Why is dating haram? … No, like WHY? Why can’t I date?
How am I supposed to agree to spend the rest of my life with a complete stranger?
And how do you expect me to get to know that person without dating them first?
What if it doesn’t work out? I mean, do you guys not see how the divorce rates are skyrocketing year after year?
Why would I risk my future just cuz my parents don’t trust my choices? It’s MY life after all!
And you’re not being clear here: is love ‘haram’ in Islam? Cuz if it is, I think we have a problem.
Seriously, what am I supposed to do with myself if I start having feelings for someone? Die inside silently?
Besides, our religion says ‘actions are judged by intentions’. We’re just talking over frappes. Who says my intentions AREN’T PURE? Why do you people ALWAYS assume the WORST?!
Okay, I hear you. Now take a deep breathe.
I understand your frustration. I was a teenager myself once upon an ancient time and many of my therapy clients are teens, too. And I know, it sometimes can seem like being a Muslim comes with a lot of terms and conditions you didn’t sign up for, so instead of spinning in circles, let’s sit down and earnestly discuss this.
Box office love
I’m sure you’ve seen your friends turn into complete suckers in love. They start stalking their crush, talking about him or her non-stop, imagining scenarios that will NEVER happen, and quickly shift from hearts-in-the-eyes-romantic to full-on-horror-show-love-zombies.
If it escalates into a boyfriend-girlfriend thing, you might see your friend become more obsessive, jealous, weirdly accepting of the unacceptable or just stuck in La La Land, un bothered by reality.
Now watch the happy couple break-up (yeah, life sucks that way sometimes) and you’ll find your friend back to square one: miserable, on an endless emotional roller coaster, stalkery again and rebounding his or her head off.
They say ‘love is blind’, but some specialists have gone far enough to prove it. You see, when you’re in love, your brain releases a rush of extra dopamine and Oxycontin (the “feel good” hormone), which are chemicals that put you in a state of euphoria.
The reason your friends acts sort of like a maniac is because those hormones physiologically affect them, making them unrealistically idealize their beloved way too much, refusing to see their flaws or the flaws in the entire situation.
Your friend acts up when harsh facts creep in because they desperately need this exhilarating feeling to continue. Of course once they get married, and finish the honeymoonish-butterflies-in-stomach phase, as if they’ve now been punched in the gut, they suddenly wake up to reality.
Do you know why we’re positive that dating doesn’t work? Because it puts you in a position to choose the person you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with, at a time when your critical thinking abilities are very, very compromised. It’s science.
You base a rational decision on irrational, unreal expectations. You make a very important choice while some of your cognitive abilities are unavailable, blocked by a flood of hormones. Don’t you think it’ll do you good if you had an extra pair of eyes? Someone who’s not blinded by love nor fogged by hormones to help you make that decision? Like your parents? Or even some trusted aunts and uncles?
Hey, whoa. Stay with me!
You want your freedom, don’t you? You want the fairy tale everyone (a.k.a non-Muslim friends) gets, the chance to pursue once they find The One.
Since Muslims sound like they’re lousy at starting modern, successful relationships, let’s look at Western statistics.
According to a longitudinal study done by Stanford Sociologist Michael Rosenfeld, 70% of unmarried couples breakup within the first year. 70%!!! So tell me, mathematically speaking, how many premarital relationships should one get into before they find The One? Seven? Eight?
It Doesn’t Work!
What’s going to happen to your heart if you let yourself fall or get attached to the wrong people over and over? Chances are, you’ll be broken, bitter or just lose hope all together. It will change who you are.
If you’ve been dumped in your previous relationship, you’ll want to do the dumping in the next one to avoid that feeling that pain again. If you’ve been cheated on, you’ll be dramatically suspicious in the next one. If you’ve been mistreated, ignored or unloved, your self-esteem will hit rock bottom and you’ll settle for less in the next one. And so on. Do you see where this dating stuff goes?
Not only that, but you’ll be lying and hiding A WHOLE LOT of your activities, as you’ll have to do when your are going against your religious principles. Since we’re venturing into Islamic territory now, I’ll have to quote the Qur’an on this one:
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“..And [lawful in marriage are] chaste women from among the believers and chaste women from among those who were given the Scripture before you, when you have given them their due compensation, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse or taking [secret] lovers. And whoever denies the faith – his work has become worthless, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.”(Al-Ma’idah 5:5)