HOD Tips

Moving Forward :)

As-salam-alaikum,
Alhamdulillah Half Our Deen is reaching our 3 year anniversary on July 10th InshAllah.  Although we have over 500+ success stories and 2500+ Active Members, we are constantly working on making the site better.   One of those improvements is making the overall member experience better by providing more content within member profiles. In our last update we focused more on profiles and have set a minimum profile limit so members can have more complete profiles. As you can imagine, it is very hard to learn about someone when the only content on their profile is “will tell you later” or “message me”.  Sometimes you need to read about the person and the more descriptive the profile, the more a person can learn about you. Research has shown that full and comprehensive profiles have a higher chance of being messaged and/or liked. Since we are all here for the same intention, marriage, we encourage our members to post real photos of themselves. While mosques, flowers and sunsets are something to marvel at, nothing can set the tone better than a presentable photo of yourself. We assure you that your privacy is extremely important to us and we take the right precautions to make sure it stays that way, InshAllah.
We appreciate your patience and support
Baba Ali

Getting Overly Attached

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.

How Half Our Deen online and offline work together

One of the common questions we get asked about the Half Our Deen offline events is why is it necessary to have an online account with Half Our Deen to attend? If the point of attending is to find your match why then would you require an online account and profile. While it is a reasonable question to ask the connection between HOD online and HOD offline is one of the reasons these offline events have a much higher success rate than other Muslim matchmaking events.

The main reason that we require this is to continue Half Our Deen‘s commitment to the privacy of our members. By having everyone registered online it eliminates the need to give out private email addresses or phone numbers. It also eliminates the awkwardness associated with asking someone for their contact details and risking the chance of being rejected or giving out your private email address and number to someone that you aren’t really interested in just to be polite.

At the end of every offline event each attendee is asked to write down up to 5 people they would be interested in getting to know more about. Once these cards are handed in mutual matches are identified and emailed to the participants. Once they have the user names of the matches with whom interest was reciprocated they can go to their profile, answer the questions on it, or even send them questions to answer. If they feel that there is more there to pursue they can continue communication but if they don’t feel it is the right person for them they can simply click on “I’d rather fast“ and never have to hear from them again!

Another added bonus of registering online is that you will have access to the more than 2000 active profiles that are registered. This way, even if you don’t find your ideal match at the offline event you still have a great chance of finding your other half through Half Our Deen.

The importance of asking personal questions when looking to get married.

A typical Muslim matrimonial website barely scratches the surface when it comes to details that are vital to showing who you are and what you are looking for in a spouse. The questions generally revolve around superficial topics such as how much you weigh and how tall you are. While this information could be intriguing to a potential suitor the reality is they do not express enough about your goals for life, wants for the future, ideals for raising children, or what a compatible spouse for you would be.

The focus at Half Our Deen is to dig deeper and allow the couples to match up not only based on who they could be attracted to but also who they could lead a fulfilling life with. The personality quizzes help set a baseline for who would seem the most compatible for you but at the end of the day the only way to truly know is to view their profile, read through their information, and respond to any questions they may have posted. Not only do your answers help them learn about you by responding to their questions you are able to infer what is important to them and have the opportunity to counter with your own inquiry.

Answering the personal questions on Half Our Deen, whether the general ones on every profile such as “About Me” and “Who I’m looking for”, or the more detailed questions that others post to their profiles is the best way to increase your chances of finding a match on Half Our Deen. These answers are the first impression that a potential match will have of you. So take the time to think through your answer and insure that it is an honest representation of yourself.

Sharing a candid imagine of who you are online may not be the easiest task. However, the same way you are trusting that others are representing themselves honestly they are trusting that you are doing the same. You want to find a spouse that compliments who you are, not who you think they want you to be. So spend an extra few minutes going over your answers or even have a friend take a look at it and give you feedback in order to insure that you are putting forward a true reflection of who you are.

Having an Open Mind

Getting married is a huge, life changing, event. We can spend years searching for the perfect person to be our other half. And for some of us, we’ve spent even longer dreaming about who this person will be. We’ve imagined every single detail about him/her and we plan on settling for nothing less than the ideal version of a spouse that we have conjured up. Considering how much this person will impact our lives, why should we?

Allah (swt) controls the matters of the heart and it truly is beautiful to see it in progress. The whole reason we got into Muslim Matchmaking was to do our part in helping the Ummah pair up! Hearing the success stories of those who found their other halves through HOD is beyond rewarding. You would be surprised to hear how many of these stories begin with; “I would have never thought of considering this person due to age/race/relocation issues but I can not be happier that I did”. By keeping an open mind and taking a chance on someone who did not seem to be the ideal match at first they were able to see deeper into who the person really is; ultimately finding their ideal spouse.

This is not to say that preferences do not matter when looking for a spouse. However, getting to know someone offers you insight into them that simple statistics on paper can not provide. So for example, on paper you might dismiss someone because they do not fall into the ideal age bracket for you. Instead, had you given them a chance and gotten to know them you might find that they are compatible with you and the fact that they are slightly older/younger than what you had in mind does not bother you as much as you thought it would. The same thing can be said for any number of characteristics that are used to determine who a valid match may be.

The truth is, when it comes to matters of the heart there is no way to predetermine where it will lead us. A lot of times chemistry and compatibility can be found with the most unlikely of suitors. And while, no one should ever marry someone they are not attracted to or do not feel is right for them they should likewise never turn a person down simply because they do not seem to line up with the image they have set. Instead, one should give them a chance. Get to know them. And who knows you may be surprised to find out that you have more in common than you could have imagined.

How to message someone you are interested in

One of the common concerns that we have received is “I send out a bunch of messages but no one responds. What am I doing wrong?!” One user told us that they have tried shortening the messages, or making them longer and including more details, but hasn’t been able to find a formula that yields consistent results. When it comes to initiating contact and messaging users on a Muslim matrimonial website such as Half Our Deen there are two points of view that need to be considered; the senders and the receivers.

For a sender the decision to contact another user is often a hard one to make. The nervous about being rejected or worse ignored! They aren’t sure if they are sharing enough about themselves or if they are making a fool out of themselves. Since writing the initial message is a hard task here are a few points to consider.

1) There is no right or wrong way to formulate a message. What matters most is that you stick to your tone of voice and try to express yourself as you normally would instead of making the tone more serious or quirky than you really are in hopes of it appealing to the receiver. If you aren’t sure about how your message reads ask a family member or friend to read it for you and get their feedback.

2) Less is often more in these situations. Just as you wouldn’t tell your full life story to someone the first time you meet them you shouldn’t do it in the first message. Getting to know someone is a gradual process and overloading them with information at one time can be off putting.

3) Be straight forward and make sure to include a question for them to respond to. If your message says “Salaam! My name is Fatima/Ahmed. I’m 27 and live in Toronto. Take care!” the receiver might not know what do with that message and disregard it. Whereas, if your message clearly says “I viewed your profile, responded to your questions, and I feel we could be a good match. Would you like to get to know each other better? “ the receiver has a clear question to respond to and knows what your stance is.

4) Be patient and don’t be disheartened if you don’t received a response right away. There are many reasons that someone may not respond and it more than likely has nothing to do with what you wrote in your message. It could be as simple as they haven’t logged onto Half Our Deen in a while.

That being said if you are on the receiving end of a message there are etiquette you should follow as well. The greatest of them being to respond! It took guts for the other person to initiate and now it is your turn to be respectful and answer them. If you aren’t interested simply say that. Contrary to what some might think ignoring a message is not letting the other person down easy. Infact it will probably hurt their feelings more than a kindly worded rejection. If the reason you haven’t responded is you find the person appealing but its not the right time for you to pursue them tell them that. Whatever your response is they want to hear it so don’t leave them hanging.

Regardless if you are the sender or the responder it important to remember that as Muslims we should treat others with kindness, respect, and as we would like to be treated.

Using Half Our Deen Efficiently

One of the questions we get asked a lot is: “how can I increase my chances of finding a spouse through Half Our Deen?’ In a previous post we mentioned how creating a stellar profile will increase traffic to your profile however here are a few more tips:

1) Don’t rely only on the suggested matches and the matches emailed to you. Although these profiles are a high percentage match to yours it doesn’t mean that they are the only ones on Half Our Deen that could be compatible for you. So take the time to browse through profiles and judge for yourself who you might be interested in and who you are not.

2) Use the “I’d rather fast” button. When you come across a profile you are sure you are not interested in click the “I’d rather fast” button and it won’t be shown to you again. This way the next time you are browsing profiles you won’t waste time looking at ones you have already decided are not for you.

3) If you come across a profile that you believe you could be interested in but it does not include enough information for you to make a full decision take the time to send them a quick message and ask for more details.

4) Take the time to answer the questions that are posted on others profiles. Not only does this tell them more about you but by going through their questions and thinking about them you can learn more about the person.

5) Be patient! Although our members generally find their matches within 3-10 months for some it might take longer. Just because your perfect match isn’t on Half Our Deen today it doesn’t mean they won’t sign up tomorrow!

What makes a relationship successful?

Finding a compatible spouse is an important step in establishing a solid relationship but its also just the beginning. A healthy relationship is a two way street that takes a lot of dedication and hardwork but which ultimately leads to great happiness.

One of the building blocks of such a relationship is to try and live your life through the beauty of Islam. By following the Islamic teachings regarding spouses, everyone will have their rights fulfilled and be content. No one will feel under-appreciated or over-used.

Challenging and inspiring each other to be better will help the relationship develop further and will insure that you grow together rather than grow apart. Set goals that you would both like to achieve and work towards them with support and kindness.

Just as having projects and goals together is important so is having ones apart. Encourage your spouse to take up their own hobbies and to spend time with their friends and family. Not only will this give you some time apart to focus on your own interests but it will also show your spouse that you respect and care for their interests and the people they value.

Spouses can often overlook the faults of the one they love but that does not mean that you should. If there is something you know you can improve in be honest with yourself about it and work to change. Likewise, if you feel like you are starting to “let go” in aspects of your life such as taking care of your body don’t wait till the problem gets worse as it will be harder to fix.

Allah (swt) created you as unique individuals with differing points of view and modes of thinking so respect each others differences. As long as neither of you step out of line a disagreement can be healthy for the relationship. It shows that you trust each other enough to be yourself and to share your true opinions. If after hearing your spouse out you still do not agree with their point of view on the matter that’s fine! But if you realize that you might be at fault be humble and admit it.

Take the time to surprise your spouse. It can be something as simple as taking the afternoon off to spend with them or it can be over the top romantic and cliched. Regardless of what you do they will appreciate the time and effort you spent on just them.

Our spouses are half our deen and are means for our entrance in Jannah, so let’s take the time to appreciate them. By working on our relationships not only are we making our lives now more enjoyable but we are also gathering good deeds to make our lives in the hereafter even greater. And that what makes a relationship successful.