Surprisingly, it didn't take long to come up with the list, and I'm pretty confident this is what I'm looking for. Here it is, in prioritized order:
- Muslim. Wears Hijab.
- Good deen and character
- Easy to communicate with
- Speaks Arabic (and good English ofcourse)
- Same age or younger than I
- University educated
- Pleasing to my eye (well...she always has to be pleasing to my eye...but she does not necessarily need to be beautiful for that to happen)
- Wants to do something with her life and is pro-active about it
- Sociable with both Muslims and non-Muslims
- Likes to learn. Reads books.
- Mature. Has intellectual depth. Speaks for a reason. Definitely not an airhead.
- Fun. Likes the outdoors. Likes to try new things.
- Copes well with random changes in life (small and big), even welcomes them. Optimistic.
- Comes from a good family (religious, educated, appreciate the traditions)
So which qualities do I often find missing in a girl? What are the bottlenecks? I'd say the biggest is age and beauty. If I want a girl that's younger than I and beautiful, it's likely that she won't have the other characteristics I'm looking for, especially maturity and intellectual depth.
The problem is that I'm fairly young, and a lot of the younger ones are either still in school, in another city than I, and have more than one year left in their education.
Futhermore, a lot of the interesting ones want to pursue higher levels of education, so if you're not in the same city as they are, the logistics make it harder to marry.
These factors, coupled with the fact that my family needs to approve of the girl and her family, and that I'm living in an area with a small selection of hijabis, makes it pretty hard to find the right one.
I'm happy with my bachelor life though, and I'm working on many fronts to find the right girl, so as long as that's happening, I can wait forever!