i've told several people that i'm looking or marriage. i guess that was the first step. but the first question i am asked is always "what are you looking for in a wife?" (or something along those lines). then i would get into some sort of panic frenzy and think "what sort of question is that? are you trying to suss me out as to what sort of person i am?" so i keep the answer vague. "erm... she has to be islamic". (thinks: ha - stop trying to analyse me)
the real answer is actually "i don't know".
the fact is that i have been attracted to such a mix of different girls that i'm now not sure which sort of personality (or background) is most suitable for me. maybe it's all? maybe it's none. i once grew close to a sister who was not very islamic. but i liked her (and i was pretty sure she liked me). had feelings for her. felt like i wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. and that freaked the hell outta me! not because i am scared of commitment or anything like that. it's because i could see myself falling for a girl who was not islamic.
all these ideas i have grown up started to overwhelm me with self-doubt. such as how Allah (swt) created partners for us - and that if you are good, then Allah (swt) will give you a partner who is good like you. and if you are bad, then Allah (swt) will send you a partner who, like you, is also bad.
i also felt emotions i had never experienced before. like my mind and my heart wanted different things. how can i have an interest in someone who is not islamic? is that normal? does that mean that i am really not islamic at all? i remember the days where i used to give the disapproving look to people who went for girls who weren't islamic. and then i found myself in that exact same position. and you can't help how you feel... right?
to cut a long story short, i prayed istikhara. and the signs were extremely bad. my feelings for her started to dissolve. and for some reason, they started to transform into dislike for her. i started to pick at the things which i didn't like about her - all those things that were cleverly disguised while i was lusting for this girl. and a couple weeks later, she took off her hijab. then my heart was filled with hatred for her. again, i had never felt such powerful emotions.
i took that as a sign. i need to look for someone islamic. and the answer to the first question i am asked after i reveal i am a marriage seeker, stays true. admittedly, still vague. but nonetheless, still true.