8 Things to Expect When Dating A Muslim Man (If you’re not a Muslim Woman)

Photo credit: Melvin E

Dating a Muslim man as a non-Muslim woman in the west comes with it’s own set of unique challenges. However, there is room for both of you to grow together if things are done right and expectations are met from the get go (this is the biggest issue).

If you’re wondering whether it is worth getting into a relationship with a Muslim man, the first thing you should be asking yourself is, “is it possible to marry a Muslim man in the first place?”.

The answer to that is Yes. You can marry a Muslim man if you’re not Muslim yourself but only if you’re a Christian or a Jewish woman.

Muslim Men are only permitted to marry practicing Christian or Jewish women. Muslim men are not permitted to marry women who are agnostic, atheiast, or any other religion (source).

With that being said, regardless of what the situation is, everyone is different. Some Muslims do marry non-Muslims who do not practice their own faith. It is still important to understand what dating a Muslim man looks like.

Here are 8 things to expect when dating a Muslim man (written by a Muslim man):

1- Different levels of devotion will influence his life decisions
2- He’ll be going to a Mosque every Friday
3- He will have to fast one month of the year for Ramadan (no eating/drinking from sunrise to sunset)
4- Pre-marital Physical Intimacy is forbidden until marriage
5 – Modesty is Important to him
6- He is a family oriented man
7- His lifestyle is not (or should not) be revolved around alcohol
8- You wont seem him at bars or clubs

1- Different levels of devotion will influence his life decisions

People of any religion have different levels of devotion to their religion.

As seen on many funny TikTok videos, there are Muslim men who drink, but will never eat pork. There are Muslim men who will commit great sins, but never drink alcohol.

Everyone is different, and I am not here to judge as I am not perfect myself. However, when you’re looking to get into a serious relationship and potentially marry a Muslim man, it is probably a good idea to understand how religious he is.

Muslim women will sometimes ask Muslim men “how religious” they are because they want to understand whether they are on the same page on big things such as lifestyle and outing choices, etc. Some Muslims even use a halal haram ratio calculator to understand how devoted a Muslim man is.

Of course, a devotion calculator is not a realistic metric to go by. However, it is important to understand how devoted your potential husband is to his faith as it will greatly influence how your life could be with him.

Side note: While most Muslim men are not permitted to date in the conventional modern way, however, a lot of Muslim men still go out on regular dates. It is argued that it is alright for Muslims to date as long as the end goal is marriage.

2- He’ll be going to a Mosque every Friday

This is not a big deal for most people. It’s simply something to be mindful of if you’re planning to marry and be in a serious relationship with a Muslim man.

Making plans on a Friday with your Muslim husband, or soon-to-be-husband, may be tricky if you live in a western country since Friday prayers are mandatory for Muslims. Friday prays must be prayed in a Mosque.

There are limited mosques in most cities in North America and Europe, so he wont be able to move around as freely on a Friday afternoon.

The thing to take away here is to keep in mind that making plans with a Muslim man on a Friday afternoon may be tricky.

Why could this matter to you?
1- Some women do not want to be with a man who is “too religious” and going to a Friday prayer may seem too religious for some non-Muslim women.
2- Could impact your weekend planning (not a major point – but some women are picky)

3- He will have to fast one month of the year for Ramadan

Ramadan is a big deal for Muslims. It’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar year and is a month where Muslims around the world are focused on fasting (from sunrise to sunset), praying, and charity.

In this month, the Muslim man you’re considering to date (with the intention of marrying one day) will be heavily focused on his religious beliefs. This involves:

  • fasting from food and water from sunrise
  • Limited outings during the day
  • breaking his fast will typically happen with his family and friends
  • Non-married couples will not be communicating as frequently 9since Muslim men are not permitted to be dating women in the conventional way that people date in Western countries)

Why could this matter to you?
1- You should expect that if you’re not married to him, he may be distant one month of the year (although he should communicate expectations with you)
2- Fasting Ramadan is mandatory for men and a sign of religious commitment, so if you find that to be “too religious” then you should reassess before investing time and energy into that relationship.

4- Pre-marital Physical Intimacy is forbidden until marriage

Conventional dating in the western countries is influenced by pre-marital sex. This is where Islamic principals and the modern western ideology clash happens.

Muslims are prohibited from having sex before marriage. Granted, not all Muslim men are virgins before they get married, but they are supposed to be if they’re following their religion correctly.

If you’re dating a Muslim man, who you’ve found out is devout and follows Islam properly, the likelihood of you having sex with him are slim to none before marriage.

This can be a real deal breaker for non-Muslim women as sexual compatibility is heavily focused on prior to marriage. Islam does not view marriage this way.

The purpose of marriage in Islam is the following:

  1. To allow a man and woman to live together and experience love within Islamic law
  2. Reproduction – To produce children and provide the right environment for the upbringing of their children
  3. To provide a legal union which safeguards society from moral and social degradation (source).

Muslim men who intend to get married first look at the values of their significant others to see if they are compatible in order to assess the feasibility of raising children together. While having a good sex life is important, it is not the first thing that is taken into account in Islam. Looks fade away, but fundamental values always remain.

Why could this matter to you?
1- Physical intimacy before marriage is heavily emphasized on in western countries. If the Muslim man you’re dating is following his religion, he can’t engage in physical intimacy before tying the knot. This is something to expect and to plan for in advance.

Why are Muslim men not allowed to have sex before marriage?

One of the reasons why Muslims are not allowed to have sex before marriage is to protect the woman.

Sex is a very intimate act. Yes, it happens all the time, it doesn’t diminish the fact that it is a very intimate act. Men typically prefer women who stay in chastity. The same way women prefer to be with a man who stays in chaste.

Women ultimately control sex. Men are typically more sexual in nature. If an unmarried woman has sex with an unmarried man (meaning that the woman shared a very intimate and personal moment with this man), he can simply leave her and be free from any responsibilities to her (no financial obligations).

However, if this same woman is married to this man, and he decides to leave her after sleeping with her. He can’t just get up and leave. For him to do that, he would have to get a divorce which involves dealing with families, courts, and he will be financial responsible for her after the divorce.

Having pre-marital sex is forbidden on Muslims to protect the woman, and other reasons such as lowering the risk of spread STDs, etc.

5- Modesty is Important to him

While I can not speak for most Muslim men, but it is widely understood among Muslim men that their significant others ought not to wear proactive clothes.

This is not to say that Muslim men should be forcing their significant other to wear a hijab, niqab, and sheila (no man should force his significant other to wear the hijab, it is completely her choice), however, most Muslim men appreciate modesty in the women they are with.

This is because Islam emphasizes women to wearing modest clothing to avoid unwanted attention. This is a very controversial topic. However, the Islamic thought here is that a woman should not seek attention and validation from other men (other than her husband of course). Furthermore, dressing provocatively does invite unwanted attention and may put the woman in harm.

Therefore, you can expect a Muslim man to ask you to dress modestly if you choose to wear very revealing clothing. Again, this is a very subjective topic and every man has their own interpretation of what’s “too revealing” and what’s not.

Why could this matter to you?
1- Let’s face it, most women don’t like to be told what to wear and what not to wear. Every man has their own standard of what’s provocative and what’s not, but it is possible for a Muslim man to bring this up.

6- He is a family oriented man

If you’re looking to date and marry a Muslim man, you should expect that he is a family man. His ties with his siblings are strong, and he is most likely in good terms with his parents. This is very common in Muslim countries.

With that said, this can be a good thing for a non-Muslim woman as most women would prefer a man who is in good ties with his family as it does show signs of stability and that is what you would look for in marriage.

However, a common compliant among non-Muslim women is that Muslim men favor their family’s word over their wives or significant other. This is rather subjective as it depends on what’s being asked of the man.

Regardless of the situation, a Muslim man will need the approval of his mother and father to marry any woman (regardless of her religion) for the marriage to be valid. So if the parents are involved in making a marriage valid or not, then you should expect some level of involvement from the family in his life.

Again, this really varies and I can not generalize all Muslims.

7- His lifestyle is not (or should not) be revolved around alcohol

If you’re living in a non-Muslim country, chances are that your outings, weekends and events involve alcohol. A glass of wine at dinner, champagne at a wedding, a beer with some friends on a weekend, these are all typical outings of people living in the west.

As for practicing Muslims, this is not the norm. A practicing Muslim typically stays away from alcohol and is forbidden from drinking.

The Islamic view on alcohol is that it is strictly forbidden. Why you may ask?

Simply put, alcohol is an intoxicant. Intoxicated people do not typically make the right choices and are willingly impairing themselves. This is viewed as self harm which is not tolerated in Islam. Furthermore, a lifestyle that revolves around alcohol keeps a Muslim away from his religious obligations such as praying.

So when you’re considering dating a Muslim man with the intention of marrying him one day, do expect that down the line, he wont be tolerant of having alcohol in the house. He won’t drink with you at events.

8- You wont seem him at bars or clubs

While this certainly does not apply to all Muslim men, again, it depend on how religious they are. However, if you’re looking to date a practicing Muslim, if he doesn’t drink then he wont be at a club. Simple as that.

This is where differences in lifestyle choices make or break a relationship. Be sure to ask him about this.

Do expect a Muslim man to say these words

Dating a man who’s not from your culture is certainly a learning experience. I compiled a list of words that you may want to be aware of as he’s most likely going to be using them (if he is a practicing Muslim)

  • Alhamdulillah – Thank God
  • halal – Permissible (i.e this food is halal “permissible” for me to eat
  • haram – Not Permissible
  • Insha Allah – if Allah wills it
  • Eid Mubarak – “blessed feast/festival” or Happy Eid
  • Peace be upon him
  • Quran – The Muslim Holy book
  • Mecca
  • Imam – worship leader of a mosque (Christians have priests, Muslims have Imams)
  • Masjid – Mosque

Final Thoughts

While I did mention a lot of differences between some generalities in lifestyle choices of non-Muslim women, the points mentioned above are important to be mindful of. Love can certainly influence logical decisions. So it is best to set expectations on fundamental values from the get go to make sure you can have a successful relationship and marriage with a Muslim man.

It is certainly possible for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman and have a happy marriage. Muslim men marrying non-Muslim women is on the rise. Research conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that roughly one-in-ten Muslims married a non-Muslim spouse in the U.S (source). However, for it work, it does require strong communication, planning, and knowledge.


I am a Muslim that has been living in North America for more than a decade. I am keen on knowing which foods, lifestyle choices, and financial decisions that are halal or not. I enjoy sharing this information with my readers and do the research myself so that readers don't have to.

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