The closer I get to 17, the more anxious I become about the actual topic of getting married. Like every single girl out there, marriage and wedding is the one thing in life I wish to be made perfect. Perfect groom, dress, venue, food, ring, and just about everything. It’s this one day in the life of a girl that just has to be completely perfect, excuse the repetition of the word. And the nearer I get to the date, the more photos of different men are being showed and the more my friends are questioning my sanity as a teenager. These are the most frequent questions they ask that I feel the need to make it clear for everyone.

Q: Why so soon? Aren’t you rushing it?
A: Because I want to feel love the way you can, just in a Halal way. I want to go to movies, make funny videos, talk about life, cuddle, and do all those stuff without feeling guilty about sinning and all that, you know? I want to enjoy my youth while it last with someone I love.

Q: What if you don’t love him?
A: I will have to, eventually. I’ve always dreamed of marrying the person I love, but I suppose now I just need to work on loving the person I’ll marry. I believe that love is a feeling that shows its head when two work for it.

Q: Who’s the guy?
A: I don’t know, we’re still looking.

Q: Is he going to be the same age as you?
A: I’m a dominant person, so I’m hoping for an older guy, the gap of age can make me respect him better. I’d also prefer it if the guy is not someone that I know before. I like the idea of having a new start with someone who doesn’t know me so we can start that ‘getting to know each other’ process together.

Q: Don’t tell me you’re going to become a teen mom!
A: No! God, I’m not planning on getting pregnant so soon, I still have university and career to think about. I’m not getting married to raise a family, I’m just getting married to have a proper relationship.

Q: What if he wants to?
A: These things can be negotiated, right? I’ll only be 17 after all.

Q: Who’s going pay for university if he’s still the same age as you?
A: His parents and mine, at least until the two of us can get a proper career—or I’ll have scholarship to afford my daily needs.

Q: If you find someone you click with, are you going to text back and forth with him?
A: No, I don’t think so, not until marriage at least.

Q: How are you going to know his personality and all that?
A: If things are fixed, his family is supposed to come to my house to get to know each other and all that before the actual engagement.

Q: What if he treats you badly?
A: When I find someone, I’m going to pray and wait for Allah’s answer if he’s the one. I have faith that whoever Allah choses for me is the perfect one, and hence no such thing as marrying the wrong guy.

Q: When’s the wedding?
A: Depends on where I’ll go to university, but I’m hoping for the ceremony to be a simple thing at home soon after the engagement, just to make things Halal. That way I can have pre-wedding photos and plan for the wedding together.

Q: Aren’t you scared?
A: I am! Hahaha, I am. What if he can’t speak English? What if he doesn’t like traveling? What if he wears baggy pants? What if he won’t go to musicals and forbids me from singing altogether? What if he won’t take selfies and such?

Q: Is this because you’re not allowed to date?
A: I don’t want to date. It’s my choice.

And I suppose that’s what I need everyone to understand. That everyone has a choice, and I’m choosing mine. Please respect that.