The amount of relationships and marriages that begin from online dating seems to be rising. With technology constantly increasing and smart phones that never leave our side, dating has encountered various meanings as social networks and online dating sites continue to engage and connect people everyone. Okay seriously, if I continue to blog I need to be able to turn off my doctoral side of my brain and keep it real with you all. Dating in today’s society is whack and I can’t keep up. I feel like life would have been so much more simple if I had to rely solely on my (in person) relationships and didn’t have the option to hide behind my cyber identity.
Honestly, I don’t think it is my place to tell you whether or not online dating is for you; this isn’t one of those things that is explicitly stated in the Bible. All I can share with you are my thoughts and feelings. Really it is between you and God to decipher what is best for you, your relationship with God, and your relationship with your future spouse.
As for me, I have always had a bad feeling about online dating for whatever reason. So many people have tried to get me to try it but for some reason I couldn’t do it. It was something about taking control over my dating life and not fully trusting God that always led me away. I tend to also be naive and feel I could fall for anyone if I was convinced they were the one so I don’t really trust myself on sites like those. I am sad to admit that it also made me feel a little desperate if I ended up making a profile. Like what is wrong with me that I can’t find a guy normally? What is even the normal way? I don’t know. I don’t frequent bars or clubs so that can’t be normal either. I always thought the best type of relationship came from when you weren’t looking for one, which is why I personally struggle with the idea of online dating. I just want to be doing what I love and have someone else do the same thing and poof, the rest is history. My friend convinced me to try tinder as more of a joke awhile back and I must admit that it was rather entertaining. I wouldn’t call it a dating app. It could be used to meet friends, it could be used to hook up with others. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. It was definitely a good ego boost. It felt so good to get a match; I had so many matches- either I was all that or I just didn’t have any standards lol. It was interesting to see the type of people on there. It was funny to see my friends on there too and make jokes about it. My friend recently went back on and is getting his self worth from his “162 matches” and “three dates a week.” I know he is secretly hurting over this. Why? Because it’s not real. I will be doing a ‘Tender Tinder’ 3 part series to talk about the three guys I ended up talking to over the instant gratification app. I learned a lot. And learned that it wasn’t for me. It’s hard waiting sometimes but it’s even harder ending up with the wrong person. Here are some things I’ve learned that will hopefully help you make the best decision for yourself!:)
Pros of online dating:
- Perfect for people with a busy schedule. This would be one of the reasons I would join. I don’t have much free time and if I did, the last thing I want to do is go looking for a potential spouse. When there are no possibilities in your current environments, online dating may be prove to be a useful tool.
- More options. You open yourself up to a lot more options when you enter the world of online dating. Could even prove to be a great networking tool;-) But keep in mind this also somewhat trains us to be noncommittal. I don’t think the dating sites should be to blame necessarily but rather society’s lack of commit and desire for instant gratification. We are trained through these site that if things start to get tough, you have plenty of other options. Perseverance, fighting for, and working through things seem to be a lost art.
- More control. You are able to have more control over your dating life and what you want. It’s up to you to pick the person of your dreams from an array of good looking, successful people. Just be careful you save room for God to show you his best:)
- Weeding powers. Unlike traditional dates where it make take awhile to get to know whether or not you like someone, you can knock out potential suitors left and right through a series of straight-to-the-point, deep questions. Who really wants to waste time anyway? If done appropriately, online dating could foster conversation that allows you to get to know the other person more because there’s just something about sitting behind a computer screen that gives us a little more confidence.
- Great ego booster. This is probably my favorite because vanity seems to be one of my weaknesses. If you are feeling rejected and alone, having a bunch of people that want to talk to you can make anyone feel good. Just remember it isn’t real; it’s the people that stick around through all the messy and ugly stuff that really love and care about you.
Cons of online dating:
- Dangerous. In a recent Tinder experiment, it was noted that one of the main fear women have with online dating is that the men they meet might end up being psycho killers. I know this may seem silly but spend a day reading news articles or watching “I dated a psycho” on Lifetime. Don’t be naive. Don’t be dumb. Some people are legit crazy.
- Creeps. While women fear psycho killers, the same study revealed that men fear that the women they meet might end up being fat. Okay really? I understand wanting to be attracted to your girlfriend but come on- can we be a little less shallow? Some people, probably most, aren’t looking for Christ-following, let’s get married partners. Be wise enough to spot those who aren’t and move on.
- Liars. You can be anyone you want via the internet. So many of my friends have gotten burned this way. There is something to say about body language and eye contact. It is so easy to stretch the truth, especially when our insecurities get the best of us. If you tend to be too trusting, much like myself, online dating may not be for you.
- More control. Yes, this was listed in the pros, as well. Just want to reiterate that when we tend to take control of this in our life, it leaves less room for God to move. Don’t be like Sarah and Abraham from the Bible and put too much into your own hands. Be patient. God is faithful and He is always on time.
- Focus on the wrong things. There is a lot of temptation toward an emotion led relationship when on the dating sites. As mentioned previously, it feels good to be chased and to feel valued. Sometimes it is hard to know the difference between what is real and what isn’t and this can be very scary. Subtle deception can occur before you know it and may lead you in too deep to get out on your own.
- Know what you are looking for and what you are willing to compromise on
- Don’t compromise or make excuses for the things that are important to you
- Always meet in a public setting
- Listen to your gut and don’t continue something just because they are cute or you don’t want to hurt their feelings
- Be intentional, upfront, and honest
- Look for signs and don’t be dumb; it’s okay to take your time. If they are real, they will wait
Remember online dating is just another tool. Watch out for those looking for quick, emotional affairs rather than intentional, committed relationships.
-the virgin heartbreaker
photo credit: Helga Weber via photopin cc
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