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.
A few years ago after being sent an article about this Tinder equivalent for Muslims, I forced a cousin and another friend to join. Partly knowing they were already dabbling in the online world and partly because I also wanted them to be the guinea pigs. It took me a while longer as I opted to try real life for a while, particularly as I was living overseas at the time.
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 a second wife (don’t get me started) 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 online swipe and match was Mr Shami. Mr Shami’s profile was terrible. To this day, it still baffles me as to why I swiped right – accidental perhaps or was his the only one written in English? I don’t remember. Anyway back to his profile, 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 replied in my head but in reality ignored him for around two weeks – not very mature. But I was new to meeting men again and needed eased 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 ⇒ to a phone call ⇒ to eventual meets. He turned out to be nice (a motherload of issues but 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 as weird as their profile makes them out to be.
Further Muzmatches have led to Mr Cockney (that’s my polite name for him). Mr Haraam (nothing in life is allowed). Clingfilm (he makes an appearance in the next blog post). Beardy Mcweirdy (a beautiful beardful of oddity). Casper (ghosted me for three months then reappeared out the blue with a 2am message, rude).
Whilst not ideal, I can appreciate online matching sites are another avenue for meeting people and at the end of the day, my thoughts are, why not? However, and here come the peas (“mutter”-ings), 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
You’re not the only person they’re speaking to, best to assume a count of three (rubbish I know but there’s nothing to say you can’t do the same!)
Carry some cold water incase you need to hose them down when you meet
Next time: “Clingfilm”, the bloke to never bring home to your parents (not for the easily offended)…….
*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) before he asked to see my hands (what I assumed to be a joke but worryingly may not have been)