Thinking About Online Dating?

Commentary

It was the fall of 2006; the ink had just dried on my divorce papers when a friend first introduced the idea of online dating to me. I had been married for what seemed like a lifetime, so this was a novel idea to me. Married people are married, so they have no idea what is happening in the world of single people. As I began to crawl out from under my married rock, I decided to do my own research on the recent phenomenon of online dating. I found multiple options. There are free online dating sites, like Plenty of Fish, and some that try to match you with others based on personality, like E-Harmony. One of the largest online dating sites is Match.com and there is one that touts that they do background checks. I also came across those that are established by religion. Now, this idea of online dating was beginning to appeal to me. As a Christian girl, I am seeking my own kind.  I am looking for someone that shares my faith and I reason that God is trying to help me by creating a site with like-minded individuals.

Creativity is what God does best.  There is not one, but many Christian online dating sites to choose from.  There is Christian Café, Singles Christian Network, Christian Mingle, and the list goes on.  Some sites enable you to list what denomination you are a part of or how frequently you attend church. Your opportunity to share how you live out your faith is when you go to write out your profile. Just because you are both on a Christian online dating site doesn’t mean you are both seeking after God at the same speed. Being able to express yourself on your profile will give other readers insight into your lifestyle, passions, gifts and talents as well as what you are looking for in a mate.

The technology that is taking over the world has made meeting people easy. Everyone is clicking, texting, posting and pinging. No more staying home to wait for the phone to ring. No more wondering who is calling. No, now we have caller ID. We can use all this technology to our advantage when it comes to online dating. God created our brain and the know-how to produce such a medium to meet people, and He also wants us to be smart. There are safety issues you need to be mindful of when dating online.

Guard your personal information.
When contacting people online through dating sites, it’s not wise to give out too much personal information. In the age of Google, it only takes a phone number to begin unraveling who you are and where you live.

Don’t use your real name as your username.
Most dating sites require you to use a username. For safety, do not use your real name, as you never know who could be browsing the site. A lot of usernames may be taken, so you may need to be creative when coming up with ideas.

Think before posting photos on a free site.  
It’s true that if you post a photo with your profile, you are sure to get more hits, but you may want to rethink posting one on a free dating site. If it’s on a secure area of a paid-for site, it’s somewhat more protected and can only be seen by members.

Trust your discernment.  
This is a gift of the Spirit. While online dating is becoming increasingly popular, it may not be for you. Online dating does require that you literally put yourself out there. It will take confidence and a thick skin. As you begin reading profile after profile, understand that not all people are honest and some do misrepresent themselves. Even meeting your date in person for the first time might come with some surprises. I have heard from some of my dates that the women have posted old photos at a more desirable weight! All things considered, you could meet your dream date, enjoy each other’s company and be reassured that you will see him again, only to have him never call you. This is why you need to test the fruit. Getting to know someone takes time.
Just because you want to meet someone and you’re hopeful that this will be heaven sent doesn’t mean that everyone online is at the same emotional stage you are. Taking the time to heal from past wounds is recommended.

Don’t put God in a box and think He can’t work through online dating; He can do anything. There are benefits to online dating; you can interact with hundreds of mate potentials without even leaving the comfort of your own home. The average people population of a given local church in North America is that of 184. Yikes!  And of that number, I wonder how many are single and male? You can see why the appeal for online dating is growing!

Online dating gives you the ability to evaluate a potential date before you meet face to face. Also, if someone has some skin in the game and has paid to date online, they could possibly be more serious about meeting someone. This process of viewing, sifting and sorting through hundreds of profiles is time consuming.
When you bite the bullet and admit you’re an online dater, you will find many others that will concede that they too have tried online dating. It is so popular that it’s become a 500 million dollar industry. My inspiration for online dating came after hearing a handful of success stories of couples that met this way. Having the hope and faith of a mustard seed is all you need to get started on your online dating journey.

Did you meet your spouse through Christian online dating? We would love to hear your story! Email it to [email protected]

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