I’ll be honest, I’m not the best example of a Muslim. I try my best, but there’s definitely more I could be doing.
For example, I spend too much time on F-boys who’ll probably end up breaking my heart, when I should be seriously searching for a good Muslim man to marry and have my halal babies instead.
Launched in 2015, Muzmatch is designed to “help single Muslims find their perfect life partner”, with “300,000 users and more than 10,000 successful matches across 164 countries”.
But within minutes of signing up, I realised Muzmatch was not Tinder for Muslims. While Tinder is all about hookups and casual dating, Muzmatch has one goal: to get you married ASAP.
Profile-building included questions about my ethnicity, sect (I had to Google what that was), and ideal age of marriage. I selected the ‘as soon as possible’ option, figuring it would speed up finding my soulmate.
The tagline “Keep things halal” reinforced itself throughout the signing-up process. Aside from stating how often I prayed, I had to rate my dress sense from ‘Modest’ to ‘Extremely modest’.
Interface-wise, it was pretty much a standard dating app. I could ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ people based on their profile, and see if I could get a ‘Muzmatch’!
Getting matched wasn’t too difficult either-I guess the Muzmatch hype hasn’t cong Singaporean women and I was one of few eligible female users men could choose from.
Most guys I matched with were between 19 and 25, and were looking to get married ‘after four years’, the longest option available.
On Tinder, I relied heavily on sexual innuendos to keep the convo going. On Muzmatch, I was censored for saying ‘ass’ in “LOTR was a long ass movie.”
Out of fear of being reported for inappropriate conduct, I resorted to safer (read: boring) conversation starters: “What brings you here? What do you do for a living?” Up till that point, I hadn’t realised how hard it was to maintain an interesting convo without flirting.
I wasn’t used to this level of seriousness when dating. Chats felt more like job interviews with attempts to scope out as much info as possible before ‘hiring’. There was no attempt to charm or woo each other, no thrill of the chase.
It didn’t help that almost everyone was speaking in Malay, and I hadn’t used my Mother Tongue since O-levels in 2015.
Users also seemed unfamiliar with common online dating practices like ghosting. When I left a guy hanging for a week, he unmatched me and cited the reasons “No response and attitude!”
Was I too frivolous to date seriously? Was I too different from these devout men to connect with them? Or was I pinning too much hope on what was just another dating app?
Online Dating For Muslims
What started as a casual dating experiment went from 0 to 100 real quick and had me questioning my suitability as a potential life partner.
But upon further discussion with my friends, they quickly snapped me out of my depressing monologue. “It’s a cool concept, but come on lah, 75% of guys on dating apps are boring, whether it’s halal or not.”
My mum provided the wisest feedback with a succinct, “Huh, what nonsense. There’s nothing wrong with you, not being ready to settle down isn’t a crime.”
And they’re right, I’m only 19. Perhaps my experience with Muzmatch was a let down because I’m not ready to marry yet.
But if you’re a single Muslim in your late twenties serious about finding a life partner, cepat cepat and get on the app!