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10 Halal Dating Rules if You Want to Date Someone Muslim

Head and shoulders photograph of Suzannah Weiss
A man and Muslim woman on a date at a coffee shop
Some Muslims use the term "Halal dating" to describe dating while following the laws of Islam, which limit physical contact between people who aren't married (depending on how religious someone is). Often, people won't be looking to get into a boyfriend/girlfriend type of relationship. Instead, they screen someone as a potential spouse and then get married if they are compatible.

Many people find that they still have a lot in common even if they are of a different ethnic or religious background. We live in a multicultural world where people from different backgrounds meet and get into relationships all the time.

A 2015 research survey found that two in five Americans married since 2010 had a spouse of a different religion, and 21% of Muslims who were married or living with a partner were in interfaith relationships.

Islam is the world's fastest-growing religion. There are many Muslim users on Muslim dating apps like Muzmatch or ArabianDate and on mainstream dating apps like Zoosk and eharmony, depending on their preferences.

If you have a Muslim love interest, it's important to have a conversation about what their religion means to them and how it affects their dating life. That said, here are 10 Halal dating rules that some Muslims might adhere to.

1. Emphasize Emotional Intimacy Over Physical Intimacy

Strict Muslims may plan to wait until they're married to have sex, but that doesn't mean they cannot experience intimacy in the earlier stages of dating. Find out if your potential partner is comfortable with hugging, kissing, cuddling, or other physical forms of connection before initiating anything. There are also many non-physical ways to get close to your partner, like having heart-to-hearts or using apps for couples to learn about each other.

2. Think in the Long Term

For some Muslims, the ultimate goal of dating is to find someone to marry, so make sure you each have your long-term goals in mind. Ask your date about things like how many children they want, their long-term career goals, and how they want to divide labor in their household so you can tell if you're truly compatible.

3. Get Your Families Involved

Family is very important in Islam. According to Islamic scholar Mufti Menk, Muslim parents are often involved in their children's love lives. Getting to know your partner's parents and perhaps introducing them to yours will signal that you are serious about the relationship and want to show respect to them and their family.

4. Get a Friend’s Opinion

In Islam, the process of getting to know each other before marriage is called Ta’aruf. Often, Ta’aruf involves enlisting a third party—perhaps a friend—to get to know a potential love interest and share their opinion. If this is something your date would like to do, do your best to accommodate this and understand it is part of their culture.

5. Create a Detailed Online Dating Profile

Another aspect of Ta’aruf is providing details about yourself to your prospective partner, which can be done in the form of an online dating profile. Include information such as your personality traits, interests, and what you're looking for in a spouse.

6. Get To Know Each Other in Person

While technology can provide a handy way to meet, the Quran suggests that meeting face to face is the most effective way to find out if you could fall in love with someone. So, plan an in-person date as soon as the other person is ready. And if you first met them in person, focus on planning another in-person meeting instead of extended texting or phone calls.

7. Take It Slow

Muslims are encouraged to meet up with someone as many times as they want before deciding whether they want to commit to them. So, before you rush to pick out the best evite services for your wedding, be patient and figure out whether you two are truly compatible before deciding to get serious.

8. Talk Openly About Your Relationship

Hiding your relationship from others isn't considered to be in line with Muslim values. So, be open with your family and friends about the wonderful new person you're getting to know and strive to make a good impression, knowing they will likely talk about you.

9. Consider Getting a Professional Opinion

In addition to involving friends and family, couples respecting Muslim dating rules may want to talk to a therapist or counselor before deciding to get married. This can help get an unbiased opinion about your compatibility.

10. Keep Sex off the Table (For Now)

While sex can become an important part of your relationship after marriage, Halal dating is meant to take place with limited physical intimacy. This means that sexual activity does not take place, and sexual talk or photos won't be permitted. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't care about physical attraction and choose a partner you will want to experience intimacy with down the line.

Conclusion

Halal dating is different from the usual Western cultural norm, yet many people find it rewarding. Whether you are Muslim or interested in someone who is, some of these tips might even help you navigate your own dating life. Taking your time to get physical with someone, getting to know each other's friends and family, and dating with your long-term goals in mind can be valuable ways to increase your chances of making a budding connection last.

Head and shoulders photograph of Suzannah Weiss
Suzannah Weiss is a writer, certified sex educator, and sex/love coach.