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Q: “The guy that I’m interested in isn’t making any serious moves. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but nothing ever changes. We hang out all the time and I’m really starting to like him but I’m super scared of getting hurt…what should I do? Should I call it off if he’s not serious?”
A: “Don’t waste more time on it. Take your distance, if he likes you, he will show it. If not, you will need to move on. It’s not easy but it’s better to deal with it sooner than later, because whatever is not reciprocal, is an illusion.”
–Anon, 26, Morocco
A: “That’s a tough one. You know, everyone’s situation and their understanding of certain situations differ. There may actually be a reason why he won’t commit. Perhaps it’s financial, perhaps he is afraid of settling down, or perhaps he really is just stringing you along. It would be in your best interest to give him the benefit of the doubt, but at the same time, and at the risk of losing your friendship/relationship, you have to find out for sure, because your peace of mind depends on it. Honestly, I would recommend that you sit him down once more, and explain to him, explicitly, that you like him, but that your end goal is a firm commitment (be sure to explain to him why that is, i.e. you don’t believe that an aimless relationship is alright, or whatever your reasoning is) and ask him whether that is something he is willing to promise you. Depending on how he responds, you may have your answer then and there. Because if he isn’t willing to commit, then you two aren’t on the same page, and you don’t want to continue something that may cause you even more pain in the future.”
–Anon, 32, San Francisco
I know you’ve approached him already, but I would highly recommend doing it again, and explaining to him why a firm commitment is important to you.
A: “Sis, first and foremost, I feel your pain. It is so difficult to navigate the uncertain waters of a relationship, where you aren’t sure whether you’re both on the same page or not. Our society puts such immense importance on getting married at the supposedly ‘right’ time (what even is the ‘right’ time to commit your life to another human being) and that brings on the pressure of hoping the man you can envision your life with will commit. I know you’ve approached him already, but I would highly recommend doing it again, and explaining to him why a firm commitment is important to you. Be completely clear and transparent, because he needs to understand your position, in no uncertain terms. Society puts different time pressures on men versus women when it comes to commitment, so perhaps he just doesn’t understand that (because men rarely do, because they don’t deal with half the s#!t we do on the societal front). If you explain it to him, maybe the fear of losing you will help him understand the importance of committing to you. And if he doesn’t see commitment as important, then it seems that the two of you aren’t on the same page, and in that case, perhaps it really would be best to end it. Because the only other option would be to allow yourself to be strung along, which may end in devastation for you (in my experience, us women always bear the brunt of that). My now-husband put me in the same position back when we were hanging out; he just wasn’t committing, and I had to sit him down and explain to him that while society was happy to let him do his thing, I was feeling pressured into settling down, and while I wanted it to be with him, he would need to commit, or I would have to move on before I got any more attached to him. I was lucky enough that he understood my perspective and took things forward, but if he had said he couldn’t offer me that which I needed, I went into that confrontation prepared to end it, and leave broken-hearted. I am so sorry for the uncertainty you must be feeling, and I’m sure this advice doesn’t feel helpful to you because it isn’t an easy solution, but why spend more time getting even more attached if both your expectations aren’t matching up? I hope you find the solution you are looking for, no matter what that is, and may Allah (SWT) make the decision endlessly easy for you.”
–Manal, 28, San Francisco
I think it is crucial that we define terms because everyone has their own opinions of what “serious” means.
A: “Life is full of many experiences; pain and joy are two things we will all inevitably experience. I think it is crucial that we define terms because everyone has their own opinions of what “serious” means. How long have you known this man? Sadly we women have a habit of trying to rush a relationship, which can be very harmful. But trust your female intuition, if you feel that he isn’t serious, that you’re an option and not a priority, then that’s probably the case. Listen to that little voice inside. I don’t know how far you have gone sexually with this man ( if at all) but I would highly suggest cutting it off; the longer you wait the more it will hurt, the more bitter you will be when he openly declares that there will be no future for you two. Life is short honey, we don’t have time to waste it on men who simply want to toy with our bodies and hearts.”
–Suad Patton Bey, 23, Mississippi
A: “Just keep being chill.”
–Amina, 23, Bosnia
A: “Just ask him? But before, try to feel relaxed and don’t expect anything from him.”
–Naura, 23, Indonesia
A: “Honestly girl, drop him. Don’t let him waste your time…if something is supposed to happen it will and if he’s dragging it on then you already know the answer. Men are trash and that sucks, so you need love yourself first queen.”