Meeting single Muslims is simple, but trying to meet ‘the one’ is a whole different ball game (Asiya Akthar)

Meeting someone is simple, but trying to meet ‘the one’ is a whole different ball game. Why is it so hard to meet someone with whom we have a connection? Surely you would think that in a world where everything is so accessible, you could meet someone just as easily? Unfortunately, for many like myself, this is not the case.

We live in a society where we are spoilt for choice

hence we will not settle for anything less than what we believe is the best, and I couldn’t agree more!

I would describe myself as a modern, yet traditional Muslim Pakistani woman, looking for a likeminded down to earth Muslim man, who shares the same fundamental beliefs and values that I do. Sounds simple enough, right? But how wrong I was.

When it comes to my experience of trying to find my future hubby, my family have taken more of a traditional route. Not because they have a backward mentality, but more down to their own experiences and their belief that it is a better way of finding the right suitor. Personally, I was very sceptical about this process, but went ahead and respected my parents’ wishes none the less.

Having had several people come to my house, and experiencing the awkwardness on more than a few occasions, I quickly realised that this process wasn’t for me. Involving your parents at such an early stage puts too much pressure on both parties, as a yes or no answer is needed relatively quickly, and more often than not, looks are judged more than a person’s personality. As a girl I found this especially frustrating, everything I had worked so hard on in my life and had accomplished did not really seem to matter. Both the parents and the men were not really interested in my successes, interests, or views.

From here on in, I knew that I needed to take matters into my own hands and be a lot more proactive about finding someone who I would be happy with.

Dating apps and marriage events were the only other two most well-known platforms that I was aware of to try and meet people. But again, I was dubious about going down this road. I wanted a means of meeting people in a less formal and stress-free environment; where you can have a good time without having any pressure. That’s when I came across ‘Social Muslims’ through the ‘Meetups’ website. I was surprised that there was actually a group that wanted to connect Muslims together through relaxed yet social activities, with the added bonus of trying to find your other half too.

I have attended many of their events, and I can genuinely say that coming to these events is a breath of fresh air! You are able to interact with likeminded Muslims in an easy fun loving environment, from playing ping pong to going on scavenger hunts around London. The events have such a fun and buzzing vibe, where you really are having a great time speaking to lots of people. You are in control!

I remember the first time I attended one of these events, to say I was feeling nervous was an understatement.

I was so scared, as this was the first time that I had attended anything like this, and for me this was something out of my comfort zone. But I persevered and just kept reminding myself that everybody else there was in the same boat and position as me.

Once I got there, we were greeted by our friendly and attentive hosts who were very welcoming. There were some ice breaker games at the beginning so that everyone had a chance to introduce themselves before playing some ping pong. Again, this eliminated any awkwardness, and you quickly find yourself talking to a variety of different people, resulting in everyone being a lot more comfortable with each other and their surroundings.

We were then taken to our ping pong tables where we were able to play freely. As you are playing in doubles, it is generally a mixing of two guys and two girls. You are then free to play for however long you want, or you are able to mix and engage with people freely. It was great to see that there was an even mix of both men and women, as I know with other events, more often than not there is always a disproportionate ratio of women to men.

After attending my first event, I was actually fortunate enough to meet someone who I had a great connection with. We exchanged numbers and have been speaking since. I could not believe that after just attending one of these events I would find someone that fit the ideals I have been searching for, and so much more. I know you all may be thinking that this was down to luck but let me assure you that because there are so many different kinds of people who are professional, kind and fun loving, its actually very easy to try and get to meet someone. Not only that, but these events do happen quite regularly, so you know you can always come back to the next event and see who else you could meet.

For me, I would say that the best thing about these events, is that yes you are ideally trying to find someone you are compatible with, but that does not mean that you are not able to network or make friends. There is absolutely no pressure – you are there to have fun and enjoy yourself whilst meeting as many people as you can. You meet people that you surprisingly have so much in common with who have similar mindsets and outlooks, thus relationships are formed with ease.

I am so thankful that through these events I have made so many new friends, who I now talk and meet with regularly, and have found someone with whom I see a future with in shaa Allah.

I would highly recommend these events to anyone who is looking to meet other Muslims. I love the fact that you are exposed to such a diverse range of people from different countries and backgrounds. I know that when I come to these meet ups I am guaranteed a good time. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people and can genuinely say that I have made friends for life

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