Dating to get engaged VS Dating after engagement

If you’ve followed me on Twitter, you’d know all I tweet about is Him, my fianc√©. Two mature and logical people just got knocked down in one blow, that’s how I describe what happened between us. Here’s a short summary of how we met.

Embarrassingly, he was a proposal put forth by my parents who insisted he’s a good boy and that I should marry him. “Leave the house or get married to him!” was the threat which then de-escalated to “Fine, you get a month to think about this.” I continued to resist because my parents had to know they do not own me. I can say no to the perfect person because I’m an adult who has rights over her life, her body and her future.

Turns out he was the perfect person. My parents were and still are against me contacting him and talking to him(conservative indian muslim parents). However, I went ahead unbothered, found him on Instagram, established contact and spent 3 weeks superficially texting. We then decided we need to make a phone call and talk serious stuff so that I can say no to my mum with hard evidence that it won’t work out(he’s based overseas, we can’t meet).

So how long does the heart take to know what it wants?

Three weeks of texting and two 1hr phone calls. That’s all it took for me to know he’s the one and say yes. We’ll have a dinner and a long walk the instant we meet, he promised me. If you’d like to read more of our cute interactions, type my twitter ID with #dontjinxthis tag to see more. But now, we head to the main content. Unlike most people who date to get married, we are dating after deciding to get married and it’s very different in terms of objectives.

The usual dating would consist of finding out interests and personality to see if it matches but in ours, we are finding out about each other to accommodate and adjust. I’m finding out he’s an extrovert with lots of friends while I’m a quiet introvert who keeps a closely guarded circle. I know that he will be out with friends quite a bit, that there are so many people contacting him which will definitely make me jealous. He’s finding out that he needs to show me I’m No. 1 in his life so that I’ll not bother about his too many friends. However, it isn’t a case of giving up what he presently has but reworking his time to make sure I feel important. He is finding out that I cannot give him attention all the time, that I need lots of quiet moments on my own and that he’s ok with me oscillating from super-clingy to leave me alone. (it’s another level of joy to know you can be super clingy with someone and not feel embarrassed or insecure or look despo:D)

Recently, we were talking about family and of how the relationship between us does not depend solely on us but on whether our families have a good opinion of the new addition. When your partner’s parents or siblings don’t like you, they speak negatively of you and nitpick¬† which 1. hurts your partner and 2. makes your partner less tolerant of your mistakes and erodes the love between you two. I’m not sure when people who date to get married start thinking about family but we already have since our proposal was pushed forward by my mum and by his sister. I told him that I wasn’t good at reading people to please them but I can follow instructions so if there’s anything I can do to keep the peace and to improve relations, just tell me.

I tell him of my busy schedules and exams but also remind him that hospitals can always find more overworked doctors to slave away but I can’t find another husband. He reminds me to study because mine is a difficult dream and he wants me to achieve high. You see, one of his three criteria in a spouse was that the woman had a mind of her own and had a professional identity of her own.

Basically, every interaction between us is filled with consideration for the other. How sweet<3 When someone gives up, gives in so much for you, it fuels a desire in you to do as much for them too. He wants to give in as much as he can so that I’d be happy which then turns the wheel forward to making me wanting to do more for him. This is a wheel that is picking up speed for all the good reasons(what’s the opposite of a vicious cycle? Positive reinforcement? Positive feedback is the biological term)

To conclude, I have to admit with a grudge that my mum did pick the right man. Covid is postponing our marriage plans so we’re stuck with phone calls until we get together. I’m taken aback by how deeply he thought of marriage, “you’re choosing a partner both for this world dunya and the hereafter aahira,” he said. I didn’t think much. My bar was set low on a decent man who’s ok with me graduating at 28 and working and that we liked each other enough to be friends. He has mulled over this life decision quite a bit yet he admitted he didn’t expect to fall this hard for an arrange marriage proposal. We two sure got lucky! Sometimes, he stares at me silently for a few minutes during our video call and I’m overwhelmed by how lucky I am.

Will update with wedding pics in December. Till then, wishing you the same joy and happiness too(if you’re single that is).

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