Should Christians Online Date?
Have you ever wondered if it’s okay for Christians to online date? I feel like it’s such a gray area, no one seems to have a concrete answer on the subject. The Bible never directly mentions the topic of online dating, or dating of any kind for that matter.
I’ve done my fair share of online dating, most of which hasn’t really gone that well! You can read more about that in the Online Dating Fails section of the blog if you need a good laugh!
Clearly, I’m not the expert here, but I feel like I’ve got enough experience with online dating that I can share some of my insights with you gals!
Why is dating the only area of life where people make you feel like being proactive is a bad thing?
If you want to go to college you don’t sit at home an wait for an acceptance letter. You research different schools, you apply to colleges, you go on campus visits and figure out what you have to do to get as much scholarship money as possible. When you want’ a new job you take action. You hit the internet and search for new jobs, you submit applications and go on interviews.
I don’t think any church leader of pastor would counsel you to just sit home and wait for God’s will when you are trying to find a college or a job, so why is that the advice that so many people give to those of us who are trying to find a relationship?
How many times have you been told “You’ll find the one when you stop looking”? Seriously, what horrible advice! No one would ever say that if you were looking a new car or house! So why do they say it when we are seeking a godly relationship?
I heard one well known pastor say directly that he thought online dating was sinful. He viewed it as a way of not trusting God with our lives. I can see where he’s coming from with his thinking, but I really don’t agree.
This pastor used Genesis 24 as the basis for his opinion that online dating is not biblical. In Genesis 24 we find the story of Abraham trying to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham wants his son to find a godly wife so badly that Abraham tells his servant to go back to his home land to find a wife for Isaac.
The servant wants God’s will to be done, so he spends time in prayer before he sets out to find a wife for Isaac. He prays that the Lord would give him success and even asked for a specific sign so that he would know which girl was the right one for Isaac.
The pastor saw this as proof that the servant was letting God work and seeking his will, he said that online dating was an attempt to take control out of God’s hands.
I don’t know about you, but in my mind all this traveling seems like a lot of hassle. If Tinder had been an option back then, I bet the servant would’ve much rather stayed home and started swiping to find a wife for Isaac.
How is traveling to a foreign land and praying for guidance from God to meet the right person really that different from entering the foreign land of online dating and trusting God for guidance?
I don’t think it is!
If you haven’t been able to meet someone in real life, reaching out for help doesn’t make you a failure or show a lack of trust in God’s plan.
All throughout history there have been match makers and people setting other people up.
Online dating is the same concept, just on a larger scale.
I used to work the night shift in the hospital. This made it almost impossible to meet guys. First of all, I was sleeping while the rest of the world was awake, my schedule was totally opposite of most people’s. I also worked in a predominately female field. There were easily 10 times as many women working at the hospital as there were men. This made online dating seem like a good option for me.
Obviously online dating shouldn’t be used as an alternative to engaging in real life, but it can be super helpful for a lot of people!
Here’s some tips to consider if you’re thinking about diving into online dating:
Be Present in Real Life
Make sure you are not relying on online dating as your only way of meeting people. If there’s a singles event at your church don’t skip it because you’re online dating. Say yes to as many “real life “ activities as you can! You never know who you might meet! Maybe that special someone or maybe just some really great friends.
There’s nothing worse than meeting someone who’s clearly ignoring their current life and living in their glory days of high school or college. Don’t be that girl. Be honest in your profile. Use current pics and give honest information. Don’t just say what you think guys want to hear. This doesn’t mean you have to openly profess how much you hate football, but don’t make it seem like you’re interested in activities you can’t stand.
Know What’s Important
Online dating feels a bit like online shopping. There’s an overwhelming amount of options. Some dating sites even allow you to filter people by height, weight, exercise habits and income. It can be tempting to become obsessed with finding the perfect man. Well, let me tell you a little secret, the perfect man does not exist. I’m not saying you should throw all your standards out the window, but keep your “must have” list short. I know with the number of guys online, it seems like you should be able to find everything you are looking for, but looking for such specific qualifications might make you miss out on something amazing.
It’s really easy to get lost in the world of online dating. there’s so many people, there’s always more people to see and swipe. You’d be amazed how quickly the day can get away from you when you’re just sitting in your cubicle swiping (not that i’d know from personal experience or anything). Here’s just a couple tips on how to keep this in check. Only install dating apps on your iPad or tablet. This worked well for me. It forced me to be present during the day and only check my dating sites in the evenings. Another idea is using the screen time restrictions that are currently available on iPhone. Sure you can get around it, but it will at least make you think twice before wasting too much time on your online dating
This may seem silly, like am I telling you to pray over your Bumble usage? Yes! Yes, that is exactly what I am saying! Before dates I have always prayed that if the relationship wasn’t right God would cause it to end quickly. As a result I have had a ton of potential relationships end after only one date. I see this as God’s divine protection. Yes it still hurts to be rejected, yes it still makes me sad, but I really believe that God is working and guiding me through the process.
So, I’m going to sound like everyone’s mom for a minute here. There are some crazies out there! Be smart! Online dating is not a game to be played on your own. Let other people in, tell your friends about the guys you’re messaging, let them look at their profiles and give you their input. Meet somewhere in public and tell someone where you’re going when you go on a first date. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut. If you get a creepy vibe from someone, you don’t have to keep talking to them.
I hope this has given you some good insight into the world of online dating! It’s definitely a great tool that God can use if you let him!