Free for a meal some time this week?
Upon entering adulthood, you might be hearing (or asking) this question a lot more often as dating and relationships start to take prominence in your life.
Last Wednesday (Aug 23), TikTok user _amsyares posted a video of him at Nanyang Technological University where he was keen on finding out what young adults thought about romance and intimacy.
While his questions may seem simple enough to answer, we all know that it's never that straightforward when it comes to matters of the heart .
"What are your thoughts on dating?" the interviewer asked.
COC ep.1 abt that thing everyone keeps talking abt♬ original sound - amsyareroos
Before the interviewee, who is Muslim, provided a response, he asked her if she felt that dating itself is haram. For context, haram means unlawful or forbidden, according to the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis).
The interviewer explained that dating in Islam is a contentious topic, and the general consensus is that it should be avoided in order to circumvent a situation where one ends up succumbing to their physical desires.
According to the Muslim interviewee, the definition of dating in her faith is "very loose" in modern day Singapore.
It is technically haram, but there's nothing wrong if a Muslim person were to date with the intention to marry and settle down, she said.
However, she added that it cannot simply be about good intentions and one's actions would have to follow through too.
The next interviewee, who was unfamiliar with the concept of dating in the context of Islam, had a somewhat similar view.
She sees dating as something of a "trial period", with the end-goal still being marriage.
Have a third party or not?
One way to potentially navigate the contentious nature of dating is to simply not go out as a pair. The interviewer suggested the option of bringing a chaperone during those meals.
Of course, this might come with problems.
"You want intimacy with them [your date] and having a third party would disrupt it," an interviewee said.
She noted that this dating arrangement could be tricky and suggested one-on-one dates during the day, as opposed to late night ones.
Her fellow interviewee agreed that going out in a group could pose challenges. But if the duo in question are on the same wavelength, she felt that it could still work.
While the two interviewees were generally singing the same tune, they had rather different views on emotional and physical intimacy.
One had no qualms with putting intimacy on the back burner as she felt that it is something that can be developed post-marriage.
The other interviewee, however, held a different opinion.
"If there is no attraction, then you're just friends," she said.
In wanting to be romantically involved with someone, she feels that there needs to be emotional and physical attraction.
More so when the ultimate goal is marriage, as this attraction can help one understand if they are "compatible in all ways" before making such a big commitment.
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