Advice: On internet flirting & kissing at a wedding

Dear Love, InshAllah:

There’s this Muslim guy I met a few times through work.  He messages me and we chat for a few days, then he vanishes. He says we should meet up but never makes a plan. Is he just stringing me along? Should I block and delete him and move on? I’m not interested in pursuing something that will not culminate in marriage. I should mention that I am no longer in my 20s.

Sincerely,

Is he stringing me along?

Miss Sunshine replies:

Does this man know your intentions? He may only be looking for a friendship. He may also be hesitant because he’s not sure what you want. If you feel comfortable doing so, and you think he’s worth the effort, it’s probably a good idea to just tell him exactly where you stand. If he’s interested, he’ll step up, if not, he’ll step off. Either way, you’ll have the comfort of knowing exactly what he wants without all the guessing.

Shy Desi Boy replies:

I once read an article perhaps around 1999 or so (back in the day when AOL was still sending those annoying CDs in the mail), that argued we need to revise our understanding of what it means to flirt in the internet age. I wish I could find the article because today it is more relevant than ever: after all—how many hearts have been broken, or misled, because of internet chats?

The challenge with internet communication is that it is inherently vague. This is why it is important for you to define your relationship with and to this person. But before you do that, you need to ask yourself a more basic question: do you like this person? If so, do not be shy to tell the person in a sort of round about way: “Hey I really enjoy chatting—perhaps we can hang out for dinner or coffee?”

If the person insists on only chatting online, my advice is to run the opposite direction. I know too many men, and women, who spend their days and evenings flirting online with people they have no desire to commit to in real life. There is no way to find out what potential you both may have (or not have) unless you make the decision to transition your conversations from the virtual to the real.

Dear Love, InshAllah:

I would like to know if it is acceptable to kiss my husband on my wedding day as part of my wedding celebration in front of our guests.

Sincerely,

PDA OK?

Miss Sunshine replies:

Many Muslims believe that such displays of affection between husband and right violate sexual propriety, while they’d be hard-pressed to offer any sort of convincing proof from the Qur’an or hadith, it remains a cultural taboo. I would suggest you discuss this issue with your husband to be, if this display of your love and/or culture is important to you, then enjoy your kiss. Either way, I hope you have a long, fulfilling, and wonderful marriage.

Shy Desi Boy replies:

I understand a wedding is a celebration of two people and two families. It is also a sacred part of our faith. But it is also an expression of you and your partner. We should be respectful of our traditions but we are not talking about a make out session, are we? It is a light peck on the lips. I say it is perfectly ok, even if that creepy aunty of yours gives you the cold eye all night after.

But that is not the real question: do you want to kiss your partner? If so, then kiss your partner at the wedding. Yes, you might have an uncle or an aunty that is unhappy but then that same uncle or aunty will never really be happy with your choices. We spend so much of our lives doing things because someone thinks they are “right” or “wrong” or because it does not “look good.” The wedding is your day, a chance to celebrate your and your partner’s personality. Reclaim the day. Speak to your partner and decide what makes you both most comfortable. And then do that thing. It is your life, not theirs.

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