11. Dress to Impress
Generally, when meeting with a suitor, sisters put a lot of effort into presenting themselves respectfully and in a composed manner. A brother who is going to visit his potential wife should reciprocate in like. Remember – first impression, lasting impression. During the first meetings, it is important for the brother to dress decently. Nothing fancy or bling-blingy, just make sure you dress with a purpose – you are presenting yourself to the person you may end up making this big commitment to. Avoid wearing a t-shirt, sweats, or dirty socks – trust us, sisters notice. And be well groomed. Don’t walk in looking like a ruffian with your beard all over the place.
Although it's important to dress well during this courtship period, a brother shouldn’t pretend to dress differently than he normally does. For example, thobes can turn parents off sometimes. If guys prefer wearing thobes, then they should make that known to the sister when they talk to her; otherwise, she’s gonna get scared and so will her family. Know your taste, but survey the landscape before taking a dive.
The way you look is your first impression to the Muslimah's parents and most importantly her, so please don't disregard your appearance. Yes, the girl should be considering you for marriage based on your character, but Muslim Matters is not kidding when they say women notice everything because trust me they do. I think a lot of Muslimah's want a man with a sunnah beard, but not an ungroomed, caveman lookin' beard lol. Keep yourself well groomed, and inshAllah everything else will fall into place.
10. Kitchen Politics
Some girls do not like being directly asked, “What dishes can you cook?”, or when a trolley is rolled out during a visit, “What did she make from these items?” Cooking is something anyone can easily learn after marriage, and most do, so please do not ask this question directly.
SubhanAllah, this article literally read my mind lol. I'm not a big fan of men asking me if I can cook because most of the time when they realize that I'm not 100% on my cooking, they give me this look of disappointment. Cooking takes time. From what my mom has taught me, a lot of women don't learn to really cook until after they get married. I think Muslim men have become so accustomed to their mother's cooking, that they unfairly expect their potential spouse to be an amazing cook. Brothers be patient with the sisters, and give them time and they will learn over time.
9. Information Highway
Don’t spread information about a sister that you’re talking to. At this delicate stage in a relationship, a brother should be very discreet and guard the privacy of the sister he is communicating with – even if the relationship doesn’t end up in marriage.
If you’re a single brother, most likely your friends are also single and looking. If you tell other brothers that you were courting sister so-and-so, this may make them acquire the mentality that “he talked to her, so I can’t”. Don’t inadvertently ruin a sisters chances by being overly chatty about your courting escapades.
This issue absolutely needs to be addressed, maybe for the sisters as well. I understand when your getting to know someone for marriage, you may get a little over excited, but spreading information to too many people is a mistake. It's a mistake for many reasons. One of the reasons I believe it's a mistake is because of the issue of trust. If a Muslimah can't trust you early on in your "relationship" to keep her information private, it may cause her to lose trust in your before you can even further the "relationship" to marriage.
8. Call Back
If they are not interested in a sister or something comes up, some brothers just never contact her or her family again. Call back. It’s as simple as that. It won’t break her heart if you do so…but not calling and making her family wait for days upon days until they give up hope in the proposal… that’s worse. It’s just one call – make it so that everyone can move on.
In this situation, the guy may think, "okay, I'm not interested in this sister so I'm just not gonna call her and hopefully she'll get the hint." okayy no, that is not the answer at all. Girls want closure, and until you call and let her know what is going on she's going to be confused and heart broken. Letting her know hurts less and inshAllah that way both of you can move on.
7. Sharing is Caring
Be sure to show that you’ve put some thought into the meeting you’re going to have with the sister. This can easily be done by bringing a cake, some flowers, or other items with you to the visit. Brothers not bringing something to the house or for family when they first come may be a turn off for some sisters, but this could just be a cultural thing. Find out ahead of time so you can check off this symbolic but sweet gesture from your to-do list.
This rule also applies when your actually married, and by married I don't mean only during the honeymoon stage lol. Flowers and chocolate are greatly appreciated :)
6. Pathways to Citizenship
Please do not marry a girl just because she has a foreign passport or is a citizen of the U.S./U.K./Canada if all else is not compatible with her. It is an insult to choose a girl just for her nationality and then coerce her to change herself to suit your other requirements.
When I talk to sisters that are American citizens who are considering brothers from their native land, this is the #1 issue. Although not all men are seeking a girl with a certain passport, this has happened enough times for it to be an issue that people need to address. My advice would be for the girl to get to know the guy enough before marrying him so she knows that he is not marrying her for her passport.
5. Don’t be a jokester
Seriously, if you want to impress the lady, you have to come off as a serious man. If you’re funny, that’s a great quality, but not when the girl is sizing you up as a future bread-winner plus role model for kids plus protector (i.e. men are “Qawwaam” over women). To a sister, one significant sign of readiness is when a brother is financially prepared. Have savings (not just a job) if feasible, and communicate to her that you are financially responsible.
This is very important. I read on yahoo once that a sign that a man is serious about a woman is if he begins to financially prepare himself. If a brother is not beginning to pay back his loans or save money, etc., than chances are he may not be as serious as you anticipated.4. Avoid oversharing
Some brothers actually mention to the sister the number of girls they’ve seen for marriage (not for information purposes, but for boasting purposes). Never, ever joke about or carelessly mention other girls you may have been involved with for marriage in the past or other girls you’re interested in at present. Be in the moment, and know that a sister is sensitive to comparisons. What wins a sister’s heart is making her feel chosen – understandably, everyone has a past, but avoid overly showcasing your past experiences with other sisters.
Most sisters do not wanna hear about the women you've gotten to know in the past for marriage. I wouldn't advise a brother to mention the unnecessary details of those "relationships", unless the sister directly asks for more information. Knowing the number of girls you've considered before her may cause hardships in your relationship, that could have been avoidable.
3. To See or Not to See
Before meeting a sister in person, some brothers prefer to see a picture of the sister. Approach the whole picture/seeing her thing gently. It’s really easy for a brother to come off rude if he doesn’t ask or approach this properly. Some tips for approaching the picture topic graciously: volunteer your picture first, treat the photo like anamanah - look at it once and give it back. Please do NOT take pictures of her on your mobile phone when you are introduced to her. It is disgusting, intrusive, mean, rude… in short, don’t do it! Do not ask for a photo at all if you know that the girl wears niqab. And most importantly, don’t get offended if the girl’s family refuses to hand over a picture of her to you at the first request.
Like I said earlier, appearance is important, but it is not everything. Like stated in this article, wait until the right moment to ask for a sister's photo, or else it may come off as rude to the family.2. Put All the Major Cards on the Table.
You want to live with your parents? How many kids do you want? Do you want sister to observe hijab before other male relatives? Do you want sister to wear niqab or not? Will you prevent the sister from working after marriage? Make sure you marry someone who wants the same things that you do, it’s best to disagree and move on now than it is to emotionally invest in someone who is pulling in a different direction on issues that you don’t feel like you can budge on. It’s not about being confrontational but rather about being honest and upfront about how you see yourself living and whether the potential can see themselves in that same situation happily too.
Major expectations should be out in the open immediately, but if problems existed in the past (i.e. past psychological issues), this is very sensitive and I imagine it would be very difficult for a prospective suitor to discuss them within the first couple of meetings. Also, people tend to keep things like this under wraps so the family may only discuss them once a solid relationship has developed. While this is understandable, this also causes huge issues and can result in a great deal of heartbreak since an attachment may have already developed by this point.Although it's important for the brother to bring up issues of importance to him, it's also important for the sister to ask. A successful marriage depends on good communication, so why not get off to a good start and directly address the important issues to avoid problems later.
1. Be honest.
At all times. It’s very easy to find a lot of information about a guy online, so if he says one thing, yet his Facebook or Twitter profile shows an entirely other side, that’s a major red flag for a sister during the initial stages. Honesty is the best policy.Honesty is key in everything you do. "Half the truth is a whole lie." Keep in mind that you're going to be living with this person if you get married, so there is no point in not being honest. The true you will be revealed through time, so be real from the beginning.