I’m not one for online dating*, I would much rather be my wonderful self at a party, have a lovely man saunter upto me, be struck by my amazing personality and live a happily every after. The modern world seems to have cut all that from nearly all cultures. Speaking to single friends of all backgrounds, if it’s not Tinder then it’s Muzmatch, if it’s not Muzmatch then it’s JSwipe and if it’s not JSwipe then it’s Grindr!
I somewhat reluctantly entered the online world of Muzmatch a few months ago, about four months into my work abroad. My best friend, Sal, (you may remember her from an earlier post), sent me an article about this Tinder equivalent for Muslims. I subsequently forced a cousin and another friend to join it, knowing they were already dabbling in the online world. It took me a while longer as I opted to try real life for a while. Real life however taught me that in the country I was living in, most of the men married young. If they were pursuing me then they were more often than not looking for their second wife or they were Egyptians who eventually wanted to settle back there (a country which despite my travelling spirit is a place I do not enjoy).
My first match was Mr Shami. Mr Shami’s profile was terrible. To this day, I really don’t know why I swiped right. It wasn’t misogynistic nor perverted…..it was just a little weird. “She must be clean on the inside as well as the outside”**. Mr Shami sent me a message and asked if we could talk on the phone as he hated texting. I ignored him for around two weeks after that. Mean, I know. But I was new to this and needed easing into this online matchmaking life, his phonecall message was too fast for me. He messaged again a couple weeks later and this time, forced by friends, I replied; leading to a phone call to a few skypes to an eventual meet. He turned out to be nice. This is my qualm with profiles. They can be truly awful like Mr S because some people just aren’t able to express themselves well on paper. But in real life they can be perfectly pleasant people and not really as weird as their profile makes them out to be.
Further Muzmatches have led to Mr Cockney (that’s all he wanted to talk about), Mr Haraam (nothing in life is halal), sex deviant (an escalation of Mr Cockney) and Mr Audi (ghosted me then reappeared out the blue with a 1am message, rude). All four profiles were well written, from religious looking people who seemed to know themselves and the type of woman they were looking for. Two out the four needed hosed down with some cold water badly.
Aside from the profiles being hit or miss, the other problem is initiative. Am I old fashioned for wanting to ask questions to find out simple things about the guy? They hardly ask anything back. Perhaps it’s just a difference between the sexes, guys would maybe rather see how the conversation flows. But I want you to act like you’re interested in me and ask a little about my life. This is the part I find increasingly frustrating.
Whilst not ideal, I can appreciate online matching sites are another avenue for spouse searching and at the end of the day, my thoughts are why not? However lessons I learnt along the way; don’t judge too heavily based on the profile, a rubbish profile can make for a reasonable human being and vice versa. Speak to one person at a time, my head personally cannot cope with juggling men but I do let them know what I’m doing so I don’t look like an ignoramus ignoring their messages. Don’t do all the work, if he’s interested then he should reciprocate the efforts.
*I refer to spouse hunting as dating because it sounds less desperate and less like I’m trying to spear a man.
**I did ask Mr Shami about this line to which he appeared mortified, a lot of embarrassed laughter followed (him not me, I was enjoying this) and asked to see my hands (what I assumed to be a joke…hopefully).