The search for your other half is an extremely personal journey filled with ups, downs, and a lot of hard choices. Making these tough choices can be hard even when you are able to keep an objective mind. Once you allow yourself to think with your heart instead of head it becomes harder to distinguish between the right and wrong decisions.
Islam has set clear guidelines for how to interact with the opposite gender and even how to approach them when you are interested in them for marriage. While these guidelines may seem stringent they are there to protect you from the inevitable heartache that accompanies the search for a partner as well as to help keep you objective when deciding who you would like to spend the rest of your life with.
One of the mistakes that a lot of people make is not asking the hard questions first. They decide that they need to get to know the person first before they are comfortable asking some of their deal breaker questions. The problem with this approach is that by the time you get to ask a make it or break it question you are already emotionally invested in the other person and find it much harder to move on, even once you have realized they are not the right fit for you.
In order to avoid this rough aspect of the spouse search here are a few guidelines to help you stay within the boundaries of Islam and avoid becoming overly attached before the time is right.
1) When meeting with a potential spouse or exchanging correspondence make sure to have someone else privy to the conversation. It is less likely that the conversation will steer off topic and become more personal when you know someone else is also listening/reading it.
2) Make a list of your deal breaker questions and ask them first. If there are certain aspects that you can’t budge on make sure to get them out of the way before you waste both of your times. Encourage the other person to do the same.
3) Keep your conversations to the point. There is no need to share all of your childhood memories and everything that happens during your day now. Save these amazing stories to tell your spouse later on. Not only will it keep you focused on the important matters now it will ensure that you have fodder for all the conversations you will have after you are married. And if the person turns out not to be right for you then you wouldn’t have shared the personal and cherished conversations with them—which can make it harder to move on.
The beginning of a relationship is an exciting time. It is easy to focus on how you feel, letting that guide your decisions, instead of thinking rationally about how you should conducting yourself. The important thing to remember is that one of the blessings of Islam is that only your spouse gets to share the special moments of a relationship with you. It’s up to you to ensure that happens by only investing emotionally once you have cleared out any doubts that this person is the right one for you.