because you are married.

In the mean time, any contact between the 2 of you outside of marriage is more likely to lead you to haram relations or to develop stronger feelings for one another that will be more difficult to break if this marriage should not eventually go through. These are the kind of points that you can make clear to your potential spouse and ask him to consider these things for the sake of yours and his dignity and relationship with Allah.

What you might do is set a time scale to give him to speak up and make the proposal. This might be something that you actually tell him or a timescale that you just keep in mind, for example, 6 months. If he has still failed to move forward by the time this period is over then you might consider moving on. Pick a time scale that you feel you can be patient to wait, but that is not long enough that you might risk developing feeling so strong that you might end up heartbroken.

If he makes the move then alhamdulilah, and if he does not then remember that there are plenty of other good men out there also that you can marry. Have confidence that if it doesn’t happen then there is someone else out there who is better for you and that there is a reason why this particular proposal did not move forward.

May Allah grant you a righteous spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes and will bring you happiness in this life and the next.


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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (