What It’s Really Like to Date a #WallahBro

#WallahBroWednesday is a feature where we respond to Facebook messages, love letters, creepy propositions, and downright absurd requests from those who are “single and looking for a wife, insha’Allah.”

Some days, I still think I love you.
Those aren’t good days. In fact, they are the days when I am at my lowest. Because the problem with loving you is that it made me less of myself.
I never understood why we dated. Our story was cute, sure. But you tried to change me every single day. We use to laugh about how we would tell our kids “our story.” I met you when I was hiding in a closet. It’s exactly as weird as it sounds. I wanted to surprise someone, and you opened the door instead.
And thus began the most exhausting four years of my life. We loved each other. That’s what I would remind myself on nights when your mom would say the worst things to me, and you would stand there in silence.
See, we wanted to do things properly. We never wanted to date, you and I. We talked about getting married the first time we met for coffee, but even then you told me it would be a struggle.

We were different; different tongues, different homelands, and different colors. I never knew any of that to matter, but for your family it was all that existed.

And so I waited. And waited. And waited. For them to follow the perception they gave off — that they were good Muslims and that they were Muslim before anything else.
But our ideals are never how things go. I remember when she said that she would never love our kids the way she loved her other grandkids. And we both know why she said that — because our kids would be half of me. They would have half my skin, half my hair, and only be half Arab.
You said nothing, and I think I loved you a little bit less that day.
You were never ready to change — to tell them to be Muslims first — to tell them that I was the best thing that ever happened to you. And in so many ways, I was too good for you and for them. But it took me years to see that.
The day I broke up with you was the hardest and best day of my life. I still call it my emancipation day, and how fitting that we broke up on my birthday. And it hurt. There were so many things that came with it. The lying, the cheating, the stories we told each other to try and stay together.
And sometimes I think we could have made it, if it wasn’t for your family; that we only pushed to hurt each other because their happiness was more important to you than mine.
And seeing you now is awful. Not because I miss our post-surgery calls or driving six hours for cheesecake in my beat up old car, but because you’ve changed. I can’t look at you and want wonderful things for you. And I wish I could. Sometimes I do still add you into my prayers, but it’s for God to heal your heart and remove the ugliness that’s made it’s home there.

Because you see, I don’t think I can ever forgive you for cheating. You made me change so many things about myself to fit your mold of a “good Muslim girl,” but I’ve always been a good Muslim girl.

Wearing an abaya and changing what makes me the girl I am wasn’t about being a good Muslim. It was about you controlling me. Because if you believed in modesty, you would have practiced it yourself. You wouldn’t have cheated on me.
Your jealousy was always the worst thing about you, but now there are so many more things to add. I pray to have the strength to forgive you. The first thing I did when I broke up with you was call all the friends you made me cut ties with. I’ll always regret putting you first.
It’s been years and sometimes I can go months without thinking about you. But sometimes there are reminders of you in everything. Some days I still have the urge to text you a new running tip, or check in to see how your mom is doing.
Isn’t that funny? That I would check in on your mother…after all the racist things she could say about me, without ever meeting me. And maybe that’s because I feel bad for her, and your whole family.

Your hearts are so diseased and heavy…and ugly. And mine’s not. And the one thing I will never let you change with every awful thing you’ve ever done is the happiness in my heart.

I hope you can be better one day. Truly. Because if I never met you, if I never experienced the ugliness of your family and your half love, I wouldn’t have known how kind-hearted and powerful I am. My color is beautiful. My faith is strong. My life will never make room for someone like you again.