Dating in Pakistan is haraam AF, even if literally anything else (like killing women to save your ‘honor’, for example) is thought of as completely okay. Here, it is completely okay to marry a stranger and spend the rest of your life with them but if God forbid, you manifest your interest in getting to know them first, you are suddenly a besharam insaan with no values. Amidst all of this, the idea of dating before marriage, no matter how halal it is, is considered an alien khayal that has no place whatsoever in our culture.
If, despite of all the opposition, you still decide to walk down this path, here are some of the struggles most of you must have gone through, at some point in your dating careers:
1. The chillars are always asking you for nikahnama if you and your significant other are out hanging out late and by late I mean 9 pm.
Even if you’re alone with a friend, if they’re of the opposite sex, you guys are definitely in a chakkar.
2. You have to think thrice before choosing a restaurant to go to because who knows, you might run into some family friends there.
3. Even if you are sitting at a considerable distance from each other and are just talking, the aunties sitting across from you will still judge you really hard.
4. Uncles at McDonald’s with their kids will pretty much always ask you to not be “personal” with your significant other even though you were just laughing at how cute the happy meal toy is.
5. Shaking hands while leaving is the biggest sin you’ll ever commit while a side hug means you are not a Muslim anymore.
6. People keep saying that the boy is just using the girl, even though your families already know about your relationship.
7. Apparently, walking together in a park automatically implies that you are looking for secret places to do inappropriate stuff.
8. And the park guards, much like Maya Khan, will take it upon themselves to secretly stalk you to make sure nothing bad happens
…which by the way is downright humiliating.
9. Nobody in your immediate circle seems to take into account that you are a perfectly mentally stable adult and can make decisions for yourself.
10. If you decide to stand by the person you are dating, you are called pathetic or desperate
Especially if you’re a girl, you will be told you’re being pressurized to support your guy while actual sexual harassment goes unnoticed just because “desperate tha larka, ho gaye ghalti“.
11. And the oft-repeated “what if he/she doesn’t marry you?” question will plague your relationship
Those who’ve managed to sustain relationships in such trying times, more power to you guys.
Cover Image: Alex Stonehill for seattleglobalist.com