To Click or Not to Click?
Lesson 1: IT TAKES ENERGY!!!!
I cannot emphasize this enough, using online matrimonial services takes ENERGY! Everything from checking your email, screening out eager communicators, reading profiles, answering emails (i.e. how to decline in a polite way), and then if both parties agree to communicate, telling the same biographical story about yourself, what you're looking for, etc etc etc. And then all the ways sites have devised for a person to say they want to communicate with you: from the halal "has shown interest" and "would like to communicate" to the not so halal "wink". Ugh!
Lesson 2: Background check?!
Here's a concern I have: how the heck do you know anything is true about a person? True, you are cautious in your dealings and take things with a grain of salt, but even what a person writes in their "About Me" should be questioned! You know nothing about their life except what they tell you...you can't talk to anyone who knows them well and who could vouch for them! A person can be a mastermind biography writer on their profile, and then be the most boring person you've ever met in your life. BAZINGA!
Another piece of advice is to be aware of absolute statements...such as "have ALWAYS been motivated" or "am a role model to ALL of my friends". Yikes and astakfirrilah, are you perfect?!
Lesson 3: Distance factor
Yes, for us Muslims in Calgary, most of the matches online are...you guessed it...NOT in Calgary! So are you willing to invest time into getting to know someone long distance? And if so, how would the next steps work out? And the biggest thing that leads into the next point...how do you know you'd even click in person?
Lesson 4: Good writer...poor social skills!
This is quite frustrating! Someone can have a way with written words, but leaves you wanting more with their verbal skills. All of a sudden, an articulate and master writer throws in words such as 'for shizzle' and 'yo' and 'you know, like' into their speech and you wonder if you've entered the twilight zone. Ok, I'm gonna bounce...
Lesson 5: The "C" factor
Call it "chemistry" or "clicking", but online services can't predict this, there's no algorithm around it! And chemistry isn't solely around physical looks, but about the person as a whole. Even our parents would most likely know the type of person we'd click with! But the fact that you could spend a long time communicating with someone, and then there be no 'click', can be quite aggravating.
Lesson 6: The Parental Profile
Oh I love this! Profiles that start as "my beta is a good boy, with a good job, and is very handsome, and likes to spend time at home with his family or playing video games, likes to eat blah blah blah blah blah, he is a healthy boy, mashaAllah, and very kind and soft spoken, etc etc etc". Every single parent thinks their son or daughter is the best, every parent would of COURSE say good things about their child. The danger lies in information that is too generic (like the example above), too perfect, and when they write statements such as "non-Pakistanis/Arabs/etc need not apply". OH and the ever so popular "must be thin and fair, non-hijab wearing preferred, between the ages of 21 - 25, and be a good girl".
In conclusion, if you're going to use online matrimonial sites, then do consider the above! Additionally, there's nothing wrong in asking a parent, sibling, or close and trusted friend to screen profiles for you and to give you their insights. Beware of those who aren't serious with their intentions (i.e. the infamous "salaam, how's it going?" and nothing beyond that). Watch out for stereotypes in profiles, and those who share nothing about themselves and state "information provided upon approval". HA!
While it's great if you're given the freedom to try and find a suitable partner on your own, it's not always the best thing! Where the heck do you start? But if you ARE invested into using online services, I commend you! You're boldly going where I will NEVER go again!
Now let's see how the 'Auntie Method" works out!