On internet dating sites, you’re always being asked the question: What do you see as a good first date?
Here’s my view.
In my religion of Islam, we do not believe in the Western idea of a date. There is a courtship instead, and the two should never be alone together, because as God-fearing Muslims, we must avoid fornicating. God’s word–regardless of what religion you follow–forbids premarital sex. For that reason, this blog will only discuss sex between a man and a woman after they have been married. I cannot promise you that I am always celibate. I struggle. But I would be guilty of misleading you if I somehow condoned or encouraged premarital sex. And as a Muslim who supposedly knows better, the sin weighs heavier on my head, than someone who does not “know better”.
That said, if you are entertaining the idea of getting to know a woman/man for the purpose of marriage, you would get further by following the Islamic custom, than if you did what everyone else does:
Introductions should generally be made through a third person, called a “Wali”. This person guarantees your chastity and can “check out” your potential mate for you. He is responsible for feeling out the other person, checking on their reputation, and must answer if he give bad advice about selection. It is almost always a good idea to involve the parents, because a marriage made without the consent or pleasure of a parent is surely doomed.
Rather than do dinner and movies, how about a coffee shop? Or a park? Someplace you can sit down and talk without distractions, and really get to know this person. Communicating is the best way to get to know someone, and without it, you are basing your attraction on other things, like how the person looks. Talking at length lets you know if the person you’re considering is a real match for you. What are his/her plans for the future? What are your ideas on marriage? Or raising kids? Will you be a dual working family? Or will one of you be a stay-at-home parent? What kind of music do you listen to? Are you equally yoked spiritually?
This is one of those lost arts that lover seem to forget these days. All we want to do is bump and grind and many of us have not even taken the time to know our potential mate’s middle name! You can learn a lot through communication; when you disagree, whatever is buried deep inside will rear its head and you will be able to see how he/she deals with conflict. And that is what can make or break a marriage. Take your time and get to know each other, and if you can–sex should not even be a factor. Few people have made it to a 30th anniversary celebration because of sex; why do you think they made it that far? Love? What is that love based on? Do you and your potential mate have that same chemistry? The courtship is the stage where you make that determination. And in order to do that you need to collect and exchange information, not stare at some movie screen….
Thanks for visiting my blog!