Dating: What’s A Single Desi Muslim Woman To Do?

Photography by Victor Freitas

Photography by Victor Freitas

Dating is hard enough as it is.
Dating while in your mid to late thirties will usually bring about self-induced panic.
Now throw in the fact that you’re a Pakistani-American MUSLIM woman who really shouldn’t be dating in the first place (per cultural and religious restraints). 

So, what’s a single desi Muslim woman to do? 

The ideal way of meeting a potential Muslim partner is usually via introduction through mutual family members or friends. In my case, that wasn’t an option.

I tried meeting men while out at lounges and restaurants and each time proved unsuccessful. I went through Pakistani matchmakers and went on matrimonial sites with no luck. I even tried online dating sites such as Ok Cupid and, but realized that there weren’t too many Muslim, Pakistani-American men on there.

About to throw in the towel, I was introduced to dating apps targeted specifically to Muslim men and women just like me: Independent, mature, culturally aware, open-minded—- yet still modest.

Great! Now I’m going to meet someone that is relatable, fun to be around, spontaneous, loves to travel, eat, and Pakistani!


Minder (think “Muslim Tinder”), Muzmatch, Dil Mil….
All of these Muslim and “Halal” dating apps provided such high hopes but, essentially, they are no different from all of the other dating apps out there. I felt a bit more judged on these sites and it wasn’t too uncommon to be asked why I wasn’t married yet, how many “boyfriends” I’ve had, could I still have children, can I cook desi food…

And why is it that almost every profile I came across, the guy was an “extremely sexual person” or wanted to know how “open-minded” I was, knowing full well how modest and conservative Islam is when it comes to the topic of premarital sex.

Willing to put that to the side because I can understand that physical attraction and chemistry are important, the biggest hurdle that I came across (and this could just be my personal preference) was the lack of communication. Most of communication is done through texting and very few phone conversations.

Many of these men want to be in a relationship but don’t have the time to put in the work, or they just don’t know what they want. I don’t blame them. There are so many great profiles to choose from. It even got to the point where it wasn’t too uncommon to come across several female acquaintances in the area that were talking to the same guy!

Now, not to sound all negative, I did meet some great men that were very engaging, attractive, and were quite promising… only to become subjected to the following online dating “trends”:

  • Bread crumbing- basically when the guy is not really interested in you, but continues to lead you on by sending a text here and there, commenting on a picture or post, etc.

  • Ghosting- disappearing suddenly and without an explanation

  • Zombie- Back from the dead! This is when a person who has ghosted you resurfaces

  • Catfishing- portraying yourself to be someone you’re not or in my case, not looking like his picture (Facetiming or video chatting is so important! I strongly recommend it)

Although the online dating experience hasn’t been the greatest for me, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t go out there and not try these dating apps for yourself. There have been several positive outcomes from these sites leading to engagements and marriage.

I have come to the conclusion that I should not limit myself to only Pakistani-American men. It does make it easier to be with someone that can understand the cultural norms; however, I’m sure there are tons of worldly men out there. I just have to keep plugging away and find different, creative outlets to meet these eligible bachelors.

Maybe I should reach out to ABC about hosting a Muslim Bachelorette edition?

On that note, do any of you know someone single that’s looking to meet a great woman? I’m available.

Naughty Nadia

Liz Strom1 Comment