I thought looking younger was a good thing!?
Looking younger than your age has its benefits and disadvantages.
One significant detriment is that younger men flirt and think I am in my late 20’s or early 30’s.
Poor fellas! What a waste of time and flirtation efforts only to find out that I am approaching the peak of the hill that I will soon need to climb over.
Jokes aside, it can be frustrating.
I am pretty good at judging someone’s age range based on a few factors. Taking in one’s physical appearance, level of maturity, and communication behaviors, I can make a decent guess.
Usually, I am spot on. For them, not so much.
Either way, I am still flattered by the respectful attention.
But Khadija (pbuh) was older
When meeting younger Muslim men, this is usually the example they offer.
Let’s be frank…
We are not Sayeda Khadija and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon them). Nor are we near their level of faith and commitment to use them as an example.
Yes, Sayeda Khadija (peace and blessings upon her – pbuh) was older than our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings upon him).
You cant handle a Khadija in 2018
Sayeda Khadija (pbuh) was a feminist and the consummate businesswoman and negotiator. A wealthy entrepreneur, she held a distinguished position in Arabia during that time in history.
It was Sayeda Khadija (pbuh) who proposed they marry one another. Recognizing his remarkable character and qualities, she knew Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would be a good husband and father.
As the first follower of Islam, she stood by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), like no other, supporting him financially, emotionally, and mentally.
Her depth, intelligence, ambition, and devotion to her husband and faith is unparalleled.
I only wish I had that level of passion, purpose, ambition and steadfastness.
Times have changed my dear friends, tremendously.
Guys openly share their intimidation of powerful and career driven women.
How can you speak of Khadija (pbuh) when you can’t handle my travel schedule or public speaking appearances?
Watch your words, kid
A two to three year age difference between couples is nothing to write home about. Honestly, my threshold would be at five years younger.
Many young men assume I am close to their age. I smile when they tell me what age they think I am. Compliments make me feel good!
Explaining I am 39, they are taken aback. Silence often ensues.
Stuttering, they struggle to find their words. At this moment, their age is evident and on display.
“No way! You don’t look like THAT OLD.” (cue desire to slap him upside his head)
Charisma is key
The smarter ones with more charm will watch their words and maneuver around the situation, paying a compliment or downplaying the age difference.
Those are the sneaky ones that you have to beware of. Man, do they know how to use their charisma in these often awkward situations.
But, Dear Lord, there are so many handsome men in Lebanon. I swoon at least 50 times a day.
From beaches, grocery store aisles and cafés to walking the streets of cities and suburbs, Lebanon is certainly not at a shortage of exquisite looking men. (Let’s put aside the economic instability for a moment.)
(Photo of 2017 Mr. Lebanon Contestants – from Suntuubi.com)
(Photo of Lebanese National Soccer Team – from Fifa.com)
Real talk from real experiences
I speak from experience. I traveled on this journey.
Trying to make a relationship work with a significant age gap is not an easy task.
Seven years my junior, we faced difficulties that I did not fully realize until the relationship ended.
A respectful and intellectually mature young man, some aspects of his individual growth should have been proof we were not on the same page.
Recognize the red flags
Our differences were red flags that he was not ready for a genuine commitment. Sadly, we overlook these glaring realities because we are comfortable in situations.
We do not recognize signs that things are not right because we are happy in the moment.
His failure to be at the same level of commitment to the relationship became evident after some time.
Nearly a year later, his shortcomings brought him to the realization that, “I don’t think I am ready for a lifetime commitment.”
So, off he went and a year of lessons learned was added to the vault of knowledge.
Being 39 in the halal dating world is tough
Most men in my age group are married or divorced with families.
I have never been married. I do not have children. There is no trauma or emotional baggage that I cart around, waiting to dump on some unsuspecting fella.
Realistically, the thought of raising my own flesh and blood scares the heck out of me. This is why I would not be too keen to raise someone else’s children.
(I know *eye roll*, never say never.)
They say it’s DestinyYou’re right, I do not know where my naseeb (destiny) is. Currently, I am content where my thoughts are on walking into a ready-made family.
I am not a fan of the idea. It is okay to be honest about how you feel.
To be a fill in mom or the wicked step-mother is not my idea of a comfortable situation. I don’t care how great the guy is.
Pawns in a chess game
I have witnessed women become pawns in divorce and custody games.
Men who seek partners to raise their children or fill in where an ex-wife stepped out only get innocent women caught in nasty custody battles.
Why would I want any of this drama and headache?
No, thank you. My peace of mind is priceless.
Naseeb is stuck in traffic
This Naseeb character…he’s probably stuck in traffic. *shoulder shrug as I have coffee with friends*
As I approach 40 years old, finding a partner free of serious issues becomes more difficult. I have learned to accept where I am in this aspect.
Younger men provide the carefree and flexible life that older, single women may be accustomed to.
The ability to accept a woman with a high powered career is easier with younger men.
Just in knowing many younger men, they are not as intimidated by professional women. Often, younger guys are more easygoing and accepting of certain professional situations.
Potentially, younger men may lack the financial stability and emotional maturity that an older woman may be seeking.
Everyone has their reasons
I hear many different reasons why young men seek out older women.
Several have expressed their desire to be with a more sophisticated, mature, or reliable woman.
They cite that younger women are not as dependable, honest, or settled. Other men seek to satisfy a void and want to be nurtured and indulged.
There are women who enjoy being a mommy-figure to a younger man and find it appealing. Not all women are interested in this.
A memorable moment was when a guy said to me, “change whatever you want in me.” This was one of the most unattractive things I had heard from a man.
My immediate thought was, “if I wanted that, I would have a child and raised them as I wish.”
Finding a man in Lebanon with a moral compass, strong character, outgoing personality, and free of drama is like chasing a unicorn.
There are many women in the country vying for companions and the attention of alpha-males. For us, there are slim pickings here.
I am fascinated by the dissipation of morality in Lebanon.
It begs the question, “why would a man want an observant Muslim woman in hijab seeking a genuine commitment when he can have a voluptuous party girl who is content on being a financially maintained side-chick with no strings attached?”
No promises is promising for some
A 30 year old male friend and I delved deeply into this subject. He is in an open relationship with an older woman.
No charades. No promises. Enjoying their time together, it works for them.
Personally, I cannot see myself in this type of situation.
A physical relationship is easy to come by. Almost anyone can provide physical satisfaction. Simply being desired is not enough.
Long term is the goal
Having respect, quality communication, and an emotional connection is essential for me to be happy in a relationship.
Commitment to the relationship and to overcoming the adversity that may occur is of importance to me for the long term.
Why waste time if I am the only one willing to work through the tough moments?
For some, the less complex, the better.
To each, their own.
Do what makes you happy
If being in an open relationship is what makes you happy, good for you.
I can respect a woman who is honest about what is best suitable for her life.
As a Muslim woman, I have a right to enjoy life and be in a relationship best suited for my life as long as I am not committing haraam (forbidden) acts.
As Muslims, being within Islamic boundaries, you are free to live your life as you see fit.
We all will answer for our choices and decisions in life. God gave us brains, will, and a conscience.
Irshaad Hussain wrote in an article on the spirit of marriage, “Love is a movement towards unity, towards oneness.’ God made their hearts familiar” (Qur’an 8:63) through the light of Oneness that yields spiritual love and familiarity in the heart.”
This is what I want. That movement towards unity and oneness. You are deserving of this kind of love. Please, do not lower your standards to have it.
Only time will tell
We do not know what our future holds or where our journeys take us.
Marriages are not guaranteed with time frames. Whether temporary or long term, nothing is sure. Issues impact people in different ways.
I know unmarried couples who last longer than married counterparts.
A piece of paper only legally validates your union, it doesn’t make you committed if it is not in your heart to be.
Say a prayer and leave it to God
Only God knows where we will end up. All I know is that I am living and enjoying life and not lowering my standards or value.
I ask God to keep me in good company and surrounded by honest and God conscious people.
I simply want to enjoy the moments I do have with someone that I can depend on, trust, and have a quality relationship with.
Allah karim (God is the most generous)
In Arabic, we say, “Kel shi b wa2to 7elo.” (Everything, in its due time, is beautiful)