6 Reasons Why We are Still Single

Series: Navigating the Muslim Marriage Crisis

Why are we still single? Are we going through a marriage crisis? Is love an essential ingredient before marriage? Growing up in the West has major influence on single Muslims: how we live our lives, view and seek marriage.

Many of us have grown a thick skin toward the traditional arranged marriage that once used to be the main ideal and successful way for the many past generations before us. Now, marriage game rules have changed due to the strong desires for love and romance, creating a beautiful love story, and marrying the love of our lives.

This has driven many of us to take different approaches in searching for and trying to find the one.

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As a result of our lifestyle, western culture influences, and taking a different approach to marriage, these changes have brought new challenges along with them to the community that many of us don’t understand and underestimate while being unsure of how to react to them. Even some of our community leaders are having a hard time grasping at the situation.

Why are we still single? We often ask ourselves this due to pressure placed on us by others. Others being our own families, friends, and the community we live in. There are many reasons to why we’re still single – here are some:

Lack of Connection with the Muslim Community:

If I were to ask you, how many Muslim families do you know in your community? The answer for this question usually ranges between 3-12 families, depending on your location. Out of all the Muslim families we know, how many potential options for marriage do we have? The answer is usually none to one, while not considering compatibility, attractiveness, and the chances of it actually working out.

Now, how can we find our future significant other if we’re not well-connected in our Muslim communities? Many people give up trying and consider marrying from overseas, though, is this a true and real solution? This solution works, but mainly for men.

Women are being left out with barely any men to consider for marriage. As a result of this, we’re seeing the rise of single Muslim women in their late 20s, 30s and 40s. They are very professional, great marriage material, and very mature and capable of handling marriage responsibilities.

Due to this disconnection between Muslims, new ideas like Muslim dating websites along with single Muslims social groups have emerged to rescue us from this hole we have sunk in. The idea of online dating to find our future significant other has been considered to be the most viable option to many. Still a good portion of us won’t give it a chance due to the bad reputation we believe it holds.

Personally, I haven’t used online dating yet. But I’ve been be part of a social group for single Muslims called “Single Muslims of California” on Facebook. I’ve have had a great experience connecting with other single Muslims in town and out of town as well. Nonetheless, I believe any tool available to help us connect better and bring the Muslim communities together should be considered a valid and viable tool to use as long as it doesn’t take us away from our deen (faith).

Paradox of Choice Among Unrealistic Expectations:

The limited options some single Muslims face when searching for their future partner due to the lack of connection within the Muslim community is real. But the opposite side to this equation is also real. The western industrial societies have introduced to us the idea of the more choices we have the more freedom and liberation we’ll have.

We are bombarded with dozens of choices on a daily basis from which salad dressing to choose from in the supermarket to which partner to choose to spend our future with. When we are exposed to a high number of choices of prospective future partners along with their qualities, values, and characteristics, especially via online dating and via cities with a bigger Muslim population, our expectations and standards automatically rise up high to the roof.

Too High Expectations is a Real Issue in our Western Societies.

Before I get into this, let’s look to and analyze the previous generations before us. We can notice how easier they’ve had it when searching for and choosing their life partner for marriage. Things used to be much simpler.

Once they were genuinely attracted to the person of interest, shared some similar values, liked the level of their deen (faith), and got along with them just fine, the two would be committed for engagement then marriage to follow while they were committed to work with each other when problems, issues, and conflicts arose.

Nowadays, when the marriage topic is brought up, we start to ask ourselves many questions. We get very specific into what exactly we are looking for:

Do we choose…

  • love before marriage?
  • someone from the same origin as we are who speaks the same language and shares the same culture?
  • an introvert or an extrovert?
  • someone at the same level of intelligence as we are or someone less intelligent to feel more superior?
  • an educated and career-oriented person or someone who wants to stay at home and raise the kids?
  • someone who’s more attractive and less compatible or the other way around?

And this goes on and on, escalating our standards and expectations of our future partner to perfectly fit the image we have for them in our heads.

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