Originally published on Janurary 5th, 2018 on my old blog, Roses and Jannah. Discalimer– I have been in a relationship since then; I am currently twenty-two as I republish this here. Though I have been in a relationship, I hold a lot of the same views and sentiments expressed. Maybe I’ll make a post later about how I evolved and changed between not being in a relationship and having overcome one.
I’m Samantha, I’m twenty years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. Nor have I ever had sex, ever kissed anyone, or ever been on a date. No, I’m not asexual. Yes, I’m straight. And, no, I am not a prude. No, there’s nothing wrong with me. No, I don’t think romance and sex is bad; they are natural parts of being human that God has gifted us with.
I’m an American girl who is comprised of Bengali, American, and most significantly to me, Muslim values. With regards to dating and having romantic relationships in Islam, us Muslims aren’t supposed to be proponents of casual dating and hooking-up, or having sexual and romantic relationships outside of marriage. Our dating experiences are supposed to be limited to when we’re actually considering someone to marry and spend the rest of our lives with. This can help save us a lot of energy and heartbreak. Of course, if a Muslim does end up having boyfriends or girlfriends or even casual sex, no, it does not automatically mean that they’re a bad Muslim or that they’re going to go straight to hell. With that being said, I know my lack of romantic relationships and sexual relationships does not make me better than those who have had them, both in terms of piety and morality. But from a religious standpoint, I’m trying to fulfill this component of my submission to God by not investing in a relationship yet, especially ones that would be temporary, sexual relationships that wouldn’t mean anything to me other than temporary pleasure.
As expected in the life of a female college student, there have been guys who hit on me or liked me, but I just wasn’t interested. There are people in my life, including family and friends, who express pity and sympathy for me, regarding my lack of sexual and romantic experiences. I appreciate their love and concern, but I really don’t need it! I’m happy being single right now. But yes, I don’t want to be single for my entire life. Ideally, I want to fall in love with someone I’m friends with first and then get married. I want to marry someone I actually know. So, no, the stereotype of a desi girl getting married to a stranger she meets on her wedding day is not applicable to me. But at the same time, neither is the stereotype of a girl who dates multiple people in search of romance or sexual fulfillment until she finds the right person. Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with the latter, but it’s just not me. I’m a strong believer in things happening at the right time and in the right place as long as I go on striving to be a good person and to please God. In Islam, we believe that God is the best of planners. And despite my seemingly-to-many-people, uptight demeanor, I want a good love story to tell about how I met my person. And I want my story, our story, to be based on the foundation of a love that was created by the connection of our personalities before the connection of our physical appearances, which explains why I prefer to end up with someone I’m initially friends with. And overall, I just want to keep things as “halal” and possible. And regarding my lack of interest in guys that did pursue me, it’s not that I was better than those guys, but that I, personally, just was not attracted to them. Or if I was, I just didn’t feel compatible with them. I have high standards (regarding compatibility in terms of personality) as well, and I’m not going to settle (and yes, I hold high standards for myself as well, to be fair). I’d rather stay single than settle for someone. Of course, I know compromise is necessary, from both partners of a romantic relationship, but there’s a difference between settling and compromising.
To be honest, I’m still trying to figure myself out. While I know much about what I’m like, my likes and dislikes, I’m still trying to adventure within myself. I’m also still learning to love myself. How am I supposed to be good for someone, and how are they supposed to be good for me, if I don’t feel good for myself? And on top of that, I’m also trying to develop myself, as in my education and career. Admirably, some people are able to balance out their relationships with their studies and work, but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. Who knows, maybe I am and God will show me that there’s someone I should be with soon. But I really can’t tell for sure. When there is a guy that comes along or a guy that I’m friends or acquainted with who ends up being my person, whether it’s a few days from now or ten years from now, then insha Allah (by the will of God), everything will play out well.