What a crazy year it’s been. With all that’s happening in the world, finding a partner can feel like a hopeless exercise and one that’s been pushed to the bottom of your to-do list.
So when this story was sent in, I had to share it! What better way to remind us of all the hope and magic that still exists in the world. So here to tell us about her own journey to finding Mr Right – this is how Serena met Faiz.
How long had you been searching for a partner?
I was searching on and off for about 4 years
How did you go about your search?
A mixture of sources, with family it was word of mouth etc. and on my own it was searching online – primarily using Muzmatch.
At any point did you feel like giving up? What kept you going?
Yes I did, so that’s why it was on and off. There is this underlying pressure from different avenues, not in an outright way, and a lot of it comes internally I found. I would give it a while in between talking to people; and I don’t think I can pinpoint what made me continue. Sometimes it was friends, sometimes boredom or curiosity. I also felt like it was the only way to meet people without sitting on my laurels, so I kept returning to the app.
What was the hardest part of your search for a partner?
The set backs in between. Getting to know people over and over. And everytime a potential didn’t work out, it just made it harder to keep trying.
At what point did you realise you may have found ‘the one’?
There was no one moment but it was a gradual feeling. It started when I got my best friends to meet him; we were both so nervous and it was just a casual dinner. My parents knew too. I was then staying over with these friends and we had a ‘debrief’ and they had nothing negative to say. I was shocked, but more importantly it allowed me to relax and trust my judgement. That was the beginning of knowing, or rather the beginning of all the meetings. He then met my parents, and subsequently met each other’s families. He continued to meet my friends too. I prayed istikhara every now and then (as in my head I didn’t anticipate him being ‘the one’) and things naturally continued.
If you used an app or searched online, how did your respective families feel about it?
I was very open with my parents; they knew from the first time I met someone and just urged me to be cautious. I always told a friend/family if I was going to get a coffee with someone, so I always felt safe.
How did it progress from talking via an app to getting married?
We spoke v.little on the app, by this point you develop a routine and skip all the texting and head straight for a phone call. I then wanted to meet fairly soon in person but I happened to be going on a three week holiday abroad. We spoke for the first time a few days before I flew; and we spoke everyday since (including at the airport!) We meet a few days after I got back and I was still so jet-lagged that I was falling asleep over my dessert. We had already planned to meet on the weekend too and I was awake this time! We didn’t live in the same city so we would take it in turns to take day trips, meeting friends and family every other meet up. About 3 months in he met my parents, by 5 both families had met, and by 6 months he had proposed and we got engaged. We then got married 7 months after that, so all in all I knew him for 13 months, but it felt like I’d known him for much longer. I think everyone else saw how much he respected me and thought highly of me, and that helped me to see it too.
Finally, what’s one piece of advice you’d give to other muslim singles?
Take your time. Don’t rush things or put timelimes on it. We’ve all heard it and we say it to ourselves too, what is meant to be is already written for you. There was a stage where the constant on/off use of the apps, worrying and wanting to give up was affecting me. So I took a break and did what I wanted. Don’t let other people make you feel small or bad for not having met someone. It’s better to find the right one later than marry the wrong one. And it did happen when I least expected it… (I’d actually swiped no at first but went back! Don’t worry, he knows!) For him it was the opposite; I was the first person he met! Lucky eh? Alhamdulilah.