Telegraph: “I’m engaged,” she shouted down the phone. Here I was, first year at university, sitting on a dirty wall outside my flat, being told by my best friend that at the age of 19, she was engaged. I was expecting this call because my friend was always considered more traditional than the rest of my group of three Muslim girlfriends – but it surprised me how soon it came.
She was in her second year of university; I’d only just started my degree, and until this point, we had no married or engaged friends.
It was an arranged marriage, something I believed was of my mother’s generation, not my own. At that point in my life, I was trying to figure out when my next nap would be or when Friends would come on E4. But it was her decision, not mine.
That was five years ago. She’s still married to her husband and they have a child together.
It wasn’t until I finished my master’s degree and started doing some shifts at a newspaper that I began to think about marriage properly. My education was complete and my career was going in the right direction. Although I still don’t want to wear that wedding dress quite yet, I have now seriously thought about it, and concluded that I too want an arranged marriage.