I’m Over 30, Not Married Yet; What’s Wrong with Me?

01 December, 2019
Q Assalamoalaikum,Dear Sister Aisha, I wanted to talk to you after reading some of the answers which you gave to the people in need. I loved your style so decided to talk to you. I surely think you will help me in this regard inShaAllah.

Alhamdulillah I am a good looking and independent woman who is working as a consultant and I try to practice deen as best as I can. The thing that I am very much worried about is that I am not able to get married (I have crossed thirty already). Every time a proposal comes, initially it looks like this is the one, and everything and everyone seems so happy and satisfied. I do not know what happens after some time things become so complicated for one reason or the other, and then it all vanishes into nowhere.

Alhamdulillah the proposals are coming but never had it reached the final stage. I wonder when would that happen as I seriously want to become a good wife and mother, but things are just not happening. When I see others who are younger, or they are not as beautiful or religious, yet they get married so easily, I wonder what’s the matter with me. This has taken a toll on my confidence and my self-esteem and I am not able to concentrate on my professional work as efficiently as I should. I avoid revealing my age to anybody. I avoid being in the company of old friends or relatives. I am a bit shy in nature and dont know how to handle such feelings.

I also do istikhara whenever a proposal comes. Like a couple of months before, after doing istikhara for a proposal, the course of things went positive initially but soon after turned negative. Please tell what I should do in this case. Should it be considered positive (as things were actually positive initially) or negative (as the things are not moving forward now)? I wonder whether I am able interpret the results of istikhara correctly or not.

Alhamdulilah I don’t have any regret for the proposals that came earlier because somewhere I think they were not right for me. Then, what is good for me? When I talk to my family, they just say, “Wait for the right time, it will come.” Is it that Allah is unhappy with me? Is it that I am not good enough or cannot be a good wife? I usually live alone as I work away from my hometown, and these type of thoughts disturb me a lot. I am not able to live happily. I often get casual friendship requests (even from married men) just for fun, but I am not interested in these types of relationships.

I always pray that Allah keeps me away and protect me from this type of people and thoughts. Ameen. However, sometimes I do think, “Why I am not getting what I want and keep getting what I don’t want?”

Please guide me on what I should do. If you could also tell me something to recite, or to do in order to counter this state of mind and to clear the obstacles and feel confident in my day-to-day life, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Trust Allah; perhaps Allah in His mercy and love for you is blocking relationships that will not work to save you for the one that will.

•Make a list of the qualities that you absolutely have to have in a spouse.

•Make another list of qualities that would be nice to have. That way you can be sure in your heart that you are not being too choosy, yet you are being choosy enough to know that whoever you marry you both will be happy, insha’Allah.

•Attend Islamic events as much as you can.

•Shift your mind frame from wishing and wanting and feeling sad towards letting Allah guide things. You will feel happier and you will develop a stronger light, which radiates around you.


A salaam alaikum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so happy that you like my style of advice. It is only through Allah that this is possible and insha’Allah, Allah will enable us to continue to be beneficial in some small way.

A Common Situation

Regarding your situation, it is not unique or rare. I am not sure where you live; however, I do know that in the United States there are a lot of very beautiful, educated, single Muslim women over the age of 30. For some reason, to many sisters, over the age of 30 is a hallmark. I do understand and respect the tradition of getting married very young.  It is a safeguard and insha’Allah a nice way to begin young adulthood.

Differing Ages of Marriage

For the most part at least in the United States, back in the days, people got married very young because they did not live to old age. They used to live to be about 40- 45; hence, they got married early. As people are now living to be in their 90s and 100s, being 30 is still considered young.  

Many women have children after the age of 40. I know that is a big concern when women start to reach their 30’s in regards to fertility. However, some women are even having their first child around 40 years old. Another reason for this is that many women nowadays do pursue a career whether they are married or single. Oftentimes a husband and wife decide together to put off having children until later.

I'm Over 30, Not Married Yet; What's Wrong with Me? - About Islam

Marrying with Insight

In Islam, however, the best is to marry young and yes, you are still young.

Sister, I do not think there is anything wrong with you turning down proposals. You seem to know what will work and what will not. That is a good thing. It means when you do marry, insha’Allah it will be a very successful and happy marriage! It would be sad to get into a marriage with someone that you are not compatible with. It may not be a very happy marriage.

I would advise, however, that insha’Allah you do make a list of the qualities that you absolutely have to have in a spouse.

Make another list of qualities that would be nice to have. That way you can be sure in your heart that you are not being too choosy, yet you are being choosy enough to know that whoever you marry you both will be happy, insha’Allah.

As Muslims, when we are single it is oftentimes shocking and sad to us because we feel and know that marriage is half of our religion, thus, something very important. We often cannot understand why we have not found a spouse yet.

Allah Has His Own Plan

Dear sister, I kindly advise you to look at it like this: perhaps Allah in His mercy and love for you is blocking relationships that will not work to save you for the one that will. You, in your wisdom, are able to see this based on your question. Still, not being able to secure a marriage after some time can leave one wondering, “is it me?”

A Reflection of You

 Sister, there is nothing wrong with you, please do not ever think that there is. I know it can feel like there must be, but that is just a human feeling in response to waiting.

Sister, if you meet someone you feel compatible with and feel that spark, it will happen. You will be so happy that you waited for the right one at the right moment. 

Reducing Complications

 You stated that things become very complicated concerning proposals for one reason or another. Therefore, I would suggest you try to keep things as simple as possible. Whatever situations cause complications or confusions, try to avoid them. Insha’Allah, try to get to know the next man in a halal manner, yet away from any external factors that could cause interference.

Feeling the Joy

You stated that you do not have any regrets for the proposals that came earlier because you think they were not right for you. Still, you feel disturbed because you are alone most of the time.

I would encourage you, especially during Ramadan, to attend Islamic events as much as you can. Go to the masjid for prayers, attend iftars, and truly enjoy the sacred month of fasting. By praying, doing works of charity as well as socializing with our sisters, it can lift your spirits and help you to feel more involved in a spiritual and social level. You may be already doing this, but I am going to ask that you do it in a different way. ?

Don’t Focus on Marriage

When you do go out, either to work or to an Islamic gathering, do not think about getting married. If you see married couples having fun and happy, do not let sad thoughts creep in. Tell yourself “this will be me soon, insha’Allah!” Claim it with joy. Put that vibe out in the universe for Allah to work with. Try to turn the sad, despairing thoughts into positives.  


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Focus on being in the moment. Try to enjoy each moment you have and those that you are with.  When you focus on joy to defeat sad thoughts or longings, you are, in fact, trusting in Allah that you will receive what you have been praying for. You develop an aura of light around you. Walking in this light that comes from your heart and soul, I will not be surprised if that someone who is meant for you, walks right into your life, smiles and says there’s my wife!

Light

 When we shift our mind frame from wishing and wanting and feeling sad towards letting Allah guide things, we tend to feel happier and we develop a stronger light, which radiates around us. This is an attractive Islamic quality. I am sure that you already have it, my dear sister, but after times and times again of disappointment and hurt, it may be lingering in the background. Bring it forward!

Du’aa’s

Here are a few du’aa’s I really like. Insha’Allah, you will find them beneficial as well.

“It was reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite this Dua: “O Allah, I hope for Your mercy. Do not leave me to myself even for the blinking of an eye (i.e. a moment). Correct all of my affairs for me. There is none worthy of worship but You.” (Abu Dawud)”.

“It was reported from ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ud that the Prophet said:  “No person suffers any anxiety or grief, and says: ‘Allaahumma innee ‘abduka wa ibn ‘abdika wa ibn amatika, naasiyati bi yadika, maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka, as’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘andak an taj’ala al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi’

“O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your female slave, my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every Name belonging to You which You named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Quran the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety” but Allah will take away his sorrow and grief, and give him in their stead joy.” (Ahmad 1/391)”.

Salam,

 

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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.

Read more:

I Can’t Accept to Be Still Single

Over 40 & Still Single: Dealing with Loneliness

I Need to Get Married to Stay Away from Haram

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 projects.