Dating apps just aren’t for me

Photo by Relevante design on Unsplash

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I created and deleted a Minder account. For those who are unfamiliar with Minder, it’s an app for Muslims to find other Muslims of the opposite gender to get to know and eventually marry. Unlike Tinder, Minder is definitely not advertised for being a hookup hub (not to say that Tinder is only used for hookups, but it is popular for it); but that doesn’t mean that all users refrain from using Minder for that purpose. It’s really meant to help people get married, in consideration of Islamic principles that discourage hookup culture and casual relationships.

But admittedly, I didn’t just stay on Muslim dating apps. Aside from Minder and Muzmatch, another Muslim ‘dating’ app which was created to help Muslims get married, I’ve also succumbed creating Tinder and a Bumble account.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly why I created any kind of dating accounts at all, and why I’ve done it more than once, coming back even after having deleted my accounts. I hope to mutually fall in love with my soul mate and then spend the rest of my life with them (cliche, but true and I know I’m not the only one). And I don’t want to make romantic love happen for me; I want something to happen naturally and organically– unexpectedly, I want to be taken by surprise. I want to have a beautiful love story to tell, one that is based off of friendship that turns into a genuine romantic love. And I’m definitely, absolutely, positively never hooking up with someone. It takes a lot for me to get comfortable and trusting of a romantic partner, and when it comes to physical intimacy, I’m aversed to it when it doesn’t have a basis of genuine romantic love.

So if I don’t actually expect or intend to find a romantic partner on these apps, then why did I go on these dating apps?

Maybe whether or not I realized it, maybe I was looking for love. Or maybe I wanted to try something new, or just be in a space where I could found by my soul mate or a soul mate. Perhaps I just wanted to get temporary thrills from talking to guys, or perhaps I wanted to establish friendships with guys I could potentially marry if or when I am ready in the future; maybe I just wanted to have options. Maybe I just, plain and simple, wanted to make guy friends who I was expecting would be respectful and keep things ‘halal’–at least for the Muslim apps. At least I know that to be true for the last time I created the app. Perhaps I was curious to see what kinds of guys were out there and craving romantic love. Perhaps I was curious to see what kinds of guys I would be mutually attracted to. Maybe I had different reasons for each time I created an account.

But going back to hoping that guys would keep things halal on the Muslim dating apps– that wasn’t always the case. There were at least two guys on Minder of all places who wanted to cut to the chase and exchange dirty messages. Yeah, I was so not down for that. I just didn’t understand why they chose a marriage app like Minder to carry out their intentions. I didn’t even experience these things on Tinder, which is notorious for seeking hookups.

As for Tinder and Bumble, I think I wanted to extend my options for guys. I only ever intend to marry a Muslim guy if I ever get married; sharing the same faith as my partner is very important to me. But at the same time, many of the guys I tend to like aren’t Muslim. And it’s not because of the specific fact that they’re not Muslim. And it’s not because they tend to be from a certain culture. Muslims are very diverse, coming from several backgrounds and regions. I think that I’m intrigued by the idea of my partner coming from a significantly different background from me. I’ve tried out Dil Mil, a South Asian dating app for a hot minute, but I couldn’t get behind that, either. While I’ve crushed on other desi brown guys before, I can’t help but keep feeling like they look too similar to me, almost as if they’re familial.

But the reason for me deleting the accounts were always the same– it didn’t feel right for me. I still can’t get behind finding love through an online platform.

I know that there are many couples who have found their romantic partners through dating apps and they are very happy and content with their relationships; and I’m happy for them. And many of their love stories were unexpected. But I just can’t see myself being one of those people– I highly doubt I ever will be.

Also, I really just don’t like screen communication. I know that’s even more necessary and needed now with the pandemic, but with or without it, I’m not a huge fan. Nothing beats face-to-face communication. Also, looking at my phone screen too long gives me headaches and nausea. I’d much rather talk on the phone than text if I can’t physically meet up with someone.

I just really hope that I meet my person in person. I hope that we start off as friends, and connect through our friendship and then on a romantic and even spiritual level and realize that we’re soul mates. I don’t want to settle for something less than a good love story and less than my soul mate, the man that God has created me in pair with. If the only things I find are anything less, then I’d rather never get into a romantic relationship at all. I’ve already settled before, and I certainly don’t want to disrespect like that ever again.

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