Finding love is a daunting task no matter what way you look at it. Constantly engaging with new faces, putting yourself out there, perhaps even facing rejection all in all is a tough process. More importantly, if you are looking for someone with specific qualities, in the globalized world in which we live, can feel even more of a task. But there is hope, actually more than hope. Because of the rise of social media and the Internet, things may have just gotten easier. We can literally meet hundreds of potential suitors in hours, how? Online matrimonial services are taking the lead. Hey, if social media can help bring democracy to the Middle East, I’m pretty sure it can help find me someone also. Still not convinced? Well, Sa’id and Eman, thought they’d share their story of how they met online.
What made you join an online matchmaking site?
Sa’id: I was encouraged by a friend of mine—but I just didn’t think an Internet introduction was really my thing. I had been looking to get married for a while, but living in New Zealand was a bit of a barrier (small community, and many sisters overseas unwilling to relocate). My friend told me to have a look around, and then I could decide to join up or not. He pestered me until I agreed, so I logged on and looked around. I saw Eman’s profile, and knew straight away I had to contact her. It was the best thing I’ve ever done!
Eman: I joined the website to find a life partner on ‘my terms’ not on my family or anyone else’s terms. My father always wanted me to marry someone from the family. To me all I cared about was the person’s deen and character. I had enough of people introducing me to people with whom I had nothing or very little in common with. I wanted to take matters into my own hands. Alhamdulelah I felt that I’ve reached the stage where I have a clear idea about the type of person I wanted as partner for life Inshalla. Alhamudlelah I found what I was looking and so much more!
How did you communicate after meeting online?
Eman: After meeting online, we decided that we wanted to know more about one another. And so our communications evolved to personal emails, chats, SMS, phone conversations and skype live chat, and finally a face-to-face meeting. I was really surprised by how quickly things are moving, but I had a strong feeling it was going to work with Sa’id. I was ecstatic and still am!
Sa’id: I knew pretty quickly that this was it, so after a couple of weeks I asked Eman if I could travel to speak with her father and meet her face to face. She seemed pretty comfortable with that suggestion!
What led to your strong connection?
Sa’id: Eman was clearly committed to her deen, which is so important to me, but she was also so lively, down to earth and modern in her approach. The clincher was an issue that we discussed where our opinions differed. I didn’t try to change her mind, just put my perspective forward. She responded that she could see where I was coming from, she appreciated my efforts, and said thank you for explaining it to her clearly. This showed me her willingness to listen and empathize, and genuinely take into account my feelings, which was awesome! From that point, I knew that even if we agreed to disagree on things, she would be a person who would be genuine, caring and direct, and that meant the world to me.
Eman: Alhamdulelah through our communications we’ve covered a wide range of topics and felt we were compatible at so many levels on matters to do with: role of Islam in our lives, future goals, supporting each other, living our lives and raising our kids according to Islamic principles, handling money in the household, etc. Sa’id once said to me ‘you answer every question I have perfectly—it’s like someone picked my brain and created a woman to match what I want!’ To me this perfectly sums up our relationship, we understand one another, we ‘get’ each other.
Was location an issue?
Sa’id: Eman lives in Australia and I’m in New Zealand. I made it really clear early on that this is home for me. I labored the point a bit, as I’d been let down before by other people over this issue, but Eman was honest from the start that she could handle a move. Luckily, our countries are close, and it makes me very happy to think she could reach her family in a matter of hours whenever she needed to. After all, her peace of mind is crucial to me.
Eman: From the beginning Sa’id was clear that he was after someone who can move to New Zealand, for me that was not an issue especially since New Zealand is very close to Australia and I could always make quick trips to visit my family and friends. When I first met Sa’id he mentioned that he always had a feeling that he’d marry someone from overseas and hence he designated a travel fund for his future wife’s to be able to visit her family. I thought this was very sweet and was definitely one of the things that made feel very lucky to have this man.
How long after meeting your other half did you get engaged?
Sa’id: Well, I knew within a couple of weeks that I could share a future with Eman, but didn’t want to put pressure on her, she expressed a similar sentiment before too long, and so I went to meet her father. Our formal engagement was confirmed about 6 weeks or so after we connected.
Eman: Once we reached the stage where we were both comfortable with one another and the thought of sharing a lifetime with each other, we didn’t see a need to wait around.
Ok, what site did you use and would you recommend it to others?
Eman: Absolutely! I think halfourdeen.com is a great alternative especially at a time where there is clear absence of community/mosque involvement in helping young Muslims complete half their deen.
Sa’id: HoD, without hesitation!
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