Their eyes meet from across the crowded park. He is taken aback by her beauty. Her face glows like a full moon and he can’t seem to divert his eyes from her as her purple hijab flutters softly in the wind. She is mesmerized by the honesty and sincerity that eludes from him. She can sense that he will never hurt her. They just know that a life together will be full of happiness and tranquillity. It will be chock-full of romantic walks to the beach, date nights at a new restaurant every week, two amazing children that will grow up to memorize the Quran and be the apple of their eyes. And, let’s not forget that gorgeous house they will own together—every piece of furniture hand made by him and every room tastefully designed by her.
If the paragraph above seems like it belongs in a cheesy late night movie that’s because it’s exactly what inspired it. Sadly, these same movies are what we use to gauge our relationships by and aspire to. They shape our ideal match for us and ingrain us with wants of perfection that would not only make our lives dull and boring but are impossible to attain.
That’s not to say that love and happiness are not attainable in a marriage. Not at all. In fact, every strong marriage will be built on love and lead to happiness. However, love is not the only building block that is involved. Along with it there is trust, honesty, good communication, patience, compromise, loyalty, and most importantly compatibility. So, sorry to say, but love does not conquer all.
The other main issue with these fantasy portrayals of spouses and marriage is that it skews our perception of who is right for us. It romanticizes the qualities they feel should be important to us in a mate to the point that we sometimes lose sight of who we really need. Allah (swt) created each of us unique with our own likes and dislikes so how is it possible that only one prototype of a spouse would fit all?
When it comes to finding our other half what matters most is what qualities in a spouse will bring out the best in us. How will their personality, likes, dislikes, hobbies, and manners affect us. So let’s take a moment and write down a realistic characterization of who our ideal spouse is and kick the h(b)ollywood portrayals of perfection to the curb!